“Pit” – “Y gwrachod Gwen”

Pit

Down in the black
Deep dark
Smothering heat
Soot, dust choking air
Cramped crawling barely
Moving
Clanging, hacking, breaking,
Further down
Closer to hell
The devil
The men hear knocking
moaning
Wailing warning
They continue on
Clutching crucifix
On they go
Deeper into the black.

Y gwrachod Gwen

She walked
Led through the town
In the rain
Mud packed bare feet
Rope around her delicate neck
Hands bound
The Witch, the witch
Only God, our lord, can forgive
Crowd line streets
Whispering
Buried three husbands
Charms written backwards
A curse
The gallows built outside the church
Bishop reciting the verse
The Witch, the witch
Only God, our lord, can forgive
Glass bottle full of pins
Gwen did not seek forgiveness
She laughed as she swung.

James Lilley is from Swansea, Wales and resides there with his wife and three children. He is an active mixed martial artist, bareknuckle boxer and retired professional boxer. Writing as a hobby since childhood he began to take writing more seriously during the UK Spring lockdown in 2020. He has been featured in such publications as Black Bough Poetry, Versification, Punk Noir Magazine, The Daily Drunk Magazine, The Five-Two, Yellow Mama Magazine, Splintered Disorder Press, Fever of The Mind Poetry, Skyway Journal, Sledgehammer Lit and many more. He was named Versifications Punk of the Year 2020. His Micro Collection The Thousand Ghosts of You was printed by Alien Buddha Press. James is also a fiction writer and has had short stories and flash fiction featured in Versifications Micro Misfits, Close to the Bone and  Rock and a Hard Place magazine.