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Old 10-31-2017, 03:39 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
Join Date: May 2016
Location: England
Posts: 2,449
Default Happy Halloween!

Hello guys and ghouls!

I wrote this a couple of years ago for my kids. I can't remember if I posted it here last Halloween. If I did, consider it an annual tradition until I write a better one. Any more poetic chills on offer from the spooky spherians?

Bedtime Story

Curl up tight and close your eyes,
the curtain hides the cloudy skies.
The moon is high, the branches tap
outside your window. Time to nap.

Pictures from this sunny day,
like shifting scenery in a play,
move in your mind, but try to sleep
before the night things start to creep.

They come from corners in the dark,
they watched you playing in the park.
They sneak through evening's leafy lanes
to tap at children's window panes.

Now 'let us in' they softly sigh,
their fingers long, their voices high.
They spy your toys lined up on shelves.
Boggins, fairies, wraiths and elves.

They cling onto the ivy wall
(They even laugh if one should fall),
'That's luck my friends!' they slyly grin,
then keep on tapping, 'let us in'.

Their goal is to invade your dreams
and draw you to the moony beams,
and watch you pull the window wide.
And oh! My child, once they're inside

as quick as thought they wrap you up
in fairy twine, then bring a cup
of Belladonna to your lips.
All stand and watch as in it drips.

They'll have their prize, a human child
to live with them in regions wild!
But if you keep your eyes shut tight
by morning they'll have fled in fright.

Last edited by Mark McDonnell; 10-31-2017 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 11-01-2017, 10:18 AM
Gail White's Avatar
Gail White Gail White is offline
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Breaux Bridge, LA, USA
Posts: 3,318

Thanks Mark, that should keep 'em awake.

Here's one I wrote so long ago that I was still trying to write free verse:


There’s a ghost under the bed,
waiting to drain the blood
from the soles of your feet.
This is the reason you always
keep your feet covered.
There’s another ghost in the closet,
but if you sleep facing the door
he can’t get out.
Turning your face to the wall
would be fatal. Leaving a light on
will always foil ghosts, but if
you must be in the dark,
then look towards the door.

(You never taught them these things.
Somehow they always know them.)

There’s a skeleton under the house,
buried a hundred years.
At night you can hear the bones
rattle and stir.
The skull has green lights for eyes,
and a tongueless voice
that murmurs and sings:
“Here in the cellar we’re waiting:
Rags and clattery bones!
Rags and clattery bones!
When we come out to dance
one night you will have to join us,
ready or not! Ready or not!
Here in the damp we are waiting.”

(This is the song of the bones
you have not yet forgotten.)
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Old 11-03-2017, 12:35 PM
Jennifer Reeser's Avatar
Jennifer Reeser Jennifer Reeser is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 2,240

Mark, Gail -- I enjoyed these both! Thanks.

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Old 11-06-2017, 10:18 PM
Gail White's Avatar
Gail White Gail White is offline
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Breaux Bridge, LA, USA
Posts: 3,318

I thought more people would add to this! Surely more of us have written creepy verse?
Anyway, I am brazenly going to add one more, because I just found this in an old folder of science fiction. I never sent it for publication, but I never threw it away either, so here goes:


You see how low the white mist lies
and curls among the trees.
So subtly can we change our shape
so suit our fantasies.

You see how thick the chestnut burrs
lie broken on the stone.
So softly can we cast our skin
and take another on.

The woman's skin across the chair
like a harmless housedress lies,
and the cat's skin wrinkles on our back,
its light shines in our eyes.

Then sorrow falls on the villagers
who have done us women harm:
we drain the milk from their stolid cows
and blight their corn in the barn.

The mother by her sick child's bed
shall watch with a hopeless eye.
The girl will scratch her lover's face
and quarrel she knows not why.

But the black cat sits in the windowsill
and runs along the ground,
and our conclave dances in the wood
until the dawn comes round.

You see the white mist rise and fade
like smoke when soft wood burns.
Just so our cat-shape falls away
and our woman-shape returns.
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Old 11-07-2017, 05:54 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
Join Date: May 2016
Location: England
Posts: 2,449

They're both great Gail! I thought we'd have more creepy fun too!

Here's some non-met post-Halloween melancholy. It's my 'Ozymandias' haha.


The pumpkin decomposes now,
his cracked grin collapsed
but burning still in the wet, green grass.
He eyeballs me emptily.

I watch him through the window
as I wash the dishes, his face swells
like a balloon. My hands freeze
in the warm water. He speaks.

"I was the symbol for that night of revels
when office boys and young wives,
already bored, swap sweatpants
for fishnets. Faces grease pale,

lips slashed red, hair wild
and soot black, their souls aflame
with sulphurous pleasures. Don't eyeball me
boy!" I blink.

Has he finished? He looks so sad.
A sparrow lands and pecks
at his rotten grin. His skies teem
with a murder of crows.

Last edited by Mark McDonnell; 11-07-2017 at 05:57 AM.
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Old 11-07-2017, 03:04 PM
Erik Olson Erik Olson is offline
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 1,768

All I have is one dark piece with supernatural spooks, with Demons (or Daimons, or Dæmons, which is it?)

The Subway Arm

A man finds, pushing through the rout,
the subway gorged with bodies when
the doors snap shut and block him out
but for one arm, ensnared within.

The arm protrudes, takes time to breathe
till doors part. But the train, instead,
locks the arm in its wanton teeth
and lopes across the track ahead,
the man in a stumbling waltz with doubt
dragged along the platform getting weary,
as fingers of the arm grope out
amid a shrieking aviary
of flushed commuters. As the vast
dark tunnel’s throat is drawing near,
the arm slides down the doors at last
and is observed to disappear.
Though whether from perseverance or
a frame knocking the wall combined,
whether marred by a conductor
woke at the loud thump from behind
or saved by claws of demons quick
to jest for sneers, none tell whose trick.

Last edited by Erik Olson; 11-20-2017 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 11-07-2017, 05:04 PM
RCL's Avatar
RCL RCL is offline
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 5,198
Default Bear With Me!!

Every night’s unhallowed eve!

Shadow Bears

They crowd into my yard some nights,
cavort beneath the moon. But play
soon shifts to snarling, bloody fights.
When reconciled, they claw a way
inside the house and find my room.
It’s locked. Enraged, they bellow, score
the threshold of my lair—and loom
as pounding paws collapse the door.
Fighting to keep the beasts at bay,
I shrink from growling jaws that reek
of feral feasts, and softly pray,
fearing what these monsters seek.
At dawn, I struggle to all fours,
my burning eyes too weak to see—
but know there are no lockable doors
between the shadow bears and me.
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Old 11-12-2017, 03:42 PM
David Anthony David Anthony is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Stoke Poges, Bucks, UK
Posts: 5,009

Cracking and subtly weird poems on this neglected thread. I shall add one of mine.
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Old 11-12-2017, 03:45 PM
David Anthony David Anthony is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Stoke Poges, Bucks, UK
Posts: 5,009
Default Tale from a Merioneth Village

A cry cut through the winter’s wind. “Who died?”
the student asked, his focus far away
from college friends who’d just arrived to stay.
“Poor Hywel Jones”, his grandmother replied.

The guests had read of spirits that abide
in Celtic lands - those keening wraiths who stray
when souls are crossing - and they felt the fey
forebodings carried where the cold wind cried.

Across the road a carpenter once more
bent to his task. The same old man who made
cots for the babies, built a thing to hold
no hope, no future. As his power saw
began to turn again, its cutting blade
bewailed an ending and the wind blew cold.
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