Black Mirror

Some years ago, during Marvel’s Dark Reign story line, I envisioned a villain for that plot named “The Twisted Mirror” who, shapeless in and of itself, could become Villainous versions of heroes. For instance, face him up against Peter Parker, and he becomes the Dark Spiderman from Dark Avengers or Superior Spider-Man. Face him up against Wolverine, and he becomes Akihiro. Against Captain America, he’d turn into… well… I think Secret Empire answers that question well enough. What follows is a free verse adaptation of an evil speech originally written for him.

Interestingly, by omitting Marvel’s character names, the free verse version fits a much broader pool of relevant topics.

Sound off in the comments if you agree.

You don’t know who I am?
That’s sweet.
I’m you.
All of you.
I’m your reflection.
“The mirror does not reflect Evil
It only creates it.”
There is no truth to be found in the mirror,
Only distortion.
I am you, but only as you can see.
Everyone else sees the hero.
I know better.
I am the imperfection, the snarl beneath the skin.
I’m the gleam in your eye when you think nobody is looking.
A moment of real temptation:
That’s who I am.
I am every dark wonder you’ve had.
All of it made real.
Every single chink in your armor
Every weakness
Every character flaw
Drawn out.
Given a voice.
Given a face.
(That face is yours.)
I’m everything you fight in yourself every day;
Kneeling on the floor of your heart
Praying that you will not become.
Well, I come with glad tidings!
Because the world doesn’t need you anymore.
They want me.
More precisely…
They want you
to become
I will not countenance a rival.
I am you, but you can’t be allowed to be me.
So, I’m afraid today is the day you must die.
But then, that’s every day for you, isn’t it?
Don’t worry.
The people will be well protected
by the Hero they want so very much.
I’ll give it to them.
And too late, they’ll realize what they actually asked for.
Too late they’ll realize I can’t be stopped or beaten.
Too late, they’ll realize they’ll have only me.
Perhaps you have something to say about that?


The Nature of Silver

Something shimmers
Something light and thin
Something silent rings
As this noble verse begins

The power to cleanse
Perhaps to control
A power to restrain
Envelop a thousand roles.

Music made metal
Poetry from Stone
It glimmers like water
Magic, singular and alone.

This is the nature of silver
Bending where others shall break
Redirecting Olympian wrath;
Ponder this every hour that you wake.

Thorns of a Rose (by any other name)

It’s true it would smell as sweet
that rose by any other name
People are like roses too:
Who they are remains the same.

You can cut the tusks off a Walrus
You can paint a Zebra brown
You can bleach a Raven’s feathers
Or put a beggar beneath a crown.

You can call a Devil an Angel
You can put a Chimp in a Suit
You can stick wings upon a pig
And call a vegetable a fruit.

But a Zebra isn’t a horse
A Walrus isn’t a Seal
A Raven’s not a Dove
And your fruit just isn’t real

The Devil’s not an Angel
A Chimp won’t start hiring
A Pig is not a Hawk
And a Crown doesn’t make a King.

Claim whatever you want
Sling blame and point where it lands
A fox
The papers
Your neighbors
Your rivals
Fault can never be washed off your hands

Say the office has changed
And hand things over to a successor
But no matter what you say you are
The tyrant will always be the oppressor.

Life as a Chandelier Sees It

An iron cage clings to life suspended above the floor
It keeps a careful watch through windows and the door.
The cage is rather like us all, I find
Its inner lights flicker and wane
Time it seems, for both iron and people, is equally a bane.

But those lights just keep on shining, time and age be damned
The lights refuse to quit, just like the Sun in this summer land.
It’s a laudable persistence, a life lesson
Despite its age and make, it hasn’t begun to rust
After all, Chandeliers are like people

We shine because we must.

One Light Caravan

Pushing through the dark
Three beams pierce through blackened White.
A silver crescent shimmers overhead
while constant whispers follow sleepy travelers.
The air screams bitter cold to no avail
The occupants do not notice.
Soon, the sun will rise
Mountains will fight it but fail to stop the light.
But for now, darkness keeps its hold.
Undeterred, the drivers push forward.
One light remains for each
The broken brother sitting opposite
Driving in single file down the road
Relentless and dogged
The one light caravan glides through the North.

The Fading Queen

Her words are beyond me.
Her simple voice itself a song.
Her movements still full of grace,
Casting flower petals as she goes.
I understand her so little
And yet still so very much.

She, a Springtime Queen in the midst of Autumn,
Yet no one has told her.
So she keeps on singing
Her marvelous songs,
Words I cannot comprehend,
Hers, a gentle voice full of hope.

No one has told her her realm is ending
No one has told her she is fading
The world has sold her place
It has no need for her magic
And no one has told the world:
“Those with no place for magic need it the most.”
So, I tell the Fading Queen:

“Remain Springtime.

Weave words,
Prove the world wrong.
Springtime only ends when your song does.
You will always have an audience in me.”