By Don Kenton Henry


There is a great black cloud which fills the void between the prairie to the sky

It blocks the sun and breathes and, as it does, exhales a wind

from the soot and sulfur filled lungs of the dark side

It rolls onward and before it comes a pale horseman

On an ashen steed, he rides

Its stride is long, its neck is stretched, its nostrils flared, and it reeks of death

It gallops on a wind that bears the putrid stench of rotting flesh


Tribulations and lamentations


The monster cloud builds as it rolls across the earth feeding on the life which clings to it

And blood falls from it like rain and the rivers and rows between our crops run red

It visits us a nightmare and brings a pox upon both the young and aged

The horseman wields a scythe he sweeps across the land

It fells beast and plant and all before it

None shall be left to tell the tale of our flesh turned to dust and our teeth to sand

None shall know our tribulation nor hear our lamentations

For the pale horseman will spare none to tell our story


Except for you my fortunate friend


We of sickly pallor, the whites of our eyes gone yellow, in windows do we wait

Blood stained cloths we hold to our face as the rider delivers our fate

Consumption eats our lungs

The preacher and the atheist debate

“Have mercy on our souls!” says one

“There is no God!” the other

“What know you of what lies beyond the edge of the universe?” cries the agnostic

“Of what is made the dark matter which fills the void between the stars?”


And all about them, both the wicked and the innocent pray for mercy

One repents and each makes promises they will never live to keep

For too late they come to the table

And in this world death comes even to the stable


Nothing left to do but pace and weep

Tribulations and lamentations

Pestilence and plague upon us

Locusts all about

Into our walls they seep

Through the floorboards fanged and scaled serpents creep


The horseman thunders through our door

The chest of the ashen steed heaves as it hooves pound the floor

Fire from its nostrils sets our house ablaze
Death come quickly, please


Tribulation and lamentations


Now tis your job to pass this word

The burden of the lesson falls to you

In the end we all do learn

Cries for exceptions will fall unheard

Death always makes its appointed rounds

For one day we are born from ground

And another we return

One day we overestimate our worth

And all too soon we’re turned to dirt



  1. The theme of last evening’s Poetry Night (at my local writier’s club) was the poetry of Edgar Allen Poe. The challenge to the members was to write a poem about death. I really was not of the mindset to address the subject, however, I attempted to rise to the occasion. The consensus was, I succeeded in channeling Poe as my poem, “Death Comes A Horseman” was described as “Poe-ish”. What do you think?

  2. Powerful. Well done.

    Sent from my iPhone

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