Editors Blog

2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 27

I hope everyone’s having a great time with the challenge; I know I am! But I’m already looking ahead to what’s happening on the blog in May and beyond. I’ve interviewed more than 100 poets on this blog, discussed dozens of poetic forms, and covered other topics. But I’m not done yet; so this is my one-time call for queries related to poet interviews, guest posts, or other ideas. If you’re interested in being interviewed, providing a guest post, or have another idea, please send an e-mail to robert.brewer@fwmedia.com with the subject line: Poetic Asides Blog Idea.

For today’s prompt, write a monster poem. There are the usual suspects: zombies, vampires, werewolves, and mummies. But monsters can take any form and terrorize a variety of victims. So have fun playing around with this one, because we’ve only got a few days of April left.


Free up your poetry with constraints!

Learn how putting constraints on your poetry through poetic forms, blank verse, and other tricks can actually free up your poetry writing skills and enhance your creativity in Writer’s Digest’s first ever Poetry Boot Camp. It will include a one-hour tutorial, personalized Q&A on a secure “attendees-only” message board, feedback on three original poems, and more. Click to continue.


Here’s my attempt at a Monster Poem:


I don’t know where I stand on cloning
but sometimes I think it would be helpful
to have two of me, especially for administrative
work, which I always seem to foul up.

I’m not advocating a Frankenstein’s Monster approach,
more like The Twilight Zone, thought without
the twist at the end that makes me realize
it was a bad idea, because that would be

such a buzz kill. No, I just want the version
of me that cooks and cleans and transports
the kids to do all that stuff while the other
version of me that writes and edits and blogs

does his thing, and we both get extra rest
at the end of the day. And maybe both
versions will hang out sometimes
because they both should have similar

taste in music and movies and write
poetry. But then a third version will emerge
that wants to get outside more to run
and hike and swim and bike. A fourth

will flirt day and night with the ladies,
and a fifth just hangs in the basement
playing old school Tetris. Eventually, my selves
will have drama and a reality TV show

and everyone will complain about that guy
who is actually a bunch of guys
and he/they never get along, and anyway,
I still wouldn’t have time for administration.


Today’s guest judge is…

Jeannine Hall Gailey

Jeannine Hall Gailey

Jeannine Hall Gailey

Jeannine recently served as the Poet Laureate of Redmond, Washington, and is the author of four books of poetry: Unexplained Fevers, She Returns to the Floating World, Becoming the Villainess and The Robot Scientist’s Daughter, upcoming in 2015 from Mayapple Press.

Her work has been featured on NPR’s Writer’s Almanac and Verse Daily.

Her poems have appeared The Iowa Review, American Poetry Review and Prairie Schooner.

Her website is www.webbish6.com.


PYHO_Small_200x200Poem Your Heart Out

Poems, Prompts & Room to Add Your Own for the 2014 April PAD Challenge!

Words Dance Publishing is offering 20% off pre-orders for the Poem Your Heart Out anthology until May 1st! If you’d like to learn a bit more about our vision for the book, when it will be published, among other details.

Click to continue.


Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. His book includes a few monster poems, from man-eaters to fathers. Learn more about Robert here: http://www.robertleebrewer.com/.


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600 thoughts on “2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 27

  1. Poetess

    The taste of death
    Began in my birth
    Marking me the monster
    Stealing self-worth

    Pungent and tasteless
    Aggression raging
    Face painted black
    For the war waging

    Impetuous inner villain
    Acting out of dread
    Profound murderous anger
    Reckoning the undead

    Bearing the beastly
    Archetype of disruption
    Onto myself the other
    A risky projection

    Lodged in la-la land
    In limbo crossed
    One foot on each side
    The wall embossed

    Neither a home
    Uncanny the double
    Immortal and dead
    Supernatural trouble

    Incarnate memory
    Lived dying somehow
    Eternal higher self
    Lead me now

    Three roads home
    Madness is the worst
    Then words and writing
    Fair destiny I thirst

    Psychology three
    Individuation pun
    The pathway out
    So says Jung

    From “not to be” to “to be”
    That is the question
    Unlearned it early
    The being lesson

    This story board
    Of my soul
    Is reaching beyond
    The being goal

    Ancient vibrations
    Resonating anew
    Key to my lives
    Unlocking high truth

    Impressing upon
    Primeval seeing
    Pure prosaic oneness
    A scene seen being

    The tying threads
    Woven together
    Restoring balance
    The death-life tether

    Infinite my heart
    And beating energy
    Reclaiming it found
    A vivid soul-tapestry

    My inner goddess
    Above the fodder
    Lifts up my being
    Of divine daughter

    Warrioress alas
    Offing the fight straddle
    Breaching the barrier
    Blinding broken battle

    Her copper shield
    Revolves the night
    Beautiful being
    Creature of light

    Scattering illusions
    Victory begins
    Tasting new truth
    And my origins

  2. PenConnor

    The Fiend (a gwawdodyn)

    Grief comes, and it chooses the hour
    it torments as I’m in the shower;
    There’s really no trick for not getting sick,
    on my swallowed tears turning sour.

  3. eileenDmoeller


    Destroyer of cities,
    born of lightning
    striking the plastic
    Pacific Gyre, melting it
    and congealing it, till it
    came lumbering out of the sea
    mean as a hurricane after climate
    change. Stomping into every
    metropolis, a lumpy skinned,
    blubbery wrecking ball, its
    reptilian footsteps thundering
    down highways, all tail bludgeon
    and sweep, a smell like burning
    tires, a black oil spill big as
    a tsunami, breath a polyclastic
    cloud cauterizing the terrible
    wounds we call cities, the damage
    we call civilization. God-zilla
    the earthy’s new Messiah, all
    action incarnate, word made growl,
    made scour, made scowl, no more
    Beatitudes for us, too late, too late
    for that, for anything but loss and
    death and aftermath. Go ahead, try
    and survive among the carcasses,
    skeletons, relics, flotsam, rubble.

  4. seingraham


    It’s not always ghoulies and ghosts
    Imaginary beings that wake me
    And put me on edge, my heart
    Hammering like a timpani drum

    More often than not, it’s a chill
    In my room, a sense that I’m not alone
    And that the person who’s with me
    Is someone I know well but not
    Someone I want to acknowledge

    Being haunted by someone I found
    Frightening in life, is scarier still
    In the dark, and my mind goes places
    That are probably unreasonable
    But still there’s no undoing the thoughts
    That come to me unbidden in the night.

  5. Andrea Z

    Unwelcome Visitor

    I shoot up in my bed,
    hugging my doll close to me
    when I hear a loud noise outside.
    The driveway is outside my window,
    and I’m afraid to look out,
    of what I might see.
    Is it a monster at my window?
    Maybe a scary man
    is trying to break into the house
    to kidnap me, or hurt my family.
    I throw the covers over my head
    and curl up in bed,
    hoping the monster
    will go away on his own.

    The next morning,
    my monster is revealed
    when we go out to the car
    to head for church
    and find it ransacked.

  6. LeighSpencer

    The Monster Collective

    Short man
    dark hair
    iconic mustache

    About as un-Aryan
    as could be
    shouting charismatic ideals

    Blame the monsters!



    Give hatred a face
    many faces
    while somehow stripping humanity

    You are a title
    real only as the yellow felt star on your chest

    for children
    playing at cops and robbers

    But who are the good guys?

    We are!

    And we will be good again
    when the evil is

    Cutting out a cancer
    so the rest may heal

    But who are the monsters?
    We are!

    No, not us

    Not the millions dying in camps
    for a broken country

    It’s him!

    Little man
    iconic mustache

    Big chip on his shoulder
    that looks suspiciously like
    a bar of soap
    or pile of gold teeth

    But it’s not him

    He was a pile of loud words
    dust cloud
    kicked up by soldiers’ feet


    As if his words had more meaning
    than what their eyes could see
    hearts could feel

    Taking up their felt badges
    rather than turn on the master

    Turn on the light
    Turn up the gas

    Who? Us?

    We were just following orders
    saluted from small, lily-white hands

    He left the blood to you

    True badge
    never to be unstained
    of the monster collective

  7. Heidi


    As I awoke on the grave to blackbirds
    As I awoke to blackbirds screeching
    I saw the monster’s trail rippling the yellow field
    In the yellow field I smell his stench reeking.

    I inched on my belly to the river
    I inched to the river quiet, slow
    He stood half man half jackal with yellow-clawed feet
    With yellow-clawed feet he struck his silver bow

    His hands blood dirty he strung an arrow
    His hands strung an arrow blood dirty
    A twang and swoosh the arrow flew straight for my heart
    Straight for my heart the arrow flew to smite me

    Where the white wolf came from this I know not
    From where he came, this I do not know
    A lunge of white fur between me and the arrow
    Between me and the arrow he took my blow.

    With eyes wild he rushed at the wolf, bleeding
    With eyes wild at the bleeding wolf he rushed
    Amid pecking torrents the blackbirds descended
    The blackbirds descended pecking as blood gushed

    Forming a sheet the blackbirds up lifted
    Forming a sheet lifted up the blackbirds
    The white wolf bleeds droplets on my eyes now watching
    On my eyes watching the white wolf bleeds a dirge.

    At my feet lies fallen the jackal-man
    At my feet the jackal fallen, lies
    In grain fields he lurked waiting to kill the bloodline
    To kill the bloodline, at my feet he now dies.

    Heidi R. de Contreras

  8. j.wessier101

    Careless Creation

    Mary Shelly knew the folly
    of creating monsters,
    of believing
    control is the maker’s due.

    When we met, you called me Angel,
    though I claimed more kinship
    with sprites than cherubs.
    Still you set me atop your headboard,

    worshipped me from your creaky springs,
    sang lauds of my beauty and wit
    until – secured by your lure – I
    was helpless to leave.

    Thereafter, each night
    you slipped me
    further beneath you, while you

    derided, and
    everything you
    once claimed

    to love. Blinded
    by the radiance of creation
    you missed me
    growing into something

    more terrible than you.
    Now, I am the monster
    under your bed
    And you cannot sleep.

  9. IndiFox


    He reminds me of a vampire
    With his pale skin
    Sharp teeth
    And lustful eyes
    The way he grips me
    I lose myself
    The way he looks
    I can’t help myself
    I’m lost in my obsession
    And he has me by my heart
    He reminds me of a vampire
    Especially in the dark

  10. kevinwiatrowski


    Deep down, the howling:
    muffled now, but
    always there.
    The dungeon door shudders
    but the bolts hold
    for now
    Chains drag across the floor,
    from wall to wall and
    back again.
    I hear it.
    I feel it.
    Deep inside.
    Waiting for the day
    it can once more break free
    and rise
    to smother me
    with its black wings,
    to breathe
    its cold breath
    in my ear
    and whisper
    “Doubt” and “Failure.”
    That day will come.
    The earth will turn.
    The sun will sink.
    The hunter will climb the sky.
    That day will come.
    Until then, I shore up
    my defenses and store up
    the light.

  11. David Walker

    The Lines and White Space Terror

    I dare not go in that room.
    The desk is in there. The
    notebook. The just-right
    lighting. The symphony of
    nature buzzing outside
    the glass. I will write if I
    go in there. I will walk in
    with noble and productive
    intentions, but then a humming
    bird will hover above a rosebush,
    carefully avoiding thorns
    as it lands, and the pen
    will grip me. It will shake
    me upside-down until the
    blood has pooled where
    the pen needs it, and then
    it will smear my head against
    the page until my entire soul
    has all but been abandoned.

  12. Emma

    Under the bed

    It’s a scary lesson to learn.
    The realisation creeps up on you,
    Gradually eroding the simple, easy
    Black and white binaries you thought you knew.
    The understanding that there are not monsters
    Under the bed, very few dangerous men
    Waiting down alleyways.
    You learn that the world is not populated with
    A handful of Disney villains amongst the villagers
    And no matter how often you wear
    Your prettiest dresses,
    You are not a princess.
    Under the bed was a metaphor –
    You were scared of what you couldn’t see.
    These monsters hide in plain sight.
    In your father, in your friend,
    In the beautiful boy who looks at you
    Like you are the only jewel of the universe.
    They are not pure evil. You will learn that
    You have to unpack and analyse their love
    Before you ever accept it, looking for
    Threats and ultimatums and abuse
    As if they are bombs and guns and knives
    And you are airport security.
    They love you and cherish you and are a
    Strange shade of dark grey,
    One pretty enough that you will not
    Notice when they slip poison into your drink.
    You are not a princess,
    And no chivalrous knight will save you.
    Get up, learn to fight and learn when to leave.
    Grow your skin thick, wear your best armour.
    If you want to survive,
    You’re going to need it in this world.

  13. horselovernat

    Hidden by the Pines by Natalie Gasper

    Such a lovely afternoon there was
    not too long ago, perfect
    for a walk in the park
    with my valiant steed.

    All tacked up, western of course,
    down the driveway we went,
    excited to be out in the sun
    and away from tedious circling.

    A short time on the road before
    we reached the bridle path,
    semi-trucks, buses, and motorcycles
    all drove by and not once did he flinch.

    The breeze tossed my hair and
    I was hopeless to resist a canter.
    My weight shifted, and off he went
    like we were headed into battle.

    Finally I caught sight of the Piney Woods,
    where tree trunks dance high in the skies,
    the smell unparalleled on all the trails.
    With a sigh of content, we headed in.

    Suddenly my horse stopped, ears at attention,
    muscles tensed in preparation to flee,
    focused intensely on something in the trees,
    his breaths now short and puffed.

    Branches rustled in the brush,
    cracking and creaking the sound came closer
    as my horse started to fret, backing up
    until his heart was racing, death now imminent.

    Tension continued to build as he pictured
    this thing hiding in the pines,
    like a deer, but with three heads, razor teeth,
    long clawing arms and a taste for horses.

    I was barely able to control him as his fear
    overtook whatever logic he possessed.
    There was a monster in these woods,
    at the ready to kill without mercy.

    Then it happened, something emerged from the trees!
    It darted across the path, forcing my horse
    into evasive maneuvers, swerving and weaving,
    desperately wanting to flee the beast.

    Nervous, I caught a glimpse of this monster.
    Terrifying it was, cross my heart,
    about the size of my fore arm, a menacing three pounds,
    and coated in soft brown fur.

    Worst of all were the warm brown eyes,
    not to mention the wet, wiggly nose.
    My horse now under control I stroked his neck,
    understanding his fear at last.
    For I had heard that more horses die each year
    from rabbit attacks
    than anything else.

  14. Pengame30

    “The Fallen One”

    You are locked in chains
    because he put you there.
    You hate every one of us,
    yet we welcome you with open arms,
    while crying his name in vain.
    You are not visible, yet your presence is overbearing.
    Temptation is virtually unavoidable under your jurisdiction,
    although we know you cast it before us.
    You are beautifully scary,
    and inescapable, even in the house of god.
    Till kingdom come.

    Written By: Sean Drew

  15. Amirae Garcia

    Untitled – Amirae Garcia

    I’m trying not to be so mad at you all the time.
    I’m trying not to curse and scream and cry when
    you close the door on me. I know you’re dealing
    with something much stronger. I know the monster
    has a gun to your head and I know that you’re thinking
    it’s only for the best.

    I’m trying to help you. Surely you know this.
    You have to know this. You have to know that
    I’m swimming in the deep and I’m not afraid
    of drowning if it means finding you first. I’m
    not afraid of your darkness. I am not afraid of
    your monsters.

    I am still outside with a bouquet of light.
    I am still willing to put up a fight. The winds
    and rain could never drag me away. The monster
    could swallow me up and still I would stay.

  16. lionmother


    When I was a girl there
    were movies with monsters
    playing on Saturdays in huge
    theaters where the smell of
    popcorn hit your nostrils as
    you walked into the lobbies

    But I didn’t watch those
    for I had my own fears
    of monsters hiding in
    my closet each night
    waiting for me to open
    and they would jump
    out to get me

    So my friends would go
    and tell me they had to
    hide their eyes when the
    monsters like Godzilla,
    came on the screen
    I thought I would never
    see these horror movies,
    including the ones with
    zombies and vampires,
    but somehow they found

    At summer camp the night
    movies with their scratchy
    sounds filled the canvas
    pull down screen with the
    images I most wanted to
    never see with the sounds
    roaring over me and I a
    captive audience needed
    to stay and watch

    Years later I became
    desensitized to monsters
    of all kinds with Mystery Science
    Theater and suddenly I saw
    how phony these monsters
    were. I could see the craziness
    of these movies without feeling
    fear and found the fun that my
    friends so long ago had known

    Of course, by that time
    I no longer believed monsters
    lived in closets and knew they
    really lived in the real world
    where I could not hide from
    them and had to pray they
    would not visit me

  17. d dyson

    I have a monster inside my head.
    He won’t disclose his name.
    His features are all contorted,
    and he spouts words that fill me with shame.

    He won’t disclose his name:
    the bearer of fear,
    and spouts words that fill me with shame
    whenever people are near.

    The bearer of fear,
    he rakes up nightmares,
    whenever people are near,
    and I become too weak to fight.

    He rakes up nightmares,
    the nightmares that induce gut wrenching screams
    and I become too weak to fight,
    I lose sight and hope for a dreamless sleep.

    The nightmares that induce gut wrenching screams,
    his features are all contorted.
    I lose sight and hope for a dreamless sleep,
    I have a monster inside my head.

  18. Snow Write

    The devil is calling
    He creeps through my soul
    I can’t keep from falling
    As thoughts take their toll

    This monster is mighty
    He seizes my mind
    I’m suddenly flighty
    My death, he aligned

    He’s making me crazy
    He will not abate
    Surroundings are hazy
    I censure this fate

    I fight ‘til my last breath
    Life shouldn’t be done
    No longer a slow death
    The devil has won

  19. Jane Shlensky

    A Man Needs a Maid

    “A man alone is a monstrous thing,”
    she says while cleaning up his mess.
    “They lose their sense of smell and sight,
    and have no common sense, I guess.”

    She gathers up his dirty clothes,
    uncovering old plates with food
    congealed or molded, forks quite stuck.
    “In just one week?” She’s in a mood.

    The sink is filled with unwashed things,
    the frig is empty but for beer
    and cheese so blue it’s science now.
    The bed’s a wreck—she can’t sleep here.

    We open doors and windows
    to release his stench into the world.
    I watch her rage increase as her
    review of damages unfurl.

    “I’d kill him, but I’d have to clean up
    that mess too.” She curses, frowns.
    She sees me smile and looks ashamed.
    “He’s not like this when I’m around.”

  20. Jane Shlensky

    The Road to Emmaus

    Their faces are like patchwork quilts
    repaired so many times the scars
    from stitch and skin graft catch the light
    like satin twisted and embossed.
    They’re missing limbs or eyes or hands,
    still dream of wars in far-off lands,
    haunted by sounds, colors, and smells.
    Yet they survived, the lucky ones,
    their faces masks of suffering,
    each one a tribute to great loss
    and doctors’ ingenuity.

    Flesh often heals before the mind
    in clean hospitals far away
    from snipers, bombs, and families
    who miss the loved one they recall:
    a girl with dark eyes, bright and smart,
    a handsome boy with perfect teeth,
    a child with cherub rosy cheeks,
    a woman lovely as a star.
    Hope given time can play some tricks
    with memories of damage done.
    Homecoming honed with lullabies
    can touch the heart but shock the eyes.

    Loved ones at home have work to do
    to bear what’s left of what they loved.
    They turn away in sadness, shame,
    knowing this war will never end;
    they’ll carry it until they’re gone.
    They long for normalcy—they know
    that love is salvaged deep within.
    But sometimes they don’t recognize
    as human what’s before their eyes.

    Imagination has a part
    to play in healing broken hearts.
    We share the road with strangers, friends,
    break bread and never comprehend
    that one who walks along our way
    might be the very one who’s come
    to save us from ourselves, whose scars
    and peace we cannot see. We’re blind
    with mindless fear and hopelessness,
    until one day a monstrous veil
    of selfishness is dropped; our eyes
    are opened straight into the soul
    where love’s redemption makes us whole.

  21. JayGee2711

    We open the door. I smell peppermint.
    “Repels the bats,” Uncle says. He shows us
    cracks between the logs, wide enough the sun
    shines through, on shadows, dust and spider webs,
    and conversations hung up to dry like
    wildflowers from the rafters. I listen
    for the scratch of claws, the squeaks, the almost-
    silent swish of wings. None are there, thank God.

    Julie Germain

  22. bookworm0341

    “Confused Monster”

    Why are we attracted to monsters of all kinds?
    Vampires that glisten in the sun
    cute fuzzy werewolves,
    Gremlins that start out sweet,
    aliens from distant planets like E.T. and Alf,
    Zombies that once had feelings too,
    man-made Frankensteins
    and creatures from the Black Lagoon.
    Why are we infatuated and drawn to them?

    Is it because, like myself, we know the truth.
    Inside we are dead men walking?
    Carrying out the same routine day to day,
    needing skin on our backs.
    Could it be that, like Frankenstein, we feel that our Maker messed up?
    (For the record, He doesn’t make junk.)
    Is it because we feel like an alien, like we don’t belong,
    in our own planet?
    Just maybe, it it because we try to make ourselves look cute and beautiful,
    when we really know what is inside of our own hearts-
    that we are just confused Monsters.

    By Jennifer M. Terry

  23. Jaywig

    Dubious Ancestry

    Chooks, she said, are descended
    from Tyrannosaurus Rex. Have you heard?
    They’ve forgotten how to eat meat,
    I said. The beaks I can just connect.
    And the feet. But what about meat?
    And how much they seem to enjoy
    the company of humans. What’s our story?
    Descended from Rex’s friend?
    We watched them scratching dry earth,
    clucking earnestly. We listened
    as they announced the next egg with pride.
    Another’s, not their own.
    Related to Rex? I said. That’s monstrous!

    Jennie Fraine

  24. Mickie Lynn

    Monster in House

    Monster under the bed
    Monster in the dark
    Dark night
    Dark horse
    Horse fly
    Fly ball
    Paper doll
    Paper plate
    Plate tectonics
    Plate theory
    Theory of relativity
    Theory of evolution
    Evolution of the soul
    Evolution of dance
    Dance Dance Revolution
    Dance the night away
    Away in a manger
    Away from here
    Here in my room
    Here or there
    There there don’t cry
    There are brighter days
    Days of thunder
    Days of summer
    Summer lovin’
    Summer sun
    Sun rays
    Light bulb
    Light switch
    Switch hitter
    Switched at birth
    Birthday card
    Birth of a nation
    Nation of greed
    Nation of want
    Want a new car
    Want to travel
    Travel through countries
    Travel through culture
    Culture of natives
    Culture Club
    Club soda
    House pet

  25. Kimiko Martinez


    Sometimes I see her
    at the corner of
    those deep brown eyes

    in the flecks of
    gold flashing like ore
    in a miner’s pan

    beckoning you back into
    the arms of a
    love as cold and

    dangerous as those High
    Sierra rivers and as
    fleeting as the boomtowns

    left in the wake
    of men’s search for
    their happily ever after

  26. larrywlawrence


    Television before cable, 13 channels if you count the UHF,
    did it even work, remember antennas on all the rooftops?
    When the set was busted, we’d say Oh no, better call Ono!
    Mr. Ono, a TV repair guy knew how to get it working again.
    Now we put them on the curb, head on down to Best Buy.

    Creature Double Feature on 48, Dr. Shock on channel 17
    from Philly, same time, Saturday afternoons, the Seventies.
    Mighty Joe Young always on Channel 9, not sure about 5,
    maybe that’s where Abbott and Costello met the monsters?
    Now we laugh, can’t believe we watched in black and white.

    When it was a little chilly and rainy on a Saturday,she’d say
    Be a good day for a nap on the sofa and a Godzilla movie.
    How come they don’t have any scary movies on TV anymore?
    Only people our age would know what she meant by this.
    Now it’s easy, she grabs the remote and finds one on Netflix.

  27. TuLife

    “Hidden Horror”
    By: Tuere Aisha

    I celebrate him amongst friends and family,
    elevate him so no one will guess,
    or know – it won’t show what kind of mess
    we’re in, what kind of animal he can be.

    Alterations from charming to deadly
    make it tricky to anticipate what’s coming.
    Amazing how he still appears so stunning
    to me, though he is a medley

    of beau and brute. I often search
    to perceive, roam his face for any signs
    of ugly. I’m frightened by his variety of kinds,
    forms of him that always lurk.

    I hesitate to bask in our blessed moments
    that are so momentary, fleeting. I smile,
    but contemplate all the while
    when some lame, trivial events

    will turn him grotesque and force his might
    against me. I wait for the minor, petty nonsense
    that will transport him to that dark, dense
    space. Will he hit me tonight?

    I should leave. I should pack up all my hate
    and go. But fear bounds me, choking any
    bravery. So though he’s bruised me weekly
    for seven months straight, I guess I’m going for eight.

  28. Angie5804

    Monster in teh neighborhood

    There is a monster in our neighborhood
    He comes in stealthily, furtively
    Slipping in when our guard is down
    He took first a man in perfect shape
    One who jogged and grew his own tomatoes
    The battle was great, it raged for months
    But the monster prevailed

    He crept in a year later
    The evil, mute monster
    And tried to take a mother of two
    She, too, fought bravely
    Losing her hair but never her hope
    She fought from afar and she won

    Just last week he reared his head once more
    This time selecting a boy nearing manhood
    Whose defenses failed
    Whose short life, now gone
    Leaves us sad, angry, scared

    We don’t smoke because this attracts the monster
    And we eat broccoli to build a barricade
    And we wait and watch
    For that dull ache, that sharp pain, that small lump
    That signals his return

    Angie Bell

  29. Kelly Ramsdell Fineman


    “I cannot get out, as the starling said.” Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

    Even though seeing him makes me shake,
    knees chattering together, teeth knocking,
    I shall screw my courage to the sticking point,
    outwit this coldhearted watchdog, lounging
    atop lustrous silver and crystals fit
    for castles and cathedrals, knights and kings.
    His savagery no match for my mettle,
    his diamond-bright metal couch no place
    for a damsel, distressed or no.

    If only my husband had lived.
    If only my own people would come for me.

    I breathe the sulfurous air that surrounds him,
    embroaden my chest, swagger into the dragon’s lair.
    “Ah,” he says, looking up from his roast chicken,
    “You’re here at last. How’s my daughter-in-law today?”

    I am forsaken.

  30. barton smock

    -the small-

    I acquired you as an infant from a gentleman who needed parts for a radio he planned to invent. listening to his radio was a long way off. you sat early. you called me mother before I was ready. if I was good, you’d play a videocassette to watch it dream. I looked at stars and you were a toddler. our life was life on other planets until the gentleman returned. he said he’d seen satan in a space suit and that satan had given him signs of sexual abuse. you were not unrecognizably depressed but did start a fire in a photograph.

  31. JRSimmang


    I grew brave once,
    there in the dead of night,
    and I slipped out from
    my covers,
    and peeked into the shadows
    under my bed.

    I still let you come in,
    tuck me into the blankets,
    check my closet
    and finish under the bed,
    when I heard you say
    I was safe
    I believed you.

    -JR Simmang

  32. Nanamaxtwo

    The Beast

    Everyone fights the Beast in their own way:
    naming it sex, or whiskey, the antidote
    to fear, calming panic before stripping the mind
    of ability to work, write the story that will win
    that place in the sun.

