Vampires of Lugnano

First published on https://poetscornerblog.wordpress.com. By a weird quirk (not my intent) it somehow became sticky there, possibly to the annoyance of other posters,  and to unstick it, I had to unpost it (make it a draft). Normal options did not work. But it was Liked enough to keep it posted somewhere. 🙂

Deep in sleepy Umbria,
Entombed in gravel pit,
The corpses of a host of children
Rot amidst the grit.

vampire_burial_skull-uanews

A thousand years and more they’ve lain
Inside this soul-less grave,
Blameless victims of a plague
Whom physic could not save.

Bound inside their thready shrouds
From fear that they might stir,
Their curse-less mouths were stuffed with stones
From feeding to deter.

Undisturbed they might have lain
Until the world’s demise,
But now an archaeologist
Unearths them–now they all arise!

The dust-clad waifs shake limbs from shroud
And spit away the stones,
Awake with gnawing hunger
To re-flesh their fetid bones.

En masse they set out for the town
On human blood to binge.
Insult of a thousand years
These vampires shall avenge!

Inspired by these articles about stones placed in corpses’ mouths, ostensibly to prevent them from returning and feeding upon the blood of the living:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/10/15/italy-child-vampire-burial-eerie-ritual-prevent-malaria/1645690002/
http://www.comune.lugnanointeverina.tr.it/po/mostra_news.php?id=457&area=H
https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/02/100226-vampires-venice-plague-skull-witches/

(image from: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/10/15/italy-child-vampire-burial-eerie-ritual-prevent-malaria/1645690002/)

 

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Author: Rhyme In Time

I write for a living. For no kind of living whatsoever, I also write poetry and study the Korean language. And I help raise a cat with my wife.

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