my poetry

Just before World Fantasy Con in the Fall of 2011 my poem “Rivers Do Not Flow Within,” was published by Haunted Waters Press in their literary magazine From the Depths.  It’s a beautiful issue with great photos.  Take a look if you have time.

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This is the first poem I’ve published.  It appeared in 2009 in Abandoned Towers, Issue #2, the print version, p. 24.   Abandoned Towers is published, and the poem is copyrighted, by Cyberwizard Productions.  Their website is


A Tale  of  Four  Feet

I am iambic, says the foot
that travels weak to strong.
But the anapest cries for a bumpier ride:
the two weak in the front do belong.

Troche strong to weak does stagger,
Rude and hardly civil,
and dactyl’s the silly one, like a reptilian,
wagging its tail of two syllables.



The following poem appeared in Kings of the Realm: A Dragon Anthology compiled by Christopher Jacobsmeyer and Edited by Chris Bartholomew.  Published by Lame Goat Press, it is the last poem in the book, appearing on p. 251. It is copyright 2010 by Gerald Warfield.

The poem is an imitation of Waiting for the Barbarians, written by the early twentieth-century Egyptian poet Constantine Cavafy in 1904.  In Cavafy’s poem, the coming of the barbarians is a “solution” to the corrupt, effete government of the city, perhaps a comment on pre-World War I regimes of the countries on the southern and eastern Mediterranean.  In my version, dragons represent the challenges and adversities without which we would fail to grow.  Confronting dragons calls forth our finest attributes, dare I say, even nobility.

Waiting for the Dragons
(after Cavafy)

Why are we waiting, gathered here in the courtyard?

The dragons are coming.

Why do the senators rail and shake their fists
in their vast, marble chambers?

The dragons arrive today.
Against this calamity
they enact laws and measures of emergency.

Why has the king risen at earliest light
standing on the ramparts in robes and crown and
holding the scepter and orb?

Because the dragons arrive today.
The king shows himself to the people
that they take heart from his symbols of office,
his titles of highest rank and legitimacy.

Why do the nobles and courtiers
wear their best tunics and robes
and rush about with their secretaries and servants?
Why have they donned their glittering medals
and sashes of rank and high office?
Why do they hold audiences in their chambers?

Because the dragons arrive today,
and the nobles shall not be found unprepared.

Why have the heralds not come forth
to proclaim the news?

Because the dragons arrive today,
we stand already at the highest state of alert.

Why… why the sudden confusion and desolation?
The faces of the people wrinkle with concern.
The courtyard clears;
only the ale houses stand full.

Because the day wanes and night approaches,
but the dragons have not come.
Scouts arriving from the border report
there are no more dragons.

What shall become of us without dragons?
Our resolve shall falter, our bravery fade away.

Reading "Waiting for the Dragons" at the World Fantasy Convention, San Jose, California, Nov. 1 2009


“A Greater Moon” has appeared in issue 15 of  This is a great ezine, edited by Scott T. Barnes, and well worth a visit.  The poem has also been nominated for a Rhysling Award, an annual prize given by the Science Fiction Poetry Association.    I’m really thrilled about it.

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