Fantasy Poetry

Poetry is provided by Eric Jobes.

Ghosts of Camelot

Long after the blood shed, pain and cruelty
The ruins of Camelot still stand Its lands stained red by warfare
The ghosts of Camelot wailing with pain and sorrow over there befallen king
Brothers fought brothers and sons fought fathers
The air is permanently chilled with the fog of the dead
Air charged with cruel magick that muddled the minds of once valiant and just knights
Walls that once harbored so much peace and happiness, broken and defiled by the blood of their guardians
The Table that once stood for justice and might, cleaved in half by the Black One’s deadly claymore
Myrddin’s tower once the pinnacle of magickal knowledge, now a forever burning beacon and monument to the destruction and death that happened there
The Forest once teeming with wildlife, now filled with restless spirits of fallen soldiers and of wights feasting on the lands sorrowful
pain and dark energy
Oh the horror and the sadness that this land will never be cleansed of the vile magicks
Morganna used to seek her revenge
Never will this land be free of the agony of the trapped souls, never will they feel the peace of Avalon

The Monster Inside

I am sorry so very sorry
Please do not be mad at me
I have no control over the monster that calls my mind home
His actions are not my own
With teeth of stained ivory and eyes of abyssal black
He lurks in my thoughts and fears waiting for the right moment
I don’t mean the things he makes me say please come back
Please my loved ones I need you
Help me exorcise this monster, this foul beast!
I don’t want him here
……As the last of you leave me so does all hope of being rid of this curse
Soon his whispers become louder
Now we share one voice one mind one soul
You shouldn’t have left me
My fate was in your hands
Now yours is in mine
Forgive me for this but you didn’t help me
So I am no longer me but the monster inside

The Circle of Song

A cacophony of ancient noise and sacred voices
Laughter and joy blast out in waves
Light and love to all
The sounds of our ancestors ring out from the veil
“Be at peace my friends all are welcome”
A chorus of chanting and singing
Rolls like a wave over me
The circle of song calls out…And I shall answer!

The Death of The Universe

Lo! Despair, Tis the face of our God!

Their blank gaze fills all of the world with dread and terror
Their face a sanguine mirror of apathy and stoicism

The sanctity of life rests between its palms!
A solid black orb swallowing every ounce of light around it

All around it a viscous, inky, void splattered with the colors of the Vital Humors
Extends into infinity, Light and Dark at the same time

Our ears bleed due to the lack of noise
Our eyes water from the light and the lack thereof

We shudder from the cold yet feel also warmth
We feel no breeze, yet our clothes and hair flutter

Life is over, There is nothing
Our existence is gone

We are but a brief candle struggling to stay lit
…And then the great entity takes a mighty breath

…Nothing, no more love, no more hate
No more life, no more death
No more light, no more dark

The Strange Golems

The Lands barren of all life
The sky the color of amber

Dust storms ravage the terrain
Rendering mountains to rock; rock to sand; sand to dust

The only remaining remnants of life are the stalwart corpses of giants
Desiccated monoliths that once watched over the citizens of this long dead planet

Eyes, sightless voids, once illuminated with flames of carmine light
Limbs that once touched the heavens, lie useless next to their bodies

These automatons are cloaked in tattered blood red robes covered in the symbol of their people
Once vibrant, clean and well cared for…Time and the elements has made them dirty, old, and ragged

What happened here? Why is your world so desolate?
What strange eons have come for thee?

…These questions are useless for these sentinels will never answer
And as the suns set and the moon rises, the land turns to the color of dried blood

…The ground is littered with skeletons of a alien biology
And a single…lone drop of water leaves the guardians eyes

…As if they still can feel, see and hear the silence, the desolation, the sheer absence of life
…And weep for they can do nothing to help and are themselves locked in a eternal torturous existence







Balefire

The air thick and hot like the breath of some unholy beast
Thy lungs struggle and writhe within thy chest

The moisture of thy body leaves through thy mouth like storm clouds
Tainted by both the toxic viscous miasma around thee and the plague within

Thy face drenched with both perspiration and tears as thy agony grows
A waterfall of sorrow and pain cascades down thy face soaking thy tunic

All around thee I see the air shimmer and squirm as if some unseen serpent slithers through it
Silence echoes around thee as the land is deathly still