  33. foodpoet

    Memory Monster

    Memory monster
    Eating away each day
    Shelled eyes
    Eat food

    Memory monster
    Eating away each day
    Legs that cannot walk
    Lips that cannot talk
    Shelled eyes

    My lips smile
    Face fears
    The memory monster
    Doesn’t exist

    Megan McDonald

  34. elysebrownell

    Elyse Brownell

    If there was a way to come back
    and stretch my body beneath this heavy light
    I would do so until the rain subsides
    and the flooding is over
    and you are standing in your papery canoe,

    Lover, when you hold my hand
    I am no longer in my own body
    but rather, opening wide enough to
    envelop the sea, to envelop the land
    to take everything.

    It isn’t what we are it’s what we were
    the transference of energy asleep on
    the shoreline, the movement of landscapes
    beneath the sacred heaving of skin,
    pushed aside, another hole to fall into.

    I will find you again, if but only to
    touch the silky vane, if but only to
    remember what it was like
    when our bodies were our own,
    when the separation of atoms was something

  35. BezBawni

    Inner Demons

    Dear Father,
    all I know is that You are
    love, truth and light.
    I might think there’s a part
    of me that You can never
    accept, ever. But when
    I stand in the rain and sun
    Your Son is revealed to me
    See? It’s not the rain, it’s tears
    it appears a mere thought of You
    makes me cry and I try to speak,
    but all that comes out
    is a sigh, and I’m about
    to go inside, because I’m soaked
    through, yet Your love is my coat
    and Your grace is what drips off it.
    by Lucretia Amstell

  36. Mokosh28


    She called it her monster, the one
    within, the dark, shapeless
    invader. She never once mouthed
    the ‘C’ word as if by saying it
    she would surrender her Betty Grable
    shape that mesmerized her husband
    all those years ago. Or blot out those
    nights rocking the babies, feeding them
    moonspill. Yes, this monster
    runs in families: her grandmother,
    her cousin infected. Yes, there is
    pain. They mainline the poison
    that might kill it, aim invisible
    rays. But the kidnapped cells
    love him just a little, the way
    we all bond with captors,
    the way a song gets in your head
    and just won’t listen.

    – Joanne M. Clarkson

  37. Daniel Paicopulos

    The only monster that I really fear
    is sometimes the one I see in the mirror,
    when I’m trying to control life,
    arranging the future,
    always on top of things,
    having to be right.
    It would be laughable
    if it was not so serious,
    when I can’t wait,
    become too curious,
    feel the need to anticipate.
    The only result I can control
    is really nothing, nothing at all,
    as hard as I try to see what will be,
    the gods just look down and laugh at me.

  38. robinamelia


    Everybody loved the monster
    fought over who’d get to sit beside it
    try to comb its hair
    which never stayed combed
    but tangled back up again
    like snakes snuggling for warmth

    Everyone wanted to be popular
    like the monster,
    so we all stopped bathing
    and saying please
    but we could never
    be bad enough. It took commitment
    to hate so hard it hurt
    not your heart because of course monsters
    don’t have hearts but somewhere inside
    a little higher
    around the throat
    where growls live.

  39. FaerieTalePoet

    For Halloween

    My girlfriend and I
    dressed up
    as Jack and Sally
    from Nightmare
    Before Christmas
    some may
    call them monsters.
    But it was
    the first time
    I’d ever worn
    a couple’s costume.
    Next year
    we’re going as
    Little Red
    and the Wolf.

    Dana A. Campbell

  40. Deri


    We imagine monsters
    crouching in night’s shadows
    devouring hearts,
    eating holes of fear
    in our very souls.
    We imagine they listen to us
    breath at night
    from under our bed,
    so close they can hear
    our mortal heartbeats,
    or sometimes lurk
    in that space
    we can never quite see
    from the corner of our eyes.
    We imagine beasts,
    spawns of hell,
    the rejected of God
    Writhing, grotesque, horrific,
    so much so
    that we can’t imagine
    they truly exist,
    must only be of
    our own creation.
    The truth is so much worse,
    that we don’t even recognize them
    when they embrace us,
    kiss us goodnight,
    and say “I love you.”

  41. lethejerome

    “Leviathan! Behemoth!”

    Silencing uncertainties
    Installing secrets in hearts and desires
    deep within chests that never rise
    Showing only teeth in rows of figures and faces
    placed where hands and toothpicks can’t reach
    Enunciating interpelling calling out names
    that never matched our feet
    Taking names from myths and stories and incredible facts
    lodged in the silence of breath
    Dealing in light in focus in angles
    clouds hit through ironwrought bars and indelible
    brick, mortar, and the depth of the ground
    Where all takes roots and all takes

    All modern monsters are created

    Turning eyes eyes eyes eyes eyes
    eyes on our hands turned toward ourselves eyes
    on nerves that will never have their endings
    eyes without mouths mouths without ears
    Canals for hands
    Canals for legs
    Growing out of stumps and the pain of saws
    Grounds for narrower expanses grounds for horizons
    Irrigating in its own colours
    Seeping Feeding Begetting Calving Rearing


    Jérôme Melançon

  42. Julieann


    How do I settle?
    Let me count the ways –
    I settle up
    I settle down
    I settle in
    I settle out
    I settle for
    I settle against
    I settle into
    I settle beside
    So I think –
    I’ll just settle!

  43. Kevin D Young


    Dragons graze at the edge of U.S. Highway 82, as on all
    such maps, though now their bones lie in precarious states
    of re-pose in the Mt Blanco Fossil Museum, peering from
    fifteen full-page picture windows at the corner of Berkshire
    and Crosbyton West Main, just before you leave town, with
    all that implies, and go off the Cap. Cap is the universal local
    shorthand for The Caprock, itself an abbreviated fingerling
    for the thousands-mile-long highly fractal fringe that marks
    the end of nineteen million square acres of High Plains mesa
    and the beginning of the descent into eastern bounty and
    barbarity. In a mile, often less than half that, the world drops
    from underneath the wary by 500, 600, 700 feet or more,
    a change in elevation greater than that of the Mississippi River
    as it sludges from St. Paul to Memphis, sixteen hundred miles,
    and yet the monstrous Mississippi, tarsal to clavicle, with its tinseled
    talons spread beneath the Gulf below New Orleans, is more storied
    and more sung, for no more pedestrian reason than that it moves.

    Up by Canyon, on the Panhandle’s northern brink, one goes
    off the Cap into the skirts of Palo Duro, a rite of passage
    to remind the young that God can cut anything in two.
    One moment you’re driving on a hard-tack cookie sheet
    then sliding into a crack and sinking into the long arm
    the Cap thrusts into the million acre mesa like a rancher
    pulling on a dull-witted calf too slow to leave its mother.
    Back on Highway 82, the Mt Blanco Fossil Museum brays
    foot prints, phytosaurus, mammoth, triceratops and
    mastodon, the largest hadrosaur leg west of the Mississippi,
    a klatch of Peruvian skulls, selected local fossils (excepting
    old Mrs. Adams, whose remains inter elsewhere) and,
    miraculum, the instantiation of Chupacabra. The Goat-
    Sucker. El Vampiro de Moca. He stands stuffed and stilted,
    sanctioning this lair and the reputation of its purveyor.

    He was at first falsely described. He is neither bear nor, more
    certainly, the Creature from the Black Lagoon as depicted
    on the picki-pedia page dedicated to restraining the rabid
    speculations of his devotees and deniers. He is, instead,
    as insinuated within the Mt Blanco Fossil Museum, some
    kind of vicious dog-hyena-Commander Spock hybrid, the
    Living Dead version of a hyperbolic naked mole reanimated
    with a carnivore’s eyes, deathly sharp ears and a snout
    reaching from one end of Hades to the other – lots of teeth
    but no laugh. Scourge of goats, hens, lonely calves and deaf
    prairie dogs; he sucks sheep dry and leaves the carcass limp.

    The official view is that Chupacabra is most likely a coyote –
    a coyote or a dog or a preternatural possum parasitized
    with sarcoptic mange, which is, if you dwell on it too long,
    pretty awful in itself. Of course it is not real, no more so
    than any other shade cached below each arroyo, wadi, gully,
    cut, dry wash, draw and gulch, underneath every mangy screw
    bean mesquite, in every patch of buffalo grass too thick to see
    through or sagebrush too high, or among the slash of prickly pear
    putting on the sharp airs that checker every arid bank and crick
    bed, the embroidered bas relief of a land too sly to stand out.

    Off the Cap, a mile or maybe two north of Blanco Canyon, up
    an unwatered crevice advertised optimistically or with studied
    sleight-of-hand as the White River, is a stand of trees, really
    just a collection of arboreal wannabees rustled in each other’s
    general vicinity, not visible from town, farmland out of sight.
    No one is here or wants to be here or, more piteous, knows
    they ought to be here. And still, here, whether light or dark,
    where even the weather needs a map, something reads you.
    Something knows how to live here, raking out a home where
    dragons lived but live no longer, something more lizardly,
    more awkwardly sere. I’ll give you a hint. I’m not sure it’s God.

  44. sharon4

    Grendel’s Lament

    Odd species they are, the warriors.
    How they warble, their tongues thick with mead
    And roast duck. Then they bash the hilt of their swords
    Against stones, boasting the sun from the sky.
    I have no time for their small screeds
    of hope, their pathetic grabs at immortal
    glory. I was here in the bloody lake
    all along, a festering memory, a shadow
    under ancient constellations, and I knew this life
    was only a map of survival, one step in front of…
    No more. No less. They came along
    and ruined my world with transcriptions:
    their brute verbs and need to name everything.
    So, I named myself wildness, named myself mystery
    before they found me and turned me into
    their own bloodlust and ignorance,
    called me monster.
    Sharon Fagan McDermott

  45. LizMac

    [Okay, so I've discovered that my better the poems come into the world fast and unthinking, whereas the really bad ones toss and turn forever like a sleepless night. Then time runs out, and all I'm left with is a really bad headache. Suffice to say this prompt was of the latter kind. Didn't really want to put these out, but in the spirit of getting at least a poem out per day this month, I committed the following fragments to the page – whether they will ever become redeemable with more time and space, I can't say]

    The Loch Ness Monster

    Can scientists ever discover
    Suspicions of shadowy beasts
    Rumored to lurk in waters
    Too impossibly deep to sound?

    If not, what hope
    For the human mind?


    Scary People

    Most of the time
    I keep my crazy, scary people successfully
    locked up in the attic
    While I run around asserting sanity below,
    Looking unperturbed, and in control.
    But once in a while, and especially if
    I’m supposed to be writing,
    I’ll creep upstairs to take a peek.
    As soon as I open the door
    Instantly they try to overwhelm me
    Forcing a hand or foot through the crack.

    Occasionally, they succeed.

    Then I must sit and chat with the guy who
    stumbles through social situations
    With no conversation and little finesse
    Who feels like an awkward assemblage of random parts
    A complete social disaster just waiting to happen
    Painfully aware of his inadequacy,
    His unresolved psychology,

    Or there’s the chemically induced shameless deviant
    Who swears the morning after,
    He’s the victim of a split personality
    And couldn’t possibly have said and done
    half those things.

    At other times it’s the guy who starts out attentive
    But eventually just turns clingy, draining the life’s blood
    From anyone who stays long enough to listen.
    We hang out a bit, get to know each other
    Over a few drinks. Not such a bad crowd, after all.
    Eventually I round everyone up and lead them
    back to the attic, where they continue to pound
    The door some, but perhaps less urgently,
    Now they’ve each had a chance to tell their story.
    And perhaps, to be honest, I don’t try so hard
    To keep the door shut fast.

  46. Blaise


    If it was a country, the US would have dispatched troops by now,
    but a corporate goal of world domination
    reaps praise at every new conquest
    of groceries, fine art, flowers.

    Every Amazon success leaves carcasses
    of local business passion in vacant storefronts,
    new jobs created for warehouse box packers,
    only until robots make them more money.

    Drive down the profit percentage
    until only the largest can survive,
    fast and cheap the newest gospel.
    Sam Walton would be proud, and scared as hell.

    If you are proud to be Prime, coerced into paying your own bribe
    for the illusion of special treatment, and think I am antique –
    tell me what will happen when Amazon succeeds
    as biggest retailer on the planet?

    Do you really think the hungry ghost driving
    that goal will ever be satisfied?
    What’s next?

  47. EbenAt

    I have met a few.
    They have human form.

    At a glance,
    you might not notice
    anything off.

    In a casual encounter
    they might seem
    quite normal.

    But if you have a sense
    of what a monster
    really is,
    What they can
    and will do,
    you will feel it.

    The eyes give them away.
    The color doesn’t matter.
    When you look,
    really look,
    you will see
    a soulless depth,
    a void filled only
    by violence
    and death.

  48. PSC in CT

    Darkness & Light

    She’s never seen them
    but she believes
    in those dark creatures
    that sometimes inhabit her dreams:
    vague, faceless beings, evil, oppressive.
    They hover, skulking in the dark, shadows
    leaning close to exhale their hot breath,
    inhale her voice and swallow it whole,
    closing her throat, making of her screams
    only breathless rasps no one will hear,
    palpitating her heart in triple syncopation.

    But last night was different:
    visited instead by old friends
    (unseen, unrecalled for years)
    she was comforted, protected,
    embraced in their arms
    and she wakens, wondering
    if mayhap their dreams, too,
    were haunted
    last night
    by her presence.


  49. azkbc

    How to Keep a Monster out of your Bedroom

    You ask to keep the doors to your closet
    and to your room open at night so monsters
    won’t come in. You say
    that monsters won’t come in anywhere
    if the door is open because they might be seen.
    You say monsters like closed doors
    that they can open just a little and slip through.

    Your theory must be true because
    there are no monsters in your closet
    or anywhere else in your room
    and the doors are always wide open.

    But still I think I will keep the doors
    to the house closed, not open,
    and even locked. I think
    there are plenty of monsters
    that would come through any door
    especially if it is open.

  50. ambermarie


    Creatures come out at night
    To fill the void
    Left undeclared by the creative ones
    Aching for expression, the darkness itself manifests
    As spells left uncast create a vacuum –
    A black hole playground now available for the devil’s deeds
    Minds undisciplined will be taken to hell
    Terrorized by unwelcome thoughts
    Demons which taunt the gentle goodwill of the selfish and greedy
    Vampires which suck the leftover lifeblood of the uninspired
    Zombies which consume the bored brains of those unthinking

  51. Mr. Take The Lead

    Look what you’ve created
    Daniel R. Simmons
    You put me in the darkness
    Deep in your lab of experiences
    Played with my emotions like I was some kind of experiment
    Ripped my heart out as you sent out an evil laugh
    Took my mind all of which made you glad
    Yes you warped my brain
    Centered it around you
    and only you
    Had me wondering what life would be like without you
    Now I’m soulless
    Just an empty space filled with dead butterflies
    Wanted to resurrect them
    But my love for you has died
    Don’t get me wrong I was devastated when you left
    After all you buried me deep in the dirt of hate and un-forgiveness
    Yes I stay buried until the worms of the memories of you became to eat away at my very flesh
    Until I began to rot of the smell of your of abusive MAN-ipulativ effects
    After all girl- I thought it was said that only men are, liars, cheaters causing mental distress
    Thanks for proving the stereotypes wrong
    I mean come on you buried me alive
    With no coffin or cover
    Left me in deep confusion and wonder
    2 two months pasted as you found your new toy
    I was pronounced dead of a broken heart much to your joy
    But I have a surprised for you I’m not dead at all
    No I burst through the ground
    I refused to fall
    Fueled by the power of the hurt you caused
    Now I’m bigger
    And better than ever
    I cannot be stopped or fall
    Now nothing or nothing can stand in my way
    My anger towards allows me to persevere through the day
    I don’t even feel human any more
    I’m an outcast who got played by a whore
    Look at what you’ve created look at what you’ve done
    Why I’m a monster
    Didn’t you see me in your dreams “HUN”
    But don’t worry I won’t waste time hunting you forever
    Although I must admit what you did to me was very clever
    Now I’m opening doors
    And actually listening
    Why you’ve created a monster of a gentleman.

  52. Jane Shlensky

    Monster Lit 101

    Most children’s stories feature fights—
    fierce monsters, ogres, witches, trolls
    vexing sweet princesses and knights
    (who like themselves are kindly souls).

    Such moral lessons there abound
    as imps and fairies meet, collude,
    that some children are surely found
    to side with moral turpitude.

    Let’s face it: right is deadly slow,
    good people suffering stoically,
    while wrong is easy, has a flow
    that flees responsibility.

    We even grow to curse the knights
    who save the maidens in distress.
    Poor ogres, don’t they have some rights?
    Kids pity powerful ugliness.

    And yet, on playgrounds nationwide
    are bullies raining terror down
    on weaker weeping children tied
    to happy ending, scary clown.

  53. Yolee

    Living on a Prayer

    It was a monster hit packed in a 45,
    the same year I began my solo career
    as mama with 23 fluorescent green years
    and 2 daughters- the one room apartment
    year when monsters took up all the closet
    space and laughed at my skinny legs,
    freckles under my brown eyes and the tiny
    circle of skin on my upper lip. They taunted
    me for being too naïve, too plain, too stupid
    to hold down a pretty boy husband- too blind
    to see the poison in my small girlfriend
    who became his small girl friend
    but was truly government cheese in a mouse trap.
    I needed the big notes of that song,
    the crux and the fists of that song,
    the boots and long hair of that song,
    the kite and the lift of it.

  54. Margie Fuston

    Zombie Vanity

    Somehow, you still think you’ve got it,
    shuffling down the street with one bent
    knee and Louis Vuitton scraps on your feet,
    dragging your designer handbag from one
    broken strap you can’t seem to let go of,
    your shirt covered in the blood of a hundred
    people you thought deserved to feed your need.
    I can see you noticing my eye, hitting
    my broken cheek as I walk. Judgment
    springs as fast as newly broken blood
    vessels in your eyes. But if you had a mirror,
    you could see your own eye touching
    the corner of what lips you have left,
    because your flesh rots just as fast as mine.

  55. ina

    Monster Child

    The last string of stars in the sky,
    the browning plum blossoms,
    paper scraps trapped in the gutter, sludge like –
    everything that has a beginning
    will have an end.
    This is the lesson he’s learning:
    everything is like the burning candle,
    bright at both ends,
    heavy in the middle.
    He pokes the jay with a stick,
    lifting individual feathers with the ragged end,
    gleeful that it does not fly away,
    in his eye, the first glimmer of fear
    because it does not fly away.

    -Ina Roy-Faderman

  56. lidywilks

    How to Spot a Monster

    Just like humans,
    monsters comes
    in all shapes and sizes.
    So in order to spot
    one, here are some
    warning signs to help you.
    Some monsters have
    the ability to ensnare
    your mind, seducing
    their victims to their knees,
    groveling for its love
    and infused to the bone
    with fear of being
    left behind.

    Some monsters
    will lure you into
    isolated areas
    for their hunting
    pleasure, leaving
    behind your cold meat
    for whoever wishes
    to dine upon it next.

    Some monsters are
    gifted with entrapment.
    They ensnare their victims,
    keeping them by their side
    like little pets, gnashing
    on their flesh and mind,
    leaving them soullessly

    Spotting monsters is a tricky
    business, but if you listen
    to instinct, you’ll know
    when you meet one and
    then you’ll run far, far away.
    And then you’ll thank me
    one day because who’d known
    That these monsters would
    look like you and me.

    by Lidy Wilks

  57. ToniBee3

    “her husband”

    a rabid beast fixed at boiling remerged
    just that quick from sheep to wolf
    with bulged temples and squinched
    eyes and various crimson shades
    fluctuating on tensed damp flesh
    unloading his paroxysm of verbal
    shrapnel on her for the last time
    without warning before she…
    chh chh, boom

  58. gloryia

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

  59. Nanamaxtwo

    The Beast

    Everyone greets the Beast in their own way:
    naming it sex, or whiskey, the antidote
    to fear, calming panic before stripping the mind
    of ability to work, write the story that will win
    that place in the sun.

  60. LeeAnne Ellyett

    They haunt and taunt,

    Pull you hair,
    pinch you,
    trip you,
    trick you,

    “Little Monsters”


    “Little Brothers”

  61. Amy

    Sweet Monstrosity

    they wouldn’t have called you a monster
    when you smiled and cleared the plates
    discussed the weather
    made your bed and screamed into your pillow
    so no one would hear
    they called you sweetie
    their darling girl
    sweep that emotion under the rug,
    then come and have some tea
    you let it scald your tongue
    just to see if you’re still there
    but it wasn’t enough
    gave you a headache, all that playing
    so you swallowed your emotion again
    only now you’re in a hospital bed
    and they’re whispering about
    the monster

  62. Andrea Heiberg


    Being off Age

    when I was twenty
    I put on rouge
    and something daring.
    Today I need serious covering
    some sort of camouflage
    and some kind of smile
    when this nightmare of me
    finally is livable.
    Tomorrow really scares me.

  63. Sky


    Spring hasn’t come.
    We burn torches all through the nights,
    and sing for the sun to melt the snow,
    but dawn comes dim and gray and cold,
    always cold.
    Some of us want to climb the mountain,
    to kill the ice worm that breathes down snow,
    but others insist there’d be no point,
    it’s long since dead.
    “How do you explain this, then?” they ask,
    nodding at the bleak land. Others scoff.
    “Aye, and what of the last four years?
    Spring and sunshine.”
    “Could be it’s just been asleep,” they say,
    “sort of hibernating, you don’t know,”
    and on they argue, while the snow falls,
    falls and falls.
    In the end a small group goes out,
    vanishing in the gray and the white,
    and after we’ve been waiting three days,
    the skies clear.
    The sun starts turning snow into streams,
    and we sing thanks that spring has come,
    but when we climb the mountain to search,
    we find nothing.

  64. barbara_y


    She explained that she suffered under a curse.

    That she had been a pumpkin, once. She recounted
    a lifetime of sunshine. Rain was ecstasy beyond
    her powers: she might have been a saint of rain.
    The magician who made her first a golden coach and then a woman
    was the devil of her cosmology, having forced a form
    and function on a soul that wanted nothing but to rot
    and fulfill a simple purpose, without all of this talking.

  65. Domino

    Mean Girl

    Charming smile
    hair that shines
    innocent and
    sweet at times

    Lips that form
    a cupid’s bow
    lovely manners
    all for show

    the pleats all creased
    lies the heart
    of a raging beast

    All the words
    so sweet and fair
    are just a trap
    a stealthy snare

    She eas’ly turns
    your slightest phrase
    into trumped-up
    ways to haze

    Soon you find
    yourself outside
    your group of friends
    you’re tossed aside

    So e’er you trust
    a lovely smile
    all buttered up
    and filled with guile

    Remember that
    a pretty face
    can cause heartache
    and disgrace.

    Diana Terrill Clark

  66. Lindy™

    Early On

    I used to be afraid
    of the Cookie Monster.
    When I was very little
    I would find him perched
    atop my dresser
    with a napkin
    around his neck,
    a fork in one hand
    and a knife in the other
    at bedtime.
    He wasn’t screaming, “Cookie!”
    He didn’t say anything at all.
    He just stared at me
    as the top half of him
    (all I’d ever see)
    seemed to inch
    closer and closer
    to me.
    I had to be around three,
    so I cried out.
    Someone always saved me,
    but the visions would
    make me vomit.
    After that, I’d pass out
    and sleep,
    and sleep…

    Funny how the body
    plays tricks with your mind
    when you don’t yet know
    the words to speak
    or even that something’s not right.

  67. Connie Inglis


    swaying politicians,
    evading taxes,
    enjoying riches
    from the ever-
    leaving destruction and
    in their wake.


  68. PatsC


    The monsters of childhood,
    Never go away,
    Evil lurks in the dark,
    Beasts beneath the bed.

    The haunting nightmare,
    Heart pounding terror,
    Wolves at my heels,
    Malevolence in the corners.

    Tumbling out of sleep,
    Restless and unsure,
    Moonlit walls portend,
    Myopic shadows of my destruction.

  69. Nancy Posey

    Castle Greyskull

    Waking alone in an unfamiliar room,
    carried up to the bed by her father
    without emerging from dreamless sleep
    in the back of the car, she did not cry out
    when she saw no one, nothing she knew.

    Instead, as her eyes adjusted to the pale
    light from the lamp post out the window,
    she saw the shape of a skull, hollow eyes,
    gaping mouth—just a castle once owned
    by a child long grown, where plastic toy
    figures fought the evil ones up and down

    its plastic stairs. She knew none of this,
    only the sight of a giant face staring back
    at her in the night, without even her pillow
    to comfort her, no way of knowing what
    she’d find on the other side of the door.

  70. hojawile

    Newsflash: Child Consumed!

    Ooo! a petting zoo!
    Mommy, please let’s go!
    Knee-high to a grasshopper,
    that was me.
    Maybe four, or was I three?
    This thing, it came around…
    I don’t recall a sound
    except the scream from my own throat.
    Bet you think it was a goat.
    But nope, nope, nope.
    The horror! The humiliation!
    My distorted perception..
    Never occurred to my little young brain
    nor to my giant imagining
    that I would not fit into an anteater’s mouth!
    I was devoured instead by terror.

  71. kldsanders

    Tense shoulders
    Dull ache
    Behind my eyes
    Sound crushes ears
    Light sears my sight
    Dull ache
    Into numbing pain
    Stomach clenches
    Movement sickens me
    Pop the pills
    Drink the caffeine
    Eat the chocolate
    Lay on the bed
    Wish I could die

    -Karen Sanders

  72. jsmadge


    We recognize them in dreams
    And this gives hope to nightmare.

    Terror lies in the fact
    One cannot always discern them by daylight.

    O, that all monsters could introduce themselves
    Instead of just driving to the store, looking like us.

    Jo Steigerwald

  73. CLShaffer

    Monster Storm by C. Lynn Shaffer

    “Over the course of 24 hours on April 3-4, 1974, 148 tornadoes touched down in 13 states. The Super Outbreak included 30 tornadoes classified as F4 or F5, the most intense and rare categories on the Fujita Scale.” AOL Weather

    I was three when I learned
    the wind could take shape,
    make weapons of barns
    and cattle, fold cars like sheets of paper
    and force trees to grow from windows.
    It opened the fronts of apartment buildings,
    making doll houses for the apocalypse.
    Somehow I recall a curtain rod,
    still dressed in lace,
    jutting from a chestnut oak.
    My family watched the news,
    talked of children
    taken into a cloud from their yards,
    one boy holding a dog he’d run for.
    A black, swirling mass removed a roof
    but took the contents of only one room
    where even the aquarium fish went missing.
    In my mother’s lap, I pretended to sleep,
    felt the rumbling of words in her chest.

