“On a White Horse,” a poem from CRADLELAND OF PARASITES

We asked Sara Tantlinger to pick a poem from CRADLELAND OF PARASITES so that we could showcase it (along with four others that will appear here on every Monday in July), and she picked the poem titled “On a White Horse”, which opens her new collection.

Cradleland Dust Jacket MEDIA

So, without any further babble from us . . .

On a White Horse


I am the rider of the white horse

enigmatic in interpretation


I do not ride as the Holy Spirit,

you will find no gospel spread

beneath my horse’s hooves


I do not ride as prosperity

nor as war, but you could find

both, if summoned correctly


In the name of Pestilence, I ride,

your sacred lord of contagion

bow down beneath divine damnation


As my horse gallops on, I draw back

my bow, a bleeding sun overhead

turns sky to crimson as my brass

quiver demands death; arrows

poisoned with disease fly through

the world, spreading epidemics

abroad in devastating silence


Noble demise in hallowed ground

beckons, come to my earthen embrace

sleep forever in bodily betrayal

as organs shut down, as blood runs

infected and uncured — follow white

mane and tail through the darkness

to me, your blessed liberator gifting

kernels of bacteria to burrow inside skin


In the name of Pestilence, I ride


Pretty great opener, and it appropriately sets the tone for what’s to come! And if you’ve made it this far AND you’ve kept on reading, then I guess it’s time to let you in on a little secret.

Every person who pre-orders CRADLELAND OF PARASITES by Wednesday, July 8th, 2020 will be eligible to win a single copy of the special edition of NOT ALL MONSTERS, the special edition of FAIREST FLESH, and the (now) very rare hardcover (signed and numbered) of THE DEVIL’S DREAMLAND. Again, one lucky person who pre-orders CRADLELAND OF PARASITES by July 8th, 2020 will be picked AT RANDOM to win one copy of all three titles.

So, if you’d like to give folks a chance, then be sure to share this post. BUT! if you think you’d like better chances of winning those books, then SHHHHHHH!

The choice, of course, is yours.




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