Black Petals Issue #107, Spring, 2024

Editor's Page
BP Artists' Page
BP Guidelines
Mars-News, Views and Commentary
(After) Life is What You Make It: Fiction by Richard Brown
Gauche Cuisine: Fiction by Gordon L. Stewart
Here's to Forgetfulness: Fiction by Roger Johns
Insights Into the Trajectory of Human Cetacean Communication: Fiction by Andre Bertolino
Mal Ojo: Fiction by M. N. Wiggins
No Dark: Fiction by Bill Dougherty
Overtime: Fiction by Dennison Sleeper
A Cut Above the Rest: Fiction by Roy Dorman
Resemblance: Fiction by James McIntire
Sign of the Times: Fiction by Liam A. Spinage
The Attic Party: Fiction by Michael Fowler
The Renovators: Fiction by Hillary Lyon
The Balance: Flash Fiction by Rick McQuiston
Bawk Dark: Flash Fiction by Michael C. Jessen
The Incident With the Mismatched Man: Flash Fiction by Charles C. Cole
Radio Tower: Flash Fiction by Blair Orr
Take Me With You: Flash Fiction by Steven French
Slippery: Flash Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Where Dead Babies Come From: Poem by Nolcha Fox
302 Asylum Avenue: Poem by Joseph Danoski
Another Story: Poem by Joseph Danoski
Home Repairs: Poem by Joseph Danoski
A Creepy Leap Year: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
Funeral Memorial: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
BatGrl: Poem by Casey Renee Kiser
Twin Flame: Poem by Casey Renee Kiser
Shadow Play: Poem by Simon MacCulloch
Dark Ride: Poem by Simon MacCulloch
Leviathans of the Void: Poem by Christopher Hivner
Sunbursts: Poem by Christopher Hivner
Into the Eyes: Poem by Anthony Bernstein
Airtime: Poem by Peter Mladinic
Gloria: Poem by Peter Mladinic
The Sorcerer: Poem by C. Walker
Frozen Eve: Poem by C. Walker

Simon MacCulloch: Dark Ride

Dark Ride



Simon MacCulloch


The sun is going swimming in tomato soup

The sea is going sighing to her restless night.

Above the rotting pilings where the cold gulls swoop

The funfair glimmers softly in the pale pink light.

The ghost train will be stopping after one last ride

The neon memories beckon - won’t you step inside?


The barker takes your money with a pointless wink

The place is almost empty and of that you’re glad

For children and their parents would be sure to think

This late and lonely traveller was a little mad

A gaunt unpartnered loser with some time to kill

Still searching for reminders of a childhood thrill.


The cars start crawling round along their rattling track

The demons pop out howling and their eyes flare green

The incandescent horrors make the black more black

The deepest kind of darkness that you’ve ever seen.

That same old slimy darkness where the cobwebs hid

The things the man who took you in the first time did.


It’s time to block the wheels - you’ve learned that trick so well

And soon the man is creeping down the track behind

A Dante plunging guideless in your personal hell

Bemoaning all the glitches he expects to find.

And then it’s over quickly, there’s an end to life

Which doesn’t mean you’re finished with your long, sharp knife.


The sun is rising swiftly, it’s a fine new day

The sea is far behind you for another year

Another shabby ghost ride has a fresh display

To show the frightened children how to conquer fear

By carving up their demons when they clutch and bite

And following all the tunnels to the end of night.

Simon MacCulloch lives in London. His poetry has appeared in Reach Poetry, The Dawntreader, Emberr, The Chamber Magazine, Grim and Gilded, Aphelion, Ekstasis and others.

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