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Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 154

Categories: Poetry Prompts, Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides Blog.

For this week’s prompt, write a spooky poem. Of course, I expect everyone to have a different meaning of spooky. Maybe it’s clowns or someone standing just outside of view. Maybe it’s a movie or the economy or public speaking.

Here’s my attempt:

“Halloween”

The mornings stay darker later;
the evenings get darker sooner;
and I know sooner or later
the trees will strip for the moon, her
eye facing the earth with its ghouls,
vampires, witches, and were-creatures
roaming the streets for treats as fools
think they’re children with fake features,
but the kids were taken away
until the sun returns the day.

*****

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*****

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About Robert Lee Brewer

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173 Responses to Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 154

  1. WHAT LIES JUST UNDERFOOT
    It [Bicton cottage, Devonshire] required 76,000 sheep-shanks to pave it….
    – Elihu Burritt, A Walk to Land’s End (1865)

    Scroll-fluted ivories intricately laid,
    a rustic palace paved with knees of sheep;
    perhaps the quaintest tiling yet displayed:
    scroll-fluted ivories intricately laid,
    four hundred to the foot-squared, arrayed
    as strange economies we humans keep –
    scroll-fluted ivories intricately laid,
    a rustic palace paved with knees of sheep.

  2. Juanita Lewison-Snyder says:

    monster blue
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    a local man
    in a small blue-collared town
    with an evil so vile and seductive
    that one sunday a month
    it would rain ice
    sapphire blue.

    “quiet, kept to himself mostly,”
    said all his bleu cheese neighbors,
    armed only with memories of a blue-streaked childhood
    and a corpse of a cat
    they’d all rather not recount
    out of fear, out of guilt
    this dark lantern,
    nightmare blue.

    no rhyme, no reason
    he just enjoyed romancing blue.
    it was cold, and calculating, and beautiful
    and took him back to a time when
    the fingers of dawn, mortar blue
    would suddenly appear at the window
    inching her way slowly & stealthily
    across a urine-stained floor,
    so as not to awaken his bluegill father
    from yet another drunken stupor,
    until she could reach through the keyhole
    and under the door of his locked prison staircase,
    filling his corner with light
    so bright, so indigo blue,
    a reminder he was no longer alone.
    how it soothed ….
    how she comforted ….

    he generally held court hostage, at the end of a shovel
    under a sea of monster blues, monster shadows,
    papery thin mother, rigamortis blue.
    he marveled at the many shades of blue his victims exhibited,
    meticulously comparing each ’gainst notes he’d carefully assembled
    in a steel blue binder for the past 12 inanimate years…
    — from cobalt to peacock blue for those by strangulation,
    — robin egg to slate blue to those by suffocation,
    — turquoise to marine blue for those by drowning,
    — navy to midnight blue for those by poisoning,
    — and a kind of blackish blue to those by electrocution.
    his favorite though by far were small children
    for they almost always turned
    the most innocent shade of periwinkle,
    this intellectual
    darkling.

    he detested red,
    for it made him nauseous, lightheaded, uptight;
    a painful reminder of the time his beloved cat
    lay suffering in the middle of the street,
    deprived of as much a blue ribbon life as he,
    and so he shied away from open bloodshed
    preferring instead his own quiet brand of
    bloodletting, without the gore.

    he lived in a little weathered blue house
    and told little wedgewood blue lies
    to hide the little blue jaundice tattoos
    of a quiet blue-deviled life;
    listening to the likes of Billie Holiday
    and Dizzy Gillespie,
    while blue jays squalor at his front door;

    this local man
    in a small blue-collared town
    with an evil so vile and seductive
    one sunday a month
    it would rain ice
    sapphire blue.

    © 2011 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  3. Mike Patrick says:

    SINGING ON MURKLE
    by Mike Patrick

    How did it begin?
    It didn’t begin—not with me,
    but I’ll tell you how it is
    ’cause you blokes got it all crooked.
    It started seven years ago this Halloween,
    but you coppers bloody well know that.
    You the ones caught the cases.

    From me home
    in that rusted-out tool shed on Murkle Drive,
    I heard this bloke,
    tippin’ down the sidewalk, he was.
    He had a bottle in his hand and he was singing.
    Singing on Murkle!

    Murkle ain’t no place for singing,
    and it bloody well ain’t no place for the gentry.
    Every boarded up, firebombed building
    holds a thug, and an addict nods in every stairway.
    Murkle is a place where possessing a shilling
    will buy a blade slicing through your throat.

    That’s the way it was supposed to go with this bloke.
    I snuck close, pulled me knife
    and waited, hid in a bush.
    ‘Fore he got to me,
    he upended like;
    lit on his back with a thump.
    He thrashed about for a sec,
    then I saw . . . something dragging him.
    A gray something, flickering in an’ out
    of the moonlight, moving fast.
    Me blood ran cold, I’m tellin’ you.
    It leaned over him for a second
    then vanished into the dark.

    The bloke lay on the sidewalk.
    There was a gurgle,
    he twitched,
    and he rolled into the gutter.

    I waited, oh I waited
    until I was sure that gray thing was gone.
    Then I snuck up and looked.
    He lay there with his throat ripped out.

    It was funny-like,
    them eyes was looking up at the ragged clouds
    crossin’ the face of the moon,
    but they was glazed over,
    they wasn’t seein’ nothin’.

    I glommed his watch, money and bottle,
    no use lettin’ em go to waste,
    and dumped his body between the twin bridges.

    Now you coppers got me
    with blood on my hands tonight,
    but I never carved that girl,
    nor any them others
    stretched over seven Halloweens.
    I just kept hidin’ in that same bush
    and let that thing do the work.

    I got that girl’s bracelet tonight,
    and I’ll do me time,
    but I’m tellin’ you,
    I’ll sleep better in the clink,
    than on Murkle Drive.
    I know that thing is still out there.

  4. DEMENTED

    “His mind’s not right” my mother would say,
    and my father was apt to agree.
    “He keeps to himself too much in a way“,
    a strange little man there, you see.

    My father was apt to agree,
    that something inside his boy festered,
    a strange little man there, you see,
    who loves to keep darkly sequestered.

    That something inside their boy festered,
    certainly was not the issue,
    “Who loves to keep darkly sequestered?”
    mother asked as she reached for a tissue.

    Certainly, was not the issue
    that my mind worked in mysterious ways?
    Mother asked as she reached for a tissue,
    “Where does that boy go to these days?”

    Yes, my mind worked in mysterious ways
    But, deep in my thoughts there was action.
    Where does that boy go to these days,
    was a quest for some self-satisfaction.

    Deep in my thoughts there was action,
    my pen at a feverish pitch,
    This quest for some self satisfaction
    would placate my poetic itch.

    My pen at a feverish pitch
    to pen pantoum and other such poems,
    would placate my poetic itch,
    “If they read what I write, they would know them”

    To pen pantoum and other such poems, see?
    “His mind’s not right” they would say.
    If they read what I write, they would know me.
    I kept to myself too much in a way.

  5. WHISTLING

    Whistling past the graveyard
    only darkness lurks within.
    Whistling past the graveyard,

    yet I hear those sounds again.
    The creaks of barren branches,
    only evil lurks within.

    Still, I take my chances
    I find the noise unnerving.
    The creaks of barren branches

    has left my tune unswerving,
    A frantic blow through nervous lips,
    I find the noise unnerving.

    Then suddenly the walkway dips,
    a shadow figure beckons.
    A frantic blow through nervous lips

    would save my soul, I reckon.
    Whistling past the graveyard,
    a shadow figure beckons.
    Whistling past the graveyard.

    • Michael Grove says:

      Walt, I really enjoyed this one. What poetic form is it? It is very interesting and flows well.