  74. aphotic soul

    Insatiable Insanity – the key words to Humanity (Old Poem Redone)
    by Paul Andrew Ryan

    The elusive sun plays hide and seek, on this mournfully clouded day,
    Acting very timid and meek, while clearly not wanting to stay,
    And as the clouds grow weary and weak, their water drips and slips away,
    Aiming for this ground they seek, turning it into a wet concrete grey,
    Tears of mourning from the sky above, for the land we’ve called our own,
    Beautiful valleys we’ve pushed and shoved, bulldozed with a pain-ridden groan,
    A plague of cruelty and we don’t even care,
    For we’ve dubbed this land destined for despair,
    After all we don’t need beauty there,
    Nor do we need this clean fresh air,
    People dressed in uniforms, like costumes for a play,
    While their minds are doused with chloroform, soaked with misery and dismay,
    Prisoners bound by societal rules, for their addictions to their pay,
    While looking like jesters and fools, as their lives so quickly decay,
    Flowers lose their souls, they turn lifeless and turn grey,
    Now there are only empty holes, where once there’d be a brighter day,
    Endless paths to nowhere, in a concrete kingdom we call a city,
    Using the makeup of nature to repair, the face of a whore we call pretty,
    We torture the land, leave it beaten and bloody,
    Left unable to stand, like that whore we call slutty,
    We spray paint this world for our petty amusement,
    And paint up our faces so our age tells lies,
    While the moon grins with a saddened bemusement,
    Mother nature is tortured as she dies,
    Left bloodied and stained, as the birds scream and cry out her name,
    Suffocated and chained, with only humanity to be blamed,
    Atrocities in our youth so thoroughly ingrained,
    While all acts of altruism are so relentlessly restrained,
    The sky that was once blue, turns now a tainted gray,
    Only apathy in its view, only death can it portray,
    And what do we call this insatiable insanity?
    For the void that cannot be sated nor filled?
    Why yes of course! We’ll call it Humanity,
    Who which should be dragged off and killed.

  75. Mark Conroy

    “Spinal Tap”

    When I woke up I felt fragile
    If I moved my shell would shatter.
    He stood there at the edge of my eyes
    Waiting for me to wake up.

    The door was open
    A light hung low outside in the hall.
    That night was different than ever before.
    I was awake with nowhere to go.

    I didn’t know where I was
    Or even if I wanted to leave
    I didn’t have any plans or dreams
    It was still and I was stranded.

    My world ended in that room.
    I was just me left alone.
    I drifted back to sleep to meet me again.
    It was quiet except for some ragged snoring
    Mark. The Mark with no feet.

    Mark Conroy

  76. mbramucci

    Guise of Rusted Gild
    By: Michelle Bramucci

    A beast beside me sits
    Runs cold through neck
    Through wrists
    Peels the flesh around the claws
    Burning, searing pain comes dawn
    Gloom of day
    Restless night
    Chatter, banter, scolding, smite
    Quiet never
    Thoughts repeat
    Spiral endless
    Smile is meek
    Tears won’t come
    Words just sit
    Pressed against a puckered lip
    Vision tunneled
    Wisdom frayed
    Plea for guidance
    Plea and pray
    Wasted collar
    Sunken eyes
    Strong back twists to burdened thighs
    Feet are calloused
    Ankles bent
    The journey’s quick
    But soul is spent
    Earn no title
    Claim no prize
    I wait in vain for it to die
    Wax and wane
    Weaving thread
    Tethered, muffled
    Mask and mend
    Should these hands find strength to grip
    Offered respite under glove
    Beast won’t be slain by wrath of palm
    She is the sentinel of love

  77. jclenhardt

    Monster You

    I could talk of fangs,
    and the blood you drew
    in secret,
    and the scars you left
    the puncture wounds.
    I could talk of yellow eyes
    that glow in the dark,
    full of lust and greed
    that dripped from
    your fingers,
    that no one else
    could see, but me.
    I could talk of the monster
    dressed in man’s clothing;
    a suit and a tie,
    who could speak
    so eloquently,
    with a twinkle in his eye,
    and charms
    that would emanate
    from the dimples
    in his cheeks,
    so no one would know
    what lived beneath, but I,
    who could talk of you for hours.

  78. Misky

    A Wind Squat Sort of Life

    This is a wind squat sort of life.
    The cat is licking pictures of food
    in the magazine. Starving she is.
    Her legs have no meat, no weight,
    and we just painted the windows
    a forever silent blue to quiet
    the stormy sky. Magic knots
    don’t work, by the way. The air
    is still dense and spongy, and
    when I laugh, the cat drools.
    Yes, this is a wind squat life.

  79. drwasy

    Thoughts After Reading about the Teenager who Tormented an Autistic Girl to her Death

    My daughter reads
    the tales of Grimm
    and shivers
    at the little girl
    who peels wings
    off flies and other
    Almost twelve,
    she believes
    the world still fills
    with people kind
    and caring to
    flies and other insects,
    but knows it is
    not so nice to
    other girls like her.

  80. Tracy Davidson

    (with apologies to Lewis Carroll)

    Beware the Nagging Wife, my son!
    The tongue that cuts, the spit that flies!
    Beware the mother-in-law, shun
    That manxome devil in human guise.

    For brillig days and frabjous nights
    Listen carefully to your wife,
    Just nod and smile and nod some more
    If you want yourself a beamish life.

    Don’t burble when there’s guests for tea
    Or wave your vorpal blade about,
    Or blame your whiffling on the dog,
    For fear you’ll hear her frumious shout.

    Admit that she is always right,
    Be mimsy as a borogrove.
    Just be grateful she took you in,
    You great galumphing slithy tove.

  81. Monique

    The Frenemy

    The worst monster I have ever faced
    Disguised itself as a friend.
    Words were the weapon she chose to expend
    And forbidden fruit was a flavor she longed to taste
    From the shadows, my every step she traced,
    And her phone calls had no end.
    I wanted sanity, but she chose obsession instead.
    Eventually, her number I erased
    Staying strong wasn’t easily done
    Especially when she kept trying to break my wall
    I knew that I had no choice but to run
    But I’d rather be me than turn into her doll
    Nowadays, I shine bright as the sun
    On my own, I am standing tall

  82. miaokuancha

    April 27, 2014

    Prompt: Monster

    Not a day goes by
    That I don’t see her
    Stringy hair down past her waist
    Blood shot eyes
    Dead mouth
    With red tongue lolling
    Breath of the grave
    Bony fingers
    Long and grasping
    Caved belly
    Sharp toenails
    Not a day goes by
    This ghost of a
    Drowned woman
    Sees me too
    Knows where I live
    Where I sleep
    Feet fit
    My footprints
    Eats the food left
    On my plate
    Shadow of a
    Former self.

    ~ miaokuancha

  83. Shennon

    They say that a man-eating muskie
    lurks beneath these waters.

    I try to forget the words of warning,
    about the third pit,
    as I walk in after my boyfriend,
    who’s hellbent on catching a
    master angler northern pike today.

    I try to ignore the mesmerizing fog,
    the beads of sweat trickling down my neck,
    and the distinct nudge I just felt
    against my water submerged waders.


  84. pcm

    Monster in the Mirror

    Monster in the mirror, myself I despise
    when I think of all the failures, all the
    things I’ve tried, how my best efforts
    have seemed meaningless over the years,
    no achievement sufficient, no victory
    comes near the simple sense of connecting,
    belonging and acceptance without fear.
    The monster in the mirror is uglier by far
    than the glossy photos of perfect people
    like move stars. Never thin, pretty, polished
    or with charisma sufficient to pass muster
    for anything other than efficient, I developed
    my skill set to stay out of debt and, to some
    extent, with success I met.

    But my heart remained empty, bereft of meaning
    though I devoured philosophy, theology and
    literature redeeming. My monster self was
    all I could see: from inside, to outside, in every part
    of me. Too old, too young, too broken, too
    wrinkly, too inept, not girlie, not boyish, not
    getting up early, not rich, not famous, not
    parent of the year, not to mention, a lousy
    cook, my dear, but you showed me a
    reflection I’d not seen before, that just
    maybe this monster you did not abhor
    and because that which you saw was something
    worthwhile, I’ve begun to climb out of the circular file.

  85. SestinaNia


    I am the one lurking
    under your bed, outside
    your window, down
    in the dank cellar, with
    the spiders and jars
    of homemade jam.
    It is my claws you hear
    clicking an S-O-S
    on the metal frame
    of your bed, skittering
    at the doorknob,
    scratching at the glass pane
    just after you’ve tucked
    under your safety blanket.
    I hide behind every tree
    in a twilit forest, behind
    every dumpster in a million
    empty city alleyways, the ones
    with chain link fences
    always blocking you in.
    I inhabit the shadows,
    the nooks and crannies
    between awake and dream,
    the maybes and might-have-beens—
    I am never far away,
    always so close you can feel
    my exhale on your neck, my gaze
    on your sleeping face.

    Yes, I am a monster,
    and you call me

    –Sara Doyle

  86. Shennon

    The damage he inflicted was mental.
    He knew better than to lay a hand.
    For years he criticized ceaselessly.
    Nothing was perfect or even done well in his eyes.

    I tried to anticipate where he’d find fault,
    Cleaning house the entire day,
    Only to have him comment:
    on the one shelf I forgot to dust
    on the weeds in the flower bed
    on the pile of papers on the desk in the guest room.

    Not that we ever had guests.
    He discouraged all from wanting to stay.
    He terrified my family, while his,
    They didn’t care to deal with his grumpy, disparaging nature.

    The house was always a disaster, he claimed
    So he never wanted friends around.
    He said I should be embarrassed to have anyone enter.
    He eventually drove all my friends away.

    Guilt was something he administered well.
    I rarely visited family or went out with friends.
    It wasn’t worth the backlash incurred by these trips,
    And so I cut ties with those I loved.

    He enjoyed prolonged hunting and fishing trips,
    Leaving me working two jobs and raising three kids.
    Innumerable tears fell in a sad array of vain.
    Prayers for a brighter future became harder to say.

    One night a co-worker shot my husband.
    He evidently made others mad, too.
    The monster inside this employee rose,
    He dealt a blow long overdue.

    Now the monster inside me rejoices,
    So many times I longed for his death.
    I then hung my head in utmost shame,
    As the monster drew his last breath.


  87. MyPoeticHeart

    Monsters at Comfort Inn

    In 2006 I went to a Veteran’s Reunion with another Vet
    arriving late at night we were exhausted from the road trip
    dropping everything we got in our separate beds
    quickly falling asleep.
    I thought I was dreaming of something biting into my neck
    feeling it shuffling around down into my ear
    crunch, crunch crunch I heard
    Reaching up to my ear
    something wet and warm on my fingers
    quickly I turned on the light
    blood my blood I ran to the bathroom
    discovered I had bugs all over me
    I screamed and my roommate woke up
    after our showers we discovered
    both beds spots of blood every where
    the manager called, the police were called
    a new hotel was called and our lawyers were called

    I shiver to this day when someone innocently says
    “Good night, don’t let the bedbugs bite.”

    * Note: The Hotel was sued by both our lawyers, it was uncontested.

  88. Clark Buffington

    The Angry Man

    I didn’t know he was there this monster that was hiding
    Lurking in the dark recesses waiting for his moment
    Anticipating the pain and terror he would bestow
    As pressure built and control was lost he burst forth
    Unleashed on the innocents of my life this monster raged

    Once loosed of his bonds the monster ruled with pain
    Screams boiled forth on rampages that fell on the blameless
    Shame and guilt were fuel to bank the fires of his anger higher
    He felt unstoppable as he took over and reveled in the power
    This reign of terror was his delight as he exploded at all

    The little one named the monster saying he didn’t like the Angry Man
    That was the flash of light exposing the monster to me clearly
    The agony that came was staggering as all was laid bare to see
    I was the Angry Man dealing pain and suffering to my Loved Ones
    This was the monster hiding in me that I had loosed on all

    The Angry Man’s end was not easy in coming as he fought on
    The forgiveness of those hurt was a dagger driven into the monster
    Their love and tears was cold water on his raging fires of resentment
    I am not the Angry Man that destroys his family without remorse
    The husband and father is back with the monster caged away

  89. Pat Walsh

    PAD poem 27: a monster poem (!)

    My Pal Bigfoot
    by Patrick J. Walsh

    My Pal Bigfoot is a big mystery
    to people who are afraid of him
    they tend to scream and run
    ’cause they think he’s all monstery

    it’s true that sometimes
    he appears kind of suddenly
    out of the mist of the woods
    like some sort of appeararition

    and folks out hiking or fishing
    affable enough in their own way
    usually steer clear of him
    ’cause they don’t find him affaproachable

    once in awhile when he’s peckish
    he might eat somebody’s poultry
    but only ’cause it’s so tasty
    and who doesn’t like a little peckoultry?

    and people say he’s malodorous
    with a smell so strong
    it would melt a monolith
    but I think that’s just a malodomith

    the thing that bugs me most though
    is when people call my pal a monster
    he’s no monster really
    he’s really just misonsterstood

  90. Sharon Ann

    Monstrous Questions

    Where do the monsters go
    after they leave the innocents
    that banish them away?
    Do they seek another innocent soul
    to work out their monster on?
    Or, once their power has been removed,
    do they disappear into the night
    never to be seen again?

  91. GirlGriot


    city –
    By greed, by shiny
    metal and glass. New
    new life,
    new city …
    And left to live
    behind the shadows:
    lives that don’t count.

  92. tunesmiff

    G. Smith
    Mom and Sam and I went down,
    To the grocery store on the edge of town.
    It was just another shopping day,
    When we were done, we’d go home to play.

    We got our buggy and went inside,
    Sam wanted to push, so I got to ride.
    Mom said, “Good morning” to Mr. Magee,
    He told her about specials on aisle number three.

    We pushed into produce to get some tomatoes,
    Some corn and carrots and sweet potatoes.
    And hiding between the broccoli and radish,
    Was a dinosaur looking rather sadish.

    I said, “Hey, Sam do you see what I see?
    “There’s a dinosaur and he’s looking at me!”
    Sam turned around; “A dinosaur? Where?”
    I said, “He’s hiding right over there.”

    Mom shook her head and hid a smile;
    I waved as we moved on down the aisle.
    Vegetables flew as he sat up straight.
    I tried to get Mom and Sam to wait.

    But we kept going, so he followed along,
    Humming a happy dinosaur song.
    He seemed to smile. He wagged his tail;
    It banged against the produce scale.

    He mad such a racket Mom turned around,
    But the dinosaur could not be found!
    Mom looked at Sam; Mom looked at me;
    But the swinging scale was all she could see.

    Mom picked fruit we’d eat for a snack,
    While I wondered if the dinosaur was coming back.
    From between some bananas he gave me a grin
    That said our fun was about to begin.

    Mom compared apples to tangerines,
    Pears to peaches to nectarines.
    When a pile of grapefruit rolled ‘cross the floor,
    She looked at Sam and me once more.

    We hadn’t done it; we were too far away,
    So there wasn’t too much that she could say.
    Just looked puzzled and scratched her head,
    As Sam pushed us over to get some bread.

    Mom looked a whole wheat, she looked at rye;
    Then that dinosaur once again caught my eye.
    Sam still hadn’t seen him, so I said real low,
    “The dinosaur’s hiding in the buns, you know.”

    Sam turned his head, and to his surprise,
    He was staring that dinosaur right in the eyes.
    Sam stood there speechless while Mom checked her list;
    And suddenly Sam was dinosaur kissed!

    Mom looked up when she heard Sam shout.
    I knew she’d seen that dinosaur’s snout.
    Instead she asked up, “Please be quiet?
    “It sounds like you two are starting a riot!”

    “But, Mom,” Sam said, “There’s a dinosaur,
    “Hiding here in the grocery store!”
    Mom nodded her head and said, “I know,”
    Hoping her smile didn’t show.

    “But, Mom, I saw him, I did,” Sam said.
    “Look! See his footprints in the bread?”
    And sure enough, some bread looked flat,
    Like maybe that’s where a dinosaur sat.

    “He’s real,” Sam said. “Mom, I’m not fakin'”
    But Mom was studying sausage and bacon.
    Next we looked at sandwich meat.
    Mom almost stepped on the dinosaur’s feet.

    “Look out!” cried Sam, “He’s not a phony!”
    But Mom was choosing ham and baloney.
    We turned our cart down aisle number three,
    And there at the end stood Mr. Magee

    Stacking cans of succotash,
    Across from rows of corned beef hash.
    Mom got some pea and got some conr-n’-
    Picked out cereal for in the mornin’.

    She stopped to chat with Mr. Magee,
    And the dinosaur, “Shished,” at Sam and me.
    He picked around the succotash pile,
    Flicked his tail and cans filled the aisle.

    Sam and I – well, we just giggled
    As the dinosaur laughed, his belly jiggled.
    Mr. Magee was not amused;
    Mom looked at us and looked confused.

    We were too far away, that was plain to see;
    The dinosaur was gone again, naturally.
    As we moved our way through all those cans,
    That dinosaur had other plans.

    1. tunesmiff

      While Mom was checking pasta prices,
      The dinosaur was sniffing spices.
      The dinosaur puffed, the dinosaur wheezed;
      The dinosaur huffed, and then he SNEEZED!

      Mom paused when she heard that awful sound,
      But, funny, she didn’t turn around.
      When we got to the peanut butter and jelly,
      The dinosaur tickled me on the belly.

      Sam grinned, then laughed; I just giggled.
      The more he tickled, the more I wiggled.
      Mom said, “Calm don, we’re just about done.
      “And when we get home, you can run and have fun.”

      Again the dinosaur disappeared.
      Was he gone for good? That’s what I feared.
      I should have know he’d be back soon,
      Grinning and humming his silly tune.

      This dinosaur was really smart!
      He piled up cookies in our cart.
      When Mom wasn’t looking he pitched and tossed;
      The cans of spinach were quickly lost.

      He traded juice for soda pop;
      We wondered if he’d ever stop.
      But finally we hit the check-out line,
      And we thought everything was fine.

      Till Mom put the cookies to one side;
      The sodas, too, we’d be denied.
      When she didn’t return for any more spinach,
      It looked like we were truly finached.

      Mr. Magee, who was done re-stacking,
      Helped the bag-boy with his packing.
      He carefully put the eggs in last,
      And said to Mom as we walked past.

      “Here’s your milk, and did you know,
      “It’s strange to me as strange things go,
      “When things get slow and almost boring,
      “I hear a muffled kind of snoring.

      “And when kids come in, like your two boys,
      “That’s when I hear all KINDS of noise.
      “Fruit will spill, cans will tumble;
      “Bottles rattle, the floor will rumble.

      “When the kids go home, I’ll hear a snuffle,
      “Or see the celery shift and ruffle.
      “What raises this ruckus? I really can’t say.
      “It’s a puzzle that puzzles me night and day.

      “I hate to admit, but it’s like this store,
      “Is home to a clumsy dinosaur.:
      Sam and I didn’t know what to think!
      Then we saw the dinosaur give us a wink.

      He waved good-by, and we waved, too.
      That’s what friends are supposed to do.
      I think he knows we’ll be back soon,
      All of us humming his dinosaur tune.


      Sorry for the break… typus-interuptus, I’m afraid… or fat-finger/fast-typing syndrome…

      : )


    2. ASperryConnors

      Very fun romp through the grocery store! I am a preschool teacher and love the song “Sammy” This is the story about Sammy, His father sent him out to buy bread, but Sammy didn’t feel like walking he flew like a bird instead…and the song goes on about all the ways he skipped and hopped and swam to the store. This story takes us down Moms list in the same way…it is a keeper!

      1. tunesmiff

        Thank you most kindly… I’d be interested to hear what your preschoolers think… or even draw up if you’re of a mind to ask ‘em…

        : )


  93. Shennon

    I’ll pack my bags tomorrow,
    Or maybe next week.
    Why am I in such a hurry
    Sure, I have my ticket,
    But the final reservation isn’t made.
    It’s not the land so much
    That I hate.
    But there’s just something
    About these people.
    Not quite human yet
    Possessing human characteristics,
    They mock my every attempt
    At communication.
    Cold hearted beings with
    No souls
    Can’t comprehend my need
    For compassion.
    Come to think of it,
    Packing tonight
    Might be my best bet.


  94. Sara McNulty

    The Monster Man

    People scream, race off
    at the sight of him. His skin
    sags in pouches, teeth
    brown and broken when
    he is not wearing a frown.
    No dentist will treat him.
    A disfigured head sits bulbous
    and heavy on his neck. “Run,”
    the children call to each other,
    “here comes the monster man.”
    They do not know or care,
    that inside the misshapen head,
    a brain thinks. Inside a deformed
    body, a heart beats, feels,
    and is broken.

  95. cobanionsmith

    Step Right Up, Folks

    A child of carnies, I had to earn my keep.
    So despite ice-blue eyes, wolf boy became my job,
    and I was glad; wolf boy was better than a geek.
    In a suit of black horse hair, sometimes I’d wait
    quietly in one dark corner of my hay-lined cage,
    then leap toward the gawkers as they came into the tent—
    foaming, howling, growling, reaching with clawed hands.
    The more rabid, the better. I gave them what they paid for,
    and I didn’t mind. I earned my cut of the admittance fee
    after the barker, the bearded lady, the half-man,
    the Siamese twins, and the one-eyed dwarf took their shares.
    Besides the itchy suit, the only time it ever really bothered me
    was when a pimple-faced boy and his girlfriend came in to make out.
    I could smell the hairspray of her Farrah Fawcett hair and the sweat
    of his eagerness and desperation. Something feral stirred in me.
    I took too long to remember what I was supposed to be
    when I saw her, but that’s not what they’d paid their money
    for anyway. I stood quietly as he led her to a corner of the tent
    and they started kissing. Then I let loose,
    really snarling and snorting, not having to pretend
    too much to growl. Even from there, I could see that his mustache
    was a meager shadow above his upper lip. What did he have
    over a hair suit? She stared at me over his shoulder, pulled away,
    looked down, crossed her arms over her chest, and shook
    her head. He turned. Looked at me then the ground. Picked up a rock
    and threw it, hitting me in the shoulder, square in my ego.
    “Shut up, you freak!” He grabbed her hand and pulled her out.
    Looking over her shoulder, her hazel eyes met mine.
    No fear or amusement there. Just confusion and pity. I laid down
    in the corner next to the water bowl, held my hurt shoulder,
    and whimpered as the next family came through,
    feeling like a real monster for the first time.

    (c) Courtney O’Banion Smith

  96. jasonlmartin

    Dumb Monsters?

    Are we each assigned a monster
    just as ugly as you are beautiful?
    Your monster is raised to be your
    companion in sleep, keeper of all
    your nightmares, spooks, creeps,
    your shivers and your goosebumps?

    You say he sleeps under your bed,
    makes the posts rattle when he snores.
    Tomorrow night he is in your closet,
    tries on your superhero t-shirts, grinds
    his massive teeth, claws at the doors.
    But where does he go in the daylight?

    He’s not dumb. Maybe we humans are, though.
    Ha! To think, from our early ages, we are taught
    that there are enough monsters to go around
    for each and ever kid on this planet, to arrive
    every night to terrorize us. I’ll have you know
    monsters have other things to do than occupy

    our nights. They, too, have creepy monsters
    that they run from, have to hide under beds,
    in closets, every day. Their monsters are us.

  97. DCR1986

    Broken Red Wings

    The yellow in your eyes search
    to weaken the flesh.
    Your face shift like the day.
    Then your wicked children march
    in circles chanting poison.
    Turning dreams into nightmares.
    Until the number seven appears
    and the words of God
    break your wings and
    send you back to hell.

    —Danielle C. Robinson

  98. RebekahJ

    I decided to take this prompt in the more general direction of “supernatural/not only or not entirely human beings” rather than “monsters”. Here is the result.

    American Saints
    With thanks to Neil Gaiman

    Among those removed from the list of official saints in 1969 were Catherine of Alexandria, legendary scholar, orator, and patron of female students; and Christopher, the longtime protector of travelers and bachelors. Catherine’s feast-day, November 25th, was restored to the Roman calendar as an optional celebration in 2004.

    From Hagiography Post-Vatican II

    Opening the oven to check the pies, she remembers the Summer of Love. The strawberries he bought her with his last dollar, the long aimless walks along the waterfront. Sometimes she misses that tiny apartment where they lay curled together in the glow of the streetlamp, sleeping through the traffic that rumbled behind the curtains like rain. Once he started working at the docks she spent so many nights alone, grading papers at this kitchen table. Still she smiles, shelling the peas, to recall how his crew loved him. They’d do anything he asked, knew he’d keep them safe—and always told him all their troubles. Of course she treasured those nights too, the ones spent reading and writing to her more-than-children, the girls who passed through her hands each year, opening like flowers to her voice. Nothing’s changed, she realizes, as she moves to the sink, even now that he’s at the airport: those young kids in their new TSA uniforms hang on his every word, and he works all the late shifts while she writes, sometimes till dawn. The Old Man, they call him, and they say he sees everything. She tucks a strand of hair behind her ear. So strange that he’s her old man—she who swore, long ago in her desert city, that she’d never marry. She thought no male could ever tolerate her reason—-not, of course, that he always could. The corners of her eyes crinkle as she sees again the nights he’s lain, rough-hewn features turned from her, his dark bulk breathing, silent. Would it have been different, she wonders on her way to the hall cupboard, if they’d had a son he could carry on his shoulders? Certainly, but there’s really no telling if better, or worse. In the end we both did what we were meant to do, she thinks, marveling at his shoes that wait next to hers on the doormat, his jacket touching arms with her coat. She unfurls the red tablecloth, watches it billow, fall. Looks up to see him huge in the doorway, watching her, his blue eyes shining. We have a choice, she tells herself. Let’s set a feast.

    Kimberly Gladman Jackson

  99. peacegirlout

    River monster

    Lure me there
    To the river’s edge
    Run your lines
    Into my head
    Tie me down
    Until I’m hooked
    Cast me far
    When no one looks
    Reel me in
    Again and again
    But never
    Let me

  100. carolecole66

    Primal Fear

    The calm waters of the summer Gulf seem placid
    in the sun. But just beyond the breaks, the monsters
    of our nightmares lurk unseen beneath the swells.

    I see the shredded plastic raft adrift amid a pool
    of blood, the surfer’s severed leg, the giant
    tooth embedded in the hull. The beasts lie waiting

    tentacled and toothed, slit-eyed with rage. We brave
    the waves, determined to own the sea. But sixty miles out,
    the great white shark glides closer to our shore.


  101. BDP

    “Heating Pad Monster”

    Gives hot, addictive pleasure to my back,
    sometimes cricked neck, hips (in particular
    the left), pained sinus cavities (that’s where
    mean mucus sprouts long arms that ax and hack
    until my brain’s a Zippo without spark).
    I’ve chucked the pills in lieu of plugged in lure.
    Cold toes and wrists, my circulation’s poor
    without those strolls around my body park.

    Can’t live without it. Makes me think of dad,
    black truck, casino’s just an hour upstate,
    he’s switched his stumbling drunk to glitter coin,
    stale coffee now preferred, in search of glad.
    I need that warmth—no doubt, we’ll keep on going.
    I’ve only hurt myself, at any rate.

    –Barb Peters

  102. grcran


    It was a bad, vile,
    evil, ugly, hideous,
    horrifying… lie

    Monstrous, Too

    It was a large, huge,
    vast, enormous, gigantic,
    gargantuan… lie.

    And even though
    It was stated during a political debate
    And delivered as a haiku
    It was still wrong.

    by gpr crane

  103. Natasa Bozic Grojic

    The Locked Door

    The door is locked and
    there is no way to get in.
    Still, I can hear her.
    She whispers.
    I sneak out every night,
    pen and paper in my hand.
    I listen for hours.
    She scares me, of course.
    The night air is cold on my skin
    and I am so sleepy.
    But it is worth it.
    She gives me what I want,
    every time,
    and I pretend that I love her
    just the way she is.

  104. tunesmiff

    G. Smith
    When did he turn into someone she no longer knows,
    A stranger sitting there across the room?
    It seems it happened overnight, the old, tired story goes,
    It wasn’t long ago he was her groom.

