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Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 199

For today’s prompt, write a creepy poem. Then, get some rest, because the November PAD Chapbook Challenge begins tomorrow.

Here’s my attempt at a creepy poem:

“Right Back: The Cabin Poem”

The first teenager, a football lineman,
left to grab a beer, said “I’ll be right back,”
but that was an hour ago. Since then, Han
and Leia (costumes) slipped off for a “snack,”
though everybody knew what they meant,
and they said, “We’ll be right back.” Most people
had heard the rumors (about the kid sent
past the edge of madness and church steeple),
but an empty cabin deep in the woods
is a bear trap. The final two teens heard
the screams outside, the wind shaking the shack,
and Johnny, the high school quarterback, stood
(trying to be brave) and revised the words
for Jane, the smart girl: “I won’t be right back.”


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer


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76 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 199

  1. JRSimmang

    Is this love?
    I ask myself this question every time I get this close to someone.
    She has laid herself bare for me.
    She has done wonderful things to me.
    She laughed,
    let little twinkling tears of sorrow
    quench the parched dimples
    in her porcelain cheeks.
    Red though they were,
    they were always thirsty.
    She snored, on occasion,
    which was just a symbol of her sublime femininity.
    She tiptoed through her apartment
    because she lived on the second floor.
    So conscious of others.
    She left her door unlocked

    So, is this love?
    As she lays on my table,
    her bright red whimsy
    draining under her,
    I can’t help but think that her
    flesh took so long to lose its heat
    because of me.
    Her eyes still trained on me.
    But, then again, they always will be.
    They always will be.

  2. carolemt87


    Cold fingers tiptoe
    stop just short of my throat
    fog reflects shadow
    one glimpse of an outline
    velvet curtains fall
    hard over the morning
    while I hide
    content beneath
    a fading whisper

  3. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    Left my Anger
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    I left my Anger back on I-25
    enshrined in darkness beneath
    a secluded Rest Area
    just beyond a little grove of trees
    trimmed in gold
    and red.
    It wasn’t anything
    She had said or done,
    just an unfortunate stumble
    upon a private tussle amidst
    ancient amoral demons
    I had no intention
    of loosing ‘gainst.
    An innocent caught
    in the crosshairs of Rage,
    a sacrificial pawn
    upon the stone altar of Penance,
    whose only sin was simply being
    in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    A broody irreligion
    consumes both our Souls,
    filling a void with sadistic sorrow
    for those who would later grieve
    inconsolably for a Life
    cruelly forfeited in the name of
    now just a carnal autumn memory
    rippling, bowling lane-like
    in my rearview mirror
    as I ease into gear and
    simply drive away,
    leaving my Anger
    enshrined in darkness beneath
    a secluded Rest Area
    just beyond a little grove of trees
    trimmed in gold
    and red.

    © 2012 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  4. Poet Ariel

    Cabin in the Woods

    Don’t enter the empty cabin
    that breathes in the dark;
    its maw of a door
    sucking in absence
    and silent, slithering sounds of dust moving.
    It even eats up the sound of the clock;
    it’s hands move silently,
    gears that won’t give away their presence
    even with a whisper that could be heard
    by the gathering dust, the waiting dust.
    So much dust, blanketing everything,
    waiting on the table, the rummaged bed, the floor –
    waiting in the dark corners of the rooms.

    Don’t enter the empty cabin
    that breathes in the dark;
    ignore the baited light in the window
    in a building too lost for electricity.
    And do not discount the empty cobwebs;
    even the spiders wove their own shrouds
    now covered with the gray dust.
    Even the footsteps have been eaten up,
    muffled divots that have now been filled in
    like rain filled an empty bed,
    Dust covering it’s blood trail,
    waiting in the dark corners of the rooms
    breathing in the dark.