      • Michael, that is a little thing called a Terzanelle. It combines the Villanelle and the Terza Rima forms. 19 lines, 5 interlocking triplets/tercets, concluding Quatrain where the 1st and 3rd lines of first triplet appear as refrains. The middle line of each tercet is repeated as the last line of the succeeding tercet (except for the center line of the next-to-last stanza, it appears in the Quatrain) Scheme: ABA, bCB,cDC, dED, eFE, fAFA

  6. cstewart says:

    This is spooky enough……….

    Warning:
    (a far cry from Whitman’s/Emily’s America)

    This is it:
    The last, undeserved, benevolent call for the imminent-domained,
    The self-appointed, heads of some-kinda state-countries,
    Now, creeping all over the American-side-of-North America,
    Politicians;
    As little, red-blood suckin’ terminally-money-grabin’ thieves-with-intent,
    Maliciously, sittin’ flat out corrupted, in the body-bag congress/senate/corporations
    Pullin’up your knee-high, China-cashmere, black socks,
    And fast-stuffin’inthepeople’smoney.com.
    (Without the slightest remembrance of a conscience).

    And, nere’ do well pimp-daddy, crony suckin’
    “Don’t Shoot” (?) hidin’ in the sewer lashed
    To the last dying tidbit-standard of peasant-plucked wealth
    Past.
    The hold em’ and kill em’
    And,
    I’ve-come-back-to-haunt-you –
    Baby Papa Doc imitators.
    Finished…
    That’s it.

    Don’t fall asleep again.

  7. I have been “spooked” by public speaking of every kind for the last 22 years of my life. I’ve frozen once in high school, twice in college which caused me to flunk out of Technical Report Writing two times and other times not worth mentioning here. So this poem, or whatever it is, is based upon my real life experience.

    A Knockout Speech

    Speaking was inevitable
    So was the sweaty palms
    Horrid anxiety and erratic bowels

    Knocking knees and countless pleas
    For an escape, a back door
    An eject button
    Anything

    This seemingly eternal moment of anticipation
    Spared not even a millisecond of torture
    Riddling my spine with a jagged fear
    Every nerve gripped and severed
    As they prepared for flight
    Only to be rendered useless
    Like a vacant puppet

    Mustering some feeble strength
    To stand……..
    against………..
    My worst enemy
    A fierce three hundred pound Ninja
    With the agility of Michael Jordan
    Quickness of Bruce Lee on steroids
    And as ugly as Jabba the hut

    As our eyes connected across the arena
    I couldn’t help but notice his nasty drool across the lower lip
    The fire in his eye, sweat across his brow
    Determination in his countenance
    And metallic teeth all were a testament
    To his desire to have me for Le petit dejeuner
    And something told me, this was not going to be
    Tea and crackers!

    But I must make a stand against this behemoth
    So opening my mouth was quite a sight to see
    As words were uttered
    Bricks and cinder blocks hit the ground
    With crushing force
    Shattering on impact
    Into shards across the floor

    Every word drew increasingly heavier
    Fifty pounds
    Two hundred pounds
    Five hundred pounds
    Until I could no longer spew
    Them out of my mouth

    Suddenly I choked
    My windpipe had been cut off
    No air could enter or escape

    Then I froze
    As usual

    Making for an unbearable scene
    One I would never forget, tried to forget
    But only haunted memories
    Of an old wounded soldier
    Left with the indelible scars across his body
    As twenty thousand eyes pierced through
    My armor and embedded themselves
    On my heart, forever burned, etched

    Someone please step on me and
    Sweep the remains under a rock
    There in good company with the worms

    Now Post Traumatic Stress is encumbering all circuits
    Someone please hit the delete button
    And erase all history

  8. MISSING

    Deceptions of an autumn moon –
    I dreamed the old woman
    we didn’t find. Twining creeper,
    greenbrier. Trees with bare wrists,
    bark stretched brittle over bone.
    In all the woods, that bleak
    dead-twig night, she wasn’t.

    Where do the missing go?
    Does a Dragon Moon drink them
    so they leave no clue,
    disappearing as easy as a child
    from room to room and then
    to sleep? easy as landscape
    turns to water hurrying down.

    In dream, there’s a dead man
    behind every punky log.
    No need to believe in ghosts
    to know what’s haunted.
    I walk right past her.
    But she reaches out her leaf-
    fall fingers, takes my hand.

  9. barbara_y says:

    Scratches on the Roof

    Heat rises from the scattered cars.
    It is yesterday, some starwatching night between
    poodle skirts and love beads.  The war
    is cold, and movies are filled with aliens
    alienation, and radioactive ants.  
    This is not Hollywood, only a loop of dirt road 
    off a narrow county highway. No one goes there
    but fishermen; and couples giving hickeys, taking
    bases.

    The camera darts around, and swoops, glances
    off full breasts and vee necks with shadows, 
    kisses pouting red lips, and looks over at the bushes.
    Something.  Perhaps the camera will leave the steaming
    and look.

    It is today.
    The leaves have turned, but most are on the trees.
    The weather man has predicted rain, but the evening 
    has been strangely calm, and warm. Here and there
    there are couples in cars.  A truck is idling, 
    a little roughly, on a boat ramp, trailer
    in the water, headlights pointed up the trees.
    A boat waits, rocking very little.  
    Where’s the fisherman?  The camera stares 
    at the bushes.

    It is tomorrow.  Someone will consider a party,
    down by the river.  

  10. Michael Grove says:

    The Last Frontier

    Red eyes in the darkness.
    Shadows in the moonlight.
    Blood curdling screams.
    A loud bump in the night.

    Staring down the barrel
    of a robbers loaded gun.
    Chased by a grizzly bear
    that you cannot outrun.

    Drowning in an undertow
    while trying hard to swim,
    Parachute not opening while
    skydiving on a whim.

    What’s the point in fretting?
    Why should you live in fear?
    Bravely face your worries.
    This is not the last frontier.

    By Michael Grove

  11. Michael Grove says:

    I Can’t Imagine Anything

    I can’t imagine anything
    spooky.
    All fear has left me long ago.
    What would scare me now?
    I can’t imagine anything.
    Surely there must be
    something.
    I have thought about this
    all day and
    I can’t imagine anything.
    And so I roll
    with what will be.
    Destiny
    will forge it’s own path.
    I can’t imagine anything
    spooky or scary
    about that.
    I can’t imagine anything…
    Wait, that’s it.
    That would be spooky, if
    I can’t imagine anything.

    By Michael Grove

  12. Mike Bayles says:

    Shadows Cast

    Just out of the psych ward,
    a downtrodden friend
    follows me in silence.
    I invite him into a bar,
    and try to envision
    the person I once knew.
    Inside, he stares at me
    through his black-framed glasses
    while I speak.
    He looks like Abbey Hoffman,
    although the movement has passed,
    or like an image of Alan Ginsberg
    without a poem.
    I ask him about the breakdown
    when he descended into silence,
    and he says he was fighting
    a chorus of voices inside his head,
    while I wonder about a murmur of fear
    stirring inside me.
    I look at him again,
    an apparition of memories,
    while he lingers in shadows of his life.

  13. Mike Bayles says:

    Shadows Cast

    Just out of the psych ward,
    a downtrodden friend
    follows me in silence.
    I invite him into a bar,
    and try to envision
    the person I once knew.
    Inside, he stares at me
    through his black-frames glasses
    while I speak.
    He look like Abbey Hoffman,
    although the movement has passed,
    or like an image of Alan Ginsberg
    without a poem.
    I ask him about the breakdown
    when he descended into silence,
    and he says he was fighting
    a chorus of voices inside his head,
    while I wonder about a murmur of fear
    stirring inside me.
    I look at him again,
    an apparition of my memories,
    while he lingers in shadows of his life.

