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    2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 3

    Categories: 2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, Poetry Prompts, Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides Blog, What's New.

    Today’s prompt comes from Joshua Gray.

    Here’s Joshua’s prompt: Write a poem that scares you. It could be a scary movie or ghost story poem. It could be a poem about a secret in your past. It could be a poem about your worst fear. It just needs to bring up a scary/fearful/uncomfortable emotion as you write.

    Robert’s attempt at a scary poem:

    “Attack of the Critics”

    They descended upon the restaurants first
    critiquing each soup and dessert. Waiters
    ran for cover before they bum-rushed all
    the theaters. From Shakespeare to Miller,
    directors quaked with fear. And then, they
    turned their attention to books, movies,
    even television shows. Nothing was safe.
    The critics became mothers, husbands,
    and teachers. The critics criticized other
    critics. Eventually, everything became
    a critique of a critique of a critique.


    Thanks to Joshua for the prompt. Click here to learn more about him.

    If you’d like to share a prompt, send me an e-mail at robert.brewer@fwmedia.com with the subject line: November Prompt. There are still slots available.

    As far as the commenting, I realize many people are having trouble getting their comments to post the first (or twentieth) time. I apologize for this problem, and our tech team is aware of it. However, I think we’ve always had commenting problems during challenges–even on other blog platforms. So yeah, I’m extremely sorry if you’re having problems. Even if you can’t comment during the month, you are allowed to submit a chapbook manuscript for that part of the challenge (just in case you’re wondering).


    Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer


    Publish your poetry…

    …with the Publish Your Poetry kit. This kit includes the 2013 Poet’s Market, How Do I Publish My Poetry pdf, and Poetry – Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript pdf.

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    About Robert Lee Brewer

    Senior Content Editor, Writer's Digest Community.

    169 Responses to 2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 3

    1. Juanita Lewison-Snyder says:

      The SIDS Tango
      by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

      For weeks now
      she has sat in the dark keeping watch,
      fearing yet another to be taken away
      before parenthood has a chance to vine
      and grow petals for good this time –
      that dangerous age between birth and a year.
      Ten perfect fingers
      ten perfect toes
      a tiny cherubic face matched only by
      a precious mop of golden curls.

      However, this time
      she is ready for the gauntlet
      down the Valley of Death
      with round-the-clock nurses
      armed with the latest technology,
      twin power grandmothers, and most especially
      an anxiety-ridden stay-at-home-husband
      ready to fall on his sword if need be.
      House blessings and Majick aside,
      she leaves nothing to chance.

      You must understand
      that lives touched by Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
      are hollow and haunted at best.
      Years later she can still remember
      the suckle and smell of each one,
      as well as the echoes each passing left.
      Pain and Guilt, Loss and Grief
      all have to embrace it,
      process it, then like Moses
      set the basket among the river reeds
      and just let go.

      But not today –
      today she must armor up for the gauntlet.

      © 2012 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    2. ivywriter says:

      scary moments

      last week

      I watched Poltergeist on Halloween

      that classic scary movie

      from the 80s

      with the pre-paranormal-esque

      somewhat believable

      story line

      about houses built

      on top of the graves

      of long lost relatives

      who returned to haunt the present

      the shady real estate brokers

      and the revenge of the underdog

      a throwback of memories

      considering the recession

      houses in foreclosure

      families in disarray

      estate sales

      and somehow trendsetters

      manage to make downsizing

      to apartment living

      chic and cool again

      scary movies

      morphing into real life

      make zombies and serial killers

      look like kindergarten

      c) Kellea Tibbs and march thirty one, 2012. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of original march thirty one material without express and written permission from the author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

    3. Juanita Lewison-Snyder says:

      I love poems that tell a story….this one with just the right amount of fear and intrepidation. Kudos, well done!

    4. chrsye says:

      And the chain links clinking on their “leashes”, not leases. = (

    5. chrsye says:


      Flash lights like hungry eyes searching
      Licking every inch of ground,
      Sticks swaying through the fields,
      Probing at each foot fall
      Dogs panting, nose to the ground
      Boots swishing through the tall grass,
      And the chain links clinking on their leases
      Accompany the sound of tense breathing
      With a deafening jingling,
      They shout his name,
      Chests squeezing tighter
      Each time there’s no answer
      He’s only three,
      And they’ve already found
      His mother.

    6. foodpoet says:

      try three

      okay try two still trying to pen a dream but each time I tried I got a robo call so this came out instead:

      Election Day Blues

      Every evening blinking
      Lights on the answering machine.
      Call shilling points of view.
      Tonight 14.
      I shudder and hit delete.
      Only time wins in bone election runes.
      Night after night call after call.

      Daring to hope this call will take me
      Away only to hear
      Yet another shrill spitter saying elect me.

      Buy me, buy this lie.
      Lie building on lie
      Until you hide from
      Even more politics, and they
      Say Halloween is scary?

    7. JRSimmang says:

      That’s what the newspaper will read.
      It’s not enough that the tears just
      find themselves drifting down her cheeks.
      Her movements aren’t hers anymore.
      Her breaths are just as shallow
      as the grave she has to dig.
      It was a sunny day.
      Talk about unattended.
      He just wanted to see the dogs closer.
      She sits in her rocking chair,
      staring out the window
      where the sill is just as wide
      as the railing.
      He’d sat there before.
      He’d sat there hundreds of times before
      while she read books
      upon books.
      He laughed more then.
      He fell from the railing.
      Plain and simple.
      There’s no way to dress it up all
      pretty and bright.
      No one to catch him.
      No one to hold him.
      No one to give him wings.
      She sits.
      She rocks.

    8. shellaysm says:

      “Chained Throne” (Kyrielle poem)

      Fear’s unrelenting grip stifles
      Each step forward into unknown
      Loss, failure, rejection and pain
      Life held captive on a chained throne

      Resisting potential, waiting
      Scared hope fades, a song without tone
      Longing to dance on the trapeze
      Life held captive on a chained throne

    9. sonja j says:

      Youd Original Face

      What if it is horrible? What
      if, when you look, without
      thinking of good or evil,
      when you picture who you
      were before your parents
      were even born, before they
      laid their damages on your
      chest like stones upon a door,
      you find that you were already
      a monster? What will you do
      if the face staring back at you
      is already slick with anger
      and twisted, so you cannot
      even blame them for your
      broken ribs?