  5. Michelle Hed

    Treats or Death ( A Blitz)

    Give some tricks
    Give some treats
    Treats for me
    Treats for you
    You sing and dance
    You scream and run
    Run for your life
    Run here he comes
    Comes after you
    Comes after you with a knife
    Knife gleams
    Knife drips with blood
    Blood drips and drips
    Blood drips to the beat
    Beat of your running feet
    Beat of your heart
    Heart beats fast
    Heart takes a leap
    Leap over stump
    Leap over fence
    Fence too tall
    Fence too long
    Long way to run
    Long way to home
    Home is safe
    Home is where you want to be
    Be there now
    Be there soon
    Soon or not
    Soon he will catch you
    You look behind
    You scream again
    Again you run
    Again you look
    Look there he is
    Look there is blood
    Blood no longer drips
    Blood gives you chills
    Chills your soul
    Chills run along your spine
    Spine will break
    Spine of steel
    Steel can’t break
    Steel is strong
    Strong enough to fight
    Strong enough to beat death
    Death is me
    Death you fear

  6. seingraham

    Seriously Spooky

    In McDonald’s, over nuggets and fries
    With super-heroes, dinosaurs, monkeys
    And all manner of disguised children
    And adults milling about, one son-in-law
    The one you would mistake for the toughest
    Confesses he’s just seen “The Exorcist”
    For the first time, the original, made
    In the seventies – he is shaken, it is obvious
    As he recounts the parts that bothered him
    The same parts that bothered me way back when
    Imagine – psychological horror wins out
    And profanity from the mouth of a child
    Comforting really, in this age of over-the-top
    Special effects and gore … I hear “Tubular Bells”

  7. SharoninDallas

    And a simple post for last week’s chant poem that I missed.

    How Do I Love Thee?

    She loves him
    She loves him not
    She loves him
    She loves him hot
    She loves him
    She loves him cold
    She loves him
    She lets him go

  8. Marie Elena

    It has become SOOO hard to post out here. :( All I wanted to do was give Laurie Kolp a smiley face. After my 12th try, I gave up.

    As usual, there are fantastic poems out here. My favorites so far are De Jackson, Jerry Walraven, Bruce Neidt, and Jane Shlensky.

  9. Marie Elena


    One of my children’s favorite amusement park rides
    Was the Rotor –
    A large barrel that spins,
    Creating centrifugal force that pins its upright riders
    To the wall, as the floor retracts from beneath their feet.
    Adults seemed to like it as well.

    Especially him.

    Once the ride came to a stop, folks cleared the barrel
    To allow for a new group of riders.

    But not him.

    With a disturbing smirk, he would hide behind the door
    To sneak another ride.

    And another.

    And another.

    Until the park closed.

  10. Walt Wojtanik


    Silence surrounds; the sounds of night pervade,
    Shadows crawling, calling in the vacuous void.
    You avoid the spot in the corner where darkness
    is all consuming. You are assuming that all that lays
    at rest is best left alone. The breathing you hear
    is clear across the room; not your own.
    A moan, a creak sneaks to slip beside you.
    Disembodied shivers sends a quiver down
    your spine. The whine in your ears disappears
    as your thoughts perceive what you disbelieve.
    Your recorder catches something that concerns you,
    but you can’t discern what it could be.
    A whisper? A cry? A scream nearby? You spy that shadow
    again rising like an orb left to fend for itself.
    The playback confirms these ghosts do not feed the worms.
    They’ve come out to play, or so that’s what they say.

  11. The Happy Amateur

    “Forever Old”

    The moon was full, the graveyard
    Was misty and serene,
    The party had not started,
    Just two of them were seen –

    Just two decaying corpses:
    A beggar one had been,
    The other one, with tresses,
    She’d been a cruel queen.

    The beggar begged, “My dearest,
    Come rattle bones with me,
    I’m lonely, o my scariest,
    As lonely as can be.”

    Her teeth did click-cluck-clatter,
    “Me? Rattle bones with you?
    But, frankly, as a matter
    Of fact…I’m lonely, too.”

    “What do you mean, my mummy?
    What is your final say?”
    “Oh, do not be a dummy,
    Come, rattle me away!

    Let’s spend our death together,
    Why not? I’ll be your queen.”
    (The dead began to gather:
    ‘twas time for Halloween.)

    “What’s up?” they said. “We’ll marry,”
    The beggar told them. “Hey!
    Woo-hoo!” they howled, “Be merry
    And wed without delay,

    Don’t let the iron go cold,
    Strike!” So, that night they wed
    And stayed forever old,
    Forever happy dead.

  12. Jane Shlensky

    The Wind

    Some feelings in the heart are hollow
    Swept of leaves and fallen branches
    As if an ill wind blows through
    Its chambers and veins seeking marrow.

    Sometimes the best of people that you know
    Are dark and twisty with me-ness, hissing
    Through their sharp teeth like asps,
    Like wolves, like things that run in packs.

