The Gates of Death

Home was a safe place,

He held that grim expression

On his face,

Nothing could offer relief,

And his throat was dry with grief,

Staggering under his load of anguish,

He couldn’t believe his eyes,

His entire family slaughtered,

And he couldn’t quiet the cries,

A home invasion, that was clear,

His dear wife was found on the top stair,

Sprawled on top of dried blood,

She was cold and stiff as a stone,

As sorrow rose up in him like a flood,

He had tried to catch his breath,

As he knew his family had passed

Through the gates of death,

His heart filled with rage and fear,

Delirious, he fled down the stairs,

Passing his children still on the floor,

Not shedding a single tear,

He stormed out the door,

Didn’t know where he was going,

Or why,

Nothing seemed clear,

But he just knew he wanted to die

Before he got there.

© 2013 Frank Atanacio

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Comments 50 comments

wayne barrett profile image

wayne barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

Oh, Frank! I know it's dark, but you are in you element when you write like this. Well done...and very, "Poe" Poetic!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

hey wayne barrett thank you for the comment bless you bro :)


Theater girl profile image

Theater girl 3 years ago from New Jersey

Dark and sinister....but it's great! Votes up!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you theater girl


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

I would want to die too!!! Gruesome and chilling, and great writing. I could sense the tension and forboding fear as I read.

God bless, Faith Reaper


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

Faith thank you for always showing up..:) bless you and happy mother's day? LOL


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

I will always show up . . . faithfully! Thank you very much. Hope you are a good son to your mother, if she is still living.

God bless, Faith Reaper


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 3 years ago from Brownsville,TX

Frank good evening I think we should bring in CSI UNIT to investigate.. lol .. great poem .. I didn't expect anything less of you.

blessings

Debbie


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal

Death is sure thing, but it terrifies people when it comes this way.


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

Gripping from the get go. See my round (coming soon). I'm sure you will get ideas.


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 3 years ago from North Carolina

Frank this is so similar to a real-life tragedy that happened around here about 2 years ago. Your the writer with deep insight on these for sure my friend.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

bless you Faith again and again and big-time.. good to see you Deborah Brooks...:)


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

Vin and Mhatter thanks for stopping by.. and Alastar wow that must have been tragic to say the least


BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

Terrifying, but so well expressed in your poem that it really could have happened. God bless.


LaThing profile image

LaThing 3 years ago from From a World Within, USA

Wow, Frank, such grief-stricken and sobering poem! I agree with Wayne, you are at your element! Great write...... It reminds me of that Cheshire case!


duffsmom profile image

duffsmom 3 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

You really have the ability to paint word pictures that stand out as vivid as a photograph. Wow!


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Now that gave me the chills and all those films I've seen just flashed through my mind. Your poetry is vividly expressive.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you Gypsy, Lathing, good to see you Lathing, Blossoms, and Duffsmom, good to see you Duffsmom bless you guys for stopping by


prashant angiras profile image

prashant angiras 3 years ago from shimla(india)

I really loved your poem,you truly have the art of writing..


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you prashant :)


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

Frank, another excellent write, dark and heart breaking, but this is where you excel as a writer, you are in your zone.

Well done my friend.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you tobusiness :)


xstatic profile image

xstatic 3 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Sounds like a prelude to a mystery/revenge novel Frank, well done!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

LOL thanks for stopping by X-man :)


MrsBrownsParlour profile image

MrsBrownsParlour 3 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

Ghastly but very creative. You know your niche/genre well!! ~Lurana


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you MrsBrownsParlour :)


Valleypoet 3 years ago

A horrifying killing spree...at your ghastly best bro:-))


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you Valley Bro for leaving footprints on my pages today bless you :)


Ariel 3 years ago

Thumbs up


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks Ariel :)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

Not too far from the horrible truths we face every day but written brilliantly as only you can do!

Voted up, awesome, and interesting.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you Tillson... for reading my older stuff bless you


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 22 months ago from Dallas, Texas

Such a horrible event and yet you've captured it clearly in so few verses. Anguish and anger all balled up in one package. That poor man.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 14 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you pegcole for bringing this one back


RJ Schwartz profile image

RJ Schwartz 14 months ago from Idaho Falls, Idaho

wow, I was there, in that house, the rage building with each passing line of verse - amazing immersion into such a ghastly topic


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 14 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much RJ :)


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 14 months ago from California

This is a wow!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 14 months ago from Queensland Australia

Dark and morbid Frank, but you are the master of this genre whether fiction stories or poetry. Great stuff.


Vellur profile image

Vellur 14 months ago from Dubai

I agree with AudreyHowitt, this poem is definitely a big WOW! Great write.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 14 months ago from Shelton Author

thanks Audrey, Jodah the Poet and Vellur for stopping by and reading my Gates..:) bless you guys


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 14 months ago from Georgia

Well, Jodah said it all earlier. Besides, anything I say would be a repeat of what I've said of your other works. Love it!

Take care and always be safe.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 14 months ago from sunny Florida

In the face of such pain, one can feel his anquish....so powerful Frank.

Those in France must feel this way today...

Angels are on the way to you and to those in France who have endured such grief.

ps


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you Cyndi and pstraubie 48 for checking this out.. sorry replied late was working extra now I have a few weeks of reading to catch up on today.. bless you both Frank


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 9 months ago

Great writing Frank,

But I don't think my heart could stand

The sight of carnage done by such an evil man

For the one who lost his family my hear just sand

This page of his family tree is now complete blank

*

*

I know if this happened to me I would die on the spot.

Blessings my friend always


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 9 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Dark and frightening....I felt panic & my heart raced. You must be drained after writing these scenes of madness!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you Shyron and fpherj48 for stopp1ng by the gates of death bless you guys


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 9 months ago from Georgia

Unfortunately, the title could be "And in Today's News." All too often the news is filled with the demise of entire families at the hands of some madman or woman. The survivors have to find a way to live with the pain of such devastating loss. Your works is always so raw and unforgiving. Excellent poetry. Take care.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 6 months ago from Shelton Author

thanks Cyndi10 for revisiting my Gates..:)


Deborah Demander profile image

Deborah Demander 4 months ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

Wow. That was intense.

Namaste


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 4 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you Deborah for reading my poetry here

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