“Oh, For a Home of Rest!” by Eliza Paul Kirkbride Gurney

The contemplation of suicide in the aftermath of loss.
-The Voice before the Void

“Oh, For a Home of Rest!”

Eliza Paul Kirkbride Gurney

Oh, for a home of rest!
Time lags alone so slow, so wearily;
Couldst thou but smile on me, I should be blest.
Alas, alas! that never more may be.
Oh, for the sky-lark’s wing to soar to thee!

This earth I would forsake
For starry realms whose sky’s forever fair;
There, tears are shed not, hearts will cease to ache,
And sorrow’s plaintive voice shall never break
The heavenly stillness that is reigning there.

Life’s every charm has fled,
The world is all a wilderness to me;
“For thou art numbered with the silent dead.”
Oh, how my heart o’er this dark thought has bled!
How I have longed for wings to follow thee!

In visions of the night
With angel smile thou beckon’st me away,
Pointing to worlds where hope is free from blight;
And then a cloud comes o’er that brow of light,
Seeming to chide me for my long delay.

“Gavon’s Eve” by E.F. Benson

Halloween:
Legend and mystery and scandal, a witch and a ghost, and a blasphemous ritual in a castle ruin in the autumnal midnight.
-The Voice before the Void

“Gavon’s Eve”

E.F. Benson

It is only the largest kind of ordnance map that records the existence of the village of Gavon, in the shire of Sutherland, and it is perhaps surprising that any map on whatever scale should mark so small and huddled a group of huts, set on a bare, bleak headland between moor and sea, and, so one would have thought, of no import at all to any who did not happen to live there. But the river Gavon, on the right bank of which stand this half-dozen of chimneyless and wind-swept habitations, is a geographical fact of far greater interest to outsiders, Continue reading

“The Room in the Tower” by E.F. Benson

Halloween:
A cold reading of what has instantly become a new favorite Halloween story.
-The Voice before the Void

“The Room in the Tower”

E.F. Benson

It is probable that everybody who is at all a constant dreamer has had at least one experience of an event or a sequence of circumstances which have come to his mind in sleep being subsequently realized in the material world. Continue reading

“Suicide in the Trenches” by Siegfried Sassoon

World War I:
Soldier’s war poetry.

“Suicide in the Trenches”

Siegfried Sassoon

I knew a simple soldier boy
Who grinned at life in empty joy,
Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
And whistled early with the lark.

In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
He put a bullet through his brain.
No one spoke of him again.

 

You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you’ll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go.

“Ex Oblivione” by H.P. Lovecraft

The dark fantastical dream; the great dream.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“Ex Oblivione”

H.P. Lovecraft

When the last days were upon me, and the ugly trifles of existence began to drive me to madness Continue reading

“The Man Who Found Out (A Nightmare)” by Algernon Blackwood, part 2

Knowledge is fearsome to possess, sojourner, but take solace: you shall never possess it.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“The Man Who Found Out
(A Nightmare)”

Algernon Blackwood

part 2

3

A year passed slowly by, and at the end of it Dr. Laidlaw had found it necessary to sever his working connexion with his friend and one-time leader. Professor Ebor was no longer the same man. The light had gone out of his life; the laboratory was closed; he no longer put pen to paper or applied his mind to a single problem. In the short space of a few months he had passed from a hale and hearty man of late middle life to the condition of old age—a man collapsed and on the edge of dissolution. Death, it was plain, lay waiting for him in the shadows of any day—and he knew it.

To describe faithfully the nature of this profound alteration in his character and temperament is not easy, but Dr. Laidlaw summed it up to himself in three words: Loss of Hope. Continue reading

“Battle of Carrhae” from Wikipedia

Battle of Carrhae Anniversary Special:
A story of greed, deceit, genius, envy, and deep historical significance.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“Battle of Carrhae”

Wikipedia

The Battle of Carrhae was fought in 53 BCE between the Parthian Empire and the Roman Republic near the town of Carrhae. The Parthian Spahbod (“General”) Surena decisively defeated a numerically superior Roman invasion force under the command of Marcus Licinius Crassus. It is commonly seen as one of the earliest and most important battles between the Roman and Parthian empires and one of the most crushing defeats in Roman history.