    Some eyes don’t see the light and praise the day.
    Some creatures favor night, skulking beneath
    The moon, hiding in shadows, foraging
    On things that sleep, praise of darkness on their lips.

    For everything that lives there is a wind
    That scrapes a path and cuts a swath,
    A massive movement of sky across the ground
    That strips life bloody clean

    To teach us what power looks like,
    How fear radiates from our centers,
    When we are merely particles of being,
    Why we cling to prayer and light.

  13. taylor graham


    If you twiddle your thumbs clear down to the bone,
    they’ll beat you like drums till you cry and you moan.

    If you pull wings off flies and torch bumblebees,
    they’ll come in disguise and bite you like fleas.

    If you stick out your tongue like a fork to stab words
    they’ll puncture your lung, you’ll be speechless as birds.

    If you spit out your food and smear it around,
    they’ll arrest you as rude, you’ll be shackled and bound,

    you’ll be tied to a table or left in the ditch,
    and you’ll never be able to scratch where you itch.

  14. Ber

    Howling In

    Clashing of the old iron gates
    of the years they left behind
    whispers on the silent wind
    words carry on by

    Wondering souls gather
    delight in their eyes
    hunger of the night
    fills their hearts desire

    Feeding full of want
    thirsty for the fill
    years of all this happens
    giving us a chill

    Open up your doors
    invite let us in
    we wont trick or treat you
    we wont stand and stare

    Clashing of the clouds
    bursting open moon light
    souls of those who have passed
    it is Halloween at last

  15. claudsy

    Bygone Temptations

    Within a hollow, deep into woods,
    Shrouded by mists seeming to
    Hang forever above clearings
    Filled with mosses green and brown,
    An altar claims prominence;
    Stark stone lengthened to hold a
    Long body dominates with its
    Simplicity and pile of bones
    Scattered at its granite base.
    Skulls mingle with toes,
    Femurs tangle with ribs,
    And all around seeps tingling
    Anticipation for the night ahead.

  16. PowerUnit

    Can I have one for my brother?
    He’s at home passing out.

    He’s a creepy brother.
    I don’t like him much.
    He hurts me.

    Do you have a son?
    Does he catch cats too?
    And kill them.

    Did you get many kids yet?
    It’s dark out, and
    I’m alone.

    Thank you sir.
    Your home looks nice.
    It feels warm.

    Goodbye now.
    or treat.

  17. Sara McNulty

    The Old Hag And The Beagle

    On a rainy Halloween
    night, I passed a corner
    house, fence splintered
    like splayed legs, green
    siding, color of mucous,
    broken off in chunks,
    and weeds leaning against
    front window, nearly up
    to its grayed middle. A lamp
    flickered catching my eye.
    I blinked. Old hag sat across
    from an equally aged beagle.
    They were playing cards.
    The beagle showed his hand.
    Old hag cackled. A flash
    of light nearly blinded me,
    but I stood, a concrete
    statue, and when the flashing
    stopped, at the window,
    I could see the old hag
    and her faithful beagle
    had switched heads.

  18. DanielAri

    Not really creepy.

    For a couple days it seemed everyone
    went ahead and stopped dead still, like gophers
    during a blizzard, which is basically
    what we were, except for being humans
    during a hurricane. On the West Coast

    The World Series ended in a giant
    win, plus it was Halloween. We all quit
    working to celebrate and give the East
    time to get our prayers and their power back.
    We pretended, but Wednesday was a wash.

    Where were you? I was on the fifteenth floor.
    When I looked down, I saw the orange crowds.
    When I looked up, I saw the foggy clouds.
    Rain is forecast while the costs get tallied.
    Maybe we should all just let the tap run.

    I can’t remember for the life of me:
    what was the point of working overtime?

  19. Andy Brackett

    Dark of Night

    Outside the wild tempest blows
    Raging winds in deathly throes
    Slashing rains and dark of night
    Join together and steal my sight

    In the darkness I hear the sounds
    Of crazed killers and baying hounds
    They come for me, of this I’m sure
    I run inside and lock my door

    I cower in my bedroom corner
    And pray to God to end this horror
    The rapping on the window pane
    Is slowly driving me insane

    Evil goblins are drawing near
    My heart races, filled with fear
    Lighting strikes and turns dark to light
    Illuminating a ghostly sight

    A pale face with blood shot eyes
    Stares back at me, it’s time to die
    The world before me fades to black
    As I lay dying on my back

    When I awake it’s light once more
    And I’m still lying on the floor
    I sit up, and things get clearer
    I’m staring at my bedroom mirror.

