Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 224

For today’s prompt, write a sinister poem. The narrator could be sinister, or something sinister could be happening to someone (or something) else.

Here’s my attempt:


not everyone’s who they appear
even nice folks should draw near
for i once knew a minister
who was rather sinister
dripping hot wax in our ears


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153 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 224

  1. veronica_gurlie

    I don’t need to see a scary movie to be afraid,
    I tell my husband,
    real life has plenty of horror right in front of you,
    the kind we like to see,
    but never admit we do,
    like the face of our enemy falling right off,
    the stomach turning
    deep down brewing kind,
    stirring up blood somewhere, kind,
    the bone chilling kind
    the ear piercing kind-
    the kind with like the sound of knives,
    rubbing together
    their sharp edges kissing
    making that sound,
    we hope never stops,
    like the beginning
    of the end of us.

  2. seingraham


    We are arguing again, trying in our way
    to determine who we think are the most evil
    people in the world — the ones most deserving
    of labels like “heinous”, “diabolical”, and “sinister”.
    We whip through the villains with historical merit–
    always an easy list, we have revisited it often:
    Of course, “Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, the Khans”
    and so on…and the lesser monsters, such as:
    The serial killers, “Ted Bundy”, “Son of Sam”,
    and the terrorists, “Timothy McVeigh”, “Osama Bin Laden”
    and “Sadam Hussein” , to name a few…
    All of them deserving of the worst monikers
    we can come up with…

    Still, in these times of daily atrocities — every day
    another headline with some place in the world showing its
    wars or conflicts, with numerous deaths and/or suicide bombers —
    It’s difficult not to become numb to these events, immune
    to the horrors.

    But the people I’ve begun to find truly sinister, the ones
    I cannot abide nor understand, let alone find any forgiveness
    for (and it occurs to me, that it’s not just lately I’ve begun
    to feel like this but always, yes, always)
    The ones for whom I hold in my heart a special disregard,
    a real vehement hatred, are the people who abuse children,
    in particular, parents who harm their own kids …
    And I am hoping, even though I am not sure there’s a God or
    a hereafter of any sort
    I still hope in my heart of hearts, that these so-called parents
    These ones who are charged with caring for and protecting,
    their offspring above all else;
    Who instead see fit to beat, torture, neglect — even kill — their kids
    And sometimes get found out, and often do not…

    I hope they end up in a hellish place that never ends, a place that first of all
    causes them to feel remorse and grow a conscience
    Where they are confronted hourly with photos of their children
    As babies, as toddlers, both ravaged and whole, the way they might have
    looked had they only been able to grow up
    Forced to consider again and again the damage they inflicted and never ever forget
    it for a moment in all eternity
    Should there be any justice for these children, these parents
    would never know peace, not ever…

  3. EfrainThePoetK1n9

    Of sane mind but still, ill,
    To brains a catheter are pills
    Outlawed on the streets
    But at pharmacies are filled
    Diagnosed by doctors adopting other doctrines
    Medicines, drugs, the almighty dollar
    The monster/doctor Frankenstein
    Filled medicine cabinet

  4. JRSimmang

    It was an early morning,
    lacking in heat,
    lacking in color,
    and pleasantly biting at the
    heels of darkness.

    Shower. The heat feels good
    against the skin.

    Coffee. Black. From a french press.
    The grind doesn’t get coarse enough,
    so there is still sludge in the bottom of the cup.
    It’s a quandry, the sludge.
    The last bite of coffee is the best,
    but it settles in the back of the throat
    like a last goodbye.

    The road seems to stretch on forever,
    but that’s how it is when it leads to work.
    White knuckles,
    unconsciously aware that
    these tires can
    end you.

    Tempted to make the
    smooth curves and
    twisted and screaming
    around each and every one.

    Work is not a safe haven.
    Work is not a playground.
    Work is droning,

    Perhaps it’s time to reconsider.
    Mother says to smile.
    I tried it once.

    -JR Simmang

    1. EfrainThePoetK1n9

      ” pleasantly biting at the heels of darkness.” great line!
      Love the pacing in the 5th stanza, had to read it several times it was fun to say.