      She has no fear
      Speaking her truths to those in pain
      Reaching inward for words to help, not harm

      She has no need to
      Play the naked game to find
      Courage to speak before a crowd

      She delegates with ease
      Even to the abrasive

      She embraces the parenthetical
      Sees nuances in all
      Loves unconditionally

      But trembles at best
      Refuses at worst
      To walk into room of strangers
      To play the socialization game

      And reverts to third person to share this truth….

    11. Never Alone

      In this realm
      Of unnatural darkness,
      Caution is demanded.
      I know I am not alone.
      I hear footsteps,
      Perhaps a spectral silhouette
      In search of retribution
      For the sins of the past,
      Unseen voices
      Swirling around me
      In guttural whispers,
      The frigid breath
      Of undetected demons
      Chilling my bones.
      I see eyes glowing
      In the pitch black,
      Always watching me,
      A solitary soul
      Caught in evil’s sight.

    12. tunesmiff says:

      (c) – G. Smith
      Will I see you,
      On that one fine morn,
      When we all fly away,
      When Gabriel blows his horn?
      Will I see you,
      When they count the heavenly host?
      That’s the one thing in this old world,
      That truly scares me the most.

      Will I see you,
      When I walk those golden streets?
      Will I see you?
      It will make my joy complete.
      Will I see you,
      As we gather ’round the throne?
      What scares me the most is that
      You’ll be left alone.

      Did I do all should?
      Did I do enough?
      Did I do all I could,
      To show His grace and His love?

      Will I see you,
      When we meet Him in the air?
      Will I see you?
      That’s my hope and my prayer.
      Will I see you?
      It’s not for me to say,
      And that’s what scares me most
      Almost every single day.

    13. Gladiator

      Twelve days before
      we went to Italy, my father died
      at a restaurant.

      He’d felt good that day.
      We thought the procedure
      to free up a heart valve
      from the scar tissue jamming it,
      had been a perfect success.
      Blood was flowing
      where needed, rich,
      and his heart had remained
      in rhythm. He’d lost
      that sickly white pallor
      of anemia. He was pink.

      He went to the register.
      He pulled out his wallet.
      He fell flat out onto to the floor. Three nurses,
      who were eating there too, ran up
      to help. An ambulance was called.
      But he was taken too quickly.

      We all spoke at the funeral.
      He’d been
      a soldier, a priest;
      a generous warrior
      of faith and reason.
      I read a poem,
      that I’d read to him only
      a short week before,
      as he lay in a hospital bed.
      It was about
      how life
      can become a prayer.

      I told the crowd
      of family and friends
      how he’d inspired me
      with his love
      of discovery; how his eyes
      would light up
      and his voice would betray
      true delight
      when he talked of the genius
      of Van Gogh;
      or the things we could learn
      from isolated clumps
      of aborigines;
      or how it was that
      could balance the clock-
      work of everything
      on the frailest edges of thought.

      But there was more: He knew
      that most of us do
      whatever we do. Because we feel
      we have to. We are
      who we are. We act as we act.
      We fear what we fear. We hate
      what we hate. And yes,
      we love
      who and what we love;
      but all within self-imposed

      Then there are those
      whose lives are beacons
      beyond the borders of self. My father
      was a man like that.

      So we went to Italy anyway,
      I swore I would do
      something in his honor:

      I gave coins to some beggars; I lit
      a candle one morning in a church:
      Santa Maria degli Angeli;
      I said a prayer from the top
      of the dome on St. Peter’s.

      But when I stood on the deck
      of the Colosseum,
      and pondered the legions
      of gladiators and Christians,
      cut down by sword,
      mauled by tigers,
      drug to their deaths
      by chariot,
      I knew that this arena
      was one of piercing symmetry
      - nearly redeemed
      by the beauty of its rings
      and arches, rising
      from a bedrock of death -
      but more by its fight to become
      a greater symbol of spirit.

      It did not seem strange,
      no, not in the least,
      to say goodbye to him here.

    14. seingraham says:


      when scramble
      comes up against wrath

      an eternal swelling, a shore

      charming the depths
      of tumultuous tangles

      searching for the key
      of upbeat in the sea of rotten

      before reason flees
      enabling insane a toehold

      swallow the fear

    15. jlcooper says:

      A Nigthmare

      I lie awake at night
      Alone, frightened
      Every sound magnified in my mind
      Why did I watch that movie?
      Dogs barking in the distance
      Growling, yelping
      Who is out there lurking in the darkness
      Looking for another life to end?
      Unknown shadows outside my window
      Looming, stalking
      Tapping on the glass behind the curtain
      Is the latch on the window locked?
      Every minute seems like hours
      Crawling, stalling
      As if time had no reason to move
      Will this breath be my last?

    16. The Wired Journal says:

      I know that somewhere deep in me
      A Poet just might hide in thee
      But a poem a day though frightens me
      Deadlines create such animosity
      Between the writer and poet whom hide in me

      Ten pages alone for this P. A. D three
      It frightens the bee-gibe’s right out of me
      Now time to edit and cut this and that
      And create another work of art
      But prose of Mellifluous my poems are not

    17. What Scares Me

      Not werewolves or vampires,
      ghosts or shambling mummies.
      or even Frankenstein’s monster.

      What scares me is that more people seem
      to believe we’ll have a zombie apocalypse
      then believe in global warming.

      If you watched the superstorm forming
      on all that TV weather radar
      and especially, if you lived through it,
      how could you not be scared?

      A zombie can be taken out with a shot
      to the head. But how can we take down
      this other monster, very real,
      getting more ferocious by the day?

    18. po says:

      Who’s Afraid of Dying

      I died once.
      Blood pressure 0 over 0.
      It was pleasant.
      A velvet curtain
      envelopes you
      and closes worry
      pain and fear.
      Dying is easy.
      What really scares
      me is living.

    19. PSC in CT says:

      Big Brother

      “I’m your big brother”, he boasted
      marveling at the tight clasp of diminutive
      fist squeezing his single finger.
      I’ll always protect you”, his pledge,
      whispered into tiny ear, and year after year
      that promise unbroken.
      Fearless in the face of nightmares,
      monsters in the dark, playground bullies,
      false friends, heartbreaks, illnesses, lost love.
      Persisting today, tired eyes telegraphing courage,
      sparking strength, seeking to ease the fear
      that this day might be his last.

    20. Yolee says:

      On a Cooling November Evening

      Friday evening I walked towards my crimson door,
      key flanked between my sleepy index finger
      and thumb. I was anxious to feel my household’s
      welcome with intermingling silence and Luke’s
      woof. I would bathe away deadlines that pressed
      against my temple, shoulders and neck. Rrrrng.
      Papi’s number appeared on my cell phone. As
      usual, Mami’s voice on the other end. “Hola”
      “Are you still at the office, hija?” “No, Mami,
      I’m about to walk inside the house.”