  14. Nancy Posey says:

    The Move

    They’d heard the tales whispered around town—
    why the house sat empty for so long—
    stories of deaths, of restless spirits,
    of sourceless lights, shadows glimpsed
    through vacant windows,
    but the rent was in their range
    and need overcame superstition.

    The ghosts—if there were ghosts—will head out
    when the cobwebs are gone, Mama reassured,
    and almost before their belongings
    were unloaded, she had her hair tied up in a scarf
    and had every free hand sweeping
    and scrubbing. She hung lanterns all around
    and the boys built a bright, roaring fire
    in short order.

    They should have slept soundly, exhausted
    by their efforts, helping Mama work
    to keep their nagging fears at bay.

    But once the last crawled weary
    into new-made beds, the sound of wind
    whistled through invisible chinks,
    though not a leaf stirred outside,
    and the in dying light of the hearth fire,
    each in turn saw shadows, unaccountable,
    heard footsteps, saw moonlight stream
    through curtains, pulled back by hands unseen.

    By daylight, Mama had them reloading the wagon,
    without a word from Papa,
    leaving the key in the door and heading back
    to a home no longer too small,
    affording such proximity every shadow,
    every sound came attached to a familiar name.

  15. PKP says:

    Last Night

    Fell asleep in tumbled sheets  my leg 
    Thrown over hers  post pleasured
    Spent 
    On the gentle soft
    skinned creature 
    Breathing rose petals
    and sweet sweat
    All whispered passion words
    curled above our heads into each other
    Bent
    Wake in gray weak light of dawn
    Bladder full alone desiccated and drawn life and urine
    into a cathetered  tube lying lined straight  in a tight sheeted morn
    Cannot feel no  less  fling 
    A leg, a tumble, vanished as a dream our rose petaled
    Sweet sweated impassioned thing
    Yet in the corner drifting just above the bed
    Everything, fingers intertwined , everything just last night,
    Just last night fifty years ago, we said 
      

      

  16. MISSY AND THE DRAGONS

    What’s behind the door? she wanted
    to know. Nothing, they said.
    Why is it locked? It isn’t, just stuck
    shut. Door in the corner of her room.

    Black dragons lived in the bathtub-
    drain; at night they flew under
    her bedroom door and into
    her dreams. On dream-dark streets

    they chased her up trees. She grew
    swift at climbing trees – at asking
    what’s behind the door?
    Just stairs to the attic, they said.

    One brave night the door opened.
    The light-switch didn’t work.
    In the dark she climbed past her own
    ceiling. The attic’s breath was stale

    with family secrets. Missy held her
    nose, kept climbing to – another door.
    Tarpaper roof, a parapet, and stars!
    She’d never seen such bright

    wings. Angels? No choirs, only
    rivers of silence. Dragons? Dark
    oceans tiding. No questions, no ideas
    at all. Just space to fly. Where?

  17. I lost the connection to this site for a while. It’s good to be back.
    Marian O’Brien Paul

  18. Marianv says:

    In Praise of Dark Places

    The moon sails high tonight
    A shaft of silver so bright
    Shines like a halo around each cloud
    Turning the sky into an ancient artist’s
    Conception of Heaven – All we need
    Is angels flying around each star,

    Tonight the light
    From the sky above is so bright
    That roosters have emerged
    From the chicken coop
    And crowed as though
    They were greeting daybreak.

    I have slipped outside in my
    Nightgown and now I stand
    In the ruins of our summers’’
    Garden – brown leaves and
    Yellowed fruit beneath my feet.
    Soon creatures from the near-by
    Woods will come and feast.

    Wait! Now I hear the shrill cry
    Of a woman in distress and for
    A moment, fear – what am I doing
    Out this late, not even dressed?
    But as the cry repeats I recognize
    The screech owl’s call (So aptly
    Named) and bathed in light from
    Our heavenly moon – no I will not
    Leave the party quite so soon.

  19. THUMBS UP!

    Henri remembered his mother’s admission.
    “You do not have my permission
    to suck your thumb! If I come
    in again, my son, I will
    wield knife to lop off your thumb.

    Henri really was non-plussed,
    for no matter how she cursed
    and cussed; throughout her rant
    and ballyhoo his mother
    never followed through.

    Why, he could bet his whole right hand
    his mother would not take a stand.
    She did not know, she did not see
    Henri’s thumb was delicacy.
    So his thumb went back to get all wet.

    “YOU LITTLE BASTARD” came Mother’s yell
    “Did your ears not hear me tell
    the consequence of doing that?”
    “Let’s see that thumb, you little brat!”
    Down came her cleaver, and that was that.

    Henri stared incredulous,
    his mother’s deed, ridiculous!
    She took up the digit to put away,
    to return to Henri on the day
    that he agreed to cease his sucking.

    Henri’s wound took time to heal,
    and his nine fingers made him feel
    very much the lesser man
    who could not count as high as ten.
    He cursed the day his mother maimed him.

    He grew older, a handsome man
    With dark moustache and his hand
    encased in leather to hide the void
    where once his thumb had perched there sweet,
    his moist and tasty, handy treat.

    His mother, a woman of her word,
    did rue the day she got absurd
    by cutting off her baby’s thumb.
    She knew someday that day would come
    and Henri dear would have his thumb.

    The day arrived, but her surprise
    was something that disturbed her eyes.
    Henri’s thumb was mortified.
    No sign of life, she sadly cried.
    Her young man’s anger boiled within.

    Henri ranted. Henri raved.
    Henri cursed the day she saved
    the purloined digit in a baggy,
    for now the skin was black and saggy.
    Henri grasped his mother’s hand

    and reaching for the very cleaver,
    brought down the chopper soon to leave her
    quite left-handed; marked for life
    and underhanded. What he did next was hideous
    for in his hand, he held her hand.

    and hand-in-hand this messed up man,
    raised her paw triumphantly,
    making sure that she would see
    what her Henri had in store;
    her bloody stump dripped on the floor.

    He closed her fingers to a fist,
    with thumb aloft, which was the gist
    of all this time that he had waited.
    Now this day was celebrated.
    His mother knew this day would come,

    and watched in horror as her thumb
    was inching closer to his mouth.
    She prayed to God he’d keep it out.
    But Madman Henri had other plans
    again ignoring her commands.

    Henri sucked his mother’s thumb,
    she cringed, disgusted by her son.
    Henri soothed his hunger’s itch,
    for payback was a mouthy bitch.
    His mother knew this day would come.

  20. Without You

    Bare branches scratch
    windows.
    A dog howls,
    (I hope it’s a dog).
    Winds whisper
    and whistle.
    The black sky is
    gray, covered by clouds
    casting shadows
    in every corner
    Illuminating the emptiness
    of our house
    without you.

  21. barbara_y says:

    Reality is Creepy

    There are men in hazmat suits
    crawling across my walls, chipping, chipping
    chipping and knocking. In their purple respirators
    they resemble nothing natural,
    thought they swarm like paper wasps whose wings
    some evil child picked off to paste on a wooden box.

  22. Willy says:

    CATHARSIS

    From the depths of my acidic
    soul comes a spasm, surging up;
    growing larger, wider in its
    ascent through the physical shell
    into psyche’s place to shatter
    all dreams, hopes for long-absent peace.
    There are no more nails to bite, clothes
    to rend nor sounds to bellow in
    this isolated space shared with
    no one, ever. Not one voice will
    speak out; there are none to hear such
    silence. Let the welling recede,
    palpitate within its dark space,
    to belch forth unexpectedly.
    Observe. Take notes as I spit in
    the faces of my tormentors.

  23. Tracy Davidson says:

    The Sixth Sense

    now please don’t read on
    if you want to guess the twist –
    Willis is a ghost!

  24. Tracy Davidson says:

    The Awakening

    I wake from a deep sleep
    and find myself enclosed in a wooden box.

    My God, I’ve been buried alive!