    2. PressOn

      This is a fascinating piece. The 5th stanza has a droning, relentless feel that leads to teh conclusion in the 6th, or so it seems to me. Great work.

  5. james.ticknor


    The shadows of the room, dance in light of fire

    A little more than gloom, not to raise sprits higher

    Hovering in the dark, my thoughts linger in it

    Twisting like shadows stark, and in my chair I sit

    Questioning my sane mind, though with some confusion

    Or I left it behind, to stare at illusion

    Feelings of assertion, the will not leave me be

    A drunken insertion, is my only mercy

    To forget what I’ve seen, and feel the warmth of flame

    Of a sweet love so keen, it’s only I’m to blame

    For my melancholy, and I can only greave

    Because of foolish folly, it was you had to leave

    Questions reap no answers, only the lifeless air

    And my growing cancers, to meet my empty stare

  6. james.ticknor


    The shadows of the room, dance in light of fire

    A little more than gloom, not to raise spriits higher

    Hovering in the dark, my thoughts linger in it

    Twisting like shadows stark, and in my chair I sit

    Questioning my sane mind, though with some confusion

    Or I left it behind, to stare at illusion

    Feelings of assertion, the will not leave me be

    A drunken insertion, is my only mercy

    To forget what I’ve seen, and feel the warmth of flame

    Of a sweet love so keen, it’s only I’m to blame

    For my melancholy, and I can only greave

    Because of foolish folly, it was you had to leave

    Questions reap no answers, only the lifeless air

    And my growing cancers, to meet my empty stare

  7. Julieann

    The House Next Door

    A dull, single-run, shotgun house
    Brown, faded outside exterior
    Sort of like the jaded mouse
    That made his home in its interior

    Weeds looking like long green beans
    Covered over the back porch steps
    Vines held in place rotted window screens
    Obscuring vision into its depths

    My second-story apartment window
    Exposed its crumbling roof and ceiling
    A widow into a kind of time-warp limbo
    Barring its hidden recesses, unrevealing

    Life and laughter of days gone by
    Shrouding sickness and death by means
    Known not how or why
    Concealing plots and plans, dreams and schemes

    All was peaceful and quiet
    Nothing ever really seemed amiss
    Until that frightful Halloween night
    When the hanging noose could not be missed

  8. De Jackson

    Wisp, Her

    It’s sin
    this twist
    -er of fate,
    this late
    (nt) blur
    of fact and faux
    and face. Go
    over yonder
    while I stay
    and nurse my bliss
    -ter; ponder the
    pure plurality of
    problem and place.

    (Brother, can you spare
    a spur?) Some quiet stirr
    -up to help me
    through this sacred sink
    or swim sludge?
    Don’t budge, but list
    -en – this surface thaw
    will glisten under raw,
    rare grace. Mini
    -ster to this hide
    -ous monster, man
    unkind; bind his tongue
    and rob him blind.

    Stare down your spin
    -ster center, sister,
    make it mind. This
    corner of the uni
    -verse is mine.


  9. elizwisman

    They come,

    They come,
    No stopping,
    Nearer yet.

    They come,

    They come,

    They go,

    They go,
    Further yet,

    They go,

    They go,

  10. Cin5456

    ice cream

    mmm, that’s good
    lick the drip

    a wayward child cuts school
    at the burger joint in turtle cove
    boat slips, harbor dreams

    small tables, the pungent odor of beer
    boatmen buy her french fries
    she licks her fingers clean

    the cook drops a dime in
    the jukebox plays her favorites
    “tiny bubbles” and “that’s amore”

    humming along with the songs
    miming the hula with don ho
    laughing at the boatmen’s antics

    the cook teaches her to shoot pool
    hold the stick just so
    large hands too moist

    come to the kitchen for a treat
    ice cream waiting
    come get some
    rope, tape

  11. Mystical-Poet


    Committed to forcing children to learn
    solutions derived by means and extremes
    covertly flying off on tangents
    in search of absolute values
    secret code names used like X & Y
    among the elders,
    they refer to themselves as “unknowns”
    their common denominator finally exposed
    as the axis of medieval
    with coordinates in every country
    their sinister leader Isosceles just apprehended
    ironically he was surrounded on three sides

  12. Arash

    For Now

    by Arash

    Imagine this:
    The Night
    Of starlight,
    Like skin’s oozing boils.
    Amputating my body,
    Gentle, from yours.
    Like we are both
    Deep down below
    Hundreds of pounds
    Of porous soil.