Thy heart begins to hammer in thy chest
Bringing thee even more agony and pain

Moist, throaty gurgles escape thy throat as they chest begins to burn as if Helios himself was coming forth
Thy agony is so great, I cannot think of naught but thy demise for it would be a sweet release from this pain

As thy pain escalates, ever further I feel thy breast begin to crackle
I look down and scream with soul wrenching anguish as thy chest smolders then is caught aflame

The center of thy torso is a raging inferno of some mysterious origin
I feel something crumble, and thy last thoughts of the ones I am leaving behind come forth as I am sent to thy eternal rest

L’illusioniste

Smoke billows beneath his tenebrous cloak
His laughter echoing across the stage as his doppelgangers move in time with him

His hands flash as knives and fiery will-owisps are conjured seemingly out of mid air
They flit and flicker across the stage bending to his indomitable will

Eerie music plays from the Aether, no instruments or audio devices in sight
The music alternates between uplifting but and a frantic tempo to a offbeat funeral dirge filled with nothing but deep melancholic reminiscence
His eyes aglow with lavender fire, cast their hypnotic gaze from under his cowl

The rest of his face obscured by whatever void is being conjured within
Hours upon hours of breathtaking tricks and mesmerizing illusions he shows the audience
All leading up to a finale that is beyond awe inspiring

Turquoise gloves aflame with eldritch energy he brings forth ethereal shades
They dance and march to music that transcends all belief

They soon vanish, and with a flourish of his cloak of unearthly wonders
The tent, the stage and even himself disappear without a single trace of his being their except for one

….Our memories

The Egregore

Hark! Heed my words and Beware!
The Servitor cometh!

Venture not into the gloom, for there lies a entity of unadulterated malice
Its form that of a simple arrow
..But be forewarned looks are deceiving

This renegade thought-form was created to help serve its master with daily menial tasks
But is soon developed a sentience that would make it reject its masters orders and seek to subjugate and torture humans

It will break your bones and burn your flesh
Fray your sanity and flay your hide

It will bring you to the point of death, with you begging for it
…Only for it to heal you and begin again

It never tires, it does not require food or drink as we know it
It sustains itself on this plane through the fear and agony it inflicts

It makes no sound, there is no preparing for it to arrive
It simply appears and the horrors follow soon after

By the gods I hope you are able to stay out of its path
For you life will become naught but an agonizing immortality.

The Light in The Window

On a the shadowy corner of a darkened street
Lies a house whose occupants you never want to meet
You hear no noises or sign of anyone living
As this house is spine chilling
For you see during the day this house is like any other
But at night your terror will smother
At night you see only one thing to cause a nightmare
One lone window illuminated with a single figure just standing there
You see not their demeanor or their face
But something about this person makes your heart race
The person stands there unmoving as if waiting
Further increasing the terror its creating
You close your eyes wishing it would go away
As you open them you might have gotten your way
For as you look now there in the window is nothing at all
But your hopes become dashed by a sound that makes your skin crawl
As you slowly turn around you are met with a gruesome sight
The Man Who Should Not Be is the cause of your plight
As he stares you down with his soulless eyes
You are aware that you are about to meet your demise
With a guttural laugh that rends your sanity asunder
As the skies fill with soft rain and thunder
He ends your life sending you into the realm of the nether
Where you will stay forever.


We are currently assisting Eric Jobes on publishing his first poetry book complete with illustrations. Keep watching for updates.

Publisher’s Best Pick: Anime Midwest

So you probably wonder why I picked this particular convention as my favorite in the Midwest. Actually, it’s pretty simple; it’s the most friendly, hospitable, charming, creative and fun anime convention that I have been
to so far in the Midwest. They go all out from the panels and special guests to the all you can eat for free ramen noodles, rice and sometimes even salad. They want to make sure that you enjoy yourself. There’s a lot of free things to do such as karaoke, games, watching anime and just being silly.

Everyone is so friendly. You cans stop people and ask to take their photo very easily. People love to pose for the camera and gladly do it all day. The attention to detail that the cosplayers put into their costumes is phenomenal. As for gender roles? This is cosplay and who needs them. If you want to be a guy dressed up as a Powerpuff Girl, then you can do it and no one bats an eye. This is part of why I love the cosplay community so much, they are very understanding and forgiving. No body shaming is allowed. You can be what you want to be and no one will stop you. You have so much more freedom at an anime convention than you will anywhere else in the world. Perhaps this is why anime conventions and cosplay
are starting to take over more and more of the world.