  20. The Wired Journal

    It is so frightening this eerie night
    Goblins and ghosts all roaming about
    Knocking on doors demanding some more

    Good lord have mercy I think to myself
    Watching these children as they tout about
    No manners at all no none at all
    Filling their bags with treats and sweets

    May the good lord have mercy on the poor tooth fairy
    She will be so weary and probably go broke
    Paying for teeth that will soon fall out

    She’ll be forced to eat peanut butter on turkey day
    She’ll not afford a turkey nor trimmings too
    for thanksgiving dinner she’ll be so poor

    It’s the dentist’s I bet yes it’s all their fault
    They’ll surely make millions pulling rotted teeth out
    Their devils those dentist’s all dressed in white

    All they want is to pull your teeth out
    It’s an eerie thought I think to myself
    Toothless children all running about

  21. taylor graham


    Sweep the chimney
    to let in bats.
    Scrub plans to clean the drains –
    that’s how the scorpions
    Leave the dust-mites safe,
    they love a cozy
    drought. Leave the cobwebs
    for the spiders
    and the flies. For the house-mice
    pumpkin pie with happy face
    of meringue for its sweet.
    Here come the
    ghosts and witches,
    the graveyard’s
    anti-gravitational creeps.
    Throw open the
    welcome. it’s Halloween!

  22. jared davidavich


    delicate fingers trace the path
    of hers along a steely rail,
    just moments behind,
    just feet away

    goosebumps spread across her skin
    giving rise to faint hairs,
    even with a warm breeze,
    even with his damp breath

    the wind swirls between them,
    carrying her scent, and his;
    he hangs back cautiously
    he leans forward with hunger

    his presence sends a shiver,
    imperceptibly shaking her from inside out,
    but he notices,
    though she does not notice him

    a cautious thought,
    carelessly tossed aside,
    leads her from the crowded street;
    her leading him from the same

    a quiet urban trail
    provides a welcome seclusion
    from the nuisance of the city’s mouths,
    from the nuisance of the city’s eyes

    she embraces nature’s purity
    and embodies its innocence;
    he who follows does not,
    what follows does not

  23. Bruce Niedt

    Storm Clock

    The power goes out just before dark, so my teenage son
    asks that we press the old grandfather clock into service.
    Neglected in the dining room corner, it hasn’t been asked
    to keep time for years, or tell us the hour
    with Westminster chimes. As night falls,
    we pull the counterweights on their chains,
    ratcheting them to the top of the glass case,
    then nudge the pendulum into motion,
    so the heartbeat begins – tock-tock, tock-tock.
    Each quarter-hour, it strikes part of the tune,
    and when the minute hand creeps to the top,
    the whole tune again, with the count of hours.
    It sounds creepy in the dark, his sister says,
    and he suggests we sit around it and read Poe stories.
    Instead, we play a board game by candlelight,
    while rain and wind rattle our windows.
    The night lengthens with flickering shadows
    till we blow out the candles, and one by one
    we turn out our flashlights to try to sleep,
    bedded on the first floor lest a tree come through
    the roof upstairs. The clock ticks on to midnight,
    then strikes twelve, when ominous things
    are supposed to happen. I think of all the ghost stories
    I’ve seen and read with that obligatory clock,
    and standing in the shadows, it resembles a man.
    My flashlight beam is now the only light in the house,
    so I keep it blazing a little longer. Lying down,
    I do not sleep, as the storm bellows in the black outside.

  24. RJ Clarken

    Where are You?

    Hold on, man. We don’t go anywhere with “scary,” “spooky,” “haunted,” or “forbidden” in the title. ~From Scooby-Doo

    Forbidden, haunted, spooky? Yikes!
    We’re scared of zombies, fangs and spikes,
    of vampires, werewolves. What to do?
    Oh, Scooby Doo! Zoiks! Where are you?

    Each mystery is shrouded with
    macabre. Is it the stuff of myth
    or is it real? And where’s our clue?
    Oh, Scooby Doo! Zoiks! Where are you?

    Did you just see that portrait’s eyes?
    They seemed to follow us. Surprise!?
    I think I heard a ghostly, “Boo!”
    Oh, Scooby Doo! Zoiks! Where are you?