    For now
    And forever.

  13. Peggy

    The Parrot

    Once upon a midnight dreary, as I labored on a query,
    putting off a major re-write (cause re-writings such a chore!)
    I thought I heard a little squeaking, raspy, gurgling of peeping,
    (I thought that blasted bird was sleeping!) beating wings against my door.
    Tis just the room-mates parrot Samuel, Sammy boy was at my door,
    That f**ing bird, and nothing more.

    I longed to see the icy splendor, keeping windows closed in winter,
    between this chatty Cathy parrot and his bulldog’s grunting snore,
    the writing muse has all but left me, dialogue sounds like it’s from ‘Glee’,
    the words are jumbled, tumbling scree, like the dog poop on the floor,
    like the steaming pile of poop that never seems to leave the floor,
    my words fell here, to never soar.

    Thoughts of inspiration sweetly filled my soul with hope completely,
    feeling I could write this story, write a poem that’s not a bore.
    All I need are nouns and adverbs, adjectives designed to disturb,
    first there’s this, and then there’s that ‘blurb’, only had to try ignore
    Sammy boy’s incessant rapping, and the bulldogs apnea snore.
    Close my ears, if not the door.

    But my clever plan was all lost, Sammy found my bust of R. Frost,
    and he sat upon the head of someone I would long adore.
    Needling and causing doubting, confidence left sulking, pouting,
    whispered first and then was shouting, shouting “You mix metaphors!”
    From that bust he screeched my secret fear that I had mixes the ‘phors’.
    With haste I quickly closed the door.

    I feared I would not find relief. Does everyone hold this belief?
    The pendulum swung back and forth between my pride and old Claymore.
    Would others listen to this bird? Would others take him at his word?
    How many others really heard? My heart was pounding through the floor.
    I have some bricks and mortar too…Oh god! I mixed my metaphor!
    The beast kept screeching “Metaphor!”

    To this day that parrot sits there, on the bust of Robert Frost’s hair,
    casting doubts and shadows wide within the room, across the floor.
    Untimely, and quite suddenly death, robbed this talking bird of his breath,
    (painted black and used in MacBeth when the Playhouse folks implore)
    Pointed at my room-mates portion, with a squawk box at it’s core.
    Pull the string, shouts “Close the Door!”

    1. Arash

      For Now

      by Arash

      Imagine this:
      The Night
      Of starlight,
      Like skin’s oozing boils.
      Amputating my body,
      Gentle, from yours.
      Like we are both
      Deep down below
      Hundreds of pounds
      Of porous soil.

      For now
      And forever.

    2. Julieann

      Poe and The Raven I adore. This one even more. Truth be told to everyone, there is more than just one metaphor. Thank you for brilliantly expressing what goes on in a writer’s world.

  14. Yolee

    When the Bough Breaks

    A few days into it you tell yourself you love her, just not enough to engage
    the ravages of “if I lose her too..” But the shrewdest stem in your body knows
    better. The need to protect your story creeps up from behind the moonless
    dark. Your spirit gropes for an indifference that doesn’t make sense
    because it does not belong in the realm of watching your child sleep-
    your child whom is in the bluest pain of her life. And what’s brought you
    to that moment flickers like a flashlight passing up the rock
    of strength at the end of the mind’ alley. Your heart skis on a snowless
    mountain and crashes into a few low branches. The soul watches
    from behind a broken window as you tread softly toward her bedside.
    You touch her forehead, string her breathing onto yours, kiss her achingly
    beautiful face. In an instant, indifference becomes a piece of paper
    pushed out of sight by some wind that is ashamed of you for allowing
    the thought of disengaging to rest its skeletal legs on you.