      “Your father.”
      “He’s been having chest pains again.”

      Office politics scattered like thieves
      whose getaway vehicle is the same dark
      night that falls upon good people
      afraid of the road they cannot see.

    21. Karen31 says:

      Wow, this was a hard prompt. My poem is terribly raw, but I wanted to get it posted. Needs a ton of work, sorry.

      Song of the Sorrowing Stroke

      My father sat down at his job.
      He felt the stroke in his brain
      and he knew he’d need help
      to stand up again. He called out
      to his line mate, he called ‘Joe,’

      but his lips and tongue failed.
      Joe heard my father sing
      like Bing Crosby: “Buh, buh, buh -”
      and he laughed, because his buddy
      often joked around or sang. “Hey, Johnny,

      get up and sing your ass over here,”
      Joe called. “It ain’t break time yet.”
      He turned back to his work. “Slacker.”
      And many precious minutes ran by before
      anyone saw the trouble Johnny was in.

      For seven years my father crooned
      the song of the sorrowing stroke.
      He fought to live with joy:
      he limped and laughed and loved
      but the song was all the voice he had.

    22. Leo says:

      With each fallen dream,
      I am scared to try again,
      Scared to find the pain;
      My heart is full of scars,
      How to reach for the stars?
      Each time I fail to fly,
      I fail a dream in her eyes,
      yet I don’t pay the price;
      as far as they now seem,
      how long flies this dream?
      how far does hope gleam?

      (I know I’m late, but didn’t want to make it never)

    23. Natalija says:


      That one would waste time
      with issues so trivial
      such as straps on a top
      baffles my mind

      That one would see
      a child’s innocent hug
      as something so wrong
      gives no comfort to me

      That one would be trusted
      to guide my child’s future
      when her own is in doubt
      makes me a bit disgusted

      Some are good I agree
      they nurture and cherish
      they’re loving and warm

      Some are scary
      so cold and distant
      removed from emotions

      Guide them
      love them
      teach them
      that is your job.

    24. PowerUnit says:

      [14th posting attempt]

      It’s bad enough
      Not recognizing the words spoken by inanimate objects
      Signs everywhere, forms, printed stuff
      I see them where most people don’t
      They pay attention to what they know
      Batteries, toothpaste, and the bottoms of coffee mugs

      I can live with people knowing, they all do
      I can’t hide the revealed
      I can’t stuff my cat back in his bag
      What bothers me though, what I avoid
      Why I stay away from people who want to help me
      Is whenever I try to say the words
      When I try to make my mouth work like those letters
      When I try so very hard to make myself look like anyone else
      I sound like a fool, a retard, a loser

    25. so many beautiful poems. I’ll do my best and try and comment below each, whenever not possible, I’ll visit blogs. Now, a bit late (as usual in the weekend with me) here is my poem:
      What is that coldness I feel?
      Is it the frost outside?
      Or the empty empire of anger,
      tapping bony fingers
      to get access and reap
      what is left inside?

    26. ina says:


      In the first video,
      Danny’s track suit was disheveled
      dirty and has face was beaten.
      Despite the bruiser and the black eye
      he was still the gawky charming
      guy I knew from college.
      His pregnant wife was
      watching the unscreened last
      video, in which they made him say
      “I am a Jew” before they slit his throat.
      Later, the authorities who recovered his
      body said the knife had scraped his backbone.
      It scares me that they
      could kill a man who had an
      impish crooked smile,
      long fingers for his violin,
      a man who loved the corners
      of humanity, curious and unafraid -
      the kind of man it seems likely
      that my son will become.

    27. Domino says:

      Harem Scarem

      On those mornings when I have a bit of
      trouble with my hair, and I am fussing
      and complaining and am completely un-
      happy, those are the mornings when my big
      paluka of a husband will stroll to
      the bathroom mirror, slap his (bald) head, and
      shriek, “It’s Gone! All gone!!”

    28. It had not
      taken form
      and remained
      a threat
      without outline
      in thin light
      between night
      and dawn.
      Some sensed
      it, an off scent
      in the air
      an odd buzz
      in the near
      and their efforts
      to reason
      with their pounding
      hearts were
      driving them
      mad. It was
      not easy
      as once
      it had been
      and something
      was coming

    29. How Fear Functions at My House

      Cripes can hardly spell it
      Thumb through Yellow Pages filled with doodles
      Before resorting to Google

      Dr. Ogden…Dr. Nash…Dr. Isabel…
      Here’s one I know rather well.
      Hello, I’d like an appoint—
      Oh, those answering machines, nose outta joint

      I’d leave a message, but there wasn’t any beep
      at the end of the greeting, no, not a peep
      Now my husband stands in front of me, red faced
      What’s he lost this time or misplaced?

      His mouth moves, his lips waggle
      I suspect he’s trying to haggle
      What? What? Speak louder, I can’t hear you
      A near-by otolaryngologist? I’ve no clue

    30. Andy Brackett says:

      Hanging from it’s silvery thread
      It softly sways above my head
      Slowly dropping from it’s web
      It fills my body full of dread.

      Little spider, you scare me so
      I’m sure that you don’t mean to though
      I hope that you won’t be my foe
      But do implore that you should go

      I know you’re only catching flies
      I’ve seen this with my own two eyes
      But surely you must realize
      That you and are not allies

      Friends I know we’ll never be
      It creates too much anxiety
      So you be you, and I’ll be me
      Just go away and set me free

    31. Mike says:

      Zombie Raccoons

      Driving home after midnight, I see them.
      Rising from storm sewers, blue eyes blazing,
      They shamble down back alleys and prowl curbsides,
      Overwhelming garbage cans and feasting on rubbish.
      Beware the attack of the Zombie Raccoons.

    32. joann555 says:


      Asleep, you hold my heart, my life in every breath you breathe.
      The sounds of darkness outside that window keep me from sleep.
      When will you ever see the real me?

      Awake, you push me away, my hopes my dreams out of reach.
      The emptiness echoes through this lonely house.
      Deep inside, the part of me you don’t know cries.

      Once, your gentle whispers were mistaken for love.
      A passion that faded with the sparkle in your eye.
      All I wanted was you, all you wanted was something else.

      Yesterday, there was bliss in my ignorance.
      The bitter truth, staring me down in that mirror today.
      Whispers for some else, softly, gently trailing in the distance.

    33. claudsy says:

      Just a bit of fun with this personal phobia.


