Category Archives: Classics

At the Gates of Dawn


Part I in a series of long fairy tale poems I wrote on one of the most captivating figures in folklore.

At the Gates of Dawn

Once upon a time, not too long ago
In a village that sat adjacent to a mountain
Lived a people modest and humble.
Crowded and small, the village was barricaded by a wall.
The stone wall had saved the village many a time
From the travesties of medieval life.
Threats were thwarted from the valiant Teutonic Knights of the Old Order –
Warriors of God, pious beasts that preyed on the flesh of the unholy
A couple of miles west of the village ran the River Weser,
Serving as a natural sentinel of the fortuitous population.
Calamity had not befallen the village until one strange day it grew.
A horde of plague-ridden rats had invaded the village,
Ravaging the food-supply and infecting the once-prosperous villagers with the plague.
Days after the takeover the village had finally given up.
The fright against these tiny monsters proved fruitless.
On the dawn of the first Monday of that fateful October
The Mayor convened an assembly of village elders
Where he called upon the villagers to center the village square.
Here he exclaimed that he was willing to pay half of village’s treasury
In gold and silver to the first man to get rid of the rats,
The pestilent creatures that have brought the peaceful village to the cusp of starvation.
A great deal of villagers had spoken of migration,
Something the wealthy Mayor was not willing to risk.
The sun had set, and no one had yet found a way to help the village.
The following dawn a the village guards heard a knock on the wall.
Ringing the bell tower the Mayor had awoken, along with most of the villagers.
The Mayor climbed the stairs of the wall to see who had knocked so early.
Standing majestically in front of the gate was a young man
Dressed in a pied robe with red and black stockings and a cap with a dangling feather.
In his hands he held a flute.
The Mayor called at him, asking him what he could do for him.
Looking up at the Mayor, the man replies,
“I have come to cleanse this village of plague.
Of course, for the price you had promised.”
Jovial, the Mayor accepted the help of the man and allowed him into the village,
And so entered a Piper at the Gates of Dawn,
Seeking to help the villagers in exchange for gold and silver
The Piper picked up his flute and started playing.

Written by Mensur Gjonbalaj
April 10, 2013


Pan’s Flute


Pan’s Flute

Come, come with me
To a far away land
Close to the sweet blue sea
Encompassed with white glittery sand
Come to peace, come to joy
Leave your family, leave your home
Enter a life bedazzled by a toy
Perfected with each blow, a smooth tone

Follow me into the hill
Do not fear nature’s wrath
No doom awaits the Piper’s will
A master of the devil’s craft
He seeks to enlighten those with reason
Charming melodies synthesizing the sounds in your mind
Shifting the moods like the changing seasons
The intellect knows no limit in the bounties it may find

Carry on, come along
Open up your ears to the words of my song
I know a way to ease the feeling of pain
Raising you back on your feet once again
Come through the bustling grove
Open your eyes to the new mode
Keep on going, desert me not
For now I’m here, and I’m all you got

Written by Mensur Gjonbalaj
April 10, 2013

When the Levee Breaks


When the Levee Breaks

As I sat by the river
I contemplated with wonder
Of all the sublime beauty
That lies deep within humanity

The universe holds the secrets
And it is the heavens we credit
For entertaining our souls
As upon us a doom unfolds

Humming heads ceaselessly humming
Scores of madmen aimlessly running
Fearful of the agony of the anarchy that’s coming
An era to arise from the buried ashes of the cunning

The wind whispers sounds of reason
Progressing melodiously with each new season
The Moon shines its bright white light
Though the sun also rises, it hides out of sight

The mountains shiver in endless discomfort
From the oblivion soon to befall earth
The skies pray for a savior
To save us from man’s wreckless behavior

As night turns into day
And the sands of time fade away
The dawn of darkness shall arise
Deceptively reeling us to our demise

So, as I sit by the river I contemplate
About the state of man and awaiting my fate
‘Cause when the levee breaks
So too will our lives, once the beast awakes

Written by Mensur Gjonbalaj
April 1, 2013

Darkside of the Moon


Darkside of the Moon

The pride steeps deep inside.

I want to give up and die;

No more energy left to cry.

There’s no place I could hide.

I’m in love with me!

Inescapable passion for this love,

But what’s a man to do.

I ask myself what lies on the darkside of the Moon.

Beloved waves, come wash me away to sea,

Where I’ll rise up to the skies above

And enter a more clairvoyant existence.


Written by Mensur Gjonbalaj

March 2013

Otherworldly Beings


The following is inspired by my fascination with the supernatural, as well as the occult.