    But now they sit in silence, he doesn’t say a thing,
    And she doesn’t know what she should say or do;
    She remembers how it was and how her heart would sing,
    When their love was young and bright and new.

    Like something from a sci-fi movie,
    Filmed in black and white,
    They didn’t see it coming,
    They gave up without a fight,

    They went to bed not knowing,
    That change was on its way,
    The next morning when they both woke up,
    That change was here to stay.
    That change was here to stay.

  105. lionetravail

    “The Monster At The Center”
    by David M. Hoenig

    A monster like no other sits
    and gobbles anything that fits
    into its maw. And when I say
    its maw is huge, that’s not a play
    on words: it pulls in savaged bits

    of stars! For gravity is its
    harsh strength, the source of all orbits.
    At center of the Milky Way,
    a monster like no other sits.

    It doesn’t show off any glitz,
    though Hawking’s trace it sure emits.
    The center of a grand ballet,
    is massive Sagittarius A;
    within, the speed of light submits!
    Death’s court; and there the antic sits!

    1. SestinaNia

      fun :) And I hope you do come to love the sestina–it’s such a wonderful, fun form! (Try using nouns, have others pick you out six, then just play with them!)

  106. encrerouge

    patterned visit

    In a reflective matter, this is not the twenty eight of February,
    two thousand and fifteen is far from the fingertips
    yet what I feel between closed doors
    is something not even the time of a clock can encapsulate

    it rises as a question dressed in black
    peeking through the floor cracks , hollowing the wind
    and becomes stronger the minute my heart screams
    in acceleration of the empty matter between skins

    repugnant are its movements, extending its arms
    the cold embrace of the AM scattered in quarts
    as if the endowment was well received
    why do the teeth glisten in the obscurity?

    they are neither dreams nor misplaced diamonds
    fatal is the presence of doubt and destruction
    within the drapes of numbers created by man
    she sits near the door, observing my fall …

  107. Hannah

    The Pull

    All murky meres harbor a monster,
    magic that holds one’s gaze.
    Each cloud clutches a clap and a rumble
    with power to slash the shroud,
    break the barrier so that words will spring
    but each woodland holds a worshipful quiet, too;
    tender timber coverings embrace sound,
    suspended with splendor noise is softened in these creases.
    It’s not always the tangible things that we’ll seek –
    boulder by brook’s side
    and verdant limbs above water
    as they quiver with swirling rays…
    graspable images
    but of this silence…
    one cannot fully comprehend
    its depth or from whence it comes
    and when will it return,
    it’s this mystery –
    the monster magic that no one’s truly seen
    that keeps people peering deeply into the unknown.

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2014

  108. bethwk

    by Elizabeth Weaver-Kreider

    Oh, that one.
    He looked so dapper,
    and spoke with such charm.
    A family man, they all said.

    He sacrificed everything
    for his brilliant children,
    and more for his wonderful wife.

    He played it so well,
    even she who thought she knew him best,
    had no sense of the truth
    until he’d drained her dry.

  109. Shell

    The Fiend In The Dark
    By Shell Ochsner

    Demon’s, in the Hollywood sense, don’t exist.

    There are no ghosts, no supernatural beings that await for perfect timing to join a symbiotic host of innocence.

    I’ve seen true evil.

    Touched it.

    Lived with it.

    Loved it.

    Monsters are not devised physically, they’re conceived.

    Preying on the vulnerable who are easy targets that will devote little to no pushback.

    Making every effort to break their victim’s into pieces so small, hope of ever being whole again is forever lost.

    Survival is a strong instinct pulling one through the tunnel to the light.

    The fiend in the dark takes away much, but not a will to persevere.

  110. dandelionwine

    Henson on Monsters

    We’re afraid of our fear, not of our constructed
    monsters, so we’re able to meet with one, discuss

    anything, discuss fear, feel the monster’s fuzzy face,
    witness its worry, be warmed by its furry embrace–

    we’re able to ease fear down from its jagged ledge
    into our capable hands, regard it as a question

    requesting an answer, travel with it for a while
    until we choose to let go of ourselves and laugh.

    Sara Ramsdell

  111. J.lynn Sheridan


    The year I forgot how to sleep, I grew an enormous lady beard
    and the face in my mirror reflected a spittoon of REM wrinkles.

    I drank a few concoctions and pretended to dream of dreaming
    but the night bred dead things with six eyes and tangled tie-dyed hair.

    In the morning, I was afraid of even the puppies in the windows.

  112. Jerry Walraven

    “They say it grew where the witch fell”

    This earth has been marked
    by darkness so deep
    that the only tree which dared grow
    twisted and turned back upon itself,
    trying to claw at the dirt
    as though hiding its fruit
    from the Sun.
    These apples,
    so red as to be black,
    so deep and dark
    that they must be
    the fruit of death
    and yet . . .
    . . . the fragrance
    is nothing but
    and the first taste
    radiates through you,
    replacing all sorrow
    with happiness,
    replacing all
    with meaning
    all will
    with desire
    for another bite,
    which leaves you
    and still.
    for the darkness.

  113. mshall


    Mirror, mirror on the wall
    Who’s the fairest of them all?
    I would it were me
    But my fair visage is not what I see.

    Mirror, mirror on the wall,
    Reflect not my flaws, though they be small.
    Be not a magnifying glass
    For my glaring lack of class.

    Mirror, mirror on the wall,
    Cloak me in a kinder caul.
    Though I search for a green-eyed princess,
    I am met with a green-eyed mistress.

    Mirror, mirror on the wall,
    Must you really tell it all?
    From the monster that meets my face,
    I hid my eyes to erase.

  114. DanielAri


    how many nights Lil woke up to kill our sex life,
    padding into our bedroom. “I’m scared,” voice
    tiny between whatever was under her bed and
    the Charybdis of our aggravation, rolling from
    one another. Kids don’t need to see Star Wars
    and don’t need to be rushed to adopt the tastes
    of their parents. I still want to gather the parents
of Lil’s elementary school friends, two of whom
    took Lil with their own kids to see Spiderman 

    and all the property damage, threatened lives,

    and evil science therein just because Mickey D’s
ran some cross promotion. Who doesn’t adore 

    Spiderman? My hand’s up. We gave Lil’s boogie
    man a name, wrote out a peace treaty, asked it
    to relocate. Alice burned incense, rubbed Lil’s 

    feet, borrowed amber crystals from her friend
    to calm and protect. And we let her camp out
    in our room most nights, hauling ourselves to
the dark hall closet for the sleeping pad, then
    to her room for blankets and her pillow and two
    out of a dozen stuffies. But nothing stopped her

    chorus: I’m scared. I’m scared. Finally, and this 

    isn’t a cute parenting ode, we just said: we don’t
    care about the Green Goblin, just don’t wake us.
    Get the pad, your blankets, your pillow, your two
    stuffed allies, and camp out on the floor. Or turn
    on your light. Or turn on your lullabies. Or do
    what you need to do. Try whatever you wish.

    But just don’t. Wake. Us. Up. That rule lasted
    through monsters and thunderstorms ‘til finally
    Lil grew into her shmurpy Sylvia Plath phase.


  115. Alpha1


    so amazing
    are our human bodies with
    built-in electromagnetic
    fields regulating how
    we perform on
    one level yet amazingly
    vulnerable on the next
    our precious
    life being sucked out by
    those Jekyll and Hyde
    electronic devices we love so much
    emitting radiation frequencies
    that are constantly
    sapping our energy
    endangering our well being
    yet we can’t live
    or die
    without them

  116. Janet Rice Carnahan


    Won’t you please go gently into the dark of night?
    I do not recognize your size and I don’t know your height
    Just knowing you are around is enough to frighten me
    You push me to get past my fears I strive to overcome
    I want to get bare against the fright and constant scare
    To do that, I must let you go to the light

    I can never find you when I stand bathed in light
    I only know you are there when there is no light at night
    Perhaps you don’t intend to startle me or to scare
    Maybe you are small and just disguise your height
    If that were true, with you I could resist being overcome
    I doubt you are small, though, because you do so frighten me

    Are you laughing when you frighten me?
    Just taunting me until I again turn on the light
    Which, leads me to believe with the light you can be overcome
    And yet, what about when there is no light and it is as dark as night
    And there is this foreboding sense you stand at your greatest height
    Once I feel that, I pull back swallowed, absorbed by the scare

    How I hope to go beyond this incessant scare
    I always strive to do that but then you again frighten me
    Even if I stand as tall as I can be, bravely pushing myself to my greatest height
    Nothing conquers you the same way quite except for bringing in the light
    Maybe the stars could glow much more brightly, shining out late at night
    No one could sleep with that much light, they would be overcome

    Wouldn’t they rather it was light with which they are overcome?
    Then to try to sleep and instead be awakened by each scare
    But how to maintain balance if there should be no night
    Can’t I just tell you to stop frightening me?
    Instead of clinging to my one true weapon of the light
    Aiming my beam up to an even greater height

    Because I know as sure as I stand here, there is no fear in light’s greatest height
    The light helps us each to have faith to overcome
    It is because of this higher force that we are lifted up by light
    It is the truest way to clear out of our way any one daunting scare
    Knowing this is true will stop you from frightening me
    Conquering your monstrous fear that has crept into my peaceful night

    So, in truth, no grand height of fright and scare
    Can really overcome and frighten me
    If I stand and trust the light, burning it bright . . .
    Into the night!

  117. cmjones

    We lie awake droning

    Atalissa in my bones. A day in late summer is an
    Underrated horror. I am writing in the third person bureaucratic.
    Martyrs and the aftermath. Astrophysically speaking, we’re all associated
    Forces becoming the evil we deplore, becoming
    Acronyms leaping out of windows and
    Undulating, our grace authorized by the capitalist
    Mode of resurrection, falling rebranded as ascension in reverse,
    Funerals contingent on the quality of the landing.

  118. Delaina Miller

    Monster Memories

    The monsters do not lie under your bed
    they are in your heart and in your head.
    You’ve been hurt
    no one can deny.
    But you make us prove
    over and over again
    that we’ll be there to save you.
    You put yourself in danger
    you live in a state of threat
    just to see if unlike before
    we will run to your rescue.

    The memories still live in your head.
    You make us prove again and yet again
    we will come to your rescue
    as you step into the flames you fan
    to see if we will rush in.
    You jump, no parachute on your back
    to see if we will catch you.

    It seems the monster took
    the very thing we can’t replace,
    your faith that love will save you.
    Every time
    we rush the flames to pull you out
    and link arms to break your fall.
    Yet you only see
    we failed to protect you.

  119. Delaina Miller

    The Grim

    There is a monster under my bed
    it wants to shallow me whole
    into an abyss
    so dark, there is no light
    for shadows to resemble you.

    So dark I choke
    on the thick – dry void
    of nothingness.
    No evidence of anything
    not even the body I occupy,
    other than the raging pain
    of suffocation.

    With news of a child’s death
    you haunt my heart with memories
    of how I could not save you.
    There is a monster under my bed
    that wants to swallow me whole.

  120. Mark Windham


    The heart of a monster,
    consumed by the heat
    of its anger, the power
    of pride and the passion
    of provoked prejudice.

    The heart of a monster,
    charred to a state of cinder
    and ash, subsisting —
    for a time — on the energy
    of a forgotten ember.

    The heart of a monster,
    smolders within a shell
    of ugliness, bruised and scarred
    from attacks against
    the affront of its existence.

    The heart of a monster,
    reborn from the ashes of hatred,
    healed by the gentleness
    of a touch, bathed in a
    baptism of tears.

  121. elledoubleyoo

    When Monsters Exist

    The black crack of a closet door, ajar,
    holds no fear for him: only clothes, hangers,
    toys he’s outgrown, because toys are for babies

    and he needs to man up, shut up, sit down
    if he knows what’s good for him. What’s good
    is that there was mac and cheese for dinner

    and enough whiskey to keep his father sweet.
    The bad nights are when there’s not enough drink
    to take him from that sweet spot into sleep;

    that’s when monsters exist, biting
    not with teeth but brutal words, striking
    not with claws but drunken fists.

  122. Cameron Steele

    **last write-thru**

    Monsters Are Downstairs, Too:

    He doesn’t sleep but when
    he sleeps he sleeps hard
    dreams hard but not enough
    to hurt just a dull teasing
    thwack. It always sounds
    like that: his father’s broad
    palm flexing and popping
    and cupping the back of
    mom’s jeans as if they weren’t
    too loose. As if they were snug
    on her ass: as if it were round
    like a smile like she slept
    every night or some of them
    round like she didn’t hide
    her belts beneath his bed.
    Round enough to be hugged
    and hard.

  123. GarrinJost

    I don’t want to talk about it-
    the pictures sealed up in files
    misnamed intentionally-
    I’d delete them,
    but he takes the finger sometimes-
    tightens sinew and

    I’d rather we leave it where it is
    just behind the surface of my eyes-
    bare hands and feet on
    brain-blood barrier
    in predator crouch.

    It’s his hair you see,
    his eyes,
    I’ve got his laugh, mom says
    I’ve got his sense of smell.

    You’ll see him come out,
    can’t say when,
    can’t say where,
    wish I could.

    Last time it was,
    of all places,
    a burger restaurant

    The waitress was
    so sweet
    I knew it, but
    he didn’t care-
    came out with an iron grip
    The C and B words
    through bared teeth-
    I knew he had my eyes.

    I wasn’t even there until
    we’d been ejected-
    and she just stared
    but he was gone.

    She said she’d rather not talk about it
    that we should just leave it where it is-
    but now I don’t know where I am,
    and I’m worried that he does,
    I’m so worried,
    he was never worried
    he never worried.

  124. Michael Wells


    I’ve not been fazed by things unknown
    or of which we know very little. I heard
    it said that in this house dwells one
    with whom we do not meddle.

    I’ve heard the noises, been unimpressed
    I know there is a logical explanation.
    But one rainy night without the lights
    I came face to face with a beast imprisoned.

    I went below with a flashlight in tow
    to search for the breaker box. I found
    instead a gaping crack in brick
    becoming unsettled. And when the wall

    split wide apart, with light in hand I saw
    that source of all nightmares since
    half skeleton, part meat on bone and
    with broken chains on hands

  125. Cameron Steele

    Monsters Are Downstairs, Too

    He doesn’t sleep but when
    he sleeps he sleeps hard
    dreams hard but not enough
    to hurt just a dull teasing
    thwack it always sounds
    like that: his father’s broad
    palm flexing and popping
    and cupping the back of
    mom’s jeans as if they weren’t
    too loose as if they were snug
    on her ass as if it were round
    like a smile. Round enough
    to be hugged and hard.

  126. PowerUnit

    There are no bogeymen under our beds
    There are no sharks with countless teeth swimming in our bathtubs
    There are no giant Anacondas living in our toilets
    Well, this is Canada, maybe there are
    There are no demons living in dark corners of the cellar
    There aren’t any ghosts in the attic
    And there are no axe, chainsaw, or scissors murderers slipping through kitchen windows
    No, the real monsters live within

  127. Gwyvian

    The man in gray

    Fine smiles that never reach the eyes only
    means there’s deeper to dig, and the charm
    of that beauty is a magnet to every woman
    who passes by the man in gray; he’s never
    feared isolation, though he seems lonely—
    an affliction everyone would remedy, had
    they their way; alas, visitations are cut short,
    because a monster is loose on the streets, a
    stalker, a ripper with a dreadful cunning—
    we look to the man in gray for protection,
    but find him with an odd expression on his
    perfect porcelain face – and, inexplicably,
    he smiles for once a smile that reaches his
    eyes, leaving us transfixed and terrified; he
    runs as fast as any, though, shoving aside
    everyone else – but one look at his face, one
    glimpse of the soul he hides behind smiles—
    I cannot fathom what he runs from: to see a
    monster, he needs only to look in a mirror—
    or has he hidden his true face in the attic?

    April 27, 2014

    By: Lucy K. Melocco

  128. LCaramanna

    Dragon Smoke

    When a crescent moon floats in a star studded sky
    dragons emerge in a stealthy escape from secret places
    to frolic with mythical creatures along the Milky Way,
    spirited sport punctuated by fire breathing roars
    slashing tales, and beating wings until
    daylight plunges dragons into secret places
    away from inquisitive eyes.
    Only dragon smoke lingers over the water
    a cloak of magical mist
    an eerie reminder
    that fire-breathing dragons emerge from secret places
    when a crescent moon floats in a star studded sky.
    Lorraine Caramanna

  129. flood

    Withered And With

    Castles and gloaming
    and black and white movies
    are comedy fodder now.
    Bram Stoker is a sitcom.
    Mary Shelley is an infomercial.
    The real horror stories,
    the real monsters are
    CNN, Fox News,
    the enter key and
    the lack of center.
    They are devouring
    our young, running
    roughshod over states
    and boundaries and
    families and friends.
    They are sucking blood
    (and common sense)
    from the marrow, tapping
    veins, leaving us
    withered and with
    headstones facing in
    opposite directions.

  130. jean2dubois

    by Jean Dubois

    I don’t
    care what color
    you are but do you think
    I can’t tell you don’t feel the same
    for me?

    My High
    School had one black.
    He might’ve been white for
    all we cared. He was just a kid
    like us.

    during World War
    Two, black soldiers marched in,
    called us names we had never been

    jostled people
    off the sidewalks into the streets.
    Surprised us first, then the hate

    This is
    the elephant
    in the room, it will not
    go away: Hatred begets hate

    It takes
    two to trust, two
    to heal. Racism will
    end the day you are able to
    love me.

    I don’t
    care what color
    you are but do you think
    I can’t tell you don’t feel the same
    for me?

  131. Clae

    Decline of Fear

    Monster movies Vincent Price
    stay up late and watch it twice
    Chaney and Lugosi didn’t need
    gore to give people the creeps
    freaking out used to be fun
    Hitchcock knew how it was done
    audiences used their minds
    instead of only ears and eyes
    Modern horror’s not for me
    I prefer scares with good story
    solid plots not just bloody scenes
    please put the joy back in my scream

    T. S. Gray

  132. nmbell

    Among Us

    What is a monster?
    We can all agree that there are monsters
    And not all of them live in the dark
    Under the bed or in the closet

    Some of them walk among us
    Wearing friendly faces and smiles
    Winning the trust of innocents
    And those who are charged with protecting the innocent

    Make no mistake
    There are monsters who walk among us
    And often they are the ones
    You would least suspect

    Nancy Bell 2014

  133. ASperryConnors


    Mr. Grump visits
    When the alarm bell rings
    Just before breakfast
    In the shower he sings

    Grumpy dumpy is so plumpy
    Nasty children are my friend
    Grumpy-stumpy is no frumpy
    Super-stinky to the end!

    On good days he’s small
    On bad days he’s GIGANTIC
    When we’re hungry and tired
    He’s the size of the ATLANTIC

    After school on the bus
    He travels in bunches
    He growls and he threatens
    To eat our old lunches

    And when we come home
    He awaits on the stair
    Mr. Grump’s been awaiting
    To throw mud in our hair

    And with mud in our hair
    He breathes fog in our brain
    Force feeding us whine
    And leaving a stain

    He puts daggers and thistles
    Upon our long tongue
    And lashes our mother
    With UGLIES unsung

    Mr. Grump, that ol’ Monster
    Should be turned to stone
    Its nap-time for children
    Who need time alone!

  134. intheshadowofthesoul

    All Creatures Come
    Lydia Flores

    Built of destructive habits
    the skin scaly with scars and
    cigarette burns from touching
    the orange light of hell we’ve inhaled
    with kisses from lips we don’t deserve.
    When the lights go out and the shadows
    crawl through your blinds beckoning the
    voices out of the mouth of your thoughts
    that is when the werewolves come out to howl.
    We are the monsters under our beds, the faces
    that catch the light when no one else is around.
    afraid? don’t have a gimmick to scare them with
    You are only You, Judas or Peter, a harlot or liar
    a thief, a gambler putting in all your chips
    just to steal them back. Dress up your mistakes
    painted with false smiles and clothed in stolen riches
    but just a peasant, a vampire sucking blood from
    the neck of worldly approval. you hide in the light
    Sleeping in the coffin of your addictions.
    We are the ghost of our past coming out
    of our right now bodies to wish for it back.
    A goblin of everything you shouldn’t be.
    We are the monsters in our closets
    praying with grace for them to stay
    during the light but in the night the
    skeletons they fall at our feet. I am
    not afraid of your demons inside
    I’ve got mine too but I sacrifice
    myself to the sun and baptise my heart
    so they all drown and his living waters
    cast them out into the sea to die.
    Show me who you are and I’ll do the same
    we’ll let love be a slingshot to the goliath
    that lives inside our skin and dance like David.
    The moon is going to rise and I’m not afraid of
    your werewolf fangs. I am a creature too crawling
    with my secrets and habits under my nails but
    even us monsters need someone to love and
    someone to love us out of our death eaten skin.

  135. shethra77


    People came to live
    in the apartments
    where we lived. They had
    been in prison for
    sexual assault.
    We were not thrilled.
    But debt to society paid,
    where does a person live?

    They did what they were
    supposed to do.
    They went to work.
    They initiated no conversations
    with females.
    They tried to reenter life.
    They behaved.

    Newspapers, talk radio,
    television. All had to interview
    townspeople, or a group of
    who were freaked.
    More than one
    threatened violence.
    They said they’d
    burn the building down.

    These men had been inmates.
    They sure weren’t perfect. But
    they’d done their time.

    Not one person
    was taken to task
    for promising
    Good citizens promised
    to light off
    two buildings full
    of us.

  136. Grey_Ay


    Shiny scales as hard as stone
    A tail like a leathered whip
    Wings to scale the mountains high
    Eyes of fire, quick as wit

    A dragon’s claws to pierce the heart
    through armor, golden or steel
    Flames to melt bone and flesh
    A mind that knows to kill

    What sulfur scent will descend
    a terror spreading wide
    Or a graceful dance of mind and wing
    When it finds another of its kind

    -A. Ault-

  137. DanielAri

    “Strictly B Material”

    No graveyard creature’s as uncool,
    as irredeemably abject,
    as the carrion-hungry ghoul.
    It simply can’t command respect.
    Its appetite for fetid spoil

    makes it easier to neglect
    than to befittingly revile.
    A ghoul is never circumspect
    fanging rotten flesh with a smile.
    The person’s wasting effort who’ll

    express disgust, dismay or bile
    for those social-contract breachers.
    It’s like blaming a crocodile
    for its carnivorous features.
    For entertainment, don’t expect

    directors to star those creatures.
    They aren’t coming to theaters.


  138. break_of_day

    you have no name,
    only your father’s moniker
    the name of
    the man who did not teach you
    the right things
    but instead stitched you
    from pieces
    of people he wanted you to be
    leaving out the tending of
    the soul
    the part that matters
    in a world of matter that ages and
    decays into
    and dirt for worms
    where memories are names on a tombstone
    and you are called a monster
    but your father was the one
    who deserved

  139. DamonZ

    “Fate of the Abstruse Part 2″

    Down the coast she had sailed.
    And for the crown she fought.
    Never once had she failed.
    Gone, all of them and plans to naught.
    Her top deck a crimson spate.

    Even the Yanks know not her fate.
    Return to the crown she will not.
    The beast, it lies in wait.
    Cunning, never to be caught.
    Strange tracks left behind in the sand.

    Our native peoples know its not man.
    On natives, patriots, and loyalists it feasts.
    The apex predator of this land.
    Relinquish the Carolina beast!
    Everyone and everything its prey.

    There are those far in years that say,
    This too was the fate of Roanoke Island.
    Just off the coast in Croatan bay.
    The Abstruse had no asylum.
    Behold a forgotten American mystery.

    Eclipsed by war in American history.
    A devilry in the wild american expanse.
    Only in the periphery,
    Stories of the Abstruse they last.

    So far back in the past,
    Today it seems incredible.
    Still today when a pale moon is cast,
    Its snake like eyes find us susceptible.
    And a few share our ancestors fear.

    Then disappear.

    By: Damon Zallar

  140. DamonZ

    “Fate of the Abstruse Part 1″

    Under a hazy yellow moon,
    During the ides of July.
    A frigate lay off a lagoon.
    Eerily her colors fly.
    There stands not a soul around.
    No one knows their horrible ordeal,
    Her crew in pieces on the ground.
    The only life, A lone Horse Head seal.
    The vessel gently rocking,
    On the Carolina coast it starts herein.
    The scene ghastly ー shocking.
    H.M.S Abstruse, her legend begins.

    By: Damon Zallar

  141. Emily Cooper

    Bless This Ness

    After a satellite image
    appeared on Apple Maps
    showing Nessie
    the Loch Ness Monster in her

    (or “his” or “its”
    or maybe “their”
    since the beast could have

    multiple rational
    and free-thinking heads)

    first major sighting
    for more than a year

    which is the longest gap
    between confirmed reports
    since 1925

    businesses all over Scotland
    are preparing marketing campaigns

    around that creature of myth
    and late-night binge drinking.

    Naturalist Adrian Shine
    sees cynicism behind this
    direct marketing campaign

    saying “The whole point
    about the Loch Ness Monster

    is that it has not been promoted
    in this official manner.”

    No doubt that commercial
    interests have exploited
    real people’s holy days

    exaggerated and even invented
    seasonal marketing mascots

    but some of these
    crass adaptations

    have been reabsorbed
    into the culture

    even becoming
    folk heroes along the way.

    But in reality
    marketing is nothing new
    for regular people

    who tell stories
    that increase social cohesion
    while limiting independent thought

    or condone new stresses
    and new diseases
    in their fellow men and women
    (which may or may not
    include themselves)

    trading one means
    of feeding a family for another

    while relying on
    real-time daily mythmaking

    through the sincere and unified
    adoption of new routines

    that “fingers crossed”
    are self-fulfilling prophesies

    that will make those
    fuzzy daydreams come true.

  142. cbwentworth

    Hidden inside,
    the dark spot sits
    Try to forget,
    the truth bites back
    The shadow grows,
    shuts out the light
    Deny the half
    we all possess
    Daggers will tear
    through flesh and blood
    Accept the yin
    as part of yang
    The monster stills
    and does not fight

    – – –

    C.B. Wentworth

  143. pamelaraw

    Godzilla versus Jasper

    Today’s monster no
    longer destroys whole
    cities with fiery
    breath and colossal
    feet. Instead, he aims
    smaller, chooses one
    man to drag by chained
    ankles through the street.

  144. mrs.mjbauer

    Zombie Paul at the Mall
    by Mary Bauer
    There once was a zombie named Paul
    Who decided to buy a baseball
    His trip was a flop
    For shop after shop
    Told him to exit the mall

    *I write a poetry blog for children called Poems of Silliness. I have a hard time writing serious poetry.

  145. Julieann

    Saturday Night Monster Date

    Dad worked the 3 to 11
    So seeing him was rare
    But each and every Saturday night
    We had time to share

    Mom and I were there to greet him
    With snacks of various kinds
    We’d enjoy a little time together
    Then Mom was off to bed (she didn’t like monsters)

    We’d watch the late night sci-fi/monster movies
    Including the classics with mummies
    And werewolves, Dracula and Frankenstein
    Along with Creature from the Black Lagoon

    There was Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
    And Invasion of the Body Snatchers
    But best was the night Mom almost scared me
    To death while watching Attack of the Crab Monsters

    I never saw any of the Godzilla movies
    But I didn’t miss King Kong and Tarantula
    And believe me there is no way to forget
    The Wasp Woman or The Fly

    Such cheesy movies even back then
    But the ideas and cinematography are classic
    To this very day – the only thing I have to regret
    About those late night dates

    Is that with the passage of time things change
    Monsters change and, it seems, kids today don’t
    Have the chance to have the same
    Kind of monster memories as way back then

  146. P.A. Beyer

    Sevenling (In the back of his pickup)

    In the back of his pickup, Jeffrey carries his instruments –
    A tire rod, a blue tarp and surgical gloves.
    His victims remind him of her, especially their fragrance.

