I enter the room of blood-red walls.

I pass the velvet furniture

and step in front of the mirror.

The lamps on either side flicker.

The glass turns foggy

until I can’t see my face.

Mist swirls around my features

like snakes roaming a corpse.

The fireplace at my feet sparks.

Heat suffuses my body,

beginning at my feet.

The fog clears in the mirror.

The face doesn’t belong to me.

An old woman’s face.

She has my features and eyes,

but she’s wrinkled and bony.

A smile lifts the corners of her mouth.

I touch my mouth.

I’m not smiling.

An arm in the mirror

wraps around her scrawny neck.

A snap.

Her head tilts at a strange angle.

Lifeless stare past me.

A hand touches my shoulder.

I scream and run from the room.

Laughter follows me from the house.

I will never return.

by Susanne Leist



A rare commodity is solitude.
It can be easily misunderstood.

To be alone with no one else around.
You can do this in the air or on the ground.

You can sail off in the blue sea
Or hop on a plane without me.

We can use some time alone
Without T.V. or telephone.

Time to think about your goals,
You will come back feeling whole.



I step from the restaurant

into a dark alley.

My footsteps click on the cobblestones.

Footsteps echo behind me.

Lights glimmer ahead.

I hurry to the beacons.

Footsteps ring closer.

I run.

The footsteps follow.

People walk the avenue.

Stores twinkle their lights.

A voice calls, “Miss,

You forgot your charge card.”

I freeze and turn.

The waitress hands me the card.

I smile.

She disappears in the darkness.

I swallow.

Another night in the city.



This is life.

The choice set before us.

The sun or the dark of night.

Optimism or pessimism.

Good or evil.

The darkness taunts us.

It’s too easy to succumb to it.

Fight the greedy devil.

The choice is yours to make.




Sprinkle my path with pretty leaves & flowers.

I want to look at water & not towers.

Colors to brighten my day.

A place where birds come to play.

I walk to the end of the pier.

I gaze into the depths without fear.

I watch the fish swimming by,

Not monsters lurking nearby.

Allow time to pass slowly and be savored.

Whoever comes this way will be favored.

I think it’s only prudent and fair

To share my secret with those who care.



Japanese Gardens – Portland, OR


The stream flows

across rocks,

reflecting the sun’s rays

along its smooth surface.

Follow the blue lights downstream.

Dip your toes into the cold splendor.

Life can be perfect.




Horror taunts me.

It creeps closer.

I can feel it,

taste it.

It surrounds me.

I’m sealed in a coffin.

Dirt sinks me deeper.

A crack of light appears.

A peek at my tormentor.

A glimpse of hell.