    Forbidden, haunted, spooky? Yikes!
    Oh, Scooby Doo! Zoiks! Where are you?

    Sorry – I couldn’t resist. Boo!

  25. barbara_y

    I tried creepy, and it came out dreary. Alas. Hope everyone’s monsters stay cheery tonight.

    Halloween Day

    Halloween day arrived with frost.
    Ice glitter on rusty leaves, past
    their brilliant prime. Lifeless things sprayed
    with new coats of light like the gray
    dead wearing shrouds of diamond dust.
    The smells of fresh coffee and toast
    warm the waking house. It’s almost
    happy. One shouldn’t feel this way,
    Halloween Day
    joys are tender. With the night lost
    chances and failures–and the ghosts
    like cold lovers– come back to play
    filthy games, turn a memory
    rotten, then snicker from the dust.
    Halloween Day.

  26. jared davidavich

    A true story from halloween in a small town.

    My Last Halloween

    I almost skipped his house this year,
    his centerpiece too creepy, too real.
    It was a man in his likeness—
    his perennial personal touch—
    suspended by a stable rope,
    his eyes alive with terrifying sadness,
    and tightly pursed lips,
    afraid they would betray his secret,
    curled up at the ends in an eerie smile.

    The body hung from the porch eave,
    gently swaying in the blustery evening
    as if weighted by a remorseful burden—
    rocks perhaps.
    All Hallow’s Eve always brought out the best
    of a lonely man who embraced this day
    and nothing else.

    The short walk to his steps,
    and the porch to his door—
    ever a gauntlet of demons and suffering—
    guarded the most coveted experience
    and the sweetest prize in the town.
    But this year only my pride moved my feet
    as my courage waited patiently on the sidewalk.

    It did not acknowledge our hurried steps
    as we passed shyly
    to the door, shut tightly with no light,
    but a bowl nonetheless, awaiting eager hands
    that took only one, for fear, for respect.

    But as we exited, quickly, not stopping to admire
    his masterpiece, I bumped it,
    and noted the craftsmanship as it responded
    unexpectedly; how could he ever top this?
    Thoughts of next year carried me back to the street.

    The next morning the police cut it down;
    he had gone too far I suppose, even for Halloween.
    He was still smiling as they bagged him at the scene
    and buried him with little fanfare, as I guess he expected,
    but not before one last trick
    for the treat-seeking fiends, his only friends,
    or at least the only ones who appreciate
    a celebration of the dead.

  27. foodpoet

    On a night of eaten moons
    I gaze at the fading light
    I roll broken runes
    On a night of eaten moons
    When the darkness brings sight
    I listen to night tunes
    I gaze at the fading light
    On a night of eaten moons

  28. miss josh


    Broom is ready at the door
    Wart on nose. Something more?
    Green indeed her face and hands;
    Hair is black in greasy strands.
    Black cat hisses; cauldron by the door.
    Is there anything, anything more?
    “TRICK OR TREAT!” from outside,
    There really is no place to hide.
    Now to pass out candy, ample
    To fat little kids who really need an apple.

    “Every year I dress as a witch,
    Halloween night is really a bitch!”


  29. handyman43127

    Night Of Nothing

    Empty is the hollow
    Void is the pumpkin
    Carved is the grave.
    Innocent is the believer,
    Darkness cover’s what
    Rules the night.
    Reflection’s light street’s.
    Hiding evil in her shadow’s
    She rules for hour’s
    Until the sun rises again.

  30. Marianv

    Encounter the Night Before Halloween

    Dark man so suddenly
    leaping in front of my car –
    That wild night frantic
    With falling leaves
    And angry bursts of rain ?

    Startled – I tried to stop-
    Skidding off the road,
    Headlights tilting crazily –

    You vanished with the wind.

    Was that the same wind
    that whispered to the leaves?

    What did it promise as you
    joined them on that
    wild journey ?

    Did you hear it
    howling with laughter,
    while all of you tumbled
    down into the ground?

  31. Domino


    A woman alone must take precautions
    that men don’t often know they must.
    Even a simple shopping trip
    can turn into
    a nightmare
    so easily
    if someone behaves
    a little too

    I noticed him following me from
    lane to lane
    and decided I must be
    imagining it.

    So I went to the opposite side of the store
    just to reassure myself.

    But he still followed.