    Felicia’s sculptures remind her of lost lovers –
    Bold, like the diplomat. Gentle, like the pediatrician. And sensually
    Frightening, like the truck driver.

    The quarry outside of town is a source for unfettered inspiration.

  147. Rolf Erickson

    Columbus Day

    The storm had passed
    but not without making
    it’s mark upon us all.

    Houses had shivered as
    roofs flew with the wind
    and trees leaned forever.

    In the dark we told each other
    we would all be okay
    but didn’t really believe it.

    We were never the same
    after tasting firsthand
    how air could terrify.

    Fifty years later no one
    who was there
    can not remember.

  148. Michele Brenton

    This little monster.

    This little monster eats children
    crunches them yum, yum, yum.
    This little monster pulls legs off
    then laughs as you try to run.
    This little monster has red cheeks
    from the blood of victims he’s killed.
    This little monster has caves full
    of bodies all lifeless and still
    and this little monster can’t be seen
    can’t be heard and is odourless too
    which means
    he’s the monster

    Michele Brenton 27th April 2014.

  149. DanielR

    Eight-legged furry crawlers, spinning webs of deception
    Bungee jumping from dead ceiling fan blades, nestling in Beehives
    Monster fingers caressing scalps, primal screams, waking dormant fears

    Daniel Roessler

  150. Liliuokalani

    Drawing Monsters

    Bloody feet,
    throbbing nostrils,
    hell breath,
    and claws –
    monsters hunt the powerless
    and attack in dark alleys.
    Escape through the side door
    to the circular rack of couture coats
    between the checkout counter and the Louboutin shoes –
    surely, they aren’t lurking there.

  151. lshannon

    Technicolored Truth

    In the 50’s the monsters were varied-
    Man turned wolf, Man turned zombie
    Swamp thing, Big black blob thing,
    other crazy bad costume thing.
    Kids saw it, knew what was coming
    Suzie got attacked, while “parking”
    at lover’s lookout with Johnny.
    High School news traveled like wildfire
    They told their favorite teacher,
    their parents, and the town sheriff.
    But no one would believe and then
    the black blob thing would grow
    and grow and grow, and eat half
    of Summerdale, ruining the prom,
    of course.

    The brainy science kid who teamed
    up with Billy the football captain,
    together like some force made
    Of puberty-hormones and bravado,
    cheered on by Debbie and Tammy
    who needed protecting,
    would eradicate evil from the town.
    Maybe even saving the world.

    Times were simple then, they say
    the messages were clear. War, greed
    and nuclear power created monsters
    affected the young people while adults
    ignored dithered and doubted but
    working together conquers evil
    in the end.

    Lessons transposed in technicolor
    A triumph of bad special effects
    with worse costumes, profoundly
    silly and true.

    1. Julieann

      True story lines and a very true commentary on society as a whole – way back then!! We still have the monsters, but they are not near as recognizable or easy to deal with. What a pity!

  152. fahey

    The not-monster

    The most threatening monster isn’t actually a monster
    but the one thing you won’t reconsider;
    the most dangerous monster, the most scary, the most frightening,
    is the very thing that could make you most happy
    if it weren’t a monster first.

  153. DanielR

    Carefree summers of youth
    can be darkened by a haunting,
    subtle movements in windows
    of a vacant green house
    on a barren corner lot
    tempting boys to become men,
    confronting their fears by
    opening doors and walking through
    but a cotton-headed boy catches glimpses
    of creeping shadows on dark nights,
    imaginary monsters chase away courage
    making it clear a boy is still a boy.

    Daniel Roessler

  154. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    Favourite Monster

    I loved you, Godzilla,
    and my little boys loved you,
    at the local drive-in
    forty-odd years ago;
    and their father as well,
    who is dead now …
    but you, dear Godzilla, never die,
    not even when you’re attacked
    with gigantic versions of the sparklers
    we used to wave on Guy Fawkes Night,
    all sizzling and coruscating
    and bouncing off your hide.

    Poor clumsy Godzilla,
    not even faintly humanoid,
    but lumbering and alien
    and rather dumb,
    so slow you came across
    as the underdog.
    I mean, you couldn’t do anything
    with grace, elegance, finesse or panache —
    and your special effects were creaky.
    We didn’t even speak the same language!
    You were weird (not in a good way).
    You were the big ugly. You were just wrong.

    Yet there was something about you.
    We felt you were misunderstood.
    We blamed it on your upbringing.
    We knew that somewhere within
    you were really good — anyway,
    we were on your side. You became
    our favourite monster (even dearer
    than sad, persecuted King Kong).
    What a pity you couldn’t win an Oscar.
    You could have brandished it high,
    in in-your-face triumph: “This
    is for all the misfits!”

  155. diedre Knight

    The Abominable No man
    ~A work place dilemma

    He grumbles and he growls
    and he shouts at everyone

    He tosses things and stomps around
    He’s really not much fun

    We’ve seen a brighter side of him
    That’s why we’re not concerned

    He’ll trounce the monster deep within
    He just hasn’t learned

    We saturate with pleasant smiles
    and inundate with kindness

    Dispensing good will, all the while
    resisting anger’s blindness

    diedre Knight

  156. Roderick Bates

    It DID NOT Come from Outer Space

    by Roderick Bates

    It is not the squid-like alien visitor from another dimension;
    it is not the giant fire-breathing reptile stomping cities to rubble;
    it is not the army of brain-eating undead lurching down Main Street.

    It is, rather, the cell that replicates immoderately, that metastasizes,
    mindlessly overruns until it consumes the life on which it depends,
    the pointless self-destroying rampage in which all lose, none emerge alive.

    Looking down from the window as our plane gains altitude,
    I am astonished at how much of the land is rectangular,
    filled with homes, covered with tar, plowed and planted and paved.

    I would like to see myself and my children and grandchildren
    as more than rogue cells expanding across a weakening host,
    but at a few thousand feet, the view is not a comforting one.

  157. jakkels

    The suburb”s early bustle faded into sleepy summer night 

    A dog barking at a stray mabe far off in the night 

    No cats on fences no dogs in yards no night birds twittering The street lights seem unnaturally dim their wan light hugs the poles 

    A darkness moves along the fences almost silently 

    A strange smell creeps across the ground with a hint of cinnamon 

    Across the yard, the doghouse silent, it moves onto the porch The porch light dims as the shadow moves becomes a yellow glow 

    The last barrior, the door swings open and the shadow is in the house 

    A whisper of movement is almost heard as it moves across the lounge 

    A sudden crash, a child’s muffled cry 

    Brings the father down the stairs 

    The stricken look, the empty jar, 

    but the cookie monster’s fled.

  158. Emma Hine


    Carved into his life,
    Oceans of hurt and deception
    Reaping the harvest of seeds already sown –
    Random acts of cruel and pointless violence.
    Underneath his tough facade –
    Pure soul, strangled by his own upbringing.
    Thorny tendrils coiled around his corrupted heart.

  159. madeline40

    My Last Monster

    My three-year old little boyfriend
    brought Godzilla to visit us.
    He’s black with a ferocious mouth,
    toe and finger nails like talons,
    and the most fantastic pointy purple spikes
    running all the way up his back.
    Unfortunately, little Oscar, too busy
    to fight with him,
    left him seething,
    up on our coffee table
    the entire time.

  160. Janet Rice Carnahan


    How real are our fears?
    Are they false information?
    Keeping our minds busy

    Monster fears dog us
    Convincing us they are real
    Calming the mind helps

    Fear contracts us down
    Pulling us away from life
    Love expands our heart

    When anxiety
    Plays havoc on us daily
    Stop and tell it no!

    Surrendering fear
    Lets us feel free to relax
    Give it all to faith

      1. Janet Rice Carnahan

        Thank you, Ashley, your poem also revealed that “inner monster”! Sounds funny to tell it “no” but I do think we have the power to change it. Thank you for your comments and your beautiful poems!

  161. MaryAnn1067

    Devil in a Blue Suit

    devil in a blue suit, nametag optional,
    perfecting the science of exclusion,

    [executor of pogroms
    master listmaker
    tattooer of numbers
    coordinator of genocides
    fomenter of ethnic hatreds
    hangman of the freely speaking
    liaison for mass murders]

    the doors of his open houses flung open
    to a singular narrow few, all
    nodding in thick complacency, complicity,
    the cost to exclude the other from
    their sight (except, of course, as
    daily labor to do the
    dirty work)

    contracts written in brimstone to
    exclude the Jew, the Queer,
    the Black-Brown-Yellow,

    oh, so safe in their homogenized bowl
    of milky white, property lines
    drawn in blood

  162. Janet Rice Carnahan


    Oh, night monster
    Under my bed
    My fears stir
    I’m filled with dread

    I lay here awake
    Until I know you’re gone
    Making even my pajamas shake
    Maybe I’ll go sit on the lawn

    If I do you just might
    Sneak up behind me
    Quietly take a bite
    Scaring me blindly

    Maybe I’ll tiptoe to the kitchen
    Eat ice cream instead
    Take this fear, pitch it in
    Know it is safe under my bed

    I could walk lightly to the garage
    Sit in the car until morning
    Maybe more protected in the Dodge
    Trust what daylight might bring

    Maybe it is best to just hide
    Right here beneath my covers
    Forcing this fear to subside
    At least you’re not a monster that hovers

    I notice you are quiet
    Not bothering to show your head
    I could peek I think I’ll try it
    Don’t know if you’re big, small, green or red

    Being really brave now
    I slowly bend down to see
    There’s just an oval shape here somehow
    It’s a mirror, meaning . . .

    That little monster is me!

  163. Deborah Purdy


    Steal away to me and
    my stories will save you

    like stepping stones
    to the source of your soul.

    If you stay with me
    I will sing you to sleep

    and bury your bones in the
    home of my feathers.

    I will keep you a secret
    from the sins of my sisters.

    If you sleepwalk to me
    in your dreams I will find you.

    – Deborah Purdy

  164. TomNeal

    Tea with Dostoevsky
    (an experiment)

    It was Dostoevsky and me
    Waiting together in a queue.

    There being little else to do,
    We engaged ourselves in small talk,
    As people are inclined at times
    When ennui threatens to ensue.

    The conversation ran free
    Across a range of common themes:
    Bagels for breakfast, the Tsar’s health,
    Monks, marmalade, trains, and tigers.

    At the time it didn’t seem strange,
    But in retrospect I concede
    It doesn’t seem accidental
    That tigers were fundamental
    To almost everything we discussed.
    Here a tiger, there a tiger,
    Everywhere tigers.
    Ignore all social conventions,
    Kill at will, and then disappear
    With ease, as they please, stripes and all,’

    I smiled and acknowledged his point,
    But mentioned rational powers
    Might tame the monstrous tiger paw.

    He seemed displeased, his brow furrowed,
    But then he smiled at me and asked,
    ‘Raskolnikov, will you have tea
    With me later today- say three?’

    1. TomNeal

      The above copy didn’t format properly. I’ll try once more.

      Tea with Dostoevsky
      (an experiment)

      It was Dostoevsky and me
      Waiting together in a queue.

      There being little else to do,
      We engaged ourselves in small talk,
      As people are inclined at times
      When ennui threatens to ensue.

      The conversation ran free
      Across a range of common themes:
      Bagels for breakfast, the Tsar’s health,
      Monks, marmalade, trains, and tigers.

      At the time it didn’t seem strange,
      But in retrospect I concede
      It doesn’t seem accidental
      That tigers were fundamental
      To almost everything we discussed.
      Here a tiger, there a tiger,
      Everywhere tigers.

      Ignore all social conventions,
      Kill at will, and then disappear
      With ease, as they please, stripes and all,’

      I smiled and acknowledged his point,
      But mentioned rational powers
      Might tame the monstrous tiger paw.

      He seemed displeased, his brow furrowed,
      But then he smiled at me and asked,
      ‘Raskolnikov, will you have tea
      With me later today- say three?’

        1. Linda Goin

          I don’t know what you were trying to do with the formatting. I love where your mind and “pen” went, though. If I hadn’t read Crime and Punishment, I might not know Raskolnikov, but it would tickle my curiosity…much like the subject does now. Why a tiger, other than Dostoevsky’s quote about a tiger in The Brothers Karamazov?

          1. TomNeal

            Yes, the tiger ‘can never be so cruel as a man, so artistically cruel.’ Men of reason on the other hand . . . . Raskolnikov and the tiger.

            Of course, the tiger never repents.

          2. TomNeal

            One other small detail. Raskolnikov is the narrator (unreliable?). How that affects the telling is for the reader to decide.

      1. k_weber

        Although this poem has me lost because I don’t get the references, it’s so well-versed and the imagery is so curious that I want to go digging to learn more. Not bad at all. My curiosity is piqued!

      2. Linda Goin

        There was no way to reply to your response, so I’m opening a new thread…YES! That’s what I loved! How can Dostoevsky even trust him? So charming, those sociopaths.

  165. Ashley Marie Egan

    The Monster Within
    by Ashley Marie Egan

    A monster is swarming inside me.
    It has infected my soul with an insidious urge:
    a rising desire to kill the living,
    to mutilate the beautiful,
    and leave it out to rot.
    I will not allow my monster to arise;
    instead I will be my own demise.

    1. Janet Rice Carnahan

      I am moved by your poem, Ashley! When we internalize our monster, it really can be our own demise, as in how it can turn in on ourselves. You express such passion in so few words and it is effective each time. Great job expressing this in your poem.

  166. Gwyvian

    In the name of the light

    A circle of decaying leaves marks the place of victory: a girdle
    around a rotting abode reigning in the vicious mire abandoned,
    its magnificence a faded scent snatched up by shrieking winds,
    tussling the gravestone where the heart of the forest is buried—
    I sought a memory of a sun-dappled meadow, and
    instead I found myself stranded – as I crawled into a hollow
    at that relic’s feet, I glanced up to see terrible lightning:

    For in the name of the light this place was forsaken,
    in the name of all that is good there was no mercy given, and
    now, in the name of a blameless massacre of things that do not feel:
    I am left to be blinded by the naked light striking at my heels.

    A crumbling ledge gives way to plunge the last struggling weed,
    I came to see the lush valley of secrets with primeval pools welling—
    now a dry riverbed that carries me to the feet of the looming lord,
    a figure that crushes with a core loosened in sorrow: stones
    tumble at me with the rictus snarl of vengeance, but the avalanche
    is the purest blanket of death: I fled into the heart of the mountain,
    but that heart cracked and sunlight stabbed through to me:

    For in the name of the light this place was stripped,
    in the name of all that is good, the undesirables were thinned, and
    now, in the name of a balance upset in pure jest:
    I am left to be crushed by an opened heart in the mountain’s chest.

    I wandered through a city of splendors, where nameless things
    huddle in silent torment unseen, they scuttle at a look, but mostly
    are cloaked in the shadows clinging to the periphery; but none
    take heed, for the glitter is blinding to the people who stream by,
    they are all laughing in unison, enjoying the blessings of the light:
    and yet, there is a shadow lurking behind their eyes,
    and I begin to see the monstrosity of my kin I had so long denied:

    For in the name of the light, ignorance is blessed,
    in the name of all that is good, only small deeds are noticed, and
    now, in the name of all the things that die without a voice:
    I am left wondering how the heart of the people bleeds so cold…

    April 27, 2014

    By: Lucy K. Melocco

  167. beachanny

    Dark Defense Master Crow

    When shadows stretch like gargoyles, when light falls
    in black slate tiles, it’s time to seek the crow
    and query him on the ways of monsters.

    Find him in the branches of pines that sprawl
    the neighborhood hills. Ask him what he knows
    of the fiends of the night, beasts who conjure

    nightmares for children snug inside their homes.
    He’ll advise you of their habits, how low
    they creep, how long they plot a child’s capture
    before they entrust them to servant gnomes.

    Beware those snatchers!

    © Gay Reiser Cannon

  168. Kit Cooley


    The tiniest tipping of the scale
    will soon unleash it, rising
    from a place I thought
    much deeper than would now
    seem to be.

    My fury flames to singe
    each one without exception.
    And so the monster all would fear,
    I fear, is me.

    ~ Kit Cooley

  169. Christine Sutherland

    Nighttime Frights
    by Christine D Sutherland

    Where does that strange feeling come from,
    When I’m all alone at night,
    Creepy crawlies running up my spine,
    Giving me a fright,
    I start racing faster towards the door,
    My frightened imagination starts to soar,
    My heart starts pounding outside my chest,
    Warding off this thing that has me possessed,
    It’s silly I know,
    There’s nothing to beware,
    There’s no such thing as the Boogeyman,
    Is there?

  170. emmaisan0wl

    Forgive Us Our Demons
    “skin all your whitman books with butterknives and
    patch up my skin, because if my trembling mouth
    is a shotgun barrel then we’re all in danger, darling,
    and the trigger catches up with me some nights
    when my brittle teeth draw blood. we were all just
    razorblades and bits of broken mirror back then.
    you scratched out jagged poetry with the shards,
    too afraid to tell me the truth, and we pretended

    the monsters had made their homes in our veins
    instead of in our heads and we fought back at them
    with blood and bruises, the only way we knew how.

    sometimes hope is a poison. sometimes freedom
    is a noose, and nobody knows that better than us,
    do they, darling? I only hope you can forgive me

    for not being able to stitch up your scars as well as
    mine. I barely have enough thread to keep my own
    monsters from creeping back inside, let alone yours.”

  171. Janet Rice Carnahan


    Snake in the sage brush
    Rattles heard just walking by
    Fear turns to respect

    Face to face with bull
    Took aggressive action first
    Animal ran fast

    Big sport fishing caught
    A white fin shark swimming by
    Primal fear was there

    Bear climbed up on deck
    Like he would scramble up trees
    His claw marks remain

    In blinding snow storms
    Sudden stops spinning one eighty
    Facing cars straight on

  172. Janet Rice Carnahan


    News came
    A 7.7 earthquake off Canada
    Generating a tsunami
    Heading straight
    For the Hawaiian Islands
    At 500 miles an hour
    Alerting all living there
    To be aware of
    A monster wave
    Coming our way

    Sweet and gentle
    Hawaiian newscasters
    Remaining calm
    Just a few safety measures
    We’d all be ok

    Researching the last tsunamis
    Hitting the islands
    Revealed when they were affected
    The water wrapped
    Around the whole island
    And rose up

    Fear in our minds rose
    As high as the impending wave
    We scrambled around
    Gathering food
    By the gallons
    Blankets by the handful
    Until the realization came

    We were high enough already
    We were safe enough already
    We had enough already

    If it was going to be that large
    All the islands
    Would be immersed in water
    Leaving no higher ground
    As that awareness came
    We let the monster fear go
    To faith
    We trusted the outcome
    Would be positive

    After Waikiki was evacuated
    Streets cleared
    People gone
    Just the flashing lights of police
    Orange cones
    Showing the way out

    Seven inch tsunami waves finally rolled in
    Leaving those who stayed behind
    With a chuckle
    Standing out on piers
    Gazing down
    Waiting for the monster tsunami . . .

    That only rippled, never roared!

  173. elishevasmom


    I thought sports were
    to be about

    I can
    understand that
    all teams
    need some sort

    of sponsorship.
    You see it
    in the local
    Little League

    with the logo of
    Harry’s Hardware.
    So in professional
    sports, I see

    the need
    for collaborative
    At least

    no longer
    abound around

    the infields,
    (or the NASCAR
    tracks, for
    that matter).

    Today, most
    of the MLB

    the name
    of the corporate
    that sustain them.

    These retail
    local economies.

    the fabric
    of local life.

    Harry’s Hardware?
    I guess multi-

    player contracts
    must be made
    after all.

    Yet, not all monsters
    are evil.
    One-such dwells
    in Boston.

    In the way of the
    fen (Fenway),
    where the players’
    sock are red (Red Sox)

    A thirty-seven foot
    green wall
    over left field.

    all challengers.
    But, for the locals,

    much sweeter


    Ellen Evans

    1. Linda Goin

      This is amazing — the second “Green Monster” poem I’ve read today (check out James Von Hendy). Love how you made that monster visual with your line breaks, especially the break between “nothing…sounds” and how that one stanza “sounds/much sweeter/than” breaks out of the ballpark. Now I wonder if there’s a possibility for a Green Monster chapbook…

  174. Andrea Heiberg

    Being off Age

    when I was twenty
    I put on rouge
    and something daring.
    Today I need serious covering
    some sort of camouflage
    and I some kind of smile
    when this nightmare of me
    finally is livable.
    Tomorrow really scares me.

  175. Anvanya


    This is the dream I used to have a lot:
    it’s only a hand or an arm, pushing at the
    front door – he’s attempting to get into our
    house. I am alone. Again and again and again…

    Every time, I woke up shuddering in my
    clammy sheets, short of breath, scared
    out of my wits…fearful it was something
    I did or said that invited the monster.
    Never, never was I able to scream for help:
    always choking and gasping for air.

    That was then…this is now: the hand appears
    or a stranger pursues me on city streets as I
    struggle to find my way home…and…and…
    HELP I cry in the dream. Your voice wakes me
    gently: I’m here. You are safe. Your arm encircles
    my tenseness, and I relax.
    One day I was finally able to share the old dream
    fears with you, and the fact that at last
    I had found my voice.

  176. AleathiaD

    The Ghost in the Window Pane

    You were my own
    personal monster
    most of the time.

    The nights you came home
    drunk and slurring nails
    into the coffin that was yet
    to be built for me.

    I’d wait up for you
    to make sure you’d made it
    home alive and for my compassion
    I was given grief and called
    the Queen of Sheba.

    You haunted the space under my bed,
    the space in my expansive closet,
    and were the ghost in the window pane.

    I always wondered
    what it would be like
    to not be afraid
    of the monster
    you had become;

    I wondered
    what it would be like
    to be normal.

    I stayed in your shadow
    out of the fear you had created
    just for me, to keep me away
    from everything else in the world.

    I grew up afraid.
    I grew up alone
    never willing to take on
    another burden
    I’d lived to regret.

    Aleathia Drehmer 2014
    April 27 Monster

  177. lionetravail

    “The Truth Behind The Monster Stories”
    by David M. Hoenig

    All Hallows Eve is unholy night,
    rumored roaming of spooks, haunts, zombies-
    all evil things which bring dread-
    dredged up as from deep grave.
    Shrouded in sunless dark’s dark coat,
    they are not any man’s friend.

    For there’s no sweet ghoul-friend
    you take out on date night,
    only foul stench which will coat
    lips and tongue with rotting zombies’
    fetid exhalations of the fresh grave:
    thirty nine different flavors of dread.

    It’s a time full of dread,
    unsafe for children and their friends
    to search for candy. Tidings grave
    might just come later that night,
    of real, not sugar-induced, zombies
    wearing a new piggy skin coat!

    However, it’s not what’s under coat
    after coat of makeup to dread,
    but the quiet, still-living zombies
    who work days, hang with friends
    in bars and clubs at night,
    and go home to lie in grave

    quiet and dark thoughts, which grave
    their way deep. Wearing normalcy’s coat
    with aplomb, both day and night
    evil percolates within. They’ve no dread
    of repercussions, and they’re no friends
    of conscience. They move like zombies

    through life, hateful Evil Dead zombies,
    waiting for the chance without grave
    misgivings, waiting for any careless friends’
    misstep. Monster, living in business coat
    and tie, the ticking bomb, dread
    oozing, All Hallows Eve every night…

    I am sure that rumored zombies roaming through the “evil” night
    are simply stories friends tell each other to prompt delighted dread,
    distracting, through tales of the grave, from the human wolf in sheep’s coat.

  178. rachelgrace

    the murder

    He felt her pain as if it was his own
    The cold permeated his skin
    Never left to his loneliness again
    Saving her was never a thought he owned
    He pushed her life away
    Heat flooded his mind
    She was final

  179. jojo1127


    I knew it was forbidden
    you exploring my young body in places you don’t belong
    confusion and fear over took me
    tears streamed down my face
    I tried to scream
    yell out for help
    But my voice was silenced
    years went on
    like a nightmare you appear
    touching me in those forbidden places
    I lived in pain although in constant fear
    hiding from you
    my big creepy scary bone chilling monster
    Year after year
    No ghost can have any power
    Zombies and mummies
    I don’t fear
    But you are my monster
    The darkness..that dark grey cloud
    That still lives in my brain
    in my dreams
    in my thoughts
    in me

  180. priyajane

    This monster ache
    which she had kept locked up
    in her camel’s hump
    leaked all the way down the belly
    and a hungry beast
    with scythian paws and charcoal burns
    has made a home in there
    deep in the windy lanes
    of cherried links
    swilling up her trust.
    Now she will have recruit an army
    of trained soldiers and heavy metal
    to free herself from its torment.
    Beware of this monster.
    He may be lurking in the shadows -!

  181. susanjer

    Faye Wray Tweets Atop the Empire State Building

    Call off planes. Cops 2. Screams misunderstood.
    In good hands. KK & I signed contract 4 new reality show.

  182. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    Poem Interrupted

    When the monsters took to the streets
    last night, I was busy writing
    poems. It was close to midnight
    and even my poem got scared.

    My husband was in bed sleeping
    when the monsters took to the streets
    en masse, pushing and shoving each
    other. I was peeking behind

    Venetian blinds, poem inte-
    rrupted, hoping not to be seen,
    when the monsters took to the streets.
    Shots rang out. Called 9-1-1 on

    the creatures who, by daylight, look
    like you and I. Life in the hood.
    Poetic food about the night
    when the monsters took to the streets.

  183. jean

    Three Monstrous Sermons in Verse

    The Werewolf:

    The werewolf will bite anything
    Except a silver bullet.
    Lasciviously he will attack
    Each comely maid and pullet.
    Much of the time, he sanely acts
    But when the moon is full, it
    Becomes a terror in its tracks.
    It’s lost control, but should it?

    Acting out our lower nature
    Is the metaphor that plays.
    Unintended consequences
    Stalk innocents as prey.
    This struggle rages on within
    The werewolf is a tragic case.
    Our baser deeds must be reigned in
    Before we scar another’s face.

    The Vampire:

    The vampire sinks his teeth into
    Each one who gets within his sights,
    Draining them of energy, though
    They seemed such romantic nights.
    “He really, really needs me so!
    He’s just sensitive to lights.
    I’m sure he doesn’t mean to hurt.
    I’m so drained after he bites.”

    He flits off to find another;
    She transforms into the same,
    Left to find someone to ‘bother,’
    “It’s survival,” they both claim.
    To consume another’s lifeblood
    Should be quite a source of shame.
    Sucking dry one’s friends and family
    Is a nasty, selfish game.

    The Zombie:

    A zombie must not lose his head.
    He depends on others’ brains,
    Driven only by baser instincts,
    ‘Cross the city, ‘cross the plains
    Dragging, pulling, bite a victim
    They don’t even feel the strain.
    They keep coming, can’t evict them.
    No one thinks. No one explains.

