Excerpt for Infinite Summer by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

[Infinite Summer]

S. M. Shuford

Copyright © S. M. Shuford 2018

[Smashwords Edition]



[Infinite Summer] - - - 1-30

[Étude for a Ghost] - - - 31-60


Infinite Summer, she was drawn from the bittersweet curses of unheard fairytales. She is the embodiment of the transition from love’s heartache to the finality of sorrow. She is the rain and she is the grass it falls upon. Infinite Summer and Étude for a Ghost are haiku that feed somberly from innocent blood to keep an eternal youth they regret bargaining for, but they also give forth that same blood to die with pride intact.

The linked roots of what woodlands remain in the world encircled and grew through my words through the skins of their dead brothers. I feel there is little with such a deep and dangerous sense of mysticism than the untamed forest.

Only the sea promises as many secrets, but whereas we know that the sea holds primordial chaos the further within you search, the forest is an unmatchable knowledge we will never hold. The forests have seen all and recall each footstep and its maker with flawless memory. However, like the ocean, they are a single, vast entity whose organs hide mysteries we will never solve, nor perhaps, should we.

Who we seek in the woods and the waters we may find, after all, and their intentions, at best, are to steal our hearts away.

[S. M. Shuford, March 2018]

[Infinite Summer]


Smothered by sunbeams
A century spent scalded
Infinite summer


Noteless songs released
Deflowered branches I break
To weave my death pyre


Marsh bilge coats my heart
Ferns spiral, sea grass mildews
Mold moons orbit me


Foghorn’s curling mourn
Muted in blankets of mist
Keeps me softly veiled


Bittersweet roses
Cherry flame tendrils, her hair
Glows in bleak grey thoughts


Iridescent roach
From the netherworld, knowledge
Gleaming in your eyes


Honey succulence
Crystallizes goblin skull
Hidden in the plains


Reaper, slave to hearts
Cinnabar scars create him
Kiss of blood undone


Submerged in desire
Her porcelain form cascades
Teal depths surround her


Portals the wind forms
This craving for asylum
Burns holes in my soul


Rust-cracked dahlias
Circle sacrificial pit
God opens her eyes


The lurid solstice
Dreams’ orgy alights the woods
Unfiltered heaven


These industry towns
Harbor of black, steel sorrow
Mollified in glass


Avant-garde fae waltz
Fire steps in aquatic time
Spark of collision


Cravat of moth wings
Centipedes mar lifeless flesh
He pales in darkness

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(Pages 1-3 show above.)