  15. priyajane


    He looked like a black crow, from afar
    Sinister and ghoulish
    His beady eyes darted back and forth
    Watching his dreams collapsing
    His fingers seems sharp, like knives
    Serrated by the grindings of life
    Red fear loomed in his poor shadow
    As dark clouds hung low over his head
    All he was, was really scared
    Thirsty for some light to spread
    And we , unforgivingly afraid
    Mistook him for an evil shade
    And cruelly cast him away—

  16. taylor graham


    I need a clever lad to program my last-
    night’s dream: a montage of fluid
    green and blue, lily pads and lush tomato
    vines flourishing on a pond. I envision
    a fountain in the midst of crooknecks
    with their giant fans of leaves,
    and yellow-squash flowers spurting jets
    of water appropriate to a garden’s
    thirst. My dream is an educational game
    for a world of burgeoning population
    and shrinking cropland. Of course,
    such a game requires hidden dangers,
    sinister foes: alligators, water-hyacinths –
    lovely but insidious, clogging,
    suffocating the life-giving pond. Oh
    where is a teenage geek-hero
    when I need him, to make my dream

  17. Misky

    A Change of Direction

    There’s a sinister cloud heading
    in from the south. Perhaps it’s time
    for a change of direction. This
    day is too fine for runaway
    sullen moods and black-hearted days.
    Be of good cheer.

  18. Sara McNulty

    Born Evil

    Bad penny, they said
    when he bullied
    other boys. Stealing
    toys, money from jars,
    started folks saying
    he was on a sinister path.

    Watch out for those warning
    signs, they told his parents,
    who believed their boy’s
    problems were theirs
    to resolve; They refused
    to seek outside help.

    Evil emanated from his dark
    eyes, like black daggers,
    spewed from his clenched
    teeth, like hissing snakes.
    Bony fingers strangled
    small animals, pushing
    panic buttons of neighbors
    who sought police action.

    He was always a bad seed,
    they said, when one night
    screams of fright echoed
    through the air, and there,
    on the bedroom floor,
    lay his parents, bludgeoned
    to death with an ax, and the boy
    looking down at them, laughing.

    Written for Poetic Asides
    Write a sinister poem

  19. hcfbutton


    the sinuous staircase
    wanders windingly
    round and round
    an infinite spiral.
    up or down
    it looks the same.

    doors line hallways
    soldiers silencing secrets
    sentinels standing in shadows.
    invisible eyes watch
    through worn helmets
    and empty keyholes.

    sticky substances
    sit on surfaces
    dust blown onto
    woven webs.
    fluttered wings
    frighten phantoms.

    wild landscapes
    warn witnesses
    with ominous signs.
    enter at your own risk.
    the house holds
    secrets hostage.

    also published at

  20. Bruce Niedt

    Leftist Manifesto

    In ancient Rome,
    if you were not dexterous,
    you were sinister.

    And the gods wouldn’t help those
    whose omens came from
    the ominous, sinister side.

    In France,
    if you aren’t adroit,
    you’re gauche.

    In Finland,
    if you’re right-handed,
    you’re “okay”.

    To the Arabs,
    the other hand is “unclean”.

    Those of you who spurn us,
    spare us the left-handed

    You who made scissors
    and circular saws we can’t handle,
    (the unkindest cut of all),

    those of you who
    caged our dominant hands
    like untamed animals,

    those of you who rapped
    our knuckles till they bled,
    your time will come.

    Judgment will descend
    upon you
    from the left hand of God.

    Rise up,
    all you southpaws,
    even you with two left feet.

    We are smarter,
    we are more creative,
    we will prevail.

    Join us before it’s too late.
    Turn left and you’ll be right,
    turn right and you’ll be left.

  21. Ber

    Scent of a Stranger

    Pulling her into him she thought this moment would never last. She had longed for it for so long and now it was here, would she be able to chase his scent around? Letting him have his way seemed like the only option if he was to accept her. This is what she thought in her head unable to see how beautiful she really was? Who she could be? Where she was destined to go in life? It was like she had cut off her path and painted it with only one color his? As his lips drew her in even more as the race of the chase began to take hold, she gathered him cupped in her eyes. Looking into them as his shut closed she seen something that made her wonder to herself her own reflection.

