EVERYWHERE THE SERPENT SLAIN, by James Frederick William Rowe:

The thunderous passage of heroic feet
Has crushed under heel
The skulls of serpents

The hills were once alive
With their slithering
But no more
For all are dead

Slain in antiquity
That we might live unmolested
Safe and sheltered
Freed of their threat

But the knife unused
Turns dull in time
And never tried
Its virtue is discarded

As fire tempers steel
So does suffering temper man
And we, untempered
Have become brittle

Thus, I foresee a day
Far off from now, yet near in time
Where from the hills again
The serpents shall descend

And there shall be naught in the way of heroes
To stand against them
To strive against them
To succeed against them

We shall become in that day
As they in our own
Our skulls
Pounded to dust

The Monster
Will be an omen
Of the heroless age


James Frederick William Rowe is a young and up and coming author and poet out of Brooklyn, New York, with other works appearing in “Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine” and “Big Pulp”. When not writing fantasy, science fiction, and horror fiction and poetry, he is pursuing a Ph.D. in philosophy and works as a freelance combat sports journalist.

Dedicated to the memory of the author’s grandmother, Elizabeth Sundberg (1918-2011), “Everywhere the Serpent Slain” is his first poem published in Heroic Fantasy Quarterly. However, his short story “The Worship of the Lord of the Estuary and the Wages of Heroism” appeared in Issue #10 of HFQ and can be viewed here.

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