      They wobbles and sway;
      Thought others swear they stay
      Right in their place
      And never do an about face,
      But I always believe
      Something you conceive
      As safe may be lulling
      One vulnerable to falling
      Into a false sense of security,
      Given no physical surety,
      When balance issues distort
      And dizziness does cavort
      To make me shaky and fearful or
      Trepidatious and tearful.
      Ladders, stairs and bleachers are banes
      When issues of height do refrain.

    34. (My goal this month is to use all song or film titles as titles/inspiration … Call it my “challenge inside the challenge”) :)

      “Hazy shade of winter”

      He makes them with his hands.
      He shapes them and shames them,
      drizzles them with water that cleaves
      to their boneless frames.

      He makes them watch.
      Watch as he builds them up
      and knocks them down.
      Watch as he forms them
      where the shadow meets the sun.

      Come noontime tomorrow
      they will be gone. Nobody knows.
      But they have known
      the workings of his hands.

    35. jared davidavich says:

      Choice No More

      These next steps,
      Adolescence at my back,
      Set the course for my future,
      But looking further,
      No more than bare eyes allow,
      There is a path,
      Already worn
      With the footfalls and dreams-
      To heavy a burden
      for the journey ahead-
      Of the many before me,
      Who gave in too early,
      And the ashes of those
      Who never gave in at all.
      What of choice lies ahead
      When the end comes,
      Swiftly or slowly,
      With the same regrets,
      And without hope.

    36. mapoet says:

      Show Time

      I always wanted to watch
      the shows with my siblings.
      Rod would take us
      to another dimension.
      Boris promised a
      Thriller each week.
      Alfred said,
      “Good evening,”
      and his attempt to frighten
      went off with out a hitch.
      When the shows were over,
      I was glad I shared a room
      with my sister.


      The Grim Reaper is in the rear view
      as this year speeds toward another end.
      And if Nostradamus’ words are true,
      disaster awaits around the bend.
      I don’t obsess over Madame Fates’ touch,
      I laugh awkwardly and say “You don’t scare me…much!”

      And when I hear, “You don’t scare me…much”
      I think I’m missing the whole view.
      My knees knock – my hands quake and a touch
      of sweat comes weeping through. It never ends,
      my machismo melts and I feel like I have the “bends”.
      Decompression will not do, suck it up and burst on through.

      I won’t say nothing fazes me; I can get spooked it’s true,
      there’s not a lot that scares me…much,
      but I have noticed certain trends.
      A penthouse with a vertigo view?
      A swarm of birds that never ends?
      A cadaver with an ice cold touch

      all have their ways to stir my nerves (especially the ice cold touch).
      I suppose we all have our foibles, so true
      and my nervousness might meet its end.
      But that’s not the thing that scares me…much,
      when I face my fears and bring them into view,
      their hold o’er me will break, not bend.

      So I’ll be hell bent
      …on deflecting Freddie Kreuger’s touch,
      … veer my eye from a treacherous view,
      Macabre tales that are not true
      certainly don’t scare me…much,
      but I’ll hold my breath right to the end.

      So listen, heed my story friend,
      and send your worries ‘round the bend.
      Do not let things to scare you… much,
      Handle life with a caring touch.
      Trust in your reality; it’s true.
      And keep those terrors out of view.

      For in the final view, at the very end,
      if you bend this statement to make it true
      you’ll never fear the reaper’s touch… much!

    38. pmwanken says:

      (a shadorma)

      “I’m afraid,”
      she whispers into
      the darkness–
      that deep pit
      of depression that has sucked
      far too many years.

      P. Wanken

    39. This is my demon…

      Stage Fright

      My body betrays me, I forget the words.
      I’m booed and bottled off the stage.
      My 9-to-5 is all that’s left.

      I tell myself: You’re a darn good poet!
      Once up on stage, wouldn’t you know it?
      My body betrays me, I forget the words.

      I bow my head in utter defeat.
      Rotten tomatoes land at my feet.
      I’m booed and bottled off the stage.

      My courage armor now wearing thin.
      The stench of failure slowly creeps in.
      My 9-to-5 is all that’s left.

      • Revised…

        Stage Fright

        My body betrays me, I forget the words.
        I’m booed and bottled off the stage.
        My 9-to-5 is all that’s left.

        I tell myself: You’re a darn good poet!
        Once up on stage, wouldn’t you know it?
        My body betrays me, I forget the words.

        I bow my head in utter defeat.
        Rotten tomatoes land at my feet.
        I’m booed and bottled off the stage.

        My courage armor now wearing thin.
        The stench of failure slowly seeps in.
        My 9-to-5 is all that’s left.

    40. For some reason, I had trouble with this one. Ugh.
      Yours are all so scary! Good work, everyone!

      Old School

      Scary thing was the teacher
      wore a tight bun every day and had

      the class chomp octopus, charged one
      girl with planting tacks on her chair

      while the guilty party snickered
      in the back of the room.

      Scary thing was the flowery fragrance
      she doused herself with before entering

      room and rules of foreign language,
      scary she held a stick in her hand

      and wasn’t afraid to use it
      on hands of the half-grown.

      Scariest of all was when pupils
      were freed from her clutches

      at the end of the year, not one
      could recall what they had been

      taught, scary teacher’s ways forever
      imprinted in their heads instead.

    41. Marjory MT says:

      What is it pulls folk
      toward the things that are scary,
      haunted, daft, gory?

    42. Poetic Asides November Challenge – Day 3
      Write a poem that scares you

      Issues of Control

      How much of your life
      can you truly control?
      There are no pills
      to swallow,
      no needles
      filled with sera,
      no psychiatrists
      with all the answers
      no cures
      for every disease.

      Try to slow my race car
      mind, take the speed
      down, so that I will not
      smack into
      unseen maladies,
      thought catastrophes
      that may or may not
      wait down roads
      of sabotage.

      At times the terrors
      taunt me, making me unable
      to enjoy now, revel
      in those pleasantries
      I can control.

    43. posmic says:


      One day, I will solidify like butter;
      it will be, at last, too late to change.
      I will be kept in a refrigerated room,
      behind glass. Tour groups will come
      to look at me; I will be an example of
      poor diet, inactivity. The wages of sin.
      Children who beg for corn dogs will be

      asked, Do you want to be like the
      Butter Lady? No one will know that
      my ears still work, and my brain,
      which will strain through creamy
      sludge to instruct rigid limbs
      to punch, kick, smash the glass,
      let the warm, kind air come in.

    44. RJ Clarken says:


      Heck, there is nothing scarier;
      yeah, nothing makes me warier
      than finding words which are too long.
      Dear Lexicon – they don’t belong!