    Even tough he made her feel more exotic than the wildest flower that needs to be nurtured this just seemed to not fill the ache in her sad heart. Her lips clung harder to his, as if she was trying to push back these thoughts of wanting more from life. Lifting her up , he moved her away from the traces of her mind. Oh is this what she really wanted ? Him , her in this place steaming up the room with lust and emotions that could explode at any time. The window had a frosted glaze over it but was not cold to the touch as he moved up against it. She felt the warmth of the tainted glass against her naked waist. The silk sheet fell lowering her strength She was fighting at will not to think beyond this night but everything was spinning in her mind. This was no easy ride for her. As for him he was like a hungry wolf wanting his kill and trill all in the same foul swoop.

    Tempting her with trails of melted sugar. He took her by the hand in to the room of the forbidden. Oh this was like a paradise of light. A shimmering scene indeed. Beautiful shadows cast their way along each curve of the walls, as he lay her up against the paint work. She was dripping with excitement as his hunger filled his veins running at lightening speed. He was like a run away train there was no brakes going to stop him. No shackles to burden his feelings from been served. A feast fit for a queen he gave her that very minute. She clung to him as he showed her the way. As their hearts began to beat like drums in a distance away, She yearned looking out the window slowly opening them and then closing her eyes again almost in slow motion. The slight movement of his dirt filled shoes threw dust in the air.

    Like fumes of a tunnel in darkness waiting for something to fill the gap. He stood back for an instance looking at her beauty as she smiled gently she knew he wanted more. Would she give it? feed it ? Letting volumes of sound fall for that moment was the slice in her cake that she needed to stop the noise in her head. The chain she thought was missing a link or two didn’t seen so loose anymore. The fact that he had stood back and gave her control was just what she needed that very minute. As he shifted his head from the dusting floor she reached out for him. This made the lines on his cheeks form a smile of utter cuteness. His shy eyes were so vulnerable and she just loved this in him. Going from been the one making all the moves and decision. He had made her the queen she was in charge of the chess board now. He said to her ‘ It your move ?’ Power filled her once sucked blood.

    As a palette of wonder replaced her once empty look something great happened next. The door shut closed and the dust emptied out. A single chair had a reason to be there now. She pushed him towards it and sat down on his legs over them. His hungry driven eyes wild with excitement longed to please her. It was now her turn to show him just what a woman really needed? What she needed in that moment? The fog lifted from the window frame. ‘Let the games begin ‘, she said. His face said it all.

  22. elishevasmom

    Sinister Syllogism

    Standing in the bushes,
    hiding under the window,
    she could hear them fighting.

    The wind that moved the bushes
    should have cooled
    the room as well.

    And yet, their rising voices
    stoked their rising anger,
    fueled their fury.

    She could not understand
    all of the words, but
    she could feel the hatred.

    She was afraid the flames
    on their tongues would
    consume the room,

    leap from the window,
    lapping at the leaves
    where she stood hidden.

    Every anger created hatred.
    Hatred created fire.
    Therefore, anger created fire.

    Isn’t that the logic of children?

    Ellen Knight 6.19.13
    write a “sinister” poem

  23. Schrodingers cat


    As the multi-colored clouds fade to murky gray, I wait.
    Watching the cheerful spaces people wandered, cool to obscurity.
    Phantasmal wisps dance the devils jig, out of the corner of your eye,
    or is it something more sinister, from the center of your brain?

    While your wrestling with your demons, I have slipped upon the scene.
    Like shadowy monsters once lurking in the dark, now run for their protection,
    because I’ve set my course as predator, and I always hit my mark.
    You’ll never see it coming, I seldom show my hand,
    unless it brings me laughter, though you’ll find it rather grim.

    I see you as your walking, watch your muscles tense,
    there is no denying, your tale tell heart has given you away.
    Your attention I know decieved you, as you look another place.
    My Reaper’s blade now deployed, regardless form or shape,
    your spectre to it tethered forever and a day.