    Keep ‘em elsewhere, but consuming.
    Ignore ‘em. Do not look askance.
    “Be oblivious. Be as I am.
    Stay asleep, our only chance.”
    Let them keep us all unconscious.
    Come and join the lumbering dance!
    Let us all be just like the Zombies,
    Consumerism to advance.

    Hey judge-of-the-day and PL of Redmond, WA – I happen to be in Redmond today! I so enjoy synchronicity.

      1. jean

        Thanks, Anvanya! It’s some a Carl-Jung-meets-Carole-Estes-Pinkus (I thinkus?!) ideas that’ve been skulking about in my head for a long time. I didn’t realize just how useful poetry can be in distilling ideas until this morning while composing (I’m only a poet in April and only because Mr. Brewer facilitates it for us so supportively.)
        — Jean

  184. uneven steven

    To be a monster
    you must be acknowledged
    as a monster
    some of the most heinous monsters
    never ever knowing they were monsters
    even in death,
    but lucky for me I know now
    my legacy is up for debate
    my teenage daughter says I am one
    for not letting her stay out past the midnight
    witching hour which I tell her
    is when the real monsters
    both outside and inside yourself
    come out
    that last point of who and what are monsters
    having already long ago been decided
    by the winners of history
    or in this case by a loud as long as you live under my roof
    and who’s paying the bills around here discussion –
    unbearable teen aged children
    the exception
    proving the rule of course

  185. Scott Jacobson


    I am a werewolf and I am here
    to take your daughter on a date
    to the Black Forest under a full moon
    where we will dance and howl
    before I devour her heart.

    I am an evil scientist and I am here
    to chain her to a slab and experiment
    on her till we are both satisfied
    with the climactic results.

    I am a vampire and I am here
    to suck the life out of her
    then make her beauty eternal.

    I am the monster under her bed
    and I am here to tell you
    that at night I did not stay
    under her bed.

    I am the devil and I have possessed
    her many times, not just those two
    times in which you are aware.

    I am a zombie and I wanted
    you to know that I loved her
    for more than just her brains.

    I am her poet and I have done
    all of the above
    and I plan on doing
    much much worse.

    Finished today’s early so I can go finish day 25 tonight. Plumbing problems got in the way.

  186. Mustang Sal

    Indifference is a silent monster.

    Not jumping out from dark closet.
    Not growling from under the bed.
    Not spewing flames of fire.
    Not clawing at your throat.
    or any of that movie stuff.

    He’s much more subtle than that.
    Approaching gently, slipping in.
    Talking you into tired.

    Closing your eyes to suffering.
    Plugging your ears to cries for help.
    Shutting your mind to understanding.
    Divorcing your heart from caring.

    A tapeworm,
    living inside you for a long time
    before you know he’s there.
    Eating your insides,
    leaving you a stick figure.

  187. Mustang Sal

    As the PAD challenge is winding down, I want to say how much I’ve enjoyed everyone’s poems this year. I haven’t read them all, of course, and I haven’t commented on any, but you all have been an inspiration to me. I love the diversity of responses. Thank you.

  188. Eibhlin


    How do you think I feel,
    knowing that I am
    the monster in her nightmares;
    that mine are the grey-green arms
    that extend, vaprous, to envelop
    and strangle her;
    that mine is the gnashing voice
    whose rasp wakes her, sweating,
    in screams?

    How do you think I can
    “talk it over with her”,
    sit down and have the chat
    that makes everything right,
    when my least greeting
    freezes her mind and her jaw?

    How do you think I deal
    with her fear of my strength,
    her dread of my presence,
    her cowering at the very essence
    of my being?

    And how can I not become
    the caricature of myself
    that she sees
    and reflects?

    All I can do
    is fall on the Mercy
    whose kindness
    is greater
    than both of us.

  189. Linda Goin

    Undertaking Armageddon

    My true love wears
    his stories in layers, each article
    recalls a nightmare, a delusion
    about the days he transitioned
    from saccharine castles to better metaphors.

    His succulent skin is apple-thin
    and crunchy, his heart, chocolate-covered
    anthills, a part of him so itchy
    that the chilliest imagery never warms
    from woolly dreams he weaves around me.

    He wears aches and kinks. One kink
    is luscious lovely, like a lopsided
    Celtic cross, an untrue triteness solid
    against an evening sun that blurs
    every fine line.

    What a flirt.
    His guilt and gloom make for special
    sorts of melancholic passion, rendering
    the smell of burnt eggshells. If this isn’t love,
    I don’t know what possessed me

    to fall for his heartfelt doggerel.

    He elicits the me in behemoth,
    my Oscar Wilde-ness, a lovesickness
    sitcom. My anti-villanelle soul
    was nurtured the day
    I undertook that one-man

    1. k_weber

      Oh my. Is this fella single (ha ha ha)?

      The “apple-thin” and “crunchy” descriptions were just so evocative of how ravenous one can become in the midst of someone they want or need. The “lopsided Celtic cross” was just so very yours – this description hangs in the air or around a neck with such unique and protective license.

      Just exquisite. It’s almost a toss-up at who is the real “monster” here. The one who wants to devour or the one who makes themselves so damn impossible to resist?

        1. Linda Goin

          Thank you both! When I saw we had a monster for a prompt, my mind went immediately to “love” (go figure). So, a love poem, only without the sappy metaphors and syrupy goop. Basically, love is a “he,” and I’m writing about love in general. I eat love for breakfast (not very healthy in the long run). =)

  190. SuziBwritin


    One of the biggest monsters
    in our little lives began with
    the sound of Daddy’s car
    pulling into the driveway

    Would he come home in his good mood
    where we would play “gotcha last”
    running around, knocking things over
    and having the time of our lives?


    would he come home in the bad one
    where a stray sock on the floor
    or a spoon in the sink
    would set him off and we were lined-up
    to get our “beatings” for our negligence?

  191. Sally Jadlow

    Monster Poem

    For some, monsters lurk in their minds
    in unfounded fears that steal their joy
    and keep them tethered
    on a tight leash.

    For others, unforgiveness
    binds them with a short ball and chain
    that keeps them in prison
    until they choose to forgive.

    For many, grief rears its ugly head
    when least expected
    and tears bites away
    until nothing is left
    but bear bones.

    I choose to walk free
    of monsters of the mind.

  192. k_weber


    sometimes the ground
    swells with flowers
    then ripens like a pregnant belly

    sometimes the ground
    splits open, hot: smiles wide
    and shows crooked teeth; devours me

    i keep moving
    my bones to the field
    of yellows and tall grass

    i keep moving
    when the earth breaks
    down and i just need to sleep

    i keep moving
    after swallowing
    11 pills every morning

    i keep moving
    despite the words i heard
    at 19 and 17 and 22 and 36 and 31

    i keep moving
    so i don’t add the missing
    numbers to that list

    i keep moving
    faster before acknowledging
    anxiety and surgery and pain and pain

    i keep moving
    in the direction
    of a very long embrace

    i keep moving
    my anger and hiding it
    where i may never find it again

    sometimes the ground
    tries to bury me while i breathe
    and sometimes i’d like to lay down

    sometimes the ground
    needs to crack
    and ooze its yolk around someone else

    — k weber

    1. TomNeal

      My first response was to think of Van Gogh, and his “Wheatfields with Crows”:

      i keep moving
      my bones to the field
      of yellows and tall grass

      i keep moving
      when the earth breaks
      down and i just need to sleep

      Then I came to:

      i keep moving
      despite the words i heard
      at 19 and 17 and 22 and 36 and 31

      i keep moving
      so i don’t add the missing
      numbers to that list

      I entered the sequence into Google for the fun of it. It came back “Most common winning pairs- Mersey World Lottery,” a passage on circumcision in Genesis, and one on making burnt offerings in Leviticus.

      I think the Van Gogh reading has a more interesting potential.

    2. julie e.

      Love this. Especially relate to
      “i keep moving
      after swallowing
      11 pills every morning

      i keep moving
      despite the words i heard
      at 19 and 17 and 22 and 36 and 31″

      Love the way it makes me feel so much with so few words.

      1. k_weber

        Thanks! Sometimes I try to use a lot of descriptive words to present the imagery. I tried to pull back and use sparse details and shorter lines here to see if I could get the poem across with just light phrasing. Appreciate your comment!

      1. k_weber

        Thank you for saying so! I kind of liked being able to use the poem to describe physically dealing with anger rather than emotionally but in a manner that wasn’t hitting or kicking or other ways we typically view dealing with anger.

  193. feywriter

    I went silly, as the theme reminded me of the Blotz poems I did back in school.

    The Hippocroc lives in a hexagonal house on a hill in Hawaii.
    He eats herbed hotdogs and heaps of hornets.
    He likes helping humans wearing Hello Kitty hats.
    Writing haiku on helicoptors makes him happy.
    He hexed me with hairballs for beating him in hopscotch.

    by Mary W. Jensen

  194. Bartholomew Barker


    There were monsters
    Millions of years ago
    Terrible lizards
    Who dominated the land
    Until rapid climate change
    Ignited by an asteroid
    Ended their reign

    Those that survived
    Evolved into birds
    Who insist from the trees
    They were once great

    Perhaps our descendants
    Will cling to branches
    Hiding in leaves
    Alongside those birds
    And yell harsh warnings
    At our arrogant

        1. James Von Hendy

          Here’s a small revision for a bit more context, Linda.

          The Green Monster

          It lurks at the edge of the Fens.
          It looms out beyond the grass,
          Tall and battered, dented, slammed
          Time and again, unmoving,
          Impervious to the roaring crowd
          That clamors for another
          Hammering when the Red Sox
          Swing at it from home.

          1. Linda Goin

            PS — check out elishevasmom (Ellen). She has a Green Monster poem today, too. Ah, you fans.

          2. k_weber

            Nice revision! There’s a play (ball!) on words in the very first line with Fens that just dazzles. Lush descriptions that give chills but also call to mind the beauty of a past time. Love the “monster” imagery throughout but also the reverence for a memorable location.

  195. Espen Stenersrod

    Day 27
    Topic: The Monsters

    Huge cloud
    Formed on the imaginary wall
    In great shadows
    Almost in the shape of a flower
    As arms are raised above your head
    Scream released
    hollow, projecting inwards
    Bone marrow softened
    Heart racing along with heavy breathing

    The flower has turned against you
    Shadows now surrounds your ability to see
    Heavy mist
    Want to be in control over your monster
    But led by the demon
    You follow the commands
    On autopilot

    Everything is wrong
    The will to make it right is there
    But has no correspondence with the actions
    The monster is to strong
    Plays a bigger part than you can handle

    So in a last breath of hope
    You try to come to terms
    With what is killing you slowly

  196. Michelle Hed


    Might be, you are terrorized by monsters of
    Old, Frankenstein, Dracula, or modern versions of the same or
    Nothing but the intangible fears of an active mind
    Stalking you through the night hours, joining
    Together with the daily stress of our fast paced lives…
    Emerging as an insidious beast that feeds on the
    Repeated loops of fears imagined or real, until you
    Stab the beast in the metaphorical eye or crumble.

  197. Emma Hine


    The dead of the night was etched with screams
    invading the deepest, darkest dreams,
    taking night terrors to extremes,
    ripping the darkness apart at the seams.

    A chill in the air froze hearts as they slept,
    solidified falling tears as they wept.
    The stars hid away, their shining inept.
    Fear into every dream stealthily crept.

    From out of the ground the undead rose,
    tiptoeing through the weeds on their toes,
    sniffing the air with a putrid nose.
    Above in a flurry of wings, fled the crows.

    The graveyard heaved with their mournful sighs.
    The night was disturbed by their eerie cries.
    They lumbered together with unseeing eyes –
    The plight of the creature who never dies.

  198. Walt Wojtanik


    In the shadows they lurk,
    eyes illuminated by an inner light,
    the fright of their visage is surreal.
    You feel uneasy, your breath
    wheezy and shallow. Saliva dripping,
    heart skipping a beat, your feet
    are leaded as if imbedded in
    the hard clay ground. A sound
    high pitched and squealy,
    really annoying. Steam rises
    and their size increases,
    V-shaped creases forming
    mouth-like openings.
    Hoping the flashing lights
    are an emergency vehicle.
    You just had an accident.
    Turning slowly, you are a lowly
    human life-form with opposable
    thumbs. Hairy and scary,
    not clean and green; not like
    the hidden creatures seen
    with the odd features who have landed
    They are terribly sorry. They took
    a wrong turn at Alpha-Centauri!

  199. James Von Hendy

    Blind Hunger

    They met, as old enemies are wont to do,
    At Grendel’s Den, that run-down tavern
    On the green where once the mead hall stood,

    The one-armed bartender and the Green Beret.

    “Ah, it’s Wulf,” he heard them say. “Back on leave,
    I guess. Let’s clear out now before the trouble starts.”
    But Wulfy waved a grimy hand. They grinned,

    The one-armed bartender and the Green Beret.

    “Good to see you, friend,” he said. “What’ll it be,
    A whiskey or a scotch? On me.” “I’d drink
    Your health, a dram of scotch for each of us,

    The one-armed bartender and the Green Beret.”

    They stood across the rail and took their shots.
    “I made mistakes,” old Grendel said. “And I,”
    Colonel Wulf agreed. “Youthful folly, let’s just say.”

    The one-armed bartender and the Green Beret.

    “I was ravenous.” “And I, dumb and drunk
    On too much mead.” “You had the roasted meat
    We craved. I guess it’s hungers that drove us mad,

    The one-armed bartender and the Green Beret.”

    “And how is your mam? I’m afraid to ask.”
    “Ah, dead these many years, I’m sad to say,
    But ‘twas appetite, not you, that did her in.”

    The one-armed bartender and the Green Beret

    Together looked across the room, each lost
    In thought. “I’m sorry,” Wulfy said at last.
    “Your arm.” Old Grendel shrugged. “Tis nothing. Friends,

    The one-armed bartender and the Green Beret?”

    1. k_weber

      That first image of a child having a blanket taken from them is so startling with so much urgency. Your poem leaves a lot of mystery for the reader to unravel. The snapping and the snarling… so frightening. I thought of an angry dog downstairs or a relative who is drunk and abusive… there are so many possibilities and all of them quite terrifying! Nice job putting many ideas into the readers mind!

  200. James Rodgers


    All of us,
    every one of us,
    has a monster within,
    shackled and chained
    in the dark, wet basement
    of our souls,
    for most of us
    forever dormant,
    never to be free.
    In the news,
    we hear the stories
    of those unable to keep
    their monsters restrained,
    see them celebrated
    in television and movies.
    Most of us
    shake and shiver
    at the monstrosities,
    the evil released,
    the damage done,
    but also in the knowing
    that our own monsters
    are still down there,
    in the darkness,
    lurking, waiting,
    constantly, quietly
    testing the chains.

  201. dixonlm2

    A monster makes you feel fear,
    It may ‘cause you drop a tear.

    Often, that is its exact goal,
    To make you restless in your soul.

    Walk up to it and lift the mask,
    You might have to simply ask.

    “Why are you trying to scare me?”
    The monster may look inside and see.

    How unfairly it has treated you,
    It’ll turn, walk away – feeling blue.



  202. De Jackson

    Jessica Lange


                  I have
    been my own American horror
    story, held my gory heart in
    helpless hand. You want a
    hero to be the one to leap the
    tall buildings; you want a man
    who says hello before he seizes
    you up and runs. You want to
    have a choice in the matter. You
    want to be the pilot of one of the
    planes, saving yourself. Some
    -times you even want to be the
    monster. You at least want to
    be wearing yoga pants and run
    -ning shoes for a quick getaway,
    instead of ridiculous scraps of
    strapless dress. You want to
    not fall in love with your captor.
    You want to tell your heart to
    run, stupid, run, even if every
    -thing you are spills out the top
    of your frock. You want to lock
    yourself in some high (not Eiffel)
    tower and say na-na-na-na-na
    to the planes and the missed
    trains and the breeze, and all
    the beasts who thought they
    could own you. You want to
    groan deep, allow the giant ape
    who lives in your own caged
    chest to rest for once, having
    said her piece. You want to un
    -lace your corset and create your
    own stir. What you get instead
            is a face full of fur.


  203. Debbie


    I watch TV
    that funny stuff
    love to laugh
    deep from my gut.
    Keep it simple
    not too deep
    nothing that tries
    to take my sleep.
    ‘Cause when it’s dark
    I just won’t view
    the scary stuff
    with monsters and boo!
    And if I do
    the lights must be on
    it better be bright
    with an ever-present sun.
    No things about
    to make me jump
    or touch or startle
    with noises or thumps.
    But one thing’s scarier
    than all that fright
    is being out of ice cream
    when settling down at night!

  204. shellaysm

    “The Monster Behind the Door”

    We tell our kids, myself once included,
    that monsters really aren’t real. We say,
    “Just open the closet door and you’ll see.”

    But what child would be so brave
    as to approach his fear untamed
    or trust what they can’t see isn’t real?

    To have such typical childhood doubt
    makes me nostalgically jealous for
    the little girl who didn’t get that chance.

    No one could lyingly tell her
    the monsters on her avenue weren’t fake;
    these goblins shared blood unfair.

    For her, no desired words of half assurance,
    no naive, quick fix of opening doors. Instead,
    “Bury tears in your pillow,” the message self-taught.

    When the thirsty demon bug took over,
    even good weekday people could not avoid
    the bittersweet return on days off.

    Silly, jubilant ghosts could bring us together,
    but faithfully turn nasty, tearing us all apart,
    arguments and threats promised in the wake.

    Innocence stripped by circumstance,
    she learned too quickly about the game:
    not to play to win; keep others out to keep illusions in.

    Michele Smith

  205. pomodoro

    The Weight Lifter

    Fluorescent light glares down through air tinged with sweat.
    The woman straddles the bench, resting between sets.
    My boyfriend moved out, she says.
    She lifts with effort and extends her arm.
    I study the ceiling.
    He never meant to hurt me.
    Her words are black and bruised and blue.
    Her hands rise above her head, the weights collide.
    I see her crucified against the wall of mirrors,
    a tangle of bones resisting gravity.
    I want him back, I can change.
    I look at her with curiosity
    or is it pity?
    This grave gossip weighs on me.
    So, hey, would you spot me?

  206. gmagrady


    Oh, he’s a devil of a monster
    holding me prisoner
    in this place.
    He haunts me everyday and night.

    He’s the one who prevents my
    dreams from taking
    He’ll drain my thoughts in dark and light.

    It’s never enough; he always
    wants more, needs more
    than I can give.
    His calls are endless if I don’t put it right.

    He follows every purchase, wagging
    a finger to remind me
    of what’s due.
    I’ll put the bills in a box, put the box out of sight.

    But that doesn’t help the monster’s delight.
    He still haunts me everyday and night.
    He still drains my thoughts in dark and light.
    His calls are still endless when I don’t put things right.
    No matter if I put him in a box out of sight,

    Oh, Debt you are a devil

    of a monster!

  207. alana sherman

    Day 27 Monster poem

    One Dragon’s Story

    There was a pintsized dragon
    whose scales were very green
    but even when she laughed and smiled
    people thought her mean.

    For when she opened up her mouth
    her incisors looked like spears
    and everyone who saw those teeth
    ran away in fear.

    Her wings were blue, her tail was pink
    flames came from her nose,
    she was a special dragon
    right down to her toes.

    She had one friend, a princess
    who had a great idea—
    she used that dragon’s fire
    to cook up some tortillas!

    The neighbors were invited by
    to meet and eat and have a ball
    and now that little dragon
    Is loved by one and all!


  208. laurie kolp

    Monsters in the Night

    Appearing real,
    it magnifies
    your mind.

    All sense is lost
    when the fear
    takes over.

    A monster
    chases you
    to the precipice.

    Your feet are stuck
    in quicksand,
    the monster nears.

    Darkness penetrates
    and pushes you
    over the edge.

    The monster leaves
    as quickly as he came,
    you lie in blood.

  209. candy


    Trapped inside a red metal box
    the monster looms next to me
    gripping the wheel with one
    eye forward and one looking
    through me
    We speed slowly through the
    darkness past the bridge to home
    I scream into the void of night
    only laughter echoes back
    There are no stops between
    now and the end
    Clinging to pieces of the future
    unable to change the past
    I struggle on escaping feet to
    seek the safety of strangers in
    the light on the other side of what was

  210. shellcook

    The Duality of Monsters

    No one sees from the outside in,
    because we do not tell family secrets.
    No one sees from the inside out,
    because believing blinds the seer.

    That is the code of the monster within,
    and those guessing without,
    could not believe this barbaric inhumanity,
    and how a monster hides in plain view.
    A monster knows how to always
    leave the world guessing.

    She knew that,
    and it must have been inborn.
    She never told the secret of her monster,
    and it took her
    to her grave.

  211. Bruce Niedt

    Today’s NaPoWRiMo prompt is to write an “ekphrastic” poem based on one of four photos provided, or on one of your own choosing. This rather dark poem was suggested by one of the photos, not a literal interpretation of it.


    In October, they took my neighbor out
    in handcuffs. A seventy-ish woman
    in a shabby house dress, she didn’t
    look much like a criminal. Then guys
    in hazmat suits filed into her house,
    past all her Halloween decorations
    of smiling skeletons and ghosts.

    Later I learned that she had smothered
    her ninety-three-year old mother
    in her sleep and sealed up the room
    with duct tape to keep in the smell.
    Then she continued to cash her mother’s
    social security checks until her next-door
    neighbors complained about the stench.
    Seems that duct tape works only so long.

    Eventually someone put up a for-sale sign
    and took down all the Halloween decorations.
    Then all the monsters were gone.

  212. Mama Zen

    The Unkissed Frog

    Today, you let me go
    without a kiss.
    Tonight, you’ll shrug at monsters
    beneath the bed.
    Tomorrow, you’ll pass dandelions
    without a wish,
    and I’ll be wishing
    for you instead.

    Kelli Simpson

  213. Mark Danowsky


    brings out the guns.
    The snarkiness.
    The blanket statements
    you cannot take back.
    You remember them
    years later. I know
    I said I hated that
    even though I did not
    care either way.
    They say death comes
    in threes. I muscle up
    for Art
    and only Art.
    At least, I hope
    the line is drawn with Art.

  214. sdwc8181

    40-Something Nightmare

    Not since childhood days
    Have I feared the dark,
    Creeks and groans
    A scuttling on the window
    The bed skirt
    And what could lurk beneath.

    I know not what whispered in my ear
    Or tapped my arm through the blanket
    To wake me
    Yet I lie frightened of it
    Or them
    Formless creature, or many
    Noiseless in the night
    Vicious teeth, angry eyes
    The monster snarls silently
    From every direction.

    I want to leap from the bed
    But I dare not
    Afraid of stepping into the monster’s jaws instead of the floor
    Afraid too of staying in bed
    The blanket might devour me
    I shut my eyes in the blackness
    Hum a happy tune to chase the beast away
    I send my hand to the lamp
    Search, find my courage
    Light floods the room
    I am alone.

  215. Patricia A. Hawkenson

    Patricia A. Hawkenson’s Day 27 Monster poem

    Making a Perfect Hospital Corner

    He scared me
    that leather belt
    till I knew
    and nights
    would come
    where the blankets
    couldn’t cover me
    but after I’d said
    years of prayers,
    God turned him
    into an old man,
    and now those hands
    are too weak
    to strike,
    and it’s his back
    that’s bent
    in pain,
    and finally,
    I know better.

  216. Walt Wojtanik


    Inherited relatives,
    irrelevant for the most part.
    Not close to my heart,
    more behind and a bit lower.
    There is this pain associated
    with my association to them.
    Distance is the stance we
    take; a mutual tolerance.
    But, all effort is made to
    perpetuate the masquerade.
    Polite hellos at weddings
    and burials. Save the women
    and children, Keep the torches
    and pitchforks at the ready.

  217. lionetravail

    “Jack Out Of The Box”
    by David M. Hoenig

    Occasionally, a good leeching is good for the soul.
    And when the spirit is polluted with the vicissitudes
    of Sodom and Gomorrah,
    the red gold must be weighed before perdition collects its tax.

    When one is a visionary, it is rare for others to share
    in the unique clarity with which the one is blessed.
    But the work of a prophet is to cry the word of God loudly,
    even into the wilderness of sin,
    and regardless of whether the guilty listen.

    And when the cry is not enough to turn aside Judgment,
    well, then the ripping begins,
    and continues,
    until the fear of God returns.

    And if not of God, then of death, which is a reasonable surrogate
    when punishment for transgressions goes lacking.
    To spare the rod,
    when the jingling of tuppence and guineas
    rings up the blight on the spirit like a whore’s bill,
    is no matter of mercy.

    Oh yes, sometimes a good leeching is needed:
    and while I walked the streets with my tools and righteous rage,
    even His ministering angels sang hymns along with me
    as Whitechapel bled her disease into her ugly, cobbled streets
    in a futile bid for purification.

      1. lionetravail

        Thanks for taking the time to read and comment! Not sure anyone really knows, but some theories suggest a religious bent for Jack, based on old testament laws regarding prostitution. Either way, the poem just kind of took itself in that direction :)

  218. Azma


    She turns into a green monster
    at every half past patronizing worldly event.
    She commits treacherous murders with her thoughts.
    She takes long to turn back human
    and she curses the monster she was.

    -Azma Sheikh

  219. rebrog


    “Kiss me” it says, “restore my princely shape”

    But metamorphis reveals a coat of princeskin

    with buttons of almost, with trim of braided shame,

    worn by something inevitable, putrid, gurgling,

    See how it beckons you, now that it knows your name.

    rebrog PAD 4/27/14

  220. Amaria

    I wrote this poem several years ago – it seems to fit the theme today along with my earlier poem:

    I run through the green forest,
    far away from it all.
    I roam in the thickness of trees,
    to answer your call.
    I hear your voice,
    singing into the blackness.
    You lurk in the denseness,
    where you cannot be found.
    I rise at the sound of your cries,
    and I try to get, get to you.
    But sometimes the birds confuse me.
    Sometimes I cannot see clearly.
    But I always find you,
    in your secret hiding place.
    You are there to greet me,
    with you tearful, loving face.
    Why do you call to me?
    You know what I am.
    I am the beast in the trees.
    The prying mantis that will
    eat your bloody red heart.
    But you call to me still,
    and I always answer you.
    Every night you call to me,
    and every night I kill you.

  221. Amaria

    It has come for me
    while lurking in the trees.
    I run through the forest
    trying to escape its claws.
    But it catches me still
    sinking its fang into me.
    The world fades to black
    and my tiny heart bursts.
    I awake in my bed
    covered all over in sweat.
    I sigh with utter relief –
    It was all a dream.
    Then I feel a breeze
    from my wide open window.

  222. Bruce Niedt

    Happy birthday to me….

    Birthday Monster

    It’s cute when it’s young
    and you look forward to its annual visit,
    bringing joy, cake and presents.
    But then it matures, gets moodier.
    Sometimes it even surprises you
    when it shows up at your door:
    “Weren’t you just here a few months ago?”
    As you get older, it becomes more of a nuisance,
    and you start to dread when it’s due to stop by.
    It’s grizzled and ugly now, a little grumpy too;
    It sings the same song every year
    and blows out all your candles.
    It makes lame jokes about your age
    and reminds you that you’re closer
    to the end than to the beginning.
    And yet, you never lock your door
    when you know it’s on its way,
    because having it call on you again
    is much better than the alternative.