      I don’t get it. Hostility!
      ‘Though wordies glance at me sidelong,
      Dear Lexicon – they don’t belong!

      A word to throw beneath the bus!
      Syllabics should not string along.
      Dear Lexicon – they don’t belong!

      is a term that should be hated,
      feared and well, it’s just categorematically wrong!
      Dear Lexicon – they don’t belong!


    45. Misky says:


      These dark days called living,
      forlorn inside a vascular
      These dark days of splintered words
      battered, torn thoughts and ripped limbs
      left for dead.
      These dark days are no stroke of luck –
      None such.
      These dark days there’s no caress –
      Not much.
      No, not this one, this stroke strikes
      your senses numb.
      Light lacks brightness -
      Touch has lost its feel, and you’re
      locked-in here forever,
      deep in echoes of pitched silence.
      Lost inside your head.

    46. DanielAri says:

      “Neighborhood watch”

      So far it’s always been a cat
      when I snap shaken from deep dream
      rasping the question, “What was that?”
      and the motion detector’s beam
      has triggered the lights at the gate.

      At the last ring of the gate chime
      I sigh, “Damn cats,” and tuck back in
      looking for the onramp to dream,
      but it’s hijacked. This is Richmond
      with its distant pops of report,

      echoes of gun punctuation
      after the whistle of night freight.
      Town statistics have struck again.
      Next day the email tree lights up.
      What is it going to be this time?

      We’re on a good black. We’re all right,
      but damn city cats stir the nights.

    47. aviseuss says:

      Day 3: Fear


      The sky darkens, hot rain falls
      It’s dark out, but there’s nowhere to hide
      Oceans boil and forests burn
      Noxious air permeates
      Rotting flesh poisons
      It’s too late for a sinner’s prayer
      The master clock has ticked its last tock
      The heavens split and we fall to the ground
      I thought I wouldn’t be here, to hear that trumpet sound

    48. A Rush of Blood

      A sound in the night …
      you awake
      your heart is pounding
      you listen
      barely breathing
      you wait
      A sound in the night…

      Did a door just close?
      to hear
      you cock your head
      your heart
      picks up the tempo
      you watch
      Did a door just close?

      Footsteps are coming closer.
      oh my God
      you are going to die
      eyes close
      eyes pop back open
      covers clutched
      Footsteps are coming closer.

      A sound in the night,
      footsteps coming closer…
      a door closes.

    49. Ann M says:

      Because she had dreamed
      that she’d die in a car crash,
      she always wore a seatbelt,
      long before it was the law,
      in the ’65 Plymouth wagon,
      her mother at the wheel,
      driving the back roads
      of the Connecticut seaside town
      where there weren’t sidewalks
      or bicyclists, just smooth pavement
      between the trees.
      One year, she taught herself French
      and read Sartre and wrote
      poems by hand in pencil;
      and that summer they drove to Maine,
      a long trip up the turnpike,
      stopping once for ice cream
      before the road narrowed
      at the ocean’s edge,
      with turns and ledges
      which caused her to close her eyes,
      imagining the fall,
      loosening the belt,
      the water rising over.

    50. barbarab says:


      Butterflies in my stomach, shakiness in my knees
      Heart pounding in my chest, my fists in a tight squeeze
      A cottonmouth flooding with words that seem to freeze
      Adrenaline rushing through my veins and arteries

      Fear of losing control, fear of impending doom
      Fear of heights, fear of spaces with no wiggle room
      Fear of white coats and medicine I must consume
      Fear of death, fear of being buried in a tomb

      Panic during the day light, terrors in the night
      I must not flee but stand up to my fears and fight
      If I combat fears, win the war against my fright
      I know that once again my life will be all right

    51. Jane Shlensky says:

      What Time Takes

      I’ve already seen some fears realized—
      loss of memory, of self,
      disease robbing a body of futures, of peace, of joy,
      the ends of lines, the absence of home,
      possibility jerked away like a bauble,
      love frittered away like spare change.

      I know already searching and not finding,
      loneliness that has a body of its own,
      grinding pain that nothing relieves,
      sleeplessness so numbing that death is appealing,
      betrayal, heart-hurt, intentional meanness,
      the devastation left in the wake of cruelty.

      I don’t fear your death or my own—
      that too is inevitable and heart-breaking.
      Storms, floods, mudslides, fires, long falls,
      crashes, cancers, bites, stings, and maulings
      jar my mind, knowing they exist in the world.
      I don’t want them, but I don’t fear them.

      Crazy violent people have great scare potential,
      the ones who won’t respond to pie and coffee
      or conversations or kindness, who look at me
      and see another victim or number.
      Such a one can hurt me and I know it.
      I don’t think about it.

      But more and more, I’m afraid of time,
      that its passage will erode my being—
      my courage, conviction, love, faith and hope,
      that time will pass unused and unnoticed,
      no meaning made, no joy revealed,
      no words discovered to describe it.

      I care no more for heaven or hell
      than for place names on some ancient map,
      but more and more, I fear wasting life,
      that one day I’ll realize I am ungrateful
      for even the worst things that are mine,
      that time has taken everything but
      living in vain.

    52. julie e. says:


      and I’m trying to touch the ground but I can’t
      touch the ground and there’s a space I cannot
      breach it’s just air but I can’t quite seem to reach
      and I’m afraid to go out of the house will I just
      f l o a t a w a y with only sky overhead

      you were my gravity

    53. Casey says:

      (Prompt:write of something Fearful. Man’s Inhumanity to Man? Brandon and Conner, age 2 and 4, died because of this. Their “would-be rescuer” was interviewed today. He stated he was not properly dressed to go out in the storm that night!)

      “A Ballad for Brandon and Conner”

      The raging wind had damned her home that night.
      She must take steps to save her children, too.
      She quickly gathers up her boys with fright
      and stumbles out her door; what can she do?

      A dang’rous drive; she seeks a shelter strong
      but then, headlong, the car falls in a ditch.
      She clings to branch of fallen tree ‘ere long
      and clings to children then, the wind would pitch!

      She bangs upon his door and cries with fear!
      The wind has eaten up her darling boys.
      She cries for him inside who will not hear;
      this hardened heart of man who gives no joy.

      How could I help, said he, “I had no shoes.
      She was to blame; it was her choice to choose!”

    54. julie e. says:

      Great. i’ve just finished reading all the poems, and now i have several more fears in my brain….