  24. Walt Wojtanik


    It is a dark place where I thrive,
    alive to right all wrongs.
    Throngs of people fall by the wayside
    hiding from their greatest fears.
    Here where it is perpetual night
    right before their eyes, I lurk,
    working to purge evil from the hearts of men,
    Then? Who knows?

  25. Connie Peters


    S inister, like a gaping hole
    Intentional menace on patrol
    N early as ominous as approaching tornado
    I ntense and disturbing, like a rotten tomato
    S upremely creepy, like snakes on a plane
    T hreatening, like a hurricane
    E vil. She’s Snow White’s Queen
    R adically alarming, she turned thirteen!

  26. SharoninDallas

    It’s a happy little world
    that I live in.
    How freely I come and go.
    How kind are the people I know.

    My thoughts are mine, my money is fine,
    It’s a dream in which I live.
    How long before they are gone,
    before I am forced to the Evil One to give.

    “It’s coming!” some say.
    No! It’s far away.
    The wars and chaos are over there.
    The markets roll on, we come and go,
    We pretend not to care.
    Yet, on television, in books, on radio,
    “End of Days” is everywhere.

    It’s full menace is just beyond our sight,
    Beyond what our eyes can see.
    Yet within our spirits we know
    the Evil One is coming for you and me.

    While there is still light of day,
    Turn your spirit to Him who keeps Evil away.
    Let Him count you among the strong.
    He comes again, too.
    Don’t fear as you wait.
    It may not be long.

  27. Jane Shlensky

    (I’m trying for two birds, one stone here. Form is Walt’s conversation dizain).


    What makes you think such sad thoughts all the time?
    Why can’t you shake it off and try to smile?

    I reckon maybe happiness can’t climb
    up to my face, and it may take a while
    to feel the good while living with the vile.

    I don’t mean you, my dear, I mean the pain
    that lives among the deepening folds of brain;
    the ridges may be primed to meet the light,
    but in each wrinkle dark thoughts reach to stain
    each smallest joy to shades of fight or flight.

  28. Jane Shlensky


    A well off boy like that—
    who would have thought
    he’d use advantages
    so foolishly,
    he’d run with rascals
    keen for drugs he bought,
    he’d break his mother’s heart
    and never see
    that his behavior matters,
    for his life
    is tied to visions bound
    by love and chance.
    His sacrificing parents
    never dreamed
    their baby would be drawn
    to darkness’ dance.

    You half expect the poor
    to go to hell
    seeking a ray of light
    from proffered fire,
    but what would cause the rich,
    the fortunate,
    to trade their promise
    for life profligate,
    to throw a gift away
    for base desire?

    Many a call is answered,
    many a prayer,
    many a choice, a dagger
    waiting there.
    Many a hand will take a hand in need;
    many a lesson’s taught by word and deed.

  29. taylor graham


    Just an ordinary grommet
    in her hand. What did she expect,
    a ring of glazed porcelain
    that might forever fit on a finger?
    Everything gone brittle and partnerless
    as old letters tied for burning; as
    one grommet in the pocket of his old
    jacket, still hanging where he left it.
    Disappearance never explained.
    Why the grommet? Final shadow-
    token of a man she thought she knew.
    Chopin’s Interlude ends,
    the needle cutting spirals on vinyl,
    turning its scratchy not-quite
    silence – its questions – around
    an unreachable center.

    1. Jane Shlensky

      Such a powerful piece, Taylor. I love the composition and the poem,
      something so tangled and moving as the Interlude tied to something
      so humble as the grommet. Wonderful.

  30. Amy

    I can’t remember if I’ve posted this one here or not, but it seemed very fitting for this week’s prompt. I apologize if it’s a repeat 😉

    Tiptoe round the edge of the spotlight
    Stay in shadow as you creep into
    his arms, heavy with the burden of
    a secret.
    So real, this complication that grew
    in the darkness, under lock and key
    You’d give it all to belong to him but
    you’re his secret.
    Slink in silence past the place where
    his life awaits and follow him
    down, you’ll see the rest of his sins
    are secrets.
    Furtive steps will lead you there,
    to sinister unkowns while you
    satiate the omnipresent pull of
    your secret.

