Luvian’s Pelt

Part two of the Greenwood Manse Poetry Cycle. For more on that, go here:

Note to the reader: “Luvian” has one made-up word, “ululame” which I created to fit the rhyme. It is a combination of “ululation” and “lamentation”.

Luvian’s Pelt

When the inclemency of winter, with its blustery weather, makes it impossible for me to go outside

I then become dispirited, for I am forced, reluctantly, to spend my days inside

Excepting on the rare occasion when a-calling I do go to my favorite haunt by far

To the enigmatic and ancient abode of its analogous matron, my beloved Grandmamma

I’ve told you once, or so I believe, of my Great Aunt Lucretia and her ebony-posted bed

But have I mentioned my Great Uncle Luvian, who donned a pelt which made him  lose his head?

It all began when my errant uncle came home after a year’s excursion in France

He brought with him a woman, a Mademoiselle Grenier, at whose comely visage he would stare, as if in a trance

They would spend their days in bookshops which were shunned by most of the town

Purchasing grimoires and sundry treatises by scribes of nefarious renown

When nightfall came, they could not be found in or around the estate

Till it was rumored by some that they were in consortium with brokers from beyond the Seven Gates

When Luvian, confronted by all, was asked about where they had been

He’d simply smile and look towards his wife with her circean eyes so green

The shepherds would come round complaining of slain or missing sheep

Great Uncle told them to have more care and vigilance over their keep

The talk got hotter by the day, though none accused him yet outright

Though when they found the riven remnants of a boy, it set the town alight

It seems a canid creature of truculent bent rent the child asunder

And after opening his unfledged chest, his sappy heart did plunder

That night, the townsfolk stormed the house, demanding to see their lord

They found him gone and so took to the woods with pitchfork, gun and sword

Out in the umbrage of the night, they searched with torches aflame

Following the sound of an unholy thing howling in ululame

They soon found the source of the stentorian yowls lamenting as in keen

The death of its mate, whose incarnadine bowels flowed as in a stream

The lycanthrope turned round to stare, his jaws with gore imbrued

Resignedly accepting the retribution which ensued

They smote his head in one fell swoop and shot him through the heart

With bullets forged from molten silver, swaged from a crucifix part

When his corpse fell to the ground his lupine form had changed

Into the shell of Luvian, though this they thought not strange

He bore no clothes save for a belt made from a werewolf’s hide

For which he sold his immortal soul, to be collected when he died

So it was that ravens came at the moment of his death

To claim his soul and bear it to the land of fiery depth

They took as well the sullied soul of his sorceress wife

Who he had slain for starting him on this wicked life

But in the hubbub of his death, an agile hand unseen

The pelt, had taken, leaving no clue as to who it might have been

Now I hold it in my hands to place it round my waist

Where Luvian failed, a weak-willed man, a woman shall take his place

To do the job that should have made his consort-teacher proud

So she’ll be goaded then to rise and shirk her ancient shroud

To share with me her secret rites and knowledge long retained

Which Luvian could not comprehend and proved to be his bane

And all of this I owe to she, who heedful of its special powers

Pulled the pelt to ass to me, her clever budding flower

My Grandmama shall not regret the choice which she has made

Of making a shape-shifting priestess out of a fledgling maid


The Were Wolves

The Were Wolves


3 Responses to “Luvian’s Pelt”

  1. Manny, nice twist! And on top of the sorceress being dead, this has an interesting mythos unfolding.

    It is a common theme for a ghost to visit their family, but less common – maybe not done many times at all, actually – where the person coming back to contact with family was a powerful sorceress, and can actually continue their dark work through the living.

    Matter of fact, since she is dead, and who knows where her consciousness resides, I wonder if her intentions/sanity towards her niece can be trusted, or if there is some other nefarious plot afoot to either to hurt the speaker, or perhaps take vengeance on those who killed her and her werewolf lover..

    I like the advancement of the story! Curious what mechanations the Aunt has in store, and what the speaker of your poem hopes to accomplish through it all….

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