    1. PKP

      Great poem and my grandfather used to say the same…. Especially appreciated and resonating day before my grump comes knocking on my own door, Happy birthday to you :)

  223. skanet

    Nowhere in the Bible does it say that we are all monsters
    It is taught, or coerced, bribed and extorted
    That we are NOT monsters
    We are human beings
    The first of our kind
    The right kind of thing
    Not too shabby, really

    We are taught to hide from others
    Those truly scary things, like
    Sharks, and storms, and paucity
    But we
    Are able to rise to the challenge
    To defeat and conquer, rise after the fall, stay the unconfirmed course, as it were

    But these are not the things of history
    They are myths, a creation too good to be true,
    And too tempting to discard
    These are the things of our forefathers and of self-centered wet dreams

    Yet even the beast may find a mirror now and again
    And will we break it, each and every time?
    Shall we destroy the desert, but still enjoy the mirage?
    If there were only one chance to be honest,
    To tell at the pearly gates, or at the white sheeted bed
    If there were just that one opportunity to escape form our self-induced coma
    Would we
    Finally admit
    That we are all monsters?

  224. Kathy

    Acrostic- Monsters

    Moving in shadows,
    Oppressing laughter,
    Nesting itself behind us,
    Savouring on our fear,
    Tearing apart our guards,
    Enslaving slowly in its spell,
    Redeeming its power by
    Sacrificing us.

  225. Kathy

    Masked Monsters

    It smiles and
    graciously compliments,
    while a knife is gripped
    around their knuckles,
    They even know your
    guilty pleasures
    making you feel extremely
    They search for secrets on
    your face,
    while tipping a bucket
    of butter over you,
    They cheer and offer
    to pay your bills,
    while slipping
    poison in your plates,
    They come in all shape
    and sizes,
    though their chameleon skins
    may change appearance any time,
    They are found in abundance,
    maybe even inside you-
    one you’ll find.

  226. De Jackson

    (a Pantoum)

    There was a spook in my bed last night,
    though I can scarcely see him.
    If I turn down the sheets just right,
    maybe he’ll return to the mausoleum.

    Though I can scarcely see him,
    he’s got his eyes on me.
    Maybe he’ll return to the mausoleum
    if I just let him be.

    He’s got his eyes on me
    all piercing in the dark.
    If I just let him be,
    he might not eat my heart.

    All piercing in the dark,
    they’ve got a certain shine.
    He might not eat my heart
    if I just make him mine.

    They’ve got a certain shine
    and if I turn up the charm just right,
    I might just make him mine –
    that spook in my bed tonight.


  227. Gabrielle Freeman

    by Gabrielle Freeman

    An oven for fattened up children,
    a forge that must be fed on chubby legs,
    fingers sticky with chocolate, wet suckers
    collecting bits of string and hair. Don’t forget.
    Birds and woodland creatures eat breadcrumbs.

    This is another combo of Brewer’s prompt on monsters and NaPoWriMo’s prompt to write a poem about a picture. Check out the picture on my poetry prompt and process site http://www.ladyrandom.com. Thanks!

  228. dextrousdigits


    We don’t have far to look to see monsters
    Women killed because an ankle could be seen
    Drug makers and sellers
    Children sold into slavery
    Razor sharp words hurled to kill
    Pedophiles in “Holy” places
    Parent’s who lock their child in closets for days
    Wall Streets and Bank Cartels
    companies dumping chemicals where families live
    Cigarette manufacturers

  229. Walt Wojtanik


    I hear them.
    They speak to me.
    Whispering and
    dispersing fragments
    of thoughts and ideas,
    inspirations for my
    word masturbation.One
    after another after another after…
    Write them quick before
    the image fades. These days
    my poles are opposite
    flipping from frantic
    to manic, it gets depressing.
    I’m guessing This monster
    will devour my muse in time.
    But as long as I’m breathing,
    I’ll be leaving a little something
    behind. My poetic manifesto;
    my monster will not die!

  230. dextrousdigits

    M ind full of fear-full imaginations
    O f what might, could happen
    N asty visions of disaster
    S leep was no escape
    T here mares waited to carry me
    E ach night to horrors
    R ipping screams from my dry throat to wake me

  231. Connie Peters


    When I was two
    my great uncle
    kissed me on the lips,

    the image so shocking
    my mom
    never forgot it.

    I remember using up black paint
    My unsmiling photos
    Sexually-violent dreams

    I don’t remember the kiss.
    I wonder,
    what else did I forget?

    Were the monsters lurking
    in the shadows of my life
    imaginary or real?

  232. Kathy

    Beneath my bed

    They creep between
    dusty cases,
    seeking cosy
    they groan and
    but I’m the only one to
    Horrible imageries
    cloud my vision,
    My back tingles as if
    I have committed a treason,
    With a throbbing heart
    I bend down,
    and end up looking
    like a clown,
    nobody’s face greets
    nor does three
    hands I see,
    I hit the pillow
    with injured pride,
    As they behind me slide.


  233. Kendall A. Bell

    The monster of Riverside

    He writes you letters now, begging
    for understanding. It is easy to
    repent when he is locked away, unable
    to dig into the underworld of underage
    girls – laid out like eye candy for
    sick minds. You are conflicted. He has
    left you swollen, to care for another
    mouth. He has been alone with your
    daughter. His name, in newspapers and
    on the internet. There is no erasing
    the sight of handcuffs, the hundreds
    of files on his laptop of little girls,
    the picture of him standing behind you
    in a Scream mask, his hands in the air
    behind you and you, holding your child.
    Images burning your skin, holding you

  234. CristinaMRNorcross

    The Ballad of Mr. Dissatisfied

    It’s hopeless –
    hopeless, I say.

    The grass is not green enough.
    My car is not flashy enough.
    These eggs are not cheesy enough.
    My house is not grand enough.
    My shoes are not shiny enough.
    The sun is not bright enough.

    It’s hopeless –
    just hopeless.

    Time is too short.
    My belly is not flat.
    My nose is too long.
    The list goes on and on.

    If only.
    If only.

    I live in your ear,
    whispering sweet nothings of
    “you’re not good enough,”
    and “you might as well quit.”

    I am the monster
    of dissatisfaction
    living within.

    But there is hope, you see.
    The walls are melting,
    along with my resolve.
    A burden shared
    is a burden broken in half.
    Share my woes,
    and you will see me slowly disappear.

    A monster is only a monster,
    if you feed it.
    And just like that –
    with this poem –
    I am gone.

    Cristina M. R. Norcross
    Copyright 2014

  235. jclass527

    (I actually posted this for a different day but I feel it fits better here)
    “Bedtime Stories”

    I’m writing feverishly. The floorboards are creaking
    all around me and the comforter is dusting my face like a
    dream catcher gone awry. Nightmares
    wrack my pen as I scratch away at these bare bones – the
    tapping’s closer, closer. Click. These’ll do the trick, mother
    always told me to bring truth to the light and that
    honesty’s a pretty good policy. Oranges smells sweeter than
    the big bad wolf, he’ll go away if I count to three. One.
    Its three a.m., and I can’t get out from under the covers. I can feel
    the wind dragging its nails down my spine Two through these thin
    brick walls razing smaller and smaller all around me. The light’s
    died out, and the footsteps are almost tangible now. I shut
    my eyes. Three. I put the pen down, I take a deep breath and
    whip off the covers to face the wolf.
    I open my eyes.

    -Jessenia Class

  236. Jacqueline Casey


    The dream I entered seemed a kind of hell.
    The place, interior compartment: stone.
    I shivered at the saddest eyes yet known;
    her cold, black pupils made of solid bone.

    No hand or comfort had she for my quest.
    Her cold, cold silence turned away all hope
    of asking anyone for help so dear
    and so I floated in this monstrous shell.

    A hand still grips me with such hatred’s hold.
    My panic does describe that all is lost.
    It’s then I enter cemetery, tossed
    and naked, with no cover for my soul.

    I break and shake the night of hell away;
    such horror loses patience in the light.
    With one swift kick, I throw the covers off.
    It’s here, in one piece, that I plan to stay.

  237. Linda Voit

    Ivaruab Cabcer

    Long ago, monsters I couldn’t see
    made me leap to my bed
    from a couple paces out –
    between cool sheets, the relief
    of my bare feet unharmed.

    Years later, as I confront them
    in a poem, I inadvertently place
    my right hand one key over.
    On the screen pops nibster
    which makes me smile because,
    seriously, if there are nibsters
    under my bed I’d probably
    toss crumbs or lift the bedspread
    and say sweet dreams
    as I lift my unguarded toes
    right in front of them.

    Emboldened to slay another, I place
    my hands in the same keyboard position
    and type ovarian cancer,
    but the results
    are just harder to pronounce
    and no less scary.

    Linda Voit

  238. laurora

    I was born to love my father
    It turned out he was a monster

    I was so dependent on being what he wanted me to be
    that I didn’t even see the signs

    the signs of myself receding into an emotionless doll
    or rather a figure of skin filled up by nothing but suppressed emotions,

    and another sign being my dream where I was caught in a spider’s web with my father,
    he, calm and content,
    me, paralyzed my frustration and eagerness to escape,
    to greet my mom and my sister standing hand in hand on the ground in front of me and my father,
    content and relieved not to be caught in the same web,
    but, I hope, just as desiring to get me lose from the web as I was

    My father was a spider
    and I’ve grown scared of spiders

    even though I used to spend hours talking to the crane flies in our old bathroom,
    crane flies that I named and befriended, pretended to care about, even
    even though they were nothing but thin lines of legs and would never be able to like me back

    Funnily enough they’re also called daddy-longlegs –
    my father had long legs

    At his school they called him Giraffe, he told me
    But I have never thought of him like that
    because he has long legs and not a long neck

    Of course, you could draw a line between him being a giraffe and his acting as if his head is up in the sky,
    as if he’s the king, a God he doesn’t even believe in

    But I happen to adore giraffes;
    they never speak, they can’t speak
    and as with the crane flies and the giraffes
    I adore creatures who don’t speak

    and my father was never one of them

    So since I figured out the truth about my father
    I changed my favor of animals from crane flies to giraffes
    and since I always did favor creatures who don’t speak

    I made my way out of my father’s web,
    slightly eaten much like a fly –
    but I will never be a crane fly,
    I will never be a spider,
    I will never be my father –
    and it is now my principal in life to only accompany creatures whom I like

  239. Connie Peters

    The Monster Dance

    The monsters dance as moon comes out.
    They glide and whirl and twirl about.
    When toes are squished they give a shout
    And then begins the brawl.
    They’ll make them pay, without a doubt,
    A monster free-for-all.

    When fights die down, their dance resumes,
    But they eat beans and, oh, those fumes!
    Resulting stench could fill six rooms.
    Like naughty brothers, they
    Compete with stinkers, burps and booms.
    In all of this, they swing and sway.

    When they get tired, they take a nap,
    But snore so loud, they snarl and snap.
    They moan and mutter, howl and yap.
    And thus this ends their dance.
    So if you’re asked by monster chap,
    I wouldn’t take the chance.

    1. k_weber

      in just three short haiku lines you’ve done so much. “monster” referring to the brand and not what we typically assume when we hear the word… the amish boss getting his dose of electricity without actually utilizing power and wires and light… i saw so many great twists here without you having to spell it out in a long-form poem. i even got a kick out of the word “jolt” because of the cola brand of that name that used to have a similar energy boost that these new energy drinks have. your poems have been a treat to read here. memorable. thanks!

  240. Michele Brenton


    to centuries
    of selection.

    The world is his
    as he sees fit
    and anything
    that doesn’t fit
    is wiped.

    he wants
    he gets
    wherever that leads
    and if that bleeds
    into some bad scene
    he turns his head
    moves on
    plays on
    attracted by
    the light
    everywhere he’s been.

    Michele Brenton 27th April 2014

  241. jacq

    Aging Monster by Jacqualine A Hart

    Don’t look upon me as if I were a puppy dog
    or kitten lost or unable to take care of myself
    I’ve been on this earth longer than you

    Don’t try to take my arm and assist me
    as if I were incapable of holding myself up
    I’ve been walking this earth longer than you

    Don’t act like a doorman as if you’ve waited
    all day to pleasurably hold the door for me
    I’ve been opening doors on this earth longer than you

    Don’t look upon my face as if my wrinkles are a
    sign of aging when they hold tremendous stories for
    I’ve been living the life on this earth longer than you

  242. annell

    Back to the Basics
    Soon I will
    Return to my life
    In the studio
    Back to the basics
    For me
    Up early
    Begin each day
    With a plan
    Like fluffing a sheet
    You snap it into the air
    It settles as it will
    Each time the action is the same
    Each time the sheet settles
    Just slightly different
    From the time before
    The settling of the sheet
    Is never the same
    As each day in the studio is never the same
    Even if the plan for the day is the same
    The day settles like the sheet
    Always a little different

    Annell Livingston
    April 2014
    Prompt: Back to the Basics

    Note: I wrote this for the ‘Back to the Basics” prompt, I don’t think I posted it….so I post it now….please forgive that I am ‘out of order.’

  243. writinglife16

    Vanquish the Monster

    The two kittens ran.
    The loud, long noise had startled them.
    Noxious fumes had filled the air.
    Was there a monster in that room?
    They had been mapping the house
    since they came.
    Methodically, they had moved
    room to room.
    Looking, sniffing, and tasting if needed.
    All dust bunnies had fled.
    The room they had been about to enter
    was the last room and strange anyway.
    Their humans would enter dry and
    come out wet.
    They would spray strange scents from cans.
    They could still smell the monster.
    Maybe their humans could spray it away.

  244. candy

    Beast Within

    Lurking deep within is a chimera
    she shows a face of Joy
    surrounding me like bubbles blown
    by children on a summer day lifting
    me up to unknown heights and
    fanciful worlds

    beware Anger – boiling up
    threatening to spill over
    scalding anyone who gets too close

    there is darkness when Sadness covers
    me like a wool blanket
    I wrap her tightly around my heart
    she scratches bringing no comfort

    icy cold fingers of Doubt grip my soul
    forbidding me to move on
    this is my chimera
    each part troubled and lovely
    together they are me

  245. JanetRuth

    Where Dark and Light Collide…

    You slink between whispers
    And hide beneath pillows
    Tireless fiend, you torment and impose
    Ill-favored presence
    Wherever the essence
    Of faith-flicker falters; you flaunt grim unknowns

    You mock and scorn
    Where Hope, tear-stained and torn
    Clutches a candle and kisses dark seas
    Devious fraud
    As your sickle, a god
    Unto the wicked, draws faith to its knees

    Skeletal carcass
    Wherever the dark is
    Here, in your glory you unleash your breath
    Pitiless reaper
    And merciless schemer
    Gathering souls for a harvest of death

    We could not chance
    Morrow’s imminence
    Save for One greater to comfort and cheer
    In vain you lash
    Seething where demons thrash
    For Faith in God grounded is greater than fear

    © Janet Martin

  246. Joseph Harker

    King of Pentacles
    (from a gay tarot)

    Who wouldn’t have a weakness for an Armani man,
    all button-up and perfect press? Reversed, he is the man
    who has everything
    , all ego and pride. I am playing
    my own Yente today, stacking my deck with hesitation.
    Observe the noble brow drawn swarthy and severe,
    his leatherback chair and casual finesse. Material power
    is a quality for which a boy on the rebound flexes
    his flirtation. Kings surf the web for lunch hour visitors,
    seeking closed-door meetings. On the card, he reaches
    down to guide who-knows-what hidden under the table.
    He offers riches for the finer, and smoother, things:
    midtown brims with predation. And lately I’ve needed
    something perverse to prove I’m stable. The King’s legs
    spread wide; his hands are drawn heavy; his mouth set.
    I grit my teeth against the sudden shocks of sensual
    and his great stature. He hardens as my bruises
    darken; I’m ready to leave, but unable. Another half hour
    before he’s done and says I deserve what I get. Perhaps
    he’s right: he’s the one re-fastening prim and proper
    while I slink out, my loveline kinked, my lifeline richer.

  247. RuthieShev

    I Don’t Do Monsters Well

    When it comes to romance and a good love story
    I can kiss and tell
    But ask me to make a book bloody and gory
    I don’t do monsters well.
    Emotions, devotions feelings and passion
    How about a good place to dwell
    Poverty, dancing and even high fashion
    But I don’t do montsters well
    Children, teen, adults and mature
    Prisoners in a cell
    But put a ghost behind a door
    I will have nothing to write or tell
    Geography, History, Math and Science
    Or something you need to sell
    But ask for witches and meet my defiance
    I can’t seem to conjure up a spell.
    Mysteries, sports and angel wings
    Anything with a good twist or turn
    A story about life and hope that it brings
    Or a new day for which you may yearn
    I think I mentioned this once or twice
    No Vampires, Werewolfs or Bates Motel
    I would rather write something sweet and nice
    Because honestly I don’t do monsters well

  248. Taylor Emily Copeland

    Horror movie victim

    My eyes flutter closed after
    another day spent working
    two jobs. My head indenting
    the large, down filled pillow
    that carries me off to the
    second nightmare of the day –
    a trip into a dark, Rob Zombie-
    like movie in my head where I’m
    running and running for what
    seems like forever through an
    endless field. I am hysterical
    and trying not to cry as this
    disturbed, psycho clown wielding
    the biggest knife I’ve ever seen
    is yelling my name and tells me
    that I can’t get away from him.
    Naturally, I’m barefoot and wearing
    what I fell asleep in. I am the
    blonde victim, after all. I expect
    to die, and soon, but I run faster
    anyway and I can see the highway
    in the distance. I can flag down a
    car and beg them to take me into
    the nearest town. I look back. Big
    mistake. I slam into something and
    it’s another person, another monster
    with a big knife and he’s laughing
    at me. This is the end. I’m going to
    die like a gutted cow in the middle
    of nowhere. I close my eyes and tell
    them to get it over with. The blade
    hurts at first when he pierces my
    skin, punctures my heart, but there’s
    also relief. I hear them both laughing
    as my body starts to become limp. I
    try to take one last swing at his face
    before I expire. I wake to screams
    and cursing. His hand over his mouth.
    The blood isn’t mine.

  249. annell

    You say the doctors said cancer
    You speak under your breath
    You were the one the only
    You made your reputation
    You were a cheat
    You prepare to leave
    You will be released
    You will become a memory
    You say if you had only known
    You would have been different
    You are as you are

  250. grcran

    Under the Bed

    Kids on top
    Kids think monster is under
    Under very near
    Under there lurking
    Lurking in the dark
    Lurking so slowly
    Slowly rising on his haunches
    Slowly getting ready
    Ready for the kill
    Ready for some terror
    Terror unexpected
    Terror in the kids’ own bedroom
    Bedroom of asylum in the daytime
    Bedroom of safety
    Safety in doubt tonight
    Safety could be restored by mom
    Mom comes checking
    Mom checks under bed
    Bed is fine and good
    Bed once more secure
    Secure perimeter
    Secure enough to sleep
    Sleep the sleep of babes
    Sleep and not wake up
    Up on top of the bed
    Up where the kids are getting their rest
    Rest of the world is fine
    Rest goes on
    On the floor under the bed
    On the brink of real is a monster
    Monster of the kids’ dreams
    Monster of the imagination
    Imagination guided by the wrong movies
    Imagination goaded by monster dreams
    Dreams should be therapeutic
    Dreams should be peaceful
    Peaceful dreams are happening for the kids until
    Peaceful dreams are being breached
    Breached by thoughts of the monster
    Breached little by little until
    Until the kids wake up screaming
    Until in panic they call for mom
    Mom comes in bringing calmness and love
    Mom touches murmurs softly dispels fear
    Fear gradually departs from kids
    Fear creeps back to a tiny corner under the bed
    Bed feels safe again to kids
    Bed is not the place for monsters

    by gpr crane

  251. barbara_y


    So many monsters on the stage, and so few.
    What to discuss? Or who? Flip a coin?
    Heads, a grossly malformed fetus; tails,

    A monster is man the bomb, rock, scissors
    Man-inconceivable, Man-abomnation.
    If the coin is snagged by a passing crow,

    trans-dimensional vortex sleight of hand
    removes the concept of resolution,
    or I lose the quarter before I start:

    we leave “monster” to mean Dracula, Frank,
    Freddie, and the good old rubber suit clan
    (a message in every scary, juicy bite)

    There are no monsters. Not an un-
    clean, un-believing, un-enchanting billion;
    THEM, THEY, Hitler, skinheads,
    Ayatollah, Stalin, flavor of the day;
    not a rabbit-ear nineteen
    -thirties, -forties
    -fifties b&w few;
    not grindhouse gore
    with popcorn. Just me,
    my definition at you.

  252. taylor graham


    They cut it down, of course.
    The tree was dead, an old tree, infirm,
    and then three years of hardly
    any rain. Men came with chainsaws
    and chokers, and what was left
    was a mammoth stump,
    the earth around it beginning to erode
    away. And still it didn’t rain.
    People spoke of a Monster Drought.
    They couldn’t put a face to it,
    or say whose fault or if someone
    invented it in a dark lab. The summer
    wouldn’t end, people in shorts
    enjoying the eternal serotinal flush
    way into November. Still
    no rain. The old dead tree-stump
    raised its roots out of the dust,
    reaching out and up as if in prayer
    for rain. But people just took its picture
    with their cellphones and named
    it the Drought Monster. We’ve
    all got to have somebody to blame.

  253. Lori DeSanti

    Ice Storm

    The glass on the windows
    and doors were frosted—
    at first not from ice, but
    from the dead of the cold
    pushing from the outside,
    the heat of the fireplace
    and our blanketed bodies
    trying to keep it out. We

    watched fractals creep
    across the windows,
    the wet snow lapping
    against the glass. The
    snow was freezing
    in the shape of hands
    on the sliding door, as if

    they were pressing, finding
    a way to break in. By dark,
    the streetlights had burnt
    out from weight of the water
    sitting on the power lines, we

    moved from the couch
    to the carpet and watched
    the flames of the burning
    wood lick against the brick,
    their shadows like red waves
    lighting up the walls. We knew

    the storm tried all night
    to get in, Shiva’s breath
    leaking through windows
    that weren’t as insulated
    as they should be; but we
    fell asleep curled together

    near the hearth watching
    the heat of the flame
    reach like a dragon’s tongue
    melting the frosted hands
    into water, until morning.

  254. Margot Suydam

    At the Beach House

    Only a child
    roams the dunes
    tapping on

    the cold shoulders
    of grandparents
    please listen

    rocky sounds roll
    wrillows up the beach
    as the fog

    horn scorches
    through mooning
    mists. There is

    the sharp light
    a mouth erupting
    in prayer

    below a house
    in fringing satin

    Then the ratttle
    of sand gathers
    and sends away

    the bold knock
    on the threshold.
    Yet it returns

    in silver, robbing
    the unforgiven
    from family trenches.

  255. Jezzie


    I am unable to move, I’m shaking inside.
    I just can’t take my eyes off him in case he’ll hide.
    He stands motionless, staring at me evilly.
    I’ve got to do something. It’s either him or me.
    I go to fetch my special long-handled tool
    but I get the feeling that he’s trying to fool
    me as when I return he is missing, but where?
    Is he hiding behind the curtains or my chair?
    Will he come out again when I am fast asleep?
    Or will he wait until tomorrow and then creep
    stealthily out from his secret dark hiding place?
    Will I wake up to feel something tickling my face?

    1. Linda Voit

      I have both a sister and a friend who would recognize every feeling you conveyed in this poem, and I am sure the last line will leave many in a shiver.

  256. laurora

    A Surface

    My sister and I
    are daughters of a monster
    He acts adoring
    makes everyone adore him

    But behind closed doors
    my mother, my sister and I,
    locked away, shut from the world,
    were living with a king

    My father thinks himself a king,
    he is egocentric, self-loving,
    he has no remorse, no regret
    When he talks, he lacks empathy

    and my father always talked
    He threw knives with his words,
    he cuts with his knives,
    Says he means no harm

    Constantly, the three of us have been bleeding
    Trying to be his slaves,
    letting him manipulate with us,
    we lost ourselves for awhile

    But we left him
    He’s still the same
    but to us he’s no longer a king
    However we haven’t broken him by leaving

    He only pretends to feel regret,
    he only pretends empathizes with us

    But his manipulating skills won’t cut us anymore
    Our skin has grown thick with the scars

  257. Phil Boiarski

    Under the bed

    Ambivalent about the darkness,
    fearing what was hidden there
    yet grateful for a place to hide,
    I came, in time, to need it.

    One could find it, almost anytime
    in the basement, or the crawlspace,
    in the back of the closet and even,
    if the light was right, under the bed.

    Not long ago, I was there, only my head
    able to fit beneath the boxsprings
    and the slats, marveling at a space
    so small I once managed to squeeze in.

    The roar in the kitchen, sounds of heavy
    footsteps and slams of doors, held breath
    and a fetal shape as small as possible,
    had led, in an odd way, to a new self.

    Written in crayon, in pencil, on the slats
    were words like, “Help” and “Please, God.”
    and “Why?” scribbled in a childish hand.
    Here someone learned to hold out part of the self,

    to keep a witness to the crimes, an observer
    of the pain, to allow an inner part untouched,
    a bystander with no skin in the game,
    who thinks too hard to be wholly present.

    1. grcran

      this poem is very effective, thank you! I just now posted my own poem, of the same title, and honestly, I had not seen yours until after I posted mine… started writing mine about 6am this morning and had the title right away… I am sorry about that, anyway!

  258. Gwyvian

    The lab

    Night light filters through the blinds, illuminating
    a dusky haze permeating in the lab, dappling
    across snaking plans hanging down tables and
    the radio warbles soothing noises: I thought
    about my legacy, how to make an impression in
    an age where everything is ordinary—
    I hunted through crumbling lore, searching…

    I thought of a majestic beast at first: a unicorn, whose
    presence would invigorate our suffocating lands—
    but her value is small in a world of hunters, her fate to
    become just another treasure trove to plunder; her blood
    studied, her magic trampled by a throng of curiosity,
    her suffering deemed necessary in the name of knowledge:
    a myth resurrected, and then a hushed footnote in a grave.

    Perhaps, then, a beast majestic and laced with cruelty,
    a survivor to unleash destruction raining down on our
    complacent civilization: a dragon to balance the power,
    and bring fear back into the sights of cognizance—
    but I fear, in an age where killing is as simple as breathing,
    my dragon would fall from the sky, screaming, and then
    I come back to where I began: sitting fuming in a dusty lab.

    The indignity of this cramped space, with a broken
    typewriter and a lamp that sputters finally struck a spark—
    and I knew I was on the right track: I needed a monster,
    one that lacked the obvious traits everyone expects, a hidden
    killer that could shake the world and connect us all again,
    one to drive fear into our hearts and birth bravery, an
    age where legends will be born to heal us of our sickness.

    I began mixing arrogance with a touch of morbidity, and I
    made sure my creature had no sympathy for the weak; he will
    hunt the good in us and eviscerate it, and toy with feelings with
    a casual indifference: a master manipulator to always get what
    he wants – a closed perspective, a touch of immaturity for
    malleability; but he will be strong through sweetness and
    seductive grace – a champion of humanity in disgrace.

