Lyrics for A Child's Bestiary

A Taxidermist’s Toybox

Cleaning off the skin

Scraping off the chaff

Got to keep the cuts small

Make the feathers last

Jiggle in an eye

Paint on the claws

Arrange a pose

And then it’s done

Beauty in this death


Jackdaw, magpie, rook, crow

Say them all and then you’ll know

What’s the secret?

Never tell

Bad little ones under my spell


Receive the little birds

In spirits of wine

Got to sew the beak shut

With a bit of twine

Then untie the skin

Head turns toward the left

Twist ligament

This is my design

Beauty in this death


What life has gotten wrong

I can now correct

My own interpretation

My revisions to the script

When a mind is fertile

Ready for suggestion

What to say

How to move

Beauty in this death


Creating works of art

Making something new

From a lifeless dead thing

Giving a new hue

I work my magic only

With one goal in mind

To breathe new life

To start afresh

Beauty in this death

My Black Hen


Hickety, pickety, my black hen,

She lays eggs for gentlemen;

Gentlemen come every day

To see what my black hen doth lay.


My black hen gives me

Such black feathers

Each one tied in a knot

Each a rung on the ladder


The blackest curse

Turns the soul

In a witch’s ladder

With thirteen rungs



With cord magick

And a cross of black pins

Check for it under the bed


The gentlemen come

They can’t stay away

Though the danger beckons

They follow its clarion call


Gentlemen should harbor

Some caution

Though they are tempted this way

Best to just stay away

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod


Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night

Sailed off in a wooden shoe —

Sailed on a river of crystal light,

Into a sea of dew.

"Where are you going, and what do you wish?"

The old moon asked the three.

"We have come to fish for the herring fish

That live in this beautiful sea;

Nets of silver and gold have we!"

Said Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.


Ghost children

Playing in the dark

Ghost children

Living worlds apart


The old moon laughed and sang a song,

As they rocked in the wooden shoe,

And the wind that sped them all night long

Ruffled the waves of dew.

The little stars were the herring fish

That lived in that beautiful sea —

"Now cast your nets wherever you wish —

Never afraid are we";

So cried the stars to the fishermen three:

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.


Ghost kisses

Catch them while you can

Ghost kisses

Never leave my hand

All night long their nets they threw

To the stars in the twinkling foam —

Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,

Bringing the fishermen home;

'Twas all so pretty a sail it seemed

As if it could not be,

And some folks thought 'twas a dream they'd dreamed

Of sailing that beautiful sea —

But I shall name you the fishermen three:

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.


Ghost wishes

One by one to make

Ghost wishes

Dreadful the mistake


Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,

And Nod is a little head,

And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies

Is a wee one's trundle-bed.

So shut your eyes while mother sings

Of wonderful sights that be,

And you shall see the beautiful things

As you rock in the misty sea,

Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.


Ghost children

Playing in the dark

Ghost children

Living worlds apart

Kraken by Tennyson


Below the thunders of the upper deep

Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea

His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep

The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee

About his shadowy sides; above him swell

Huge sponges of millennial growth and height

And far away into the sickly light

From many a wondrous grot and secret cell

Unnumbered and enormous polypi

Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green

There hath he lain for ages, and will lie

Battening upon huge seaworms in his sleep

Until the latter fire shall heat the deep

Then once by man and angels to be seen

In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.



Corvidae, come after me

Corvidae, I shall not flee


One for sorrow

Two for joy

Three for a girl

Four for a boy

Five for silver

Six for gold

Seven for a secret never told

Eight for a wish

Nine for a kiss

Ten for a bird

You must not miss


One for sorrow

Two for mirth

Three for a funeral

Four for birth

Five for heaven

Six for hell

Seven for the devil, his own self

Silent Siren



Dissolving into sea foam

She floats among the waves

The storm rolls on, the sea grows calm

Her memory fades away



The pain of slicing knives

Separates her flesh

The dance leads on, she hides her frown

Each step to please her prince



To a witch she sells her voice

Her siren, clarion call

All for the love of an unknown man

And half his worthless soul



Her first trip to the surface

She saves a drowning prince

He never knew of his protector

Never caught her name


There’s a moral to this tale

A lesson to be learned

Don’t trade your voice for anything

Own it, don’t silence your song

La Fée Verte


I’m trapped in this bottle

Please set me free

Then I will be all yours

For this night

Your inspiration

Your darkling muse

Your Green Fairy

La Fée Verte


Drink, drink

With me tonight

Drink, drink

Deep with me tonight

Never has a poison

Tasted so sweet

Never has your nightmare

Spoken this way


La Fée Verte

They whisper my name

They long for my touch

Horrific visions I bring


La Fée Verte

One little sip

One little taste

Let me show you the way


La Fée Verte

The night comes alive

A swirling haze

Dancing with you


La Fée Verte

Do you long for your muse

Shall I visit you

Open your mind to my world

Peter the Wolf.


Once upon a time in Russia…



Peter awoke from the nightmare with the taste of blood still in his mouth. He could remember fleeting images: the silver moon hanging in the darkened sky, the pale light illuminating the forest with an unworldly glow, and thick summer air, hot and stifling around him.



Peter sat up, and the nightmare continued. As he looked around his cottage, he could remember the shrill sounds of screaming birds. Could birds scream? As his memories grew more vivid, Peter remembered them screaming.



He could remember drinking with his friend Utkin. Last night, he remembered a look of terror in his eyes, and his mouth contorting into another silent scream. Odd that he remembered Utkin’s screaming  silently, but not the birds.


He idly tried to remember where Utkin went after he started screaming…



As he looked around the cottage, with debris and destruction littering the small room, he tried to banish the images of sheer terror returning to the edge of consciousness, like a recalled echo, telling himself that he and Utkin must have drank enough for their ancestors last night.


Peter got out of bed, and the nightmare continued. He remembered the tiger.



The great siberian tiger slunk out of the forests, and towards the cottage where Peter lived alone with his grandfather. Grandfather was a mighty hunter. Peter remembered not understanding why Grandfather didn’t lift his heavy rifle from above the mantle and come for the mighty cat as he had so many times before.



Peter noticed the rifle wasn’t above the mantle. Nor did he see grandfather in the ransacked cottage. Grandfather’s bed was unmade, his boots gone, his chair empty.


Peter remembered the heat of the tiger’s breath. Peter remembered the sharp claws going for his throat. Peter remembered swatting them away as playful as a kitten, laughing at the tiger’s frantic attacks and roars as if it were a game.


Peter remembered snapping the tiger’s spine, and wondering why the tiger was so delicate.


It was then Peter remembered the taste of blood in his mouth. He wondered how it got there.



He padded to the door of the cottage and opened the gate, shaking the rest of his sleep away from his eyes. In the light of dawn, he saw what was left of Grandfather and Utkin, their blood and bodies staining the grass, torn into shreds by the predator.


Peter found his friend and his Grandfather, and the nightmare went on and on and on…



Darkness is beautiful

When you can see the spark

Of a tiny, little light

Dancing through the shadows


Darkness is terrible

When the light seems far away

Much too far away to reach

Midnight is closing in


Fear will choke down our resolve

Like a serpent maw grown wide

Her tail inching ever near

We’re consuming our own fears


Surrendering our days of bliss

Precious moments in the sun

One life, one chance to live

That’s all we ever have                   


“And by strange alchemy of brain

Our pleasures always turn to pain

Being young and dipped in folly

We fall in love with melancholy.”    (E.A.Poe)


We are the snake

We are the serpent

We are eating our own tail

And the circle grows ever smaller

And the noose grows ever tighter

We are slowly choking on our own fear

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