    He looked average enough,
    and I never caught him staring
    but I was aware
    and frightened
    as only a woman alone
    can be.

    I checked out.

    He was at the other lane
    and got done just before me.

    He had a smirk on his face,
    and I didn’t like his certainty
    because though he had said nothing
    and done nothing overt,
    I had a bad feeling.

    So I asked the store manager
    to have someone walk me to my car
    because someone had been following me
    and I felt uncomfortable about it.

    He was happy to, and in fact, had two of them
    accompany me
    and they helped me unload
    my squash and milk
    and hamburger buns
    and canned spinach
    and paper towels.

    And just when I’d started to feel foolish,
    as if to affirm my senses,
    the creeper zoomed out of the parking lot
    high speed
    tires squealing
    deprived of his prey.

    At least today.

    Diana Terrill Clark

    1. De Jackson

      Oh, Diana. As a woman, it’s impossible to read this without shuddering. SO thankful he was “deprived of his prey.” Something about that grocery list haunts me…the mundane in the middle of what could have been an unspeakable, life-changing day.

      And that last line seals it. Perfect.

      1. Domino

        De, this happened many years ago when my kids were still small, and all I could think was to wonder how they could do without me. It is so important to be aware of ones surroundings, it really is. Thanks, De! XOX

  32. SharoninDallas

    Not for me the supernatural
    Give me all that is factual
    Give me sweet children
    Who speak to me; sweet Nancy
    Who I see.
    Sweet is she? The form over there?
    Where? Yes, it’s Nancy, please. . .
    Who is looking back at me?
    Do I run? Do I stay?
    Will I last through the day?

  33. RJ Clarken

    She Howls

    “There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.”
    ~ George Carlin”

    I sense a presence here, inside.
    Is it a monster, bona fide?
    Or is its voice a hoot of owls?
    The wolves? No sound. But Moon? She howls.

    In fear, I clutch the balustrade.
    whilst going down the steps. Betrayed
    by heartbeats loud (and tightened bowels)…
    The wolves? No sound. But Moon? She howls.

    Is this a night of fatal chance?
    I turn and give a backward glance
    up steps. I’m watched by that which prowls.
    The wolves? No sound. But Moon? She howls.

    I sense a presence here, inside.
    The wolves? No sound. But Moon? She howls.


  34. Karen31

    An echoing drip on the staircase.
    Electric sockets that supply only shock.
    That spot in the master bedroom, bone cold
    despite the clang of the steam heat.
    Withered remnants of flowered gifts
    whisper absent of wind
    in palpable silence.
    Outside the sun shines sweet and warm.
    Inside the house there comes a storm.

  35. Karen31

    Talk to myself? No.
    No, that’s not it. I argue
    sometimes, with thoughts that need
    taming, is all. Thoughts
    I’d be better off without. If
    an urgent notion, a tempting
    push, a call to action comes
    from an errant area of my
    being, I might
    long and hard,
    brows knitted, hands knotted,
    eyes fixed on a certain spot in a far corner.
    I might hope to win the argument.

  36. Mike Bayles

    Back from the Dead

    His face, ghastly white
    glows under the light
    of a full moon. Tonight
    he says he’s back
    for another try
    to reclaim all he knows,
    to walk the streets alone
    and seek others
    to possess their souls.
    In an empty park we stand,
    and we talk about desires and acquaintance
    and lost lives
    in familiar overtones.
    A chill overcomes me
    when I look at his face.
    It looks just like me.

  37. taylor graham


    A near-full Hunter’s Moon
    glows through ground-mist this evening,

    turning my puppy sable-
    platinum and the old black & red dog

    dewy-silver. Their breath steams.
    Scraps of fog swirl up

    ghosts over the pond. Twig-
    snap. The puppy shoots off to trick-

    or-treat in the dark of oaks.
    Walking without a light, I startle

    at a trigger-crack
    of limb-snap overhead. The old dog

    plods on. Like all the long-
    dead grand-

    father dogs, ever-present
    padding beside me.

  38. Nancy Posey


    Dressing up is fine for kids,
    pint-sized princesses, Spiderman clones
    canvasing the neighborhood,
    bed sheet ghosts and grinning witches,
    front teeth missing, freckle-dusted noses,
    but when the grownups dress up,
    donning scary masks,
    as warty, hirsute ape men,
    zombies, red eyes bulging,
    the smaller children quake in fear,
    unable to convince themselves
    that the man making scary sounds
    in the front of the classroom
    is really Mr. Monroe, the music teacher.
    Long after the man has removed the mask
    and headed to the car
    for his first cigarette of the afternoon,
    Bailey’s begging his mom and dad
    not to make him go back to music class.