  31. Domino

    The Better Half

    An angel on the right-hand side,
    a devil on the left;
    they whisper, scold, they coax and chide,
    their words are shrewd and deft.

    I wonder which to listen to,
    the left one or the right?
    The wicked voice’s ballyhoo,
    or the voice of good and light?

    The left one is adventuresome
    the right is circumspect.
    The left side grins and laughs and hums,
    the right side’s all respect.

    But there must be a middle way
    prudent, but diverting.
    I can’t choose boring over play,
    ignorance over flirting.

    And each half has advantages,
    and each half its downfall
    A middle road might manage
    a route much less banal.

    So rather than simply choosing
    whether to cry or laugh
    I think it’s more amusing
    to take the middle half.

    Diana Terrill Clark

      1. Domino

        😀 The idea amused me too, and seems more realistic than choosing one or the other. I don’t know how “sinister” this poem is, but it was fun to write.

        Thanks for your constant kindness, too. XOX

  32. Jane Shlensky


    It takes both darkness
    and light to make a photo-
    graph, the subtle grays
    gathered on the cusp
    of each shutter click
    of each shift of light,
    recording a moment,
    an image, an effect.

    Curled in and hunched,
    her arms wrapped
    tightly to cover herself,
    she sits, chilled, cuffed
    to a chair and afraid,
    memories of warm
    summer days with mom
    or dad laughing, framing
    her joy at play, blowing
    out the candles of her years.

    Memories don’t warm her
    now, the man in silhouette,
    the camera covering his face,
    as he says, Nice, nice to
    her naked fear, her cuffs
    and tears that catch the light.

    1. identity

      Trying that again:

      innocent intentions sometimes lead
      to malevolent acts from a crowd
      galvanized by sinister misleads
      and confusing true wisdom with loud

  33. Marie Elena

    Meanwhile, while cleaning my window screens…

    A spider the size of a dime
    Just tested my reaction time.
    I have to admit
    In a second that’s split,
    My screen looks like the scene of a crime!

  34. Nancy Posey


    Right-handed with the spoon
    and the pencil, she serves
    the tennis ball, swings
    the golf club like a leftie.
    No one tried to change her.

    What could be sinister
    at innocent play? No one
    to elbow aside on the court
    or the course. She wields
    scissors just as well right
    or left and knows she deft
    with both hands
    at table or at her desk.

    But why choose to swim
    upstream, to go against the grain?
    Perhaps she stimulated both
    the dexterous and sinister sides
    of her brain so long ago,
    sitting at the old upright Wurlitzer
    piano in her parents’ living room
    or clicking away on her manual
    Smith-Corona all those years.

    However she acquired them,
    two hands equally matched,
    she hides her skill like a secret.

    1. nessajay

      Lovely, smooth poem. Nice use of the original meaning of sinister! I’ve always thought it so strange and evil that it was routine to punish children for being left-handed.

  35. Lisa PK


    You swim within the dark and dreary,
    Deep recesses of my heart
    Like pestilence.
    I struggle against this gravity
    That pulls me down toward you, I am losing
    All resistance.
    At last I am overtaken by the beckoning lure
    To wallow in debauchery
    And defiance.

  36. danceswithhorses

    Shadows come to life
    Greedy, grasping fingers
    Built to fade in light
    Come alive at night
    Death walks the streets
    Under bridges, down alleys
    Cold fingers reach for me
    The sun hides its face in fear
    Shadows come to life,
    They move and yet they don’t.
    Death has no form,
    But it’s everywhere tonight.

  37. PoM

    Sinister Poetry

    With darkened metaphors,
    dimmed similes,
    Ill-boding schemes,
    I’ll use to compose thee.

    A shadow of darkness
    I cast over each,
    like a medieval castle,
    set upon a cliff.

    A long winding road to it,
    expands across an abyss.
    On both sides,
    a bottomless pit.

    Its outline so Erie
    this vision I see.
    Against a moonless
    dark cloudy night
    of black murkiness.