    No, that can’t be right,
    I vaguely remember dying.

    I run icy fingers over my frozen face.
    Strange – my forehead seems more pronounced
    with deep furrows, the eyebrows thicker.

    My jaw feels fuller, as though
    I’ve suddenly grown extra teeth.
    I explore my mouth with my tongue
    and cry out when I cut it on something sharp.
    A strong metallic scent hits my nostrils
    and I breathe it in deeply.

    Blood trickles down the back of my throat.
    It tastes good. Rich. I like it.

    I remember now exactly how I died,
    the woman’s mouth approaching my neck,
    the pain followed by a blissful numbness,
    she urging me to bite her in return.

    I am a vampire. I who never believed
    in such creatures, who dismissed the whispers
    that evil was taking over the town.

    But I don’t want to kill people!
    I don’t want to drink their blood!

    Or do I? There’s a hunger growing
    in the pit of my stomach.
    I can’t get the image of her long
    white neck out of my mind.

    Oh, I’m not talking about the vampire
    who turned me into one of her own.
    No, my lovely wife – my widow I should say.
    I want to taste her in ways
    I’ve never tasted her before.
    And then I will tear her still beating
    unfaithful heart from her body.

    It’s time to leave this coffin.
    I fight my way through box and earth.

    Hold on my dear, I’m coming home.

  25. Marie Elena says:

    I am normally a forgiving person, but …

    True house of horrors.
    “No penalty is too harsh.”
    No. Nor hell itself.

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/girl-basement-dungeon-case-held-10-years-burned/story?id=14768875

  26. NOT SO SWEET SUCCESS – REDUX

    Fragrances waft, a gentle meander, floral or woodsy in nature. It soothes the nose and masks unsavory things. But stench stumbles in like an inebriate drunkard who had soiled himself and his reputation; a sad mutation of the upstanding bastard he once claimed to be. Sullied was the air when the seal had been broken. No words were spoken with hands clamped across nasal passages and the message purveyed was one they had seen on more occasions then they cared to account. The numbers mount while teams sans smiles and enthusiasm teem in. Within the home left abandoned and presumed vacant when the owner, Mrs. Beedle was lowered to her rest. The best attempts to contact any family proved to be a futile exercise.

    A wise man would have considered the case closed, but their noses were reticent to relinquish the odiferous lingering. Gloved hands carefully fingering along the blood stained walls. The silence was interrupted by the calls from the group investigating the back rooms of this devoid domicile. Confident men and women strode toward the sounds, but found themselves reeling in disgust and horror. They were unprepared. Seasoned veterans stood and stared at the heap of former humanity foisted into the plush rocking chair.

    There sat the problem. The decayed remains of a woman slumped clumsily into the furniture. The lavender tatter that was draped across her shoulder disintegrated into powdery residue. The scent was a clue. There was a hint of bouquet the closer the Detectives came to the undone body. Hard and callus men were starting To lose composure. The closure sought for this decrepit soul seemed a long time coming.

    And then, the humming.

    An almost cheerful tune from the direction of the cellar door. What’s more, the accompanying footsteps
    fell in syncopation on the creaky boards. Guns drawn and a warning shouted. “Come out with your hands showing!” the cliché came. Another unnamed face peeked through to grace the room. A mid-age gentleman, fifty-ish, stepped forward from the doorway. “Aunt Ginny? You have visitors?” he creepily questioned the lifeless chair dweller. The man from the cellar, hands raised; a surrender unsure, came to stand next to the shell of the woman. His Aunt Ginny. Genevieve Beedle.

    “How rude, Auntie”, he leered, “You didn’t offer your guests a spot of tea? Allow me.” Soiled hands clutched for the knob on the old stove, amidst protests and commands to desist. Erwin Beedle couldn’t resist being the “congenial” host. At most, he wasn’t going down alone. The range did not ignite as such. It was much more like an explosion.

    New teams were dispatched to investigate the scene. The first thing they noticed was the smell.
    Fragrances waft, a gentle meander floral or woodsy in nature. It soothes the nose and masks unsavory things. But stench of dead and burnt flesh stumbles in like a demented and feeble minded “caregiver”.
    The surviving officers shiver when the subject is breeched. Erwin finally reached his pinnacle, of course.
    The cynical brute took half the force with him.

    **It bugged the hell out of me…sorry for the re-post!

  27. Michelle Hed says:

    Chills

    As the dark night comes settling in,
    the wind begins to quicken
    and the sound of ten-thousand ghouls
    are moaning and howling
    outside your door.

    You turn on the lights
    but the darkness seems to seep
    into the corners,
    lurking…
    waiting…
    and then the scratching starts on the window panes,
    demons clawing to come inside
    as you inch closer to the fire.

    You sit down in your high-backed, winged chair
    and wrap the quilt around your body,
    watching the shadows,
    listening…
    and then you sip your tea,
    pick up the gothic novel you started earlier,
    and the ghouls and demons
    fade back into the pages
    where they belong.

  28. NOT SO SWEET SUCCESS

    Fragrances waft, a gentle meander, floral or woodsy in nature. It soothes the nose and masks unsavory things. But stench stumbles in like an inebriate drunkard who had soiled himself and his reputation; a sad mutation of the upstanding bastard he once claimed to be. Sullied was the air when the seal had been broken. No words were spoken with hands clamped across nasal passages and the message purveyed was one they had seen on more occasions then they cared to account. The numbers mount while teams
    sans smiles and enthusiasm teem in. Within the home left abandoned and presumed vacant when the owner,
    Mrs. Beedle was lowered to her rest. The best attempts to contact any family proved to be a futile exercise.

    A wise man would have considered the case closed, but their noses were reticent to relinquish the odiferous lingering. Gloved hands carefully fingering along the blood stained walls. The silence was interrupted by the calls from the group investigating the back rooms of this devoid domicile. Confident men and women strode toward the sounds, but found themselves reeling in disgust and horror. They were unprepared. Seasoned veterans stood and stared at the heap of former humanity foisted into the plush rocking chair.

    There sat the problem. The decayed remains of a woman slumped clumsily into the furniture. The lavender tatter that was draped across her shoulder disintegrated into powdery residue. The scent was a clue. There was a hint of bouquet the closer the Detectives came to the undone body. Hard and callus men were starting To lose composure. The closure sought for this decrepit soul seemed a long time coming.

    And then, the humming.

    An almost cheerful tune from the direction of the cellar door. What’s more, the accompanying footsteps
    fell in syncopation on the creaky boards. Guns drawn and a warning shouted. “Come out with your hands showing!” the cliché came. Another unnamed face peeked through to grace the room. A mid-age gentleman, fifty-ish, stepped forward from the doorway. “Aunt Ginny? You have visitors?” he creepily questioned
    the lifeless chair dweller. The man from the cellar, hands raised; a surrender unsure, came to stand
    next to the shell of the woman. His Aunt Ginny. Genevieve Beedle.

    “How rude, Auntie”, he leered, “You didn’t offer your guests a spot of tea? Allow me.” Soiled hands clutched for the knob on the old stove, amidst protests and commands to desist. Erwin Beedle couldn’t resist being the “congenial” host. At most, he wasn’t going down alone. The range did not ignite as such. It was much more like an explosion.

    New teams were dispatched to investigate the scene. The first thing they noticed was the smell.
    Fragrances waft, a gentle meander floral or woodsy in nature. It soothes the nose and masks unsavory things. But stench of dead and burnt flesh stumbles in like a demented and feeble minded “caregiver”.
    The surviving officers shiver when the subject is breeched. Erwin finally reached his pinnacle, of course.
    The cynical brute took half the force with him.

