The Homilies of Edward Prendick

This selection is paired with The Island of Doctor Moreau by H. G. Wells. Get the full issue of NonBinary Review #21 at

I was once lost at sea
madness became me
because I found Him
saw his reborn
saw the dark of his Word

His is the House of Pain
His is the Hand that Wounds

The congregation nods
crucifix hanging above
plaster blood dripping on its face
Yes they pray
the Wounds they nod
He is the Hand of Wounds

Edward shakes his head
And continues
from the mount

I was once lost at sea
And mad visions overcame me
visions of His Chosen
rising with his touch
His Hand of Pain and Healing

His is the Hand that Heals
His is the Hand that Makes

I saw God create life
Then take life
Then life take God
this is
the madness of this island world

The congregation nods
Healing hands is our God
they sing
His hands made the world
they cry

I was once lost at sea
And I returned to the lost
rather than see the works of God
turned to Men
the works of Men
lost in the Word of His Law

That is the Law
Are we not Men

I was once lost at sea
and became man
now the scent of creatures
who break the law
are all around me

Yes the congregation applauds
then shuffles outside
to eat flesh and fish
chase other men
and rip the bark of trees
with machines that claw

I am still lost at sea
though land is all around me  —
Edward whimpers alone
watching the cold white stars
circle blackness above

David E. Cowen is the author of four books of poetry, Sixth and Adams (PW Press 2001), The Madness of Empty Spaces (Weasel Press 2014), The Seven Yards of Sorrow (Weasel Press 2016), the latter two being named to the Bram Stoker Award Preliminary Ballots and Bleeding Saffron (Weasel Press 2018). David was also the editor of the Horror Writer’s Poetry Showcase Volumes III and IV.