Otherworldly Beings

Otherworldly Beings

Deep in the dark blue sea resides muses
Crossing the waters of Earth in search of mischief
Singing melodious chants with the intention of inflicting doom
Evil and vicious, they have no remorse for their wickedness

Far away on the southern isles of the Arctic
A demon stalks the land scaring away life forms other than its own
Greed encompasses the heart of this vile creature
Like its soul the land is cold and void of light

Echoes vibrate throughout the caves of the willowing islands of the Baltic
Tales of warriors lost in the midst of battle now wandering their vanquished homes
Kicked out of the halls of Valhalla, this world is a no man’s land for the undead
The icy seas of the North are the last frontier and the only dwelling for the servants of Odin

In the deserts of Egypt the sands of time have withered away the wonders of a once majestic kingdom
Ruled by men whose hubris misled them to a proclamation of divinity
Mysticism and magic governed the lives of a people disillusioned with the realities of a complex universe
Osiris and Ra may have existed, but their status as deities is a fact unworthy of consideration

Virgin maidens frolicking the green pastoral hills of Greece and Rome apotheosizes the glory of classical antiquity
Whereas the struggle of the so-called mighty gods of Olympus illustrated humanity’s need for unison,
Both in brotherhood and in recognition of an omnipresent Creator
A theory put forward by the greatest of thinkers from two of the most prominent civilizations in written history

Revered and sought out by, these immortal creatures haunt mankind

Not only by night, but every waking moment of the day, preying on our weaknesses

Relying on our false opinion of them as hunger monsters eagerly awaiting to eat our wretched souls

As their true intentions remain hidden in plain sight; they seek only to deceive and so paradise may not be the reward from the Creator of the Universe we receive

Written by Mensur Gjonbalaj

March 21, 2013

The Fate of Pontus


Being a fan of classical Greek poetry I composed my own poetic story based on the style of the Greek classics. Reminiscing about the tales of Achilles and Hector, Perseus and Hercules, I tried to create my own mythical hero, along with a story that shared elements of a fable, minus the animals. I’d really appreciate viewers’ feedback on this. Thanks.


The Fate of Pontus

Long ago, along the hills of Olympus

Lived a man by the name of Pontus

Well-built and handsome, he indulged in bliss

A hedonist, he seized the day kiss by kiss

Until the call of duty rang,

Carrying him away from home, the muses sang

As the winds blew his ship closer to his demise

He recalled the sorrow and despair he saw in his mother’s eyes

She said to him, “Oh my son, live by the sword, die by the sword; surrender to love, reign in love.”

Pontus held back his tears as he glared at the sun above

The gentle words had touched his heart, but it was too late

For a warrior must answer the call, regardless of his fate

The brave Pontus stood long in contemplation

Fearing nothing but dishonor and his men’s annihilation

‘O Apollo, God of Truth, guide me to victory,

Keep my feet firm, and my heart steadfast

The cunning master fought long and hard on the foreign field

Slaying his enemies before him, using his sword as a shield

He knew no defeat. Such a word did not exist for him,

For he’d rather confide in Ares, stricken with sin

Then die a dishonorable death

For the mighty Pontus, every move he made ensured his next breath

When the battle had been won,

He was awarded with the fairest maiden of the land

Blessed with the gods’ pleasure they showered him with fortunes of every brand

Taking what was rightfully his, he gave his men the remaining portion

Then on a cold night, inspired by the calling of the prophets

He loaded his horse and left the camp, abandoning all his valor

Leaving his men ravaged in war with agony and squalor

For without his presence none knew what to do

They wondered where this legend disappeared to.

Perhaps he was taken by the gods, out of jealousy,

Or maybe he had been seized by his enemies.

Theorizing was all his men could rely on

For their master was not dead, but assuredly gone.

He tarried to a faraway land, as the wind directed

Seeking a treasure his newly awakened senses detected

His passions took him to the land of the ice and snow

Where the men shot arrows from their bow

As they rode rambunctiously on the backs of black horses

These men had no fear; Pontus took to the nomads’ courses

And adopted their ways

Eating dried cow meat after hunting for days

Mating with the women the clansmen offered

Earning a sense of belonging, forgetting the pain he once suffered

What had become of that fate his mother foretold?

Death in the midst of battle; instead, he fled so that he may get old

Peace was now residing deep in the confines of his heart

The product of ending one chapter of a story only to write a new start

But then blew the wind one wicked and wild night

The gods never forget when it’s time to blow out the light

The chariots of fire came to seize Pontus, his time was in question

Falling rapidly, the sand of time had finally caught up with him

There was still time for him to the change the road he was on

And he needed to have met his ends before he would be forever gone

Apollo called;

Ares called;

Athena guided,

As Zeus decided

The fate of a wide-eyed warrior

Turned starry-skied worrier

‘Where am I supposed to be?’

Asked the man riding across the sea

In an aquamarine enclave accompanied by voracious beasts

Eagerly awaiting his reception at the holiest of Pagan feasts

When Pontus reached his destination the Master of Olympus

Laughed at the warrior-wanderer

Marauding the depths of his consciousness

In his hand Zeus held a staff of immortal forgiveness

‘What learned ye from these travels into the wilderness?’

Asked the King of Kings as the muse continued to sing

The mind is a plethora of vibrating thoughts that roam around and ring

A man finds who he truly is when he stops to hear

The music that the earth plays as if it we’re loud and clear

Learning that no lesson is taught too late

For as long as we have life, so too is death of our fate


Written by Mensur Gjonbalaj

March 12, 2013