LadyBeard with fellow member of group LadyBaby

There’s a maid cafe that they take very seriously. They practice and rehearse before the convention opens to make sure that everything
is just right. The maid cafe isn’t free but it is one of the best features of the convention and the only anime convention that I have been to in the Midwest to actually pull off a real functioning maid cafe. There’s singing and dancing from the hosts and maids to games and taking photos at the end and of course let’s not forget the delicious cakes accompanied by tea. They try very hard to make the experience as close to being in Japan as possible. The health inspector has to come around and make sure that everything is up to code. It has to be inspected and approved just like a real cafe would because of serving food and drink, even though they don’t make the cakes on site.

Everyone is so friendly. You cans stop people and ask to take their photo very easily.

The first year of the Maid Cafe was 2013. In 2014, William Froelich became the department head for the Maid Cafe. He brought organization and guidelines to the project. At the time of this publication, the numbers for each year have increased steadily and the hours of operation have also been extended to accommodate more people into the Maid Cafe experience. They have now incorporated more table games that require interaction with the maids and hosts as they continue to not only get new business but a lot of repeat business as well.

You must be 18 to work at the Maid Cafe. Most people who work at the Maid Cafe are between the ages of 18 and 23. They must commit to the whole weekend for the convention or they cannot work there as they are required to set up on Thursday night and tear down on Sunday after the convention.

Members of the Anime Midwest Cafe.

All uniforms must be approved by the department head and only one uniform per worker. They are taught to present a good memory of the event using an instant camera photo decorated and then presented to the attendee. The whole Maid Cafe experience takes an hour and costs (as of this publication) $15. From our experience, it is well worth the money. You can also apply online to work for the Maid Cafe through the Anime Midwest website.

Another reason I love this convention so much is the free ramen. As far as my experience is concerned, this is the only convention I have ever been to that offers free food to its attendees. We found not only ramen, rice balls and salad were served in one room and in the other room there were all sorts of carbonated sodas, all for free, with all the condiments you would want for your food. Granted, it can be a bit of a mess but when we went there, the staff and the attendees were trying to keep the food mess to a minimum.

Near the free food area is free karaoke, but there is always a waiting line and you have to sign up early to get a spot. Still, it was great fun to watch and even sing along while we ate our ramen.

A couple of Steven Universe Cosplayers.

My favorite people are the cosplayers themselves. If it weren’t for their undying love and obsession with Manga, Anime and Comics in general, we would not have these conventions, these outlets for our souls to be free from constraint and our imaginations to run free. Whether you have an original character or one you have made up, there is no denying that you have an outlet here.

People painstakingly transform their ideal into a character or persona that they can enjoy and embrace for the day. It’s like Halloween but you don’t have to wait for one day in October to enjoy it, you can do it anytime at
any convention anywhere around the world. That’s a pretty exciting prospect and if anything a great opportunity to just people watch
as the attendees line up when the doors open for registration and the myriad of characters falls through the doors spilling onto the convention floor. Some characters you might recognize and some are more obscure and
you may not. At any rate, there is someone in the room who knows what the character is besides the person who is dressed as that character.

Karkat Vantas cosplayer, a Homestuck character.

The vendors are one of the reasons why a lot of people come to Anime Midwest. You can find a wide variety of artworks from various artists as well as collectors items. There’s everything you can imagine for sale such as t-shirts, original artworks, comic books, plushies, costumes, jewelry, imported items direct from Japan and more. One of the great things about going to Anime Midwest is that if you find an artist you like and you want a commission, you can get it there usually finished that same weekend, depending on the complexity of course. There’s so much to choose from that you can spend more time with the vendors than any place else.

There’s a game room that features Pachinko and DDR as well as other video games straight from Japan. Special guests are featured all weekend long and sometimes even special art exhibitions as well. There’s always a musical guest or two and after the concert there’s a rave with a live DJ and even a fancy dress fantasy cosplay ball. If you want to show off your costuming, there’s Masquerade, where you can compete against others to win best cosplay costume in front of professional judges.

What convention would be complete without a ton of panels with everything from voice actors to costumers. Every year the panels change but there is always a huge line for each so come early and expect to stay late.

Anime Midwest is held at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare and Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois and will be held July 5-7, 2019.