Crassus, a member of the First Triumvirate and the wealthiest man in Rome, had been enticed by the prospect of military glory and riches and decided to invade Parthia without the official consent of the Senate. Rejecting an offer from the Armenian King Artavasdes II to allow Crassus to invade Parthia via Armenia, Crassus marched his army directly through the deserts of Mesopotamia. Continue reading

“The Repairer of Reputations” from The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers, part 3

Weirdness and crime and insanity come to a head of horror.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“The Repairer of Reputations”

from The King in Yellow

Robert W. Chambers

part 3

III

One morning early in May I stood before the steel safe in my bedroom, trying on the golden jewelled crown. The diamonds flashed fire as I turned to the mirror, and the heavy beaten gold burned like a halo about my head. I remembered Camilla’s agonized scream and the awful words echoing through the dim streets of Carcosa. They were the last lines in the first act, and I dared not think of what followed—dared not, even in the spring sunshine, there in my own room, surrounded with familiar objects, reassured by the bustle from the street and the voices of the servants in the hallway outside. For those poisoned words had dropped slowly into my heart, as death-sweat drops upon a bed-sheet and is absorbed. Trembling, I put the diadem from my head and wiped my forehead, but I thought of Hastur and of my own rightful ambition, Continue reading

“The Repairer of Reputations” from The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers, part 2

A portrait of weirdness and insanity and horror, indulgence and love, the city in springtime, forbidden knowledge, foreboding.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“The Repairer of Reputations”

from The King in Yellow

Robert W. Chambers

part 2

II

I climbed the three dilapidated flights of stairs, which I had so often climbed before, and knocked at a small door at the end of the corridor. Mr. Wilde opened the door and I walked in. Continue reading

“The Repairer of Reputations” from The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers, part 1

Walpurgis Night Special:
A story unique and masterfully weird… and our world’s introduction to the King in Yellow.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“The Repairer of Reputations”

from The King in Yellow

Robert W. Chambers

part 1

Along the shore the cloud waves break,
The twin suns sink beneath the lake,
The shadows lengthen
In Carcosa.

Strange is the night where black stars rise,
And strange moons circle through the skies
But stranger still is
Lost Carcosa.

Songs that the Hyades shall sing,
Where flap the tatters of the King,
Must die unheard in
Dim Carcosa.

Song of my soul, my voice is dead;
Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed
Shall dry and die in
Lost Carcosa.

Cassilda’s Song in “The King in Yellow,” Act i, Scene 2.

The Repairer of Reputations

I

“Ne raillons pas les fous; leur folie dure plus longtemps que la nôtre…. Voila toute la différence.”

Toward the end of the year 1920 the Government of the United States had practically completed the programme, adopted during the last months of President Winthrop’s administration. The country was apparently tranquil. Everybody knows how the Tariff and Labour questions were settled. The war with Germany, incident on that country’s seizure of the Samoan Islands, had left no visible scars upon the republic, and the temporary occupation of Norfolk by the invading army had been forgotten in the joy over repeated naval victories, and the subsequent ridiculous plight of General Von Gartenlaube’s forces in the State of New Jersey. The Cuban and Hawaiian investments had paid one hundred per cent and Continue reading

Better Run: U.S. School Shootings, 1991-2014, and 3 Songs: “Jeremy” by Pearl Jam, “Youth of the Nation” by P.O.D., and “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People

Jeremy by Pearl Jam 1992 grunge rock song single cover art child gun firearm pistol school shooting

Columbine High School Shooting Anniversary Special:
Their children murdering themselves and being murdered by firearms in their schools is such a fixture of U.S. life that the Americans routinely consume songs about the subject on their radios.
⁓The Voice before the Void

Better Run: U.S. School Shootings, 1991-2014, and 3 Songs: “Jeremy” by Pearl Jam, “Youth of the Nation” by P.O.D., and “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People

Data from the Wikipedia incomplete “List of school shootings in the United States”:

1991
4 school shootings, with 1 person injured and 8 people killed

1992
4 school shootings, with 15 people injured and 8 people killed

The single “Jeremy” by the band Pearl Jam was released 1992 September 27. On the U.S. Billboard charts, it reached #79 on the Hot 100 chart, #5 on the Modern Rock chart, and #5 on the Mainstream Rock chart.

“Jeremy”

Eddie Vedder

At home, drawing pictures of mountain tops
With him on top
Lemon yellow sun, arms raised in a V
And the dead lay in pools of maroon below Continue reading

“The Kiss of Death (The Inexorable)” by Carmen Sylva

Chillundity by the Queen of Romania.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“The Kiss of Death (The Inexorable)”

Carmen Sylva

translated from the German by Helen Zimmern

The sea was running high and was black as night. Only the crests of the endless waves glistened in the lightning that flashed across the heavens. The storm was raging towards the land and threw the ships upon the rocks, so that hundreds of human lives perished in the ocean. Then of a sudden it seemed as though the storm grew entangled among the cliffs on the shore, and condensed into a form that reared up tall and pale against the mighty heavens. It was a grave youth with unflinching black eyes, who leaned upon a sickle and held an hour-glass in his hand. He gazed across the waters with an indifferent air, as though the wrecks, and corpses beneath, concerned him as little as the sand in his glass, which trickled down evenly, steadily, regardless of the blustering of the storm, or the sudden quiet. There was something iron-like in the youth’s features, in his eyes there lay a power that destroyed all things they looked upon; even the ocean seemed to be numbed by them, and to grow silent with fear. Day dawned, and flooded with roseate hues from the rising sun. Sorrow came stepping over the cliffs. She stretched out her arms to the youth.

