Monday, 28 February 2011

This is the end - beautiful February Femme Fatale, A.J. Humpage

February Femmes Fatales - 
February 28th

So, here we are. This is the end - as the beautiful Mr Morrison sang - and continues to do. The final February Femmes Fatales showcase piece.

I chose this carefully, and yes it's poetry rather than fiction. But Arbeit Macht Frei by A.J. Humpage is remarkable. I confess I've bigged Ally up throughout this showcase, but it's not without warrant. All contributors to, and readers of my weekly Friday Prediction will know how capable she is of scaring the human hell out of us. She sees the horror in mankind, and throws it in our faces - deal with it.

Arbeit Macht Frei upsets and distresses, confuses and hurts. It is a brilliant work that forces us to address inequality. Please do read it. And thank you, Ally for contributing this disturbing, and so well crafted poem.

Arbeit Macht Frei By A J Humpage

Hopeless voices

Entangled branches

Deep wine coloured leaves

Cold breath dancing

In frozen streams.

Slung back rifles, relaxed

And the satisfied stench

Of smiles etched cold

In ribbons of smoke

Stark against the haze.

Hoisted skirts, akimbo legs

Semen stains to soil the skin

Bare breasts like trophies

Chilled to the touch

And wretched in death.

Eyes wide open

But blood still warm

Captured by the camera

Dignity stolen

By the men of war.

Star of David sewn on the arm

But the smile is gone

Clouds fill with spite

The fires burn bright

Day and night.

Their ghostly faces

Shine; frozen in fright

Stilled, fooled hearts

Peace in death

At a price. 

Bio: A J Humpage has stories published in many anthologies like 6 Sentences, Pill Hill Press, Static Movement and many e-zines. She also writes articles and dispenses writing advice at She has completed her first novel and some of her stories and poetry can be found at

Lily Childs is a writer of horror, esoteric, mystery and chilling fiction.

If you see her dancing outside in a thunder storm - don't try to bring her in. She's safe.