  39. Misky


    She lives in the forest near the River Få,
    alone and single, except for a brindle cat,
    a fat yellow dog and a robin trained to eat
    from the wide brim of her hat. She knows
    the way of things, the power of healing,

    the way nature thinks and speaks to her
    on the breeze. We told how she knows
    of snow and rain, said she smells it
    chased by the wind, howling its arrival
    on a shiver of leaves. She knows the black

    damage hidden within fear and the whisper
    of dark wishes curling in her ear. And it’s true,
    we said, that we watched her twist a white
    strand of her hair, lick it and thread it through
    a needle’s eye, and then wrapped taught,

    where she bound toys together, face to face,
    figures of men and women held there fastened
    in a long lingering kiss, sealed with her spit
    on a square-shaped knot. And we told all we
    saw of her, and we said that she be a witch.

  40. Connie Peters


    She loved the house—
    two levels plus
    cellar and attic—
    built just after the Revolutionary War.
    But now, her children moved on,
    her husband passed to the next life
    and she hears
    voices in the attic,
    groans in the cellar,
    whispers and footsteps on the stairway.
    At night, she takes a sedative,
    and as she drops off to sleep,
    she wonders which would be worse—
    if the sounds were real
    or if they weren’t.

  41. Andrew Kreider

    Playing around with the Blitz form. Came up with a haunted hairdo. See you all next month!

    Comb in Fear – the Haunted Hairdo

    Grab a chair
    Grab a comb
    Comb your hair
    Comb every possibility
    Possibility of life
    Possibility of rain
    Rain on your parade
    Raindrops keep falling on your head
    Heading for trouble
    Head this one off at the pass
    Pass the bottle
    Pass for someone half your age
    Age of innocence
    Age of majority
    Majority rule
    Majority of voters said…
    Said “Forget you!”
    Said their prayers
    Prayers for help
    Prayers at bedtime
    Bedtime for teddy bears
    Bedtime bath
    Bathtub bubbles
    Bathtub ring
    Ring of truth
    ring me in the morning
    morning breath
    morning dear, how’d you sleep
    sleep flees my eyes
    sleeper cell
    cellulite secrets of the stars
    cell phone tower
    tower of power
    tower of London
    London Underground
    London Bridge is falling down
    Down came the rain
    Down and out
    Out of patience
    Out of time
    Time to go
    Time waits for no man
    Man of sorrows
    Man you look awful
    Awful prospect
    Awful look of fear
    Fear the hairdo
    Fear you’re haunted

  42. JWLaviguer

    Eyes adjusting to the dark
    Wish they hadn’t
    of the light switch
    is the power out?
    Feeling the breath
    of something old
    I hope it’s the vent
    Please tell me
    there’s a vent
    in the attic

  43. Jerry Walraven

    “Perhaps the Answer was Yes”

    The quick
    brush against my cheek
    as I lay in between awake
    and asleep
    startles me
    and now hyper alert senses
    see nothing
    feel nothing
    and hear nothing
    except the pounding of my heart
    and the last “es”
    of a whisper.

  44. JWLaviguer

    Haunted, Fact or Fiction

    They hosted a haunted house
    For charity
    Supposed to be fun
    In this house
    Until things began
    To change
    In this house
    Who is the ghost?
    Awesome special effects
    In this house
    We didn’t do that
    Where did you see it?
    In this house
    We didn’t touch that room
    We better leave
    Something is wrong
    In this house

  45. De Jackson

    Sleepy Hollow

    When the wind blows her howling hatred
    through these aching trees, you can still

    hear the hooves and the hollow, haunted
    cry of one who moans without mouth, and

    nary a sigh under this sliver of moon, but
    a silver scythe in a barren sky. These stars,

    only pinpricks of imprisoned pain, cannot
    help you, cannot sustain the lost tortured

    tongue of one who can neither groan nor
    grimace. You will run, fumble, fall, as

    terror takes all – breath, blood and reason.
    Spill your last of tears, tremble, treasons,

    and wait here, where galloping fear will find
    you. Don’t look up. Look out. Behind you.