  29. Bruce Niedt says:

    A rewrite:

    Chernobyl Wolves

    They do not hobble, sick and dying,
    across a barren wasteland.
    In fact, they seem to thrive, and sit atop
    the food chain in this patch of the world
    where man’s technology betrayed him
    and poison spewed from a power plant.
    They command the vacant apartments,
    abandoned shops, a derelict hospital,
    its unmade beds rotting and rusting,
    now a quarter-century old.
    Wildflowers and grass have reclaimed
    the cultivated farmland, the oxidizing husks
    of tractors and harvesters. Ships collapse
    into the tainted river, as beavers dam it up
    to regenerate a swamp. Bison, fox, mice –
    they all prowl through these crumbling shelters.
    But only the wolves sense that something
    is different, as one clambers through a window,
    one nuzzles an empty playground swing.
    These animals survive, digging in dirt and isotopes,
    bringing down the weak for contaminated flesh,
    unaware of a predator too small to see
    that could eat them all from inside.

  30. MiskMask says:

    It’s Halloween

    Black cats, pointy hats,
    Blood lust, and vampire bats,
    Pumpkins on porches,
    Headless riders on horses.
    Was that a thump in the night?
    White with terror, cold from fright,
    One night and then they retreat
    A bump, a thump, a boo!
    They’re here,
    And calling you.
    Trick
    Or
    Treat.

  31. sojourningwithjoy says:

    The scariest thing, I ever saw,
    Laughing at me with an eerie guffaw…
    tearing my mind like a demon claw;
    white and glaring, a sickening sight,
    a blank sheet of paper, the middle of night.

    No words would come to slay this bitter foe,
    no ink from the pen could be willed to flow,
    Writers block, Writers block, the cawing of crow,
    I break pencils, throw books, I cry and i shake,
    until the nightmare ends, and finally I wake.

  32. Sara McNulty says:

    Revenge in Wax (a monotetra)

    In the wax museum they came alive
    Each one began to multiply
    Until they numbered thirty-five
    Who will survive? Who will survive

    They carried knives, swords, and axes
    prepared to slay as the moon waxes
    They’d exact revenge, no emails or faxes
    No new taxes! No new taxes!

  33. Sara McNulty says:

    Through the Woods Darkly ( Triolet)

    Walking through woods on Halloween,
    she hears a branch snap behind her.
    Could it be Alice’s mad Red Queen
    walking through woods on Halloween?
    The steps quicken; she stifles a scream.
    Will she lose her head before they find her,
    walking through woods on Halloween?
    She hears a branch snap behind her.

  34. Karen31 says:

    The Hungry Ghosts

    Beneath the Die-If-You-Dare triple roller coaster
    lurking where the grubbers gather lost retainers and pocket change
    as you and 59 others learn that death truly is an option
    they bathe in the rain of fear in the night.

    In the midnight alleyway at the double horrorfest
    they ride the back of glitterboys who lunge
    to burst the screams from your laughing gaggle
    and suck the sound deep, into what once were lungs.

    They curl into the pillows, the warming bed, the room
    where you fret the hours of labor and dread each clutch
    and the seconds between birth and life are so so sweet to them.
    And when the child cries at last, they drink that, too.

    and each time, when you survive, climb out of the
    coaster’s car, laugh off the silly streetboys,
    exault in the sound of your newborn’s first voice,
    remember: they let you live, so they could feed
    and they’ll be back for more. Soon.

  35. seingraham says:

    Mike – that is one of the scariest poems I’ve read today – very, very chilling.

  36. seingraham says:

    Thks Marie E and Sara – we saw a wooded area like this last summer and both my husband and I commented on how haunted it looked … as we hurried by, trying not to look too closely

  37. Front Page Story

    Scraping
    chunking
    spewing
    pumpkin guts
    clinging, dripping
    from your fingernails
    flinging them onto yesterday’s
    news.

    Wrapping it up
    silver kissing style
    twisting the story
    tossing into the trash
    your hand strangling
    the paperboy’s
    efforts.

    Sitting at home
    with your money
    living in his pocket
    he is scraping
    cheese
    from under
    his tired toenails
    flinging them onto yesterday’s
    news.

  38. mikeMaher says:

    Big Shadow.

    I keep worrying I’ve already written my best poem,
    that one about Flaubert or the elegy which turned out to
    be premature because no one died.
    I’m only 25 and already I can’t stop thinking
    about not being alive.
    It feels as if it’s been October for five minutes
    but I’ve already seen two pumpkins with Ben Franklin faces.
    Tell us what you want
    says a man standing on a car at City Hall,
    and I want to tell him how all I want is to remember every dream
    I’ve ever had,
    to not look at my cell phone four hundred times a day,
    to not think about how old 25 is in terms relative to a lifespan,
    to not wonder if every homeless person is Jesus,
    but instead I just wondered about who owns that car
    and if they know a man is standing on it.
    It rains again
    and the leaves say fuck it
    and let go,
    they’ve had enough for a year and they’re unconcerned
    with what comes next,
    midnight in a puddle,
    a winter on the back patio under a chair leg,
    nothing.

  39. a.paige says:

    Hollowed Night

    A turn too late
    you should have heard
    the news announced
    of the fearsome death
    which claimed the lives
    of two, we’re told–
    an innocent one,
    the other, old.
    In cheery chants
    both called, in trance
    the witch of yore
    and the candy man
    on Halloween
    near hallowed grounds
    just a stretch away
    from fiery sounds.
    A shriek!–not far beyond.
    Their tires went screech
    when they heard the sound.
    They were bound for home
    in a nearby town
    to trick-or-treat
    when they heard the sound.
    The young one whimpered,
    Please let’s go.
    Just a second, child,
    you are safe inside.
    Just making sure
    that no one’s hurt,
    Great-grandpa said
    near the hallowed grounds.
    As soon as he
    swung out his door,
    a thing swooped in
    with an eerie sound.
    Next a sudden Thug!–with a sweeping noise
    then–Graanndpaaaaaa! screamed the child.
    And just like that, he was taken. And the old man, gone just the same.
    And an evil shrill pierced the hallowed night,
    a fearsome evening called Halloween.
    Some steps beyond
    the hallowed grounds
    is a little hut in a clearing.
    Unusual things are strewn about
    and scraps of cloth beside a cauldron.
    And in that road
    is an abandoned car
    with bags of candy in it.
    If you catch this now
    but had made that turn,
    don’t stop for those
    infernal sounds.
    Don’t check outside
    if someone’s hurt
    but quicky pass the hallowed grounds.

  40. Bruce Niedt says:

    Radioactive Wolves

    No, they don’t glow green at night
    as packs run through the dark Russian wood.
    They seem to thrive, in fact, and sit
    atop the food chain in this patch of the world
    where man’s technology betrayed him
    when poison spewed from a power plant.
    They command the empty apartments,
    abandoned shops, a derelict hospital,
    its empty beds rotting and rusting,
    now a quarter-century old.
    Wildflowers and grass have reclaimed
    the cultivated farmland, overgrown rusting hulks
    of tractors and harvesters. Ships collapse
    into the tainted river, as beavers dam it up
    to regenerate a swamp. Bison, fox, mice –
    they all prowl through these crumbling shelters.
    But only the wolves sense that something
    is different, as one clambers through a window,
    one nuzzles an empty playground swing.
    These animals survive, digging in dirt and isotopes,
    bringing down the weak for contaminated flesh,
    unbothered by a predator too small to see
    that could eat them from inside.

    [Inspired by a nature show I just watched about the thriving ecosystem around the ruins of Chernobyl. It's unsettling - yes,even a bit spooky - to see how nature would take over so quickly and miss us so little if we just disappeared.]

  41. Jane Shlensky says:

    The Scary Kind

    My husband works at night, leaving me alone with the cats,
    Night falling in slivers through the woods surrounding our house
    Lit by stars and whatever sliver of moon there is,
    An outdoor light making the back yard lurch with long shadows.