    55. sherwette says:

      They really never told you.
      You never knew when you were young.
      That this day when you grow up is the day when little by little the angel in you diminishes and so the demon in you emerges.
      They never told you the mistakes you will make you will never be able to erase
      It’s permanent. It’s done and no eraser will make it undone.
      They never told you, the smile; how often you draw it is how often you will win.
      You learn about the screams. You learn about the tears.
      This is how you will get mommy’s hug.
      This how you will get your stuff.
      I know. I know. At first, it was a bluff.
      Then it gets tough.
      You learn to scream alone. You learn to tone it down and the tears will remain only your own.
      How awful you will feel? You are the victim of self.
      The more gloom and doom, that’s the clarity of life.
      That’s what you think. That’s what they said. That’s what they keep saying.
      “Welcome to the real world”, a greeting you will get.
      They never taught about the laugh, the half arched smile on your face; how powerful it is.
      They never taught us how to make the whole world a different round.
      Until it’s late, then we start to learn and sometimes we don’t even learn how to turn it around.
      How to make the angel in us emerges and the demon diminishes?
      They never taught us.

    56. julie e. says:


      I’d like to think I’m merely practical and that
      it’s wise to wear a Flotation Device when
      in a boat that is sitting on a large body
      of water that wants to pull me
      down grab me with its
      slimy fingers and
      Y A N K me
      to the

    57. Day 3
      Prompt: Scared emotions


      I breathe my last.
      Time ends.
      I have not done all I could.
      I have not used up my gifts.
      I have not given all myself
      to Him and to people.
      I have not fought my best the good fight,
      not finished the race.
      I will kneel, ashamed, before Him.
      This scares me,
      but does it scare me enough
      to incite change?

    58. These poems are haunting. I feel challenged to come up with my own sacredness.

    59. thin mist
      counting the hours
      until dawn

    60. RJ Clarken says:

      Collateral Damages

      Objectives unilateral
      with damages collateral.
      This scares me. Where’s our voice, our soul?
      Reduced to numbers. No control.

      What scares me is a shortage of
      compassion, caring, kindness, love.
      Rhetorical? Then what’s our role?
      Reduced to numbers. No control.

      I lie awake in bed at night.
      Too many things now give me fright.
      The kids, the house, a long lost goal.
      Reduced to numbers. No control.

      The talking heads, the polls, the news
      just seem to obfuscate, confuse.
      We tumble down some endless hole.
      Reduced to numbers. No control.


    61. Michael Grove says:

      Back Seat

      Jump into the back seat.
      You’re going for a ride.
      Trust in us to take you anywhere.
      Don’t buckle up, no need,
      now, there’s no place to hide.
      Don’t look to close, no watching, please don’t stare.

      Riding in the back seat
      with no driver at the wheel,
      I wonder where this car is gonna go.
      Hanging on to nothing
      as they beg, borrow and steal,
      shut up, sit back, relax, enjoy the show.

      By Michael Grove

    62. Richard Fenwick says:

      Event Horizon

      I’ll call it what it is: a tomb
      where no sun rises, six feet below
      the wind and weeds, boxed
      in the weight of earth
      and still alive enough to cry.
      Two days down and what I’d do
      to taste your light,
      to paint your surface again
      like a French impressionist, to
      sense anything but dirt
      and all the roots wrapped
      around the reaper’s stale breath.
      What I’d do to claw through
      the tomb’s pine,
      to deep-breathe a promise
      of another blue sky,
      or even a cloud of remorse.

    63. Nightmare

      There is an unknowable
      darkness that I met long
      ago, and it keeps me
      imprisoned. I reached,
      desperately reached
      for that brink of sanity.
      Maybe I wanted it too
      much. In a place where
      light eases away on a
      hopeless whisper, on
      hundreds of legs that rasp
      like serpentine scales
      across the space where
      my thoughts flicker and
      blank out, silenced . . .
      at least I know this terror,
      its contours, the feel
      of it around me. If,
      somehow, I find a way
      out, find the freedom that
      the rest of me longs for,
      will I be able to feel again?

    64. Michael Grove says:

      Covered Up

      The notion of a conspiracy
      conceived, implemented and
      covered up by a government
      of the people, by the people,
      and against the people
      is a very scary proposition.

      It is frightening to witness
      the transition from
      a constitutional republic
      to a socialist dictatorship.

      We will not discuss the manner
      in which we gather intelligence.

      By Michael Grove

    65. KathyA says:

      A Dream

      It always starts with me and my Chevy,
      On the freeway, doing the speed limit
      Her radio’s playing that song I love,
      Puffy clouds float in baby-blue sky,

      And, I’m singing at the top of my lungs.

      I feel my Chevy start up the ramp,
      You know, that bridge that connects
      The 210 to the 118 near Sylmar;
      That one-fourth of a four-leaf clover bridge,

      And, I’m thinking about what to fix for dinner.

      I wait for the centrifugal force that lets me know
      Me and my Chevy are making that curve, but
      Suddenly, without impact, we’ve gone through
      The guardrail and we’re airborne, flying,

      And I can’t get my breath.

      I scream without sound as me and my Chevy
      Feel the pull of gravity, thinking
      I didn’t know this transition bridge was so high,
      And, what will my kids do without me,

      And, I wake up crying.

    66. Glory says:

      Fear (Day 3 – Scary)

      footsteps thud
      only to fade
      as I turn, then flow
      to echo in each still
      stark and silent alleyway,
      until dawn’s rosy glow creeps to
      disperse, release my fear of darkest
      night and the unreal footsteps of strangers

    67. barbara_y says:


      A black cat sleeps at my head
      I could grout a cobblestone road with broken mirrors
      and I could ruin a hundred stews with my spilled salt
      lottery tickets laugh off their silver when they see me,
      and bald, have the impudence to say win, win. Win. I hope
      to use up my days’ bad luck under the sun. Because
      when night comes and the moon only contends with
      the reflected headlights of cars to light your sleeping
      I watch you, afraid this long rest between two deeply
      sleeping breaths will continue into eternity and I want
      to tie you here with silver chains and lock them link
      and link and link with jade charms, blessed fetishes,
      prayers, and love. And if, unlucky as I am, and Death
      comes equipped with bolt cutters, I will bet my own life,
      on his choice of card or coin to keep you one more night.

    68. Marianv says:


      Then say a prayer for what has gone before
      The swiftest eagle flown to rest behind the clouds
      The patient vulture, his stomach finally filled
      The proud peacock, rustling his feathers as he
      Spreads his fan – the colors fade, the feathers
      Slip away, he takes refuge in the trees.

