The Beast of Dean, Christina Ciufo
Over the white, wooden gate,
on the steel train tracks
of Parkend railway station,
and beyond the evergreen hills
of Gloucestershire lays Dean Forest,
reticent and inauspicious,
like Berkeley Castle, concealing
something irreligious, something ravenous.
Lawson cypress and silver birches
whisper of the Beast of Dean.
Four pounds, like thunder, are heard,
Tree branches tremble,
and grey wolves, consumed with dread
flee the forest.
A rancorous growl,
like a demon’s growl, echoing
through the decrypted castle,
echoes through the trees, evoking trepidation.
A wild boar with untangled,
dirt-covered black fur, like a black dog,
appears, roaming through the forest,
like a banshee roaming the moors
wailing her lamentation.
The beast, large as a brown bear,
lowered its head. Its black, moistened
snout caressed against the soil,
sniffing and grunting.
Its white tusks, cracked and curved,
like the Devil’s horns, are draped
in mint-moss and smeared with dirt
and faded blood stains those who dare
to hunt or provoke the boar.
The Beast of Dean lifted
and turned its head and ears.
Its scarlet eyes become narrowed
and illuminate the beast’s impiousness
and vigorous nature.
Its black, moistened snout
fumed scorching, white steam.
The beast’s growl echoes.
Its impious presence
oppresses and haunts Dean Forest.
Christina Ciufo (she/her) is a passionate writer in poetry, short stories, flash fictions, fables, and completing her first novel. At a very young age, she always had a passion for writing stories and poems, specifically in fairytales, folklore, supernatural, and horror. After graduating Sacred Heart University with a BA in English, she continued to expand her writing abilities at Manhattanville College’s MFA Creative Writing Program and by May 2017, graduated with an MFA degree in Creative Writing. She completed Sacred Heart University's Education Program in December 2018 with a MAT in Teaching in both elementary and secondary. She is currently a Sunday School Teacher at St. Timothy's.She has numerously appeared in literary magazines including Spillwords, Ovunque Siamo, Nymphs, Truly Review, Mookychick, Moonchild Magazine, Crêpe & Penn, Cauldron Anthology, dream walking, Selcouth Station Magazine,The Wild Literary Magazine, Speculate This Magazine, Poetically Magazine, Analogies & Allegories Literary Magazine, The Clay Literary Magazine, and Re-Side.