    I tell him daily, go, I’m not the scary kind.
    I’d invite in my murderer and offer him coffee and pie,
    Sure I could turn his leaf toward some kitchen art.
    Go, for nothing clanks in the darkness that I credit.

    Instead, I turn on the small instrument light and play piano,
    All the house dark and quiet, relying on my mind
    And fingers to break the silence, for nothing
    Evil this way comes to music, certainly not to love songs and hymns.

    Evil drags its own chain, breathing heavily,
    Carries its own scyth, stinks of fear and power. I pity it, really.
    Imagine then, my pulse when, in the middle of a musical phrase,
    I am tapped on my shoulder, a pause and then three smaller taps.

    I’m not the scary kind, but my breath catches in my throat,
    Ten thousand scenarios, all dismal, shoot through my mind;
    Slowly I turn, inch by inch, to see
    My cat stretching on hind legs and reaching high to claim me.

    Cats can be the playthings of evil.

  42. seingraham says:

    Trees Too Close Together

    Between the town and the edge of the sea
    Lurks a malevolent medieval forest
    One must pass by to gain the beach

    Children know to run by it, eyes cast down
    Adults, they stare ahead, feet pacing fast
    And animals – they will go nowhere close

    Should you pass too near and happen to forget
    And try peering through those over-crowded trees
    Understand – it will be the very last thing you ever do

    There are no spaces there but the shadows
    Draw you, and the stink of evil breathes you in
    And the trees close over and around
    And it’s as if you had never even been …

  43. Stella says:

    Transylvanian Nightmare

    His touch is cold
    When his monstrosity shifts, he’s fanciful and young
    I begin to panic. Where’s my gun?
    I smack my forehead. Left at home.
    How will I destroy him?
    He stares at my soul deep within
    His wives are all filled with poison
    Just like him, their gaze has stun
    My very soul shivers at their sight
    They could kill me, even him, with just one bite
    Bite just one vein, now I’m going insane
    Who would believe me?
    This Transylvanian nightmare keeps haunting me
    All I can see is him in my sleep
    He lets me escape, but keeps following
    They think I’m crazy
    Dracula can’t keep me forever
    I have a fiancée who will be mine forever
    Van Helsing can’t help me
    They all think he can
    But I want to do this, I know I can
    Dracula’s turning her away from me
    His cold breath draws her closer.
    Mina Murry, the love of my life
    Has left my side, died of fright
    This Dracula must end
    My whole life’s been bent
    This Transylvanian Nightmare will die tonight

    I made changes

  44. PKP says:

    with tangled curls and shining eyes Kaitlin tumbles out of her bed
    scampers barefoot, out the unlocked door across the grass to the cool green woods ahead
    smiles sweetly with baby teeth unsurprised by the waiting lonely blackened unsoul
    who will ravage, savage, murder, and calmly drop pieces of her one at a time into a hole

  45. PKP says:

    Three am calls in the dark
    A small hand slipped away in the park
    The doctor needing you in person to see
    The wheezing whinny of a storm struck oak tree
    Those things unseen that creep
    Yet felt clearly on your naked leg as you wake from sleep
    The breath that moves your hair in your ear blown
    When you are sleeping quite alone
    The shadow that assumes depth and weight
    In the moonlight opening that hard to open garden gate
    Turning to a friend over coffee in the bright light of day
    To a track lost, smoothly paved over what it was you had just meant to say
    Dream of teeth loosed from roots a mouthful rattling
    Spectre of your now unfamiliar parents drooling, incoherently prattling
    Mushroom clouds up in the sky
    The abyss around which all dance until they die
    Thinking about such things one cannot easily abide
    Here in the merriment of pre-Halloween spooky Poetic Aside

  46. Stella says:

    Transylvanian Nightmare

    He’s cold very cold
    When he changes he’s young
    I begin to panic. Where’s my gun?
    I smack my forehead. Left home.
    How can I destroy him?
    He stares at my soul deep within
    His wives are all filled with poison
    Just like him, but worse there gaze has stun
    My very soul shivers at there sight
    They could kill me, even him, with just one bite
    Bite just the right vein, now I’m going insane
    Who would believe me?
    This Transylvanian nightmare keeps haunting me
    All I can see is he in my sleep
    He lets me escape, but keeps following
    They think I’m crazy
    Dracula can’t keep me forever
    I have a fiancée who will be mine forever
    Van Helsing can’t help me
    They all think he can
    But I want to do this, I know I can
    Dracula’s turning her away from me
    His cold breath draws her closer.
    Mina Murry, the love of my life
    Has left my side, died of fright
    This Dracula must end
    My whole life’s been bent
    This Transylvanian Nightmare will die tonight.

  47. PKP says:

    Long after the raven left….

    Once upon a midnight dreary
    I sat upon the couch so wired weary
    Listening to my life blood coloring the skin
    Listening to my pulse metronomically marking all within
    Once upon a midnight dreary
    There upon that couch so weary
    Weary, wary, wondering for how long all remains confined within
    Until the encroaching finger beckons blood to stop, to pool, to dry there in the underskin

  48. De Jackson says:

    Love and Other Horrors
    (a shadorma)

    Don’t go down
    into the basement
    you’re screaming
    at the screen.
    But old ghosts beckon and she
    does, she always does.

  49. Spooky

    A cobbled street in the fog
    Spiders, snakes, a three-headed dog
    A hoot of an owl, a squeak of a mouse
    Creaky stairs in a haunted house

    Ogres, goblins, ghosts and bats
    Glowing eyes of witches’ cats
    Vampires, zombies, devils, demons
    Wandering spirits, frightened screamin’

    Skeletons dancing in the moonlight
    Rattling chains in the deep of night
    Specter in a mirror, a gnarly tree
    Fanged creatures, a whispered plea

    An empty coffin, eyes with no pupils
    Beasts and aliens with no scruples
    Quickening footsteps on a shady path
    Beauty contestants on teaching math

  50. The Halloween Town

    This town’s a Halloween town,
    even in August.
    Lemonade sales and Glenwood Terrace heat
    can’t beat away
    the hot ghosts behind the hazy air
    or the monsters.
    Little and black and neon-eyed
    hop around
    parched, screaming yards.

    Sweet March rain
    won’t wash away the spooky signs
    lining
    McClellan:
    “Dining Hall” and “Barracks” and the barracks
    fading into wild; steel peeled back
    covered over by kudzu.
    Spring wind only vivifies the voices
    of forgotten soldiers.
    (We are still here)

    And if there is ever snow
    in December, it won’t white out
    the Watermark Tower,
    the scorched history
    (fire, fire, fire)
    remains in the winter,
    looms in that single tall shell
    and will
    even if the watermark doesn’t.
    (Still here.)

    During Halloween,
    this town’s pumpkin pout
    stretches itself across the dark
    and a headless man rides neighborhood streets
    beating his memory into open mouths,
    the city breathing all year long.

  51. [sorry for the almost-double post - made minor changes, I like it a little better]

    “A Predictable Terror”

    It works a predictable terror
    every time I see it
    and I know all the behind the scenes
    of how George Romero made it

    how they couldn’t afford
    real paid actors
    or even color film stock

    and it’s in the public domain
    and you can download free copies
    from archive.com

    but something about those zombies
    plodding forward
    relentless
    unassailable
    irrational
    inevitable
    busting through that the walls
    and doors of that rickety old house

    headed for the cellar
    that doomed cul-de-sac,
    where everyone is hiding…

    I never watch it
    with all the lights
    turned
    off.

  52. “A Predictable Magic”

    It works a predictable magic
    every time I see it
    and I know all the behind the scenes
    of how George Romero made it

    how they couldn’t afford
    real paid actors
    or even color film stock

    and it’s in the public domain
    and you can download free copies
    from archive.com

    but something about those zombies
    plodding forward
    relentless
    unassailable
    irrational
    inevitable
    busting through that the walls
    and doors of that rickety old house

    headed for the cellar
    that doomed cul-de-sac,
    where everyone is hiding…

    I never watch it
    with all the lights
    turned
    off.

