Announcing the new name change: DARK is now:
A campfire companion
   Enter at your own risk:


$ 17.99 USD

Includes Tax, Shipping, Handling.

Signed softcover. 190 pages, 50+ eerie poems and delightfully frightening short stories, 50+ macabre engravings.

Limited time offer: Buy ANY* 3 books for $49.99 and get a free copy of the original DARK. See offer below.

(Any James or Sybil Brakken books, excluding large print versions. While supplies last.)

DARK: 52 eerie poems, 17 delightfully frightful short stories, & 53 macabre etchings.



DARK is a collection of over 50 original, eerie poems and delightfully frightening short stories by James Brakken. Some are morbidly amusing, many utterly nightmarish, and others are simply downright disturbing. Over 50 darkly evocative engravings accentuate the macabre nature of the DARK collection. It is for all readers, contains no excessive obscenities nor sexual content, and is perfect reading by the fire on stormy nights, around the campfire, or by flashlight under the covers--provided the door is barred and bolted. DARK is neatly sliced into three parts: Dark, Darker, and Darkest. Each leads you to the next as you creep toward the shivery end. DARK is frightening but delightfully so.     MORE BELOW

Buy ANY 3 books for $49.99 & get DARK Free!

$ 49.99 USD

For a limited time, order any* 3 James &/or Sybil Brakken books for $49.99 and get an ORIGINAL copy of DARK at no additional cost. These are copies of the first version of DARK. The interior is the same, but the cover does not include the words "A Campfire Companion." To place this order you should 1, click BUY NOW. 2, complete the order with any credit card or PayPal, and 3, email with your choice of books. You'll receive them in a few days along with your FREE COPY OF DARK.(*Does not include Large Print editions.)

From the back cover: Lurking beneath the cover of DARK you will encounter a rare collection of James Brakken’s spine-tingling poems and delightfully frightening short stories. Your host for this journey through the author’s macabre library of horrors is “The Thief of Dreams” who will allow you to explore more than fifty bizarre, twisted, sometimes humorous, and often downright disturbing writings. Sequestered within DARK, the reader will find such devilish works as: - “The Zombie Apocalypse,” a 4-part short story of high-tech horror. - “In Gloomy Wood” and other poems guaranteed to chill to the bone. - “Three Dragons,” flash fiction designed to draw forth disturbing delight. - “Beastly Feastings” and lighter poems that will elicit nervous laughter. - “Nevermore,” an attempt to resolve Edgar Allen Poe’s age-old question. - Brief, chilling excerpts from the novel, THE TREASURE OF NAMAKAGON. - OVER 34 more nightmarish tales and creepy poems crafted to test your nerve. For visual relief from the skin-crawling nature of his poems and stories, the author has inserted 53 evocative engravings by master artists from ancient times.  
DARK will thrill readers of all ages, although it is not recommended for the very young as it could lead to life-long phobias.


Above: One of 50 illustrations by FAMOUS but LONG DEAD master artists.

In Gloomy Wood


In a gloomy wood, astray,

Insanely flound’ring with no aim,

Numbed from drink, in deep dismay,

I wandered sleepless, deep in pain.

While mourning deeply for my love,

 Weeping for my lost Lorraine,

 An angel swept down from above,

 Calling out my name.

 Calling out, then saying,


“Tears you shed for your fair love,

Agony from her dark death,

All the grief that comes thereof

From shame, sir, you must claim.”

“Messenger,” I did explain,

“I deeply loved this one now slain!

Leave me to my aimless pain,

Pain for lost Lorraine,

My love now lost, Lorraine.”


“Accuse me not. I’m not to blame.

’Twas not me who forged the knife.

’Twas not me who, with disdain,

Took my lover’s life!

“No! Not me, who from the mist,

Brought this grief, caused this strife,

Wrought the blade that deadly twist

Slaying my young wife.

My sweet, young, gentle wife.”


“Surely, you must know this well,

Looking down from high above,

I’m not the one whom she did tell,

Of her other love.”

“’Twas not me who, wild from mead,

Into that pit, her corpse did shove,

Accuse me not of this foul deed.

I slew not my love.

My sweet, young, gentle love.”


“’Twas not me who threw her down,

Who buried her in shallow pit,

Far beyond the gleam of town

Where the fields do seem to quit.”

“There, where she can see the moon

Shine down bright where roads do split,

Below the mount where lovers spoon,

The mount that’s now moonlit.

That lover’s mount, moonlit”


The angel then showed badge and face.

He snatched the drink that fogged my brain.

Shackles soon secured my place,

Still, I mourned my sweet Lorraine.

’Twas no angel from above,

Who did, in gloomy wood, obtain

Proof of who did kill my love.

Proof I was to blame.

And alone I bear that shame.


Now, imprisoned, in dismay,

Insanely wailing without aim,

Through gloomy wood, I long to stray.

Stray steeped with dread, deep in pain.

Now mourning, sleepless for my love,

Mourning for my lost Lorraine,

The hangman soon will, from above,

Be calling out my name.

Yes, calling out my name.


’Tis then I’ll join my sweet Lorraine.

Night and day, without dismay,

We’ll wander free, devoid of pain.

Stay we will in gloomy wood,

In a gloomy wood, astray.

The Bones of Ole Johnson


Far up the old Wisconsin

Lie the bones of Ole Johnson.

His ghost it swims the river night and day.

Ole’s looking for a tool

That he dropped in a deep pool.

When the log jam he was fightin’ did give way.


The dynamite they used

Was not correctly fused

And blew the pine high above the bay.

As for Ole Johnson’s crew,

Across the logs they flew!

But Ole lost his footing on the way.


His men their god did thank

When they made the river bank.

But Ole dropped his Peavey in the drink.

He dove into the pool,

This timber-drivin’ fool,

Before he even had the time to think.

Up Ole came for air

But only logs were there,

A-turnin’ in the churning icy foam.

Far from the river’s shore,

He cursed the logs and swore

That he’d bring that Peavey back or ne’er come home.


Pine floating overhead,

Ole swam the river bed,

He hoped to bring his precious Peavey back.

And, above the river’s noise,

Shout, “Found it!” to his boys.

The mark of any worthy lumberjack.


His men all stood and stared

Their concern for Ole shared,

Watching all the thrashing, bashing pine.

While below, Ole did swim,

The chance now growing slim

That they’d see poor Ole Johnson down the line.

A thousand pounds each log did weigh,

Or even more, I would say.

Half-a-million floatin’ to the mill.

Ole Johnson down below,

A-countin’ as they go,

And the ghost of Ole Johnson counts them still.


Now, if you take a float

In a kayak, tube, or boat,

On a Wisconsin crick or creek or river, too,

And you feel a sudden bump

Or you hear a muffled thump,

Know that the ghost of Ole Johnson counted you.


And if a Peavey you should see

Below a river flowing free,

Know that Ole left it on the river bed.

Leave it there for Heaven’s sake,

Or Ole’s place you’ll surely take,

Just a-countin’ boats a-floatin’ over head.

Far up the old Wisconsin,

Lie the bones of Ole Johnson,

A-countin’ all the boats as they go through.

If you feel a sudden bump

Or hear a muffled thump,

Know that the ghost of Ole Johnson counted you.

Now my tale of Ole Johnson is all through.

Who are the artists?

Search these master engravers in Wikipedia for more information:

Albrecht Durer

Gustave Dore'

Hans Holbein the Younger

Other artist's names coming soon.

Make a free website with Yola