      This we have seen, the last of the last generation
      Nature has smiled upon, has blessed with abundance
      We have watched the stars grow dim, the ground bare
      And sterile, the trees fall in the forest, the animals
      Return to the dust from whence they came.

      As all created things must follow. Say a prayer,
      Then for everything that might have been.

    69. Ber says:

      Scary Silence

      Whispering silence
      filled the bare air
      loosing you
      the loss was so clear

      Scared to the bone
      your voice no longer there
      no teaching ways
      to guide the nights
      filled stare

      Stories once told
      exchanged forward and back
      the days of laughter gone now
      the void the massive crack

      Scary is the moment
      knowing your presence is not
      there anymore
      no wondering
      where you would explore

      As the wind catches the breeze
      pushes back the door
      wondering is it you
      that is moving it away

      So as stars fill the night sky
      i look for you up there
      the brightest one of all
      hope your having a ball
      standing proud and tall

    70. JWLaviguer says:

      Innocent Conspiracy

      They scream and laugh
      and scream again
      Inside my head
      I feel the pain
      Won’t they stop
      for just a day
      Control them please
      but let them play
      Far too many
      All in one place
      Twenty-five children
      Screaming in my face.

    71. Miss R. says:

      The Scariest Dreams

      The scariest dreams –
      The ones that come
      In tear-drenched sleep
      And in a clammy
      Terror keep
      My churning mind
      When I awake,
      The ones where
      Sanity’s at stake
      As I scramble,
      Desperate to rewrite
      The ending full
      Of unholy fright,
      The ones that cling
      Throughout the day
      Though I do strive
      To shake them away –
      The scariest dreams,
      By all that is true,
      Are always the ones
      Where I lose you.

    72. Love again

      Every time you go away
      I fear it is the final time
      This fly sheet flapping in the gale

      Every time you go away
      I curse at constancy
      And call commitment cowardice

      Every time you go away
      I want you to be happy
      But twist upon uncertainty

      Every time you go away
      Our hands leak light like empty sieves
      And maybe this is how true love is born

    73. Marjory MT says:

      DARKNESS (Cascade)

      The world is rolling in noise.
      Bodies flying like balls in bingo cage.
      All is quiet, but for cries of pain.

      The screech of tires, horns blaring,
      Hard impact, shouting, sharp turn.
      The world is rolling in noise.

      Comrades standing, looking for cause.
      Gravel crunching under tires, tremble, falling
      bodies flying like balls in bingo cage.

      Rolling, chaos, noise, jolt, darkness.
      Bodies intertwined, fighting.
      All is quiet, but for cries of pain.

    74. “It Could be any Window”

      The cheerful scarecrow
      in my front yard
      startles me
      as I look out of the window.
      This out of place figure,
      resplendent in fall colors,
      pulls my breath
      from my body
      and causes my vision to swim
      as I imagine
      the terrors which
      (please, no)
      await my daughter.
      I turn from the window
      and pick her up,
      protecting her,
      while I still can.

    75. Fear

      Snakes don’t scare me,
      nor spiders
      (if I see them first)
      not thunder or lightning
      (if I’m safe and dry
      inside watching
      from the windows).

      I’m not afraid
      of monsters
      under the bed
      or burglars
      in the closet
      (although I always
      look before I crawl
      into the bed).

      But late at night
      as you breathe softly
      beside me, imagination
      hovers over my head
      on the pillow, whispering
      What if. . . .
      and my blood runs cold.

    76. elishevasmom says:


      Perched on the
      Of darkness,
      Blackness – or is it red?

      Total absence of light -
      Of clarity of
      Hope of…

      Impermeable, palpable,
      The sounds of chaos
      Surging in a flood.

      When at great height -
      That knot of terror
      In the pit of your

      What if you
      or fail to convince
      Even yourself
      Especially yourself

      That you are able
      At least as much
      As the darkness
      That lies within.

      And oh the terror
      If you are not.

      Ellen Knight


      Search-pack stowed, dog at my feet
      in the Cessna – but the pilot can’t get the engine
      started. He asks for a jump. Oil spatters
      against windscreen. And

      we’re off, circling over desert sand and smoke-trees,
      maneuvering higher – backside of the Sierra
      staring at us. That tricky granite face
      with its eddy-winds that can hold a plane down

      like a cork caught in water. My hands
      clenched on Roxy’s leash, This dog who can read
      my mind sleeps calmly, as if plane crash
      were part of the game. The pilot

      aims us straight at a high ridge – rock
      just meters away – then banks, gains altitude, don’t
      ask me how. We zigzag up the peaks, over
      the crest, headed for our shadow.

    78. MeenaRose says:

      Will They?
      By: Meena Rose

      I look back upon
      Where I have been and
      Whence I have come;
      A journey of a lifetime.

      A nagging unspoken
      Pervasive fear is
      Deeply entrenched upon
      My psyche.

      When I die, will they
      Remember me or will
      My imprints upon this
      Life evaporate into ether?

      When I die, will there
      Be a marker to note
      My passage upon this
      Celestial ship?

      Death and I have courted
      Each other as far back
      As I can remember;
      Quite the chivalrous display.

      Through pain and tears;
      Through sheer stubbornness;
      I hang on – my work not yet done;
      To leave an indelible mark

      Upon the semi-permanence of
      Human recollection racing
      Against the draining sands of


      The unknown is feared.
      And we step on eggshells wondering
      when the first of many shoe will drop.
      You stop to catch a breath or two,
      and you continue on your way -
      curious or furious that your fear
      consumes. Our collective dooms
      are assured. But we pray for a cure.

      My mission is my focus, for
      no “Hocus-Pocus” can change the hand
      that I’ll eventually lose. I can choose to
      curl up, be fetal and remain fatal -
      or I can decide to not hide and face life
      and the fight it offers, filling my coffers
      with a richness never expected.
      All fears are rejected in its stead.

      So I keep this thought in my head
      and hope my hands and translate
      what has been the debate within.
      Mission after commission after remission,
      keeps giving me the chance to dance unfettered
      and expressive, an excessive splay
      of verbal vitality, and a mentality to fear no evil.
      Dark valleys be damned. He has my back.

    80. Stuck in Fear

      He’s big and bold.
      His calf muscles bulge
      as he climbs the mountain.
      He looks back
      with kind eyes
      melding into mine.
      His strong arm stretches
      as he reaches for my hand.
      I shrink back.
      I stay where I’m at.