  53. Ann M says:

    Night Attic

    The scratching again
    of small claws in the eaves
    wakens me.
    I imagine the animals—
    raccoons, mice,
    or even rats—
    tearing through shoeboxes
    of letters, baby sweaters,
    and plastic-wrapped
    grandmother quilts.
    I lie still, waiting for
    someone to do something—
    a fierce rap on the floor boards,
    or a light shone into the darkness.
    I can’t bear to go near
    unseen wild creatures.
    and everyone else is sleeping,
    so the frantic tapping
    of destruction goes on,
    and family keepsakes
    and the world’s treasures
    crumble in
    a night of revelry
    and hunger.

  54. Behind the end-pointed rod iron fence, in the midst of night,
    A shadow flows, at first seeming to be part of the darkened night,
    Creeping near the bars, the shadow glides upon the midst, then
    Back toward the old tall house on a barren hill –
    The house’s wooden shutters hanging aloof and its door ajar –
    The shadow, its human figure stirring, floating before the house,
    Peers into me – her eyes bleeding.
    Creaking and banging befells of death from the house,
    Though no wind howls to provoke,
    A tantalizing call to entrap upon curiosity –
    Or courage, in fear’s innermost depth.
    The figure she streams, like the grim reaper reaping.
    The house behind her, tormented, its peaks forbidding.
    The dead, barren trees surrounding the hill,
    Their branches reaching to abduct within their relentless grip –
    As I realize, watching the gasping,
    Womanly midst – I am she.

    — I just wanted to comment how nice its been to have a place to work on poetry, and thank you all in this community for letting me be a part of it. I have seven children (most school-aged), and I’ve returned to college (focusing on writing) so I’ve been at a loss for time other than to post a poem, but how enriching it’s been to do so here. Sincerely, Justine

    • Justine, you’ll fine that if your poetry rests its feet at Poetic Asides, you have found a home. You will always return. Welcome home!

      • Thank you guys so much for your kindness, I truly, truly appreciate it! I was also wondering if I could ask you a question Walt, if you don’t mind (I’ve seen that you’re the Poet Laureate). I’ve wondered what your opinion is on when to use rhyme and when not to use rhyme in a poem, when does it sound forced or when does the poem flow with rhyme.

        • First off Justine, I held that honor in 2010 and relinquished proudly to Joseph Harker mid-year. He carries on magnificently. I may not be the guy to ask on rhyme. I use it (some say to extremes) on occasion. When called for by form it is an obvious thing. But my rhyme seems to be mostly internal which takes me in some rather broad tangents. IMO, rhyme rarely sounds forced if the nuance is right. Always with my Rhyming Dictionary nearby, I find the ability to placate both my love of rhyme and need to express a bit more dynamically. My rule of thumb. If it flows smoothly in my head, I do not consider it forced. But that’s just me.

          • Thank you so much! I feel that my rhyme sounds forced so I’m trying to focus on the flow, which is why I asked. Your words were very helpful, thank you so much for your help.

    • SaraV says:

      Welcome Justine–sainthood is just around the bend–7 children and college? I am in awe

  55. laurie kolp says:

    Over the Edge

    (He pushed her)
    over the edge she flew like a bird
    splattered guts on the pebbled sidewalk;
    her spirit rose above the dirt and muck.

    A musky mist haunted and taunted him
    pushing him over the edge to his death;
    together they drifted eternally.

  56. Bit of a banshee theme…

    Knock-na-shee

    been here three years (or thereabouts).
    i came to see the emerald isle in autumn, thinking rain,
    rain, all along the valley floors
    and guttered streets. and hiking, on the hillocks
    where the sky and land were all the same, this endless
    dun-dark green. someone was singing
    airs along the scarps: ballades of wars, lost loves,
    demises. full as silk, then shrill as steam,
    her voice was dolmen-echo, barrow-lure.
    i clambered up to find her, balanced on the rocks;
    cried out, your songs are beautiful. she thanked me, said,
    i can get carried away, with my laments. i asked,
    what shall you sing to me?
    she sighed, they’re all for you.

  57. Marie Elena says:

    WOW, WOW, WOW.

    (And I LOVE, “You’ve probably guessed the hand that now firmly shakes yours was not always mine.” )

    WOW.

  58. DanielAri says:

    An unnerving encounter

    “Once transplants became commonplace, became routine,
    no impediment remained to performing the process
    on oneself. Pleased to meet you. Frankenstein’s
    the name. Doctor Frankenstein. You’ve probably guessed
    the hand that now firmly shakes yours was not always mine.

    My groundskeeper, a former cowpoke and prize fighter, possessed
    musculature that was impressive, indeed.
    When he quite unexpectedly passed,
    I imagined a mutually beneficial arrangement. His cadaver agreed,
    you might say. His arm lives on, continues to serve me and to retain

    the strength and soul of his ephemeral seed.
    You felt it in my handclasp, I’m sure. You met him, too,
    just now. Sadly, the left hand would not accede
    motor control (cursed thing). But look! Mismatched, it’s true.
    My left belonged to a concert harpist. Female, yes.

    It was her dominant hand, so although in school,
    I was a righty, I now find myself ambidextrous
    as well as master of this hand’s delicacy. My sutures
    have developed into gestures both perfect and beauteous.
    See my ankle? The fine needlework

    scarcely left a scar. I’ll never suffer with as scabrous
    an attachment as my first shoulder. I’m an artist now.
    You’d almost think this was the leg I grew as a fetus.
    Realize you are standing before a crowd,
    all of us animated by a medical brain transplanted from the future.

    The procedure is costly, to be sure, but you learn to stop counting.
    Take my card in case I might assist you, someday, somehow.”

    DA

    • Marie Elena says:

      My response should have been here. Instead, it transpanted itself, below.

    • Domino says:

      This is brilliant! Love this idea and the story you built.

    • DanielAri says:

      Thanks Marie and Domino :)

      Worked this revision, toward a subtler reference and a more contemporary conversational style:

      Meeting the Doctor

      “Transplants are commonplace today, even routine,
      so no impediments remain to performing the process
      on oneself. Pleased to meet you. Doctor Ken Frank—Ken’s fine.
      Transplants. Symbiology. You’ve probably guessed
      the hand that now shakes yours was not always mine.

      My gardener, a former cowpoke and prize fighter, possessed
      musculature that was impressive, indeed.
      When he quite unexpectedly passed,
      I imagined a mutually beneficial arrangement. His cadaver agreed,
      you might say. His arm lives on, serves me and retains

      the strength and soul of his brawn and breed.
      You felt him in the handshake. You met him, too,
      just then. Sadly, the left hand would not accede
      motor control (damned thing). But look here! Mismatched, it’s true.
      My left hand belonged to a concert harpist. Female, yes.

      It was her dominant hand, so although in school,
      I was a righty, I now find myself ambidextrous—
      and master of this hand’s delicacy. My sutures
      have become gestures with the power and finesse
      of music. See my ankle? The fine needlework

      scarcely left a scar. I’ll never suffer with as scabrous
      an attachment as my first shoulder. I’m an artist now.
      You’d almost think this was the leg I myself grew as a fetus.
      Realize you are standing before a crowd,
      all of us animated by a medical brain ahead of its future.

      The procedure is costly, to be sure, but you learn to stop counting.
      Take my card in case I might help you out, someday, somehow.”

  59. Domino says:

    This is a little poem I wrote for an anthology that will be published this month. ^_^ I think it almost fits the prompt.

    Summer’s End

    Samhain is the ending and
    Beginning of the year.
    Take stock of our herds and grain
    And keep our family near.