“Brother,” she cried, “brother, what have you done! You have raged terribly, and did not hear how I called you, ay, cried for you so eagerly.”

“I heard nothing,” said Death. “I felt myself too quiet, so I roused myself. A few vessels were lost in the act.”

“O pitiless one!” said Sorrow.

“I do not comprehend your grief,” answered the somber youth; and turning from her, he walked away. Continue reading

“Death of Two Cheyenne Braves” by Theodore Roosevelt

An eerie scene of extraordinary courage and honor and self-sacrifice.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“Death of Two Cheyenne Braves”

from The Wilderness Hunter

Theodore Roosevelt

The incident, related by Lieutenant Pitcher, took place in 1890, near Tongue River, in northern Wyoming. The command with which he was serving was camped near the Cheyenne Reservation. One day two young Cheyenne bucks, met one of the government herders, and promptly killed him–in a sudden fit, half of ungovernable blood lust, half of mere ferocious lightheartedness. They then dragged his body into the brush and left it. The disappearance of the herder of course attracted attention, and a search was organized by the cavalry. Continue reading

The Alien and the Human: 4 Novels by Stanisław Lem, from Wikipedia

Summarized narratives of four philosophical novels from the greatest science fiction writer. Spoilers.
⁓The Voice before the Void

Solaris

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Solaris is a 1961 Polish science fiction novel by Stanisław Lem. The book is about the ultimate inadequacy of communication between human and non-human species.

Solaris by Stanislaw Lem science fiction classic Polish sci-fi novel book cover first English edition

Continue reading

“How many more times must we meet…” by Susan Loone

An extraordinary piece.
⁓The Voice before the Void

View other art and poetry by Susan Loone at sloonepoems.wordpress.com and at sloone.blogspot.com

How many more times must we meet Susan Loone art love

“How many more times must we meet…”

Susan Loone

When I took you aside and told you we have met a thousand years ago, it was not meant to be a pick up line. It was meant to be a reunion of two old souls.

Eventually, it was only I who recognised you, while you have no inkling of who I am. Continue reading

“Richard Cory” by Edwin Arlington Robinson

A perfectly unforgettable poem, and an exemplification of the darkness of American literature. What sort of a culture produces as its greatest literary works the obsessively forlorn “The Raven,” the bleakly comedic Moby-Dick, the compellingly morbid “To Build a Fire,” the ruthlessly wrenching Death of a Salesman? If a people are defined by the stories they tell, then what shadows enshroud the American soul? Slavery? War? Assassination? Gunplay? Suicide? Is the United States to be believed? Could ever such a society actually have existed?
⁓The Voice before the Void

“Richard Cory”

Edwin Arlington Robinson

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said, Continue reading

3 Stories of World War II Norway from Wikipedia

D-Day Anniversary Special:
In commemoration of World War II and the Holocaust
The complexities of the heroism, the horror, and the legacy of the Second World War, illustrated in three stories of Norway.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“Carl Fredriksens Transport”

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Carl Fredriksens Transport was the code name for an operation during the occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany to help Jews and other persecuted Norwegians escape persecution, deportation, and murder in death camps. The name of Carl Fredriksens Transport was based on the name of the exiled Norwegian king Haakon VII, who was Carl, son of Fredrik, but also sounded like a common Norwegian name. Continue reading

“To be, or not to be” by William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare’s Birthday Special:
Suicide is, indeed, among the most important of questions, and Shakespeare offers a worthwhile insight into the dilemma of addressing this question: insufficient data is available to make an informed decision.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“To be, or not to be”

from The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

William Shakespeare

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache Continue reading

“Into the Blizzard: Suicide by Ice” by The Voice before the Void

For much of the year in North Dakota and other obliteratingly cold climates, suicide can be as simple as going for a walk: an original sonnet.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“Into the Blizzard: Suicide by Ice”

The Voice before the Void

O Bastard blizzard blowing ice and smite:
Come; claim these fingers and these toes, this nose–
Of them no need have I where I go, where
Cold has no hold, where sun shall not heat me,
Nor wind freeze me, nor sorrow deplete me.
Blow you ice wind about my brow; cleanse my
Mind of the lies required of the alive–
Replace them with ice; encase me in ice.

My skin invisible through your flurries,
My voice inaudible above your roar,
Tonight when I sink in your drifts clean, pure,
To sleep, I shall be forced to rise no more.
At last, at long last: in ice I be free;
My Heart, my scorched Heart: calmed, cooled, finally.