    Who among thee I dare
    Go against their fear.
    Who dares to stroll
    across the abyss,
    and enter within,
    a poetic lightlessness.

    For it’s in sinister stanzas,
    dark castles dimly lit.
    With darkness of mind
    where no light it shines,
    this poet exists.

    In darkness I plot,
    Scheme and compose,
    these dark stanzas,
    of poetic sinister bliss.

      1. PoM

        Thank you, Press On
        That’s quite the honor and complement you just gave me, I’m not sure I’m worthy to be placed in the same category as such an accomplished and all time bestselling author.

        This poem went in a completely different direction than I planed. It just kind of took off by itself.

  38. Mystical-Poet

    WE Who Once Devised

    and we
    in our anonymity
    made a fire
    of unsalvageable prayers
    plus posthumous predictions
    harvested from stale folds
    of ominous fortune cookies
    WE who
    then burned everything
    until we burned the very sound
    wound smoke-screened silence
    around dead weights of grandfather clocks
    whose leathery hands would
    never thwunk-thwunk again
    burned watches, clothes and birth certificates
    until we became no one, nobody, unknown
    dueled with marshmallow torches
    danced wearing only sock-puppet phallus koozies
    in defiling stench of putrified fiberglass fog
    bobbed for corks in campfire beans
    as we gulped apple wine and Mateus
    Zeus be damned, coin-minted, and
    buried by tick-infested Roman mongrels
    WE who
    are societies sinister gypsy rejects
    sneering arrogant dumpster divers
    with phosphorescent pack-rat mentalities
    WE who
    washed our hands in melted ice-cream
    tended deodorant-less armpit gardens
    and copulated in concrete cemeteries
    WE who
    swabbed every door knob with poison ivy
    super-glued down every toilet seat in town
    have become dream-chanting
    terrorists of government nightmares
    WE who
    now command the four winds to obey
    our most insidious invocations
    WE who now rule by poetic hellfire & kickassitude

  39. Marie Elena

    Nursery Rhymes with Built-in Crimes

    There once was a hideous thug
    With an ugly and ominous mug
    He’d threateningly prey
    On sweet girls’ curds and whey
    Then just sit there obnoxiously smug.

    Who’d rock their poor baby to sleep
    From height that’s forebodingly steep
    While singing a song
    That’s in every way wrong
    And just causes the baby to weep.

    There once was a farmer’s wife
    Who wielded a carving knife
    In nursery rhyme tales?
    Oh, please spare the de-tails
    Of blind mice who must run for their life!

    (I could write these all day. For the most part, the old nursery rhymes were quite sinister!)

    1. Amy

      So true! I especially love the one about the Rock-a-bye Baby tale. I’ve always wondered what kind of sadistic mind thought that one up to sing to their children! Well done.

  40. Marie Elena

    Nursery Rhymes with Built-in Crimes

    There once was a hideous thug
    With an ugly and ominous mug
    He’d threateningly prey
    On sweet girls’ curds and whey
    Then just sit there obnoxiously smug.

    Who’d rock their poor baby to sleep
    From height that’s forebodingly steep
    While singing a song
    That’s in every way wrong
    And just causes the baby to weep.

    There once was a farmer’s wife
    Who wielded a carving knife
    In nursery rhyme tales?
    Oh, please spare the details
    Of blind mice who must run for their life!

    (I could write these all day. For the most part, the old nursery rhymes were quite sinister!)

  41. PressOn


    Little step by little step,
    it happens.
    We begin to wonder
    about others of us
    and then wonder
    why they are different.
    in little steps,
    we treat others differently
    and separate them from us,
    slowly at first, but surely
    and progressively.
    still in little steps,
    we destroy them,
    so that the rest of us
    may never be as they are.
    it takes but little steps
    to identify others,
    and still others,
    repeating the process all the while,
    re-defining others all the while
    until we are left with us:
    a master race
    of monsters.

  42. PressOn


    “Our church now has a new minister,
    a man in whom no one confides.
    His interpretations are sinister
    and he is left-handed, besides.”


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