    Light the sacred fires, friends,
    So we may walk between
    And purify ourselves this night,
    The night of Hallow’een.

    Take a flame from the bonfires,
    And light your hearths with these
    Set a place for the dead, you know,
    Our ancestors to please

    Light the sacred fires, friends,
    So we may walk between
    And purify ourselves this night,
    The night of Hallow’een.

    So carve the samhnag carefully
    And put near window panes
    To keep the wicked dead away
    And far from earthly ‘mesnes.

    Light the sacred fires, friends,
    So we may walk between
    And purify ourselves this night,
    The night of Hallow’een.

    Diana Terrill Clark

  60. Domino says:

    A Walk Alone at Night

    It starts with an itchy feeling
    between my shoulder-blades
    as if someone is watching me.

    It’s not as if the feeling fades,
    rather, it grows until the shades
    and spirits gather thick

    and so I spin around
    heart pounding
    keys in hand

    and nothing
    is there.

    And so I walk on trying not
    to freak out, telling myself
    it’s nothing,

    when it feels so much
    like something.

    Diana Terrill Clark

  61. In response to SaraV:

    BEYOND THE PAIL

    The guillotine should have a screen,
    or else the heads will sail.
    Not built for distance, nor for speed,
    when they go beyond the pail.

  62. SaraV says:

    Beyond the Pale

    Come and see the Sunshine State
    The beaches are fun, eats are great
    But wait!
    Five days and counting,
    Believe me I am
    The state’s moniker is a sham
    Socked in with fronts and even lows
    The sun’s kept from it’s daily shows
    Vitamin D’s at all time lows
    And all the locals that I see
    Are losing color, getting pasty
    It’s a ghoulish look, not at all pretty
    In fact, I’d say it’s downright spooky!

  63. Marie Elena says:

    Now, THAT was spooky. When I tried to post the above comment, a dialogue box came up that told me, “You are posting comments to quickly. Slow down.”

    ??? HA!

  64. Marie Elena says:

    LOL, Andrew! I don’t know which I like more … the sonnet, or the lead-in!

  65. Never trust a guy with an axe in a wood during a thunderstorm when you are in a group of underdressed college students whose car has broken down on a trip for spring break (a sonnet)

    I think we missed our turning back
    when lightning struck that giant tree.
    The girls all screamed hysterically
    but no one heard; the total lack
    of cell phone service put us smack
    in trouble’s way. Then suddenly,
    a shape appeared and wheezed, “Trust me!
    I know a good place up this track…”
    Perhaps we were a bit naïve
    to think that this abandoned hut
    was safe. And maybe we should not
    have been so quick to just believe
    in good. For now the doors are shut.
    We are alone. The walls are hot.

  66. The Black Lagoon produced the Creature,
    often seen in double-features
    with the bolt-necked Frankendude,
    as manners go, both rather rude.

    Lamont Cranston cast a Shadow,
    without light, as far as I know.
    Who knows in whose heart evil lurks?
    I hope this gumshoe catches these jerks.

    Consider the films of old Lon Chaney,
    black and white, and rather grainy.
    Many faces Chaney’d wear
    would give his fans a frightful scare.

    Clap for the Wolfman,
    no vegetarian,
    The more he got hairy,
    the more he got scary.

    Mummy, mummy,
    you’re no dummy.
    Quite Egyptian from the womb,
    Fright Egyptian from your tomb.

    They shot Freddie Kreuger
    with a German luger.
    But that attempt always fails,
    Just get the creep to cut his nails.

    And that Voorhees kid called Jason
    was always out there chasin’
    hot and horny, hormonal teens
    to chop them into smithereens.

    What the hell, Michael Myers?
    (Not SNL Michael Myers)
    The latter made a lot of money,
    what the former did was not so funny.

    Heaven save me from Christine,
    she drives me crazy; she’s so mean,
    Possessing one horrific flaw,
    my scary, scary Mother-in-Law.

  67. Marianv says:

    Walt

    At my driver’s test I’m going 3,6,7,3, and the lady doing the testing stops me & says “No, those are not numbers, they are letters.” So I, ask if I can put my glasses back on & Oh, yeah, those are letters….Would you believe I passed the test? My picture look terrible, but a drivers license is the only I.D. a lot of places take. No, I do NOT drive anymore.

    • Not a knock at any elder driver, Marian. I have battled numerous sleep disorders and have been known to dose behind the wheel myself from time to time. So it’s apparent I’m not the greatest driver either. We’re working on my sleep patterns. Unfortunately, they can’t fix aging. I hope I have the where-with-all to know when it’s time of give up the keys.

  68. Nancy J says:

    Spooky

    It’s breathing.
    It’s sniffing.
    I fear we’ll collide.
    Should I aim pepper spray?
    Should I run back inside?

    It’s scary.
    It’s creepy.
    It hides in the dark.
    It was there, now It isn’t.
    Did my shot miss its mark?

    Illusion.
    confusion.
    profusion of doubt.
    Did I see what I saw?
    Will I ever find out?

    It’s near me.
    It touched me.
    I’m going to die!
    Then a wet sloppy tongue.
    It’s my neighbor’s dog, Ty!

  69. THE ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES

    Dem dames is like…WOW!
    Old flames and yet somehow
    out for blood, dem no good…
    Dey got style and pizzazz,
    an’ dey has a way to render guys
    senseless. Unless dey’s stopped,
    dey’ll strike again and again.
    Dat my friend, is wat send chills.
    The looks of dem dames thrills.
    I hopes someone please, puts the squeeze
    on dese tomatoes wat kills.
    I hears deys taking volunteers!

  70. barbara_y says:

    Flickering Images

    A season grew strange 
    while you watched the movie.
    The grand, wild warm and the first drops 
    you left outside, ended.  
    Now, wearing eerie horror 
    of an ordinary mind lost in graytone worlds, 
    you join a chill stillness
    where curls of fog become 
    stone borders to your sight.
    The thought of home is small, and dark;
    it hides behind the trees that line your headlights.
    And while the world was changing, 
    while you were in the darkness, 
    you learned a need to fear shadows
    shallow streams, and narrow, fog-wrapped bridges.

  71. RJ Clarken says:

    Dang it! Words ran together in the second line. Blah!

    Here is the corrected version (hopefully – and with apologies!):

    Gotta Stake in this Clerihew…

    Bela Lugosi,
    was an ‘EEEK! virtuosi
    at putting the bite
    on a spooky night’s fright.

    ###

  72. RJ Clarken says:

    Gotta Stake in this Clerihew…

    Bela Lugosi,
    was an ‘EEEK!virtuosi
    at putting the bite
    on a spooky night’s fright.

    ###

    (I’m in a Clerihew state of mind today, thanks to Walt and Marie over at Poetic Bloomings!)

  73. DEAD SET AGAINST DRIVING

    Sitting in on a Safe Driving Course
    at a local Senior Center. I hold the door –
    a gentleman with a walker losing
    his race with mollasses. Glasses
    thicker that concrete and feet
    that never leave the pavement.
    God love this guy. But why
    is he bypassing the dining hall?
    The community room down a stall?
    To the office for advice? Stopping there
    would have been nice. But there
    he leads me to the space
    which is why I’m in this place.
    He’s here of course to take the course.
    Glad this codger’s still alive,
    but scared to death that he still drives.

  74. Marie Elena says:

    It’s a Jungle Out There

    Talk about “spooky,”
    Now this is plain kooky:
    If you should be drivin’
    On ’75, ‘n
    A lion or tiger you see,
    You better steer clear, ‘n
    You better be fearin’!
    Call 911, A.S.A.P!

    (Goofy poem, but, unfortunately, based on a true and very sad story here in Ohio. http://www.buckeyecablesystem.net/news/read.php?rip_id=%3CD9QF8PEO0%40news.ap.org%3E&ps=1011 )

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