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A Dangerous Man

Estimated reading time — 3 minutes

He came into town on a cold, dry wind
Kicking up dust and blowing sand
The sun dimmed for a moment that day
The howling wind seemed to say
“He has the look of a dangerous man”

His eyes were hot and black as ash
Glaring at those whom he passed
A gun at his hip and a hidden knife
Surely he ended countless lives
Whispers rose like the hiss of snakes
“It’s plain to see, anyone can
He must be a dangerous man”

Not a word he spoke as he came through town
His mouth twisted in a constant frown
His footsteps echoed in an empty street
The locals hide when he came around
They closed windows with a tinny creek
Trying to avoid the dangerous man


He checked the inn where he planned to stay
The keeper shivered from his gaze
The man paid up front and spoke no words
That betray the thoughts of a dangerous man

The locals gathered around and spoke in fear
The Sheriff ran to grab his gear
The Pastor called out to his god
They wailed and cried out for a plan

Save us from this dangerous man

A young man named Johnny held his girl
As she trembled and shook with fear
“If you are a man you’ll confront him dear
To save me from the dangerous man”

So he grabbed his knife and found the Inn
He snuck into a darkened room
And creeped to prepare his mortal sin

When the bed he had in sight
He stabbed the body 20 times
But when he turned on the light
It was not the dangerous man


He shook and screamed in his fright
He had killed a man without a fight
A crowd was coming, no room for flight
Fearing the law and the people’s might
He leapt from a dangerous height
His bones cracked, his blood ran out
And he died damning a dangerous man

The sheriff stood by the dead
And removed the hat from his head
“Two lives he has claimed today
How many more will he slay?
We must stand up before we lay
At the feet of a dangerous man”

A crowd gathered round to chant and cheer
With torches and knives they came right near
The old in, where it seemed too clear
That inside slept a dangerous man

The keeper cried as they threw the torch
He choked back a sob and tears

And watched it burn his life and home
“You must be wrong! I was alone
I couldn’t let him stay inside
Though it may hurt my pride
I simply fear a dangerous man”


A scream was heard from the Inn
The keeper shouted “it’s my wife!
“I thought she left, but she’s trapped inside!

If you don’t help her, I’ll end my life!
A victim of the dangerous man”

“Liar!” the people shouted
“You work for him, and let him go
Now you want us to burn and die
We will punish you for your lie”
They tied him up with ropes and chains
And threw him into the flames
He screamed out loud and long
As his flesh melted and turned black
chocking he let out his final words
“I am not a dangerous man”

Confusion grew in the street
They had burned the inn to dust
But nothing was gained from the bust
Someone must face the wrath
Of a people ready to fight

A man was picked, his job to greet
The stranger he was first to meet
They chained him to the rock hard ground
And beat him beneath their feet
Till all that’s left was a bloody mound

All for befriending the dangerous man


The sheriff too incurred their wrath
He had failed to halt the path
That caused the pain that occurred that day

“You did it too, I’m not to blame!”
He shouted out, but was ignored
Some stood by and fought to death
Cursing former friends with last breaths
The sheriff was cut up in bits
An hour he suffered beneath their knives
As he screamed and tried to fight

His head was posted on a spike
A warning to the dangerous man

But in their haste to fix the wrong
The people missed a problem that grew
The flame spread on a wind that blew
The smoke rose and blocked the sun
All the people tried to run
But they burned and chocked on smoke
Till they were dead, every one
Without the help of the dangerous man

A stranger stood, feet in blood
Which soaked right through skin and ash
Bodies lay on the ground
Mistakes that worked like a plan
He stared at what he found
With the black eyes of a dangerous man

Credit To – Eric AMBM

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33 thoughts on “A Dangerous Man”

  1. I don’t know about other works that above posters have mentioned but for me the writer seemed to be trying to imitate Edgar Allen Poe. If Poe was an inspiration then unfortunately it failed. And even if Poe was not an inspiration and it was entirely original, which I doubt, it wasn’t too good. However I do like to read these types of stories when done well.

    1. Well I thank you for your well thought out and helpful critique. I will search Poe’s bibliography for anything at all that even resembles this so I don’t make the mistake of imitating him again. It is great that you offered more then “it either sounded like Poe or was crap” in your critique, so that I could actually work on something.
      For your info this was inspired by Kristillnacht, a real event, and not every horror themed poem is automatically based on Poe.

    2. Having searched Poe’s bibliography I have found nothing that has the same cadence, phrasing, or plot as this poem.
      Literally the only connection is that he has poetry and likes horror. I assume you also think every other poem is stolen from him, every story on this site is stolen from Stephan King, and every love poem is stolen from Shakespeare.
      I am normally open to critique, but what your wrote doesn’t make sense. Insisting I stole this from someone else is a personal attack, especially when you have nothing to back it up. Then you insist that it is simply bad while giving no reason.
      Are you a troll good sir, or a fool?

  2. Very cool. Love what you were going for and I think the fact he didn’t do anything himself, rather fear drove the people to do terrible things, really gets that point across. I definitely got an old western feel from it.

    As aforementioned, a few things: it is spelled “choked”. Also, I know it is very hard to do when writing a narrative poem like this, but keeping with the rhythm you had the first few stanzas would of helped the overall flow. 7.5/10 :) keep writing! Xo

  3. I like how the dangerous man wasn’t dangerous at all, but the fear of him was what was really dangerous.
    Also I liked the poetry feeling to it, it’s hard to do this.

  4. I thought this pasta was very tasty! Also when I realized that this was a poem I started to sing in my head to a country tune. Did anyone else do that?

    1. I was imagining a country song sung by a girl, all innocent and cute – for some reason the polar opposite of the pasta

  5. Unnamed Watcher

    At the end, it could be taken either way. The line “mistakes that worked like a plan” seem to imply that this was somehow the work of the dangerous man. But it’s ambiguous.
    I like how the titular character isn’t even IN the poem for most of the stanzas. All he did was show up and try to rent a room. Those were his only actions, and from that alone everyone lost their minds.

    I agree, the rhyming falters a couple times, but for me it was never detrimental. So long as the verses maintain the same rhythm then it still feels like a poem to me. The cadence was very strong. You seemed to cram a lot of words in as you got farther in, which caused the rhythm to become more rushed and frantic. Given that these verses were about fire and mayhem, the effect worked well in your favor. :)
    High marks, this is the kind of pasta I’d love to hear narrated.

    1. ok… admittedly that is pretty darn similar…
      I didn’t base this off of the video though. The video seems to be implying the demonic character corrupted them, mine was supposed to be about prejudice and mass fear. Krisallnacht and Goebbel’s quotes on repeating lies were my inspiration, along with any anti communist, Arab, homosexual, ect witch hunt.

      Nice catch though, and cool video.

  6. Though not creepy enough for my taste, I enjoyed it. I know how hard it is to make a narrative poem, so kudos to you. The plot was rather familiar to me, but your execution was smooth and refined. Your social milieu was enticing and almost overwhelming. Bravo!

  7. Never judge a book by it’s cover. Also, I got into it at some points but because some of it didn’t rhyme, it didn’t flow well.

  8. ForeverMyMaster

    I think you tried to focus too much on rhyming that the story began to collapse upon itself so you ditched the idea halfway through and never quite recovered. Had nice premise, but could be better. 6/10

  9. This sounds very familiar, Ive seen a short film with a very similar plot. But instead of a sheriff it was a pastor who mislead the townsfolk because a stranger came in to town who may or may not be responsible for the deaths of other people. hmmmmmmmmmm

  10. Great story, but really, all that fuss over one guy who didn’t hurt anyone. They just all killed themselves.

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