    I unleashed my creature in the night, but to my horror he began
    breeding – he slipped into people’s hearts and murdered their
    ability to see more than their own lusts, he forced their hands
    to one another – and it just kept going on, this unstoppable chaos;
    but after a time, rocking back and forth in my lab, listening to
    the radio’s calm tunes – I realized, to my shock, that nothing
    had truly changed: the monster I’d created already existed…

    April 27, 2014

    By: Lucy K. Melocco

  259. carolemt87

    “We all use our bodies for a place to hide.”
    Michael Johnson
    “Love and Sex”

    She barricades the doors beneath rippled thighs,
    belly slung low over denim jeans
    taut size 26, groaning.

    A protective friend,
    her layer of blubber
    which causes children to snicker and point
    men and women turn away in disgust
    at her overindulgence
    planked on donuts, pizza, junk food.

    Within her cellulite shell,
    she hides
    no hands will reach
    Up there
    And he won’t force her
    to use
    her mouth

    She sits in her room,
    watching television
    arms folded across
    fat plated breasts,
    alone, sheathed
    a thick tapestry
    of jiggling flesh.

    Carol J Carpenter

  260. Brian Slusher


    A tenet of acting is
    the villain never knows
    he is, so play him,
    though attired in black,
    as an average Joe
    with an itch
    he cannot scratch.

    So he claws and claws
    thoughtless of the
    who’s who feel his
    nails, for they’re just
    barriers with faces,
    though prone to plead
    and scream: monsters
    are born of

    1. Linda Voit

      So true. And thank goodness sometimes the barriers with faces find hiding places or shields, and sometimes others step in to push mirrors in front of the monsters faces until they change or put bars around them leaving the barriers outside of arm’s reach.

  261. Snowqueen


    Monsters can be under the bed
    on the street or in ones head

    Some are mean, some are funny
    some have snot that’s green and

    Some are good and some are bad
    Some can make you feel real sad

    We need monsters, yes we do
    for many reasons but here’s a few

    Hero’s are made when monsters exist
    And they motivate so we persist

    Monsters make good stories too
    like the one I have, his name is Flu

    Where would we be without monsters?

    Karen D.

  262. Linda Rhinehart Neas

    Fraternal Monster

    She watched with eager heart
    the swelling of her mother’s tummy.
    For four long years, she waited
    dreaming dreams, this little mommy.

    When finally, the blessed child
    was laid into her cherubs embrace,
    she gazed so benevolently
    upon her wee siblings face.

    Oh, Momma, she gasped,
    “He’s just abominable!”
    Her words mal à propos
    were really quite comical!

  263. Kimmy Sophia

    I wrote this one two years ago but it works with today’s prompt:
    My Monster, by Kimmy Sophia Brown

    My Monster

    I’m feeling particularly sad today
    I let my monster out
    She screamed and raged and stomped around
    Feeling quite justified in her exasperation.

    What should I feed her?
    When I starve her she gets quiet,
    but she’s always there.
    Tethered in the basement, growling.

    She doesn’t know where she came from,
    she just is.
    She wants to be heard,
    She wants to be loved
    She wants to be seen.
    If she was heard and loved and seen
    she would probably settle down
    For a nice big lick
    And a loud purr
    And a long nap.

    It’s dark in the basement and
    sometimes it’s been so long since she’s been let out
    that when a crack of light comes in
    she goes bonkers,
    Pulling at the wall til the chain breaks
    And she runs around and howls
    and howls and scratches things.

    She knocks over lamps and breaks door jams,
    and behaves in a way that most people

    She thinks she could behave nicely
    Under the right circumstances.
    I’m wondering if I should have her euthanized.
    She’s dangerous but she doesn’t think that she is.

    What should I do?
    Let her out with a promise of good behavior?
    Or shoot her with a tranquilizing gun
    and then give her a permanent sleep?

    She can be a very nice monster.
    But even monsters on their best behavior
    Have been known to breathe fire on the guests
    and vaporize them in an instant.

    Monsters sometimes burst on the scene
    and trample everyone in their path.
    They just don’t do well in polite company.
    No one wants her here.
    If she finds out,
    she’ll terrorize the village in a frenzy again.
    If she finds out they don’t like her
    she’ll want to eat them.

    I’m going to send her down the path
    where there’s a big sign that says,
    “This way to the Party! Monsters Welcome!”

    When she sees the sign she’ll run toward it,
    so excited that she’s been invited to a party.

    There’s a cliff behind the sign which she can’t see.

    When she runs for the party,
    she’ll fall down and down and down in the dark crevass.

    At first she’ll be confused.
    Where’s the party hats?
    Where’s the cake?
    It’s dark in here.

    Dark, dark, dark.

    Eventually she’ll realize there’s no party.
    She might cry.
    She might get mad.
    She might roar.
    She might want to eat everybody.
    She might start thinking,
    when I get to that party
    I’m going to eat all the guests.

    But she’s still falling and falling in the dark.
    At lightning speed.
    She can’t see anything.
    All she can feel is the rush
    of cold, dark air, and the feeling of falling.

    Then she’ll think,
    “I’m alone. Where is everybody?”
    And she’ll start to cry.

    When monsters cry you have to get out of the way.
    Their tears are as big as swimming pools
    and their snot is indescribably sticky and voluminous.
    A crying monster makes a terrible mess.
    It’s a good thing mine is falling down a dark crevass
    because there’s no hankie big enough for all the tears and snot.

    Her heart will pound
    and she’ll cry and cry until she’s shaking with sobs.
    First she’ll be mad and she’ll say,
    “Where’s the party? They lied to me!”
    But then she’ll say,
    “Why did everyone ditch me? I’m alone again!”
    And she’ll keep falling.
    Falling falling falling.
    There’s no bottom to the monster crevass.
    It’s just an open crack in the universe.
    Finally she cries herself to sleep.
    She sleeps and falls and falls,
    head over heels,
    down the black crevass.

    When she wakes up she’s lying
    on warm sand by the ocean.
    And she’s not a monster anymore,
    she’s just a person who has holes in her soul,
    trying to figure out this

  264. anneemcwilliams

    Missing Jeff Fields

    That evening he went out for
    and left his lights on, his radio
    playing bluegrass on the kitchen table;
    made a quick run to the local
    Tomatoes and peppers sat
    on the stoop in baskets
    waiting to be canned,
    the crock-pot burbled
    venison stew with morels and onions,
    a celebration of stashed bounty.

    A friend looks at the whole picture
    One man’s legacy is the same man’s loss.

    That night he sought
    a case of cold beer and
    a pack of Chesterfields, yet
    found instead
    an impatient woman
    speeding on a blind hill, driving a one-ton dualie,
    passing a combine. She t-boned his Bronco
    crushing his left side
    like a beer can.

    Who’s to know
    what a day has in it?
    Is this where God comes in?

    Did he glimpse
    for a moment that morning
    the connection of coincidence,
    the arc of chance, a bend in the road,
    the curve of a hill,
    the indignities of fate?

    first draft 04/27/2014

      1. anneemcwilliams

        gosh, thank you for reading my poem. Jeff and i split flats of tomatoes and peppers every spring, he brought me morels and i gave him asparagus. we shared old family recipes and mountain knowledge. we miss him fiercely.

    1. anneemcwilliams

      2nd draft

      Missing Jeff Fields

      That evening he went out
      for groceries,
      left his lights on, his radio
      playing bluegrass on the kitchen table,
      made a quick run
      to the local IGA.

      Tomatoes and peppers
      sat on the stoop in baskets
      waiting to be canned,
      the crock-pot burbled
      venison stew with morels and onions,
      a celebration of stashed bounty.

      That night he went looking for
      a case of cold beer and
      a pack of Chesterfields, yet
      found castigation
      in an impatient woman
      speeding on a blind hill, driving a one-ton dualie
      passing a combine.
      She t-boned his Bronco
      crushing his left side
      like a beer can.

      Who’s to know
      what a day has in it?
      Is this where God comes in?

      Did he glimpse
      for a moment that morning
      the connection of coincidence,
      the arc of chance, a bend in the road,
      the curve of a hill,
      the indignities of fate?


      1. Linda Voit

        This is a powerful poem. Through this poem, you effectively capture so much about Jeff in your concrete specifics and so much about the universal twists of fate and the big questions of life/death. For what it is worth, “castigation” seems to jump out of the rest of the poem in a distracting way to me. If you work that stanza a bit more (and I sure hope you stick with this), consider staying with the simple language you are using throughout. The simple words seem an apt reflection of how life is shattered in the most ordinary of moments. Whatever you do, bravo!

  265. EeLas6678

    Simple Remedy

    Take this pill, it will ease the pain,
    A simple remedy, the cure to make you sane.
    Go to this place, they have all the answers,
    Whatever you do, do not ask questions,
    If something bothers you, Refrain, do not mention.
    This is what you need.
    This is where you need to be.

    How do you know what I need?
    Is it my blood that you bleed?
    Is it your hand in which I feed?
    Answer me this I plead!

    Taken many pills, the pain is still here,
    Maybe there’s no remedy, my constant fear.
    I’ve been in this place, I haven’t asked any questions,
    No more.
    Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?
    Me, captured ,now, here, unsure, forced.

    Someday you will understand that this is what you need.

    How do you know what I need?
    Do you see this as doing a good deed?
    Planting flowers to cover up the weeds?
    Wanting only the perfect, oh what greed!

    There are no more pills, I poured them down the drain,
    This was rather simple, my worries are gone away,
    Got out of that place, the place of empty thought,
    The only question now is one that has an answer.

    Why did I go through hell?
    Oh yes, it was what I needed.
    You told me this!
    You made me believe
    That I was a mess!
    Stole my soul like a thief,
    The leader of inner demons,
    Tried to live through me,
    Never had a past life.

    Now I’m getting answers, exercising my thoughts, my voice.
    Let me make a referral,
    Freud would have a field day with you,
    Expert in psychos and anal-asses.
    I’ll give you something more for your efforts, something of fair exchange,
    Forever silence, never call my name,
    This is what you need.

    -Emily Lasinsky

  266. dsborden

    by D. S. Borden

    It lurks
    in the stark
    transmission of shadows,
    our aberrant spawn.
    Clamber and howl!
    (No worries.
    The walls are sound-proofed.)
    And we,
    with lead foot
    on version 3.0:
    outsourcing misery
    to monsters,
    subdued with greenbacks
    instead of guns,
    so I can float on a streaming sugar feed of disposable pleasure
    the dream-sleep
    of unicorns and rainbows
    in brilliant sap-syrup,
    marked at deep discount

  267. Kimmy Sophia

    To be a monster
    you need a lair
    crazy eyes
    and sticky hair.
    An unhinged mind,
    unblinking stare.
    Effective monsters
    like to lurk
    and wait for folks
    walking home from work.
    Monsters like
    the sight of blood
    and dragging victims
    through the mud.
    No one taught them how to play
    or right from wrong
    or how to pray.
    They spend their youth
    in school detention,
    toothless and old
    they get no pension.

  268. mzanemcclellan

    Monster Prompt

    So many connotations to this word
    thanks to an ever changing lexicon.
    It can still be a nebulous creature
    of dubious origin under beds.
    It will always be the bane of Yankees,
    looming menacingly in Fenway Park.
    Caffienated beverages to keep you alert,
    as the EMT’s perform CPR.
    Virtual venues, résumés galore
    for outsourced jobs paying minimum wage.
    Bizarre trucks become a caricature
    in a nonsensical public display.
    Characters we come to love in movies
    or are captured by in compelling books.
    So many monsters from which I could choose,
    here I am, with this Poem a Day prompt …

    ~ M. Zane McClellan

  269. lina


    This monster is a worm with fangs.
    Ripped in two or three,
    it lives again, wriggling through
    the dormant garden,
    climbing the broken fence
    and crawling up the old porch steps.
    Stamped on, spat upon,
    the worm won’t turn away;
    eyes glittering like it knows my secret,
    fangs dripping until my skin is torn
    and I say, mercy.

  270. Emma Hine


    She loses control, she’s a real live wire
    But she’s got a good heart and she ain’t no liar.
    She has a hot temper, she has a short fuse
    But she means no harm, she will not abuse
    And if you show her love, you have nothing to lose.

    Beware don’t mention
    True deception,
    Drawn out lies
    And constant tension.

    He’s calm and collected, he’s in control
    But he has no heart and he has no soul.
    He rarely shouts; he seems so cool
    But underneath, he’s secretly cruel
    And woe betide you if you break his rule.

    Beware don’t mention
    True deception,
    Drawn out lies
    And constant tension.

    She’s all hot air, she’s got fire in her veins.
    If you cross her line, she’ll shoot you in flames.
    But end of the day she’s just letting off steam.
    She’s the first to admit they’re just words she don’t mean
    And she’d do anything for herself to redeem.

    Beware don’t mention
    True deception,
    Drawn out lies
    And constant tension.

    She seems all black but she’s really white.
    She’s the day to his darkest night.
    She’ll call you every name under the sun
    But his deafening silence packs more punch than a gun.
    And when he talks to you softly, the nightmare’s just begun.

  271. dianemdavis

    Hitler’s Women (Berlin 1945) (a monster poem)

    When Elsa was fourteen, she went to summer camp
    and came back pregnant for Hitler.
    It was a girl’s responsibility
    to have as many Aryan babies as possible.
    And Elsa, became very good at her job.

    Now she scrounges the streets,
    peeking into every corner
    for a morsel of bread, a cigarette butt
    or a lonely soldier.
    Anything to help feed her brood.

    She wears her Mother’s Medal,
    polished and proud
    on the shoulder of her faded silk dress,
    the only remnant left of her days of honor
    as a Hausfrau—

    And she wonders
    how doing everything right,
    how following the rules perfectly
    and patriotically
    could have ended up so wrong.

  272. Sasha A. Palmer

    Hi. Cannot believe April is almost over. So is my haiku story :-) Just a few more.
    27 prompts, 27 haiku.

    beyond the welkin
    a sleepy angel awakes
    off to work wings brushed

    the commute is quick
    one giant leap for mankind
    for angel one step

    the task is simple
    persuade men to be happy
    that’s what angels do

    since the creation
    happiness has been men’s foe
    men prefer ruin

    men long for passion
    harmony unsettles them
    men would rather burn

    men inhale cities
    drink beneath the rural moon
    on the airplane wings

    ever amateur
    created in God’s image
    hopelessly human

    torment their lovers
    dance themselves to destruction
    ever lonely men

    finding no refuge
    men cry when they see the Pope
    vagabond pilgrims

    empires rise and fall
    look back foresee the future
    humans do not change

    men bend their beliefs
    divide sex and sentiment
    still believe in love

    strolls through central park
    wild quarrels starting over
    beautiful and damned

    men battle their beasts
    walk along the precipice
    all the sad young men

    if i were God i
    dancers and storytellers
    always reasoning

    love is all there is
    still men crave bitter in sweet
    never satisfied

    men beat on borne back
    ceaselessly into the past
    silent tombstones speak

    lost generation
    paradigmatic writings
    jazz age any age

    winter dreams wear off
    the prickly dust of late spring
    freshness of lilacs

    pink floating dresses
    pink babies in pink bonnets
    it all starts anew

    a tight fellowship
    flappers and philosophers
    a curious case

    men tamper with faith
    yet at the end of the day
    all want to come home

    men want to repent
    quit the Godless dirty games
    men want to be loved

    life crackles like ice
    on this side of paradise
    faith is difficult

    tell it to the One
    He advocates for all men
    He knows about faith

    when everything fails
    when Babylon walls crumple
    He will raise you up

    when your soul is dry
    when you walk in wilderness
    He will quench your thirst

    when the evil strikes
    amidst your Armageddon
    He will stand by you

  273. Reynard

    the monsters keep me up at night
    they tell me its just the wind
    but i know better
    its the monsters outside
    all around me
    they are coming for me
    i keep a knife under my pillow
    times like these i like to pull it out
    and hold it
    i hold it now- its warm wood handle
    grasping it so tightly
    they are in the house
    beside my bed
    i plunge the blade wildly into the dark
    i feel it sink deep into flesh
    i pull it out
    and plunge again and again
    deeper with each plunge
    the monsters scream
    other worldly sounds
    no human person ever sounded
    like that
    the monsters flee from my blade
    i know it fled because i can not
    hear it anymore
    it won’t come back again
    i place the knife at the end of
    the bed
    its all wet and sticky
    i don’t want to hold it close to me
    i close my eyes
    and fall fast asleep
    in the morning people are there
    surrounding my bed
    they look worried
    i try to tell them – no need to worry-
    i killed the monster
    but still they are concerned
    they take me away
    but i am safe here now
    i try to explain
    still they keep me behind bars
    they don’t know the monsters are gone

  274. kelly letky

    sleeping beauty

    climb into my kitchen
    and i’ll build you a window

    walled by whisper wing
    and fire dream

    we’ll marry word and wonder
    filter fear and petty shadow

    press cold noses to the glass
    of each season’s metronome

    i’ll feed you butterfly and brimstone
    bits of light and captured night

    with dragon song and maiden dawn
    to keep you from flight’s rescue

    ~Kelly Letky

  275. Quaker

    There lies within us a monster.
    We try to keep it hidden from others
    however, sometimes it breaks free.
    It shows up at the worst of times,
    mostly when we have an argument.
    Then it raises its body temperature
    and things get said that cannot be taken back.
    We are caught in the act, accused, justly,
    and the monster within us retreats
    like chased by a mob with pitchforks and torches.

    Later, when we come to our own mind,
    the fury spent like a hurricane,
    returned to normal, we do not remember
    what we did, what we said, why the other
    is so upset. We hover like a hummingbird
    wanting to make things right. We ask,
    again and again and again for forgiveness.

    And if we receive forgiveness,
    there is no guarantee we won’t repeat.
    In another flash, we might get out of control again.

    And even if we can change that beast,
    keep it sedated, never again rise to terrorize villages,
    what’s to say that when the other person loses it,
    their monster runs rampant, spitting fire,
    that when they calm down and beg forgiveness,
    who is to say we will remember our own transgressions
    and forgive that other person?

    Forgiveness is a road meeting in the middle
    yet sometimes no one is there.

  276. cindikenn

    The China Doll

    Mary Jane’s slumber party tale
    involved mom’s porcelain geisha
    figurine. Six inches high with
    glossy black hair and heart shaped face,

    she stared inanimate by day,
    quiet upon her shelf. By night,
    she loosened her momoware hair,
    smeared her crimson lips and unfurled

    razor sharp nails. Gold kimono
    bathed in midnight, with stiletto
    fingers poised, she crept through silent
    house in search of sleeping children.

    It’s been fifty years now but Mom
    still tucks the doll tight in butcher
    wrap and hides her in the dusty
    attic whenever I visit.

    I never play in the attic

  277. courageousdreamer

    The Monster Within

    It wanders hopelessly,
    From town to town.
    Mocked and feared,
    By those who wish to drag it down,
    To their level.

    It hides in dark places,
    Bitten nails and twitching thumbs,
    Helps it cope,
    With the monster,
    Trying to escape from within.

    He must not listen to those,
    Who call him horrible names,
    Because it is not his fault,
    That the creature makes him act out.

    His only desire,
    Is a friend, an acquaintance,
    Of which he can call upon,
    When the angry mob,
    Return to bring him to retribution,
    For his monster’s actions.

  278. Jezzie


    I have a fear when writing my poems
    of not using a long enough word.
    Four syllable words I find okay
    but I know that this might sound absurd.
    I Googled it, because I wanted
    to find out what they would call my fear.
    I was surprised to find I have got

  279. dhaivid3

    Poem title: Unhealthy foods

    It is your fault and yours alone
    You call me and I succumb.
    I yearn and, you are so priced that I cannot resist
    The horrors that you serve.
    I chew, and lick and swallow and wallow
    In targeted poisons to visit my veins and clutch at my heart
    And slow my steps
    And arch my back
    To fill my blood
    And stretch my sides
    I cannot deny
    I try, I try
    To hide

    To stop this diatribe
    This argument with me by be
    To resist the call of sweet-tooth treats
    To hold you away, so far away
    To regain my strength, my life, my freedom.

    But alas! Here is Sweet clarity:

    No, I blame not you but me
    For you are limbless and have no sense of your attractiveness and beauty
    And I am human and for that I ought to Master,
    Not only you,
    But me.

  280. RJ Clarken

    The Borborygmus

    The Borborygmus rumbles on:
    he produces sounds most fearful.
    You never know when he might growl,

    and once he growls? Can’t be withdrawn.
    Everyone gets an earful.
    Oh, can any beast be more foul?

    What magic, thus, can get him gone,
    and therefore make you less tearful?
    What can end his terrible howl?

    Here’s a hint: the dénouement
    can happen, so, yes, be cheerful –
    don’t give up or throw in the towel

    but rather, eat. Your G-I tract
    will quiet down with food, in fact.

    (The form is Trilonnet. The monster known as borborygmus is the unfortunate creature who lurks in your stomach and intestines, and rumbles and growls loudly, especially when you’re hungry.)

  281. PKP


    in years to yet become they
    would remember that day –
    the girl cousins sat beading
    in a small circle on the swept
    wooden porch beside the empty
    rocking chairs stringing from
    a pile between them – picking
    a few colored bits of glass at a time
    the uncles, off to the far end,
    sat and stood on, and against, the railing
    with a little chew -munching silently,
    with flat faces -even the youngest uncle
    who just last night before it all, was finally
    called out as he palmed a cheat card in the
    dining room and would not leave the game
    until they folded the table and the chairs and
    walked off refusing to speak about it again
    the aunts were thought to be in the wide
    white channel of the kitchen, a few at the sink
    washing fruit, others at the counter cutting
    what would be bright salad served “later.”
    But they weren’t –
    They had untied their aprons and through
    wavy glass watched their mother’s apple
    blossom tree where their only son, a small
    bright boy of nearly eight scrabbled himself
    like a land-locked crab up into a bower of
    white petals and picked a lapful of small
    perfect green apples – just as a sigh ran from
    Mother’s bedroom above and down the steps
    on light slippered feet just ahead of the beastly
    thing lumbering behind her, as one, they heard
    that lyric laugh of their childhood, and knew
    without need of trudging up the stairs to stare with
    reddened eyes at her husk, that she had outrun the
    pinchers of the bulging eyed Cancer crab –
    a wafted wisp of her lilac scent lingering
    about them all in a forever embrace as
    the kitchen screen door slammed gently,
    lovingly, firmly closed behind her irrevocable
    release into the soft summer wind

    1. ina

      “the aunts were thought to be in the wide
      white channel of the kitchen, a few at the sink
      washing fruit, others at the counter cutting
      what would be bright salad served “later.”


  282. Jacqueline Casey

    “King Richard III is Found!”

    The word unleashed! The council chamber’s packed!
    The archaeologist; meticulous.
    Their analytic brush thus set aside,
    news eagerly awaited now with pride.
    All hear results of Leicester’s history:

    “It seems we’ve dug down deep enough to find
    old Herrick’s garden near the Friary
    ‘Where all the virgins must make much of time’.
    We’ve dug on past King Henry’s century…”
    (who’d rid church edicts if he disagreed.)

    He’s here! He’s found beneath an old car lot;
    a left and thorny leg lies near his tomb.
    King Richard with his relics in the ground;
    his scoliosis near his skull, intact
    with battle scars remaining on that dome.
    He’s bootless! Sigh! We see his bony toes
    that once did lie in death near Bosworth field.

    The news that Richard Third is found, abounds!
    There’s movement in the shadows, sinister.
    A monster, once so silent moans his bones;
    mid Tower floats young voices of the night.
    The leaded lid, it lately creaks so slight;
    there’s power in the music of the night.

    Day 27 April PAD for Writer’s Digest. Prompt: write of a monster

    They’ve verified via DNA that it is, indeed, Richard the Third! Plans are to inter the King in Leicester Cathedral in 2014 though there is an ongoing kerfuffle as to his final resting place. The young voices in my poem are Edward V of England and Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York, ages 12 and 9 years old. They were lodged in the Tower of London , supposedly in preparation for Edward’s coronation as king. However, Richard took the throne for himself and the boys disappeared.

    1. dhaivid3

      Well done.

      Regarding the story at the end, I recently saw a documentary on it and I cannot say that I have been more shaken by a story as much as this one shook me. To not know what happened to those boys, terrible.
      And now to ‘hear their voices’ in your poem…

    2. shethra77

      I don’t think Richard is the monster he’s made out to be. :)
      But they don’t have his bony toes. The only parts of the skeleton that were missing were his feet, apparently due to some excavating and rebuilding in the !800s.

  283. Ravyne

    Just Clownin’ Around

    Fat white face, toothy grin
    you sit by day on my sister’s bed
    innocent and dumbstruck
    I carefully walk past you
    taking wide-angled steps
    as your eyes follow my every move
    At last I escape
    down the stairs and out the door
    During the day I forget you
    go on about my normal routine
    shy kid with a book up my nose
    When daylight is exhausted
    I return to my room and you are gone
    I frantically search under beds
    dresser drawers and the closet
    no sign — perhaps I am safe?
    Still in fear, I climb into bed
    and shake my feet ’til I fall asleep
    Suddenly a noise awakens me
    I sit up in the bed
    covers pulled up to my chin
    and search the blackness of the room
    I whisper through tears,
    Please don’t be there, please!
    Slowly I turn my head to the right
    eyes closed, holding my breath
    As I open my eyes, I let out a scream!
    You are there! You are there!
    Fat white faced, big toothy grin
    mop of red hair — you sit on my rocker
    with the moonlight streaming in
    I pull the blanket over my head
    crying, crying, crying
    And from across the room
    sister is laughing

    Copyright 2014
    Lori Carlson

      1. Ravyne

        My sister got great joy from frightening me.. always making up things, like shocking a little man every time I turned on the light, monsters under my bed and evil trolls in the bathroom under the tub. It’s a wonder I am not more of an anxious person than I am from all the fear I learned from her.

  284. Jezzie


    A woman’s work is never done
    and I think that I know why:
    it is the fear of boredom
    when all her work runs dry.
    If she completes all her tasks
    where will she then be?
    What will she do tomorrow?
    That’s the monster I fear in me.

  285. donaldillich

    The Monster

    We cross the street with our torches
    raised high, trying to illuminate the night
    so we can see where the monster has gone.

    A hideous creature, we can’t have it
    scurry through the trees and houses
    for fear it might hurt someone else.

    Nobody knows where it came from.
    It just appeared in this odd red vehicle
    that ran exceedingly fast, then stopped

    when it saw us lurching around the marsh
    as we usually do. It screamed, then fled
    toward good old D’s castle and the F”s

    scientific lab. It must have yelled too much,
    because it passes us without any voice left,
    going straight toward Bigfoot’s villa,

    or maybe the banshee’s bed and breakfast.
    One time we think we’ve found the beast,
    but we just discover pieces of laundry

    that are set to look like it from afar.
    We’ve set guards around its odd carriage,
    so it can’t get inside, go back to where

    it came from and bring others. Vampires
    shake their heads, taking over at night
    for Leatherface, who wants to to to bed.

    The annual Mash is tonight, we watch
    for the creature as we leap up and down,
    smashing the earth, shaking the graves.

  286. PKP

    My Monster

    lived somewhere beneath
    my breastbone cradled
    within the arms of my
    ribs beneath the still
    smooth flat skin cool
    in the predawn light
    that chilled my heart
    and felt it shift in sleep
    as I slipped under tight
    covers waited with short
    breaths for sunlight

    1. PKP

      I can only repeat my earlier gratitude to, and or you all. Humbled – and so deeply moved by these incredible comments – cannot express how touched I am to have peeked back and found your words