      Life is a crap shoot.
      “You rolls your dice,
      you takes your chances.”
      Not everything will appease you.
      If it scares you, it will not please you.
      Gory scenes are meant to haunt you.
      Skin tight jeans are meant to flaunt you.
      Sexy dreams are meant to taunt you,
      but they can’t really hurt you.
      So seven-come-eleven, aim for heaven,
      but don’t be afraid to raise a little hell!

    82. Misky says:

      My goodness but there’s some really dark stuff here today. :(

    83. DAHutchison says:

      It could be falling from the roof while cleaning out the gutters,
      Or, maybe standing naked at a window without shutters.

      A life without a soul mate? Yeah, that has a certain sting.
      The spectacle of headline news is not a pleasant thing.

      A freight train running off the tracks, a corporate raided pension,
      But, no, the things that scare me most are things I dare not mention.

    84. Misky says:

      A Little Education

      he fell into a molecule,
      a miniscule
      school of small mindedness

    85. Rorybore says:


      Fear, running me
      touching me
      With cold hands
      Twisting my heart
      And tearing my soul.
      Hiding underneath
      It’s hooded glare
      an approaching train
      suddenly appearing
      the resounding crash inevitable.

    86. “Permit”

      His curly hair cascades halfway
      down his back and
      a troll-face grin
      is smeared across
      his stubbly face.

      My butt cheeks are severely scrunched.
      I watch my teen
      relish the wheel
      in his hands.
      The time is now.

      Too soon by my estimation.
      He howls as he
      Nails in my leg.

    87. THE UNSEEN

      She stands before the counter
      frantically searching the eyes of the attendant.
      Pantomiming her needs without success.
      In tears, she turns to those in line behind her,
      hoping to find some help.
      Seeing none, she slowly disappears.

      He holds his hat, rolling the brim
      as the officer looks over his papers
      with stern authority.
      Handing them back, the officer
      shoes the man away, as if he were
      an errant dog, wandering into the neighbors yard.

      The child clings to the edge of the playground
      as if it were the skirt of she who bore her.
      The other children play with screams and squeals,
      oblivious of the tiny being in the corner.
      She watches with eyes that mirror
      the joy just beyond her reach.

    88. RobHalpin says:

      Yet dwells the fear…

      of living
      alone and I know
      that someday one of us will go
      before the other, but when that test revealed a mass
      it chilled me to the bone. And though
      we are safe this time,
      in my core
      yet dwells

    89. JanetRuth says:

      You will reach for me
      But you
      Will not find me

      You will call for me
      I will not hear

      I am your Muse
      And in my mouth
      I seal every
      Winsome thought
      And every

      Outside the birds are…. um, they’re…oh, what is it that birds do !?

    90. JanetRuth says:

      I feel your body next to mine
      It is cold
      I reach to turn on a lamp
      But there is no light
      I strike a match
      It will not flare
      The darkness closes in
      A suffocating wall
      I press my face to your cheek
      But I cannot feel you
      Or see you
      We are cold
      I hear my children crying
      Out there
      In the darkest dark
      They tell us there will never be
      Another morning
      And the sun
      Has died…

    91. That there is
      physical discomfort
      in the thinking
      being slowly peeled back
      like the skin off
      an orange,
      red flakes held
      and leisurely
      in front
      of a bound face –
      is it better to be gagged
      or to hear yourself screaming?

      That there is
      physical discomfort
      in thinking
      of you
      in pain,
      my graphic
      a quadriplegic struggling
      in the face of
      your grimacing,
      loss -
      is it better to be gagged
      or to hear yourself screaming?

      That there is
      physical discomfort
      in the knowing
      that you don’t,
      will not and cannot
      unless it’s to profit
      from my
      each of your loyal surrogates
      they were really
      doing their
      and you with no family
      to torture,
      no kin to threaten
      in order to
      your inexhaustible
      for absolute
      suffering -
      these ragged nails
      gone from
      the walls you’ve
      and I wake to find
      it was all
      in my mind
      and I am strapped
      unable to move
      my beloved tied down
      beside me –
      always and ever,
      again and again,
      I look lovingly
      into your eyes -
      is it better to be gagged
      or to hear yourself screaming?

    92. JanetRuth says:

      Found Wanting…

      The banquet is ready
      Earth is consumed with a cry
      ‘Behold, He cometh’
      The Bridegroom shatters the sky

      Fire and wind
      Is hurled, unfurled
      Ah, yes! This is it…
      …the end of the world

      Those washed in His blood
      Rise to meet Him in the air
      Oh my God, oh my God
      Why didn’t I prepare?

      Up on the hill
      The ark of safety sits but
      Its grace has ended
      And the door is shut

      All we can hear
      Is the toll of a bell
      And wailing and weeping
      As the gates open to

    93. viv says:


      So frightening that I don’t want to think about it,
      let alone write a poem.
      What is it? Do I have to tell you?
      Oh well, in for a pound.
      I think I am losing my mind.
      I do the stupidest things,
      talk utter rubbish -
      I can cope with that, just,
      by having a laugh.

      But what of the next stage,
      when I don’t know what I’ve said,
      who I’ve insulted,
      what damage I’ve done,
      when it’s no longer funny?
      There, I’ve given you my greatest fear:
      what can you do to help?

    94. Maurie says:

      Dreams awaken me, recurring ones,
      where I run, but go nowhere. Feet
      mud-stuck leaden, heart pumping
      wildly, I turn toward you.
      Engulfed now in the dark silence of night’s
      deepest hours, terror subsides, sucked
      out like the calm before a tsunami’s
      ebb. Moments pass before it sweeps back.
      Filling every crevasse of my being
      from toes to head. Overwhelming
      common sense, reason,
      clear thought as I reach for you
      and feel no
      No up and down rhythmic
      of your belly.
      Have I once more slipped to
      dreamland – or have you…


      This voice telling me again and
      that some day
      up in Heaven
      separate the sheep from the goats
      as if we need to separate sheep from goats
      and as if anybody is worse
      than you or
      even better.

    96. Stage Fright Locusts

      They’re here.

      The locusts…They’ve come.

      In number…

      To devastate, destroy, devour each bone.

      Until I’m miserably desolate, isolated alone

      Meticulously wicked from the inside out

      Until there is no stability remaining

      Or strength left for me to stand

      There is no shield, there is no helping hand

      Wait, there is an announcement

      All confidence has now been consumed

      Your boldness has withered, depleted

      All hope transformed to doom

      For I’ve been eaten, beaten, defeated

      And digested in an instance

      Those bastards show no mercy

      They feed off an inch of anxiety

      Working quickly to cut you asunder

      Leaving you to rot in the dust publicly

      Dancing, while your integrity they plunder

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