Hour 5: The Devil You Don't

The Devil You Don't

A girl lay on her mattress dreaming

a dream first sweet then vicious-seeming

subconscious visions softly screaming

teeming with the ghosts of yesteryear


when woke she with a startled shiver

each cheek the bed of briny river gleaming

streaming with the tears of childish fears


Alight did she on wooden floorboards

creaking as she tiptoed forwards

sneaking past the door and onwards

down the hall in stocking feet


A shady figure always keeping

clear of where her eyes were peeping

went behind her in the shadows creeping

down the hall on stalking feet


For the window made she fumbling

stumbling as she reached out

thumbing heavy drapes

that hid the night


when suddenly she heard a rumbling

as if some beastly stomach grumbling

and nearly tumbling turned she

towards the creature hid from sight


A shudder took her

nearly shook her to collapsing

sure she was that claws would hook her

rasping fast through darkness

grasping as they preyed


Casting out into the masking shadows

now to be forever lasting and crashing

to the floor she threw her hands together clasping

gasping as she prayed


The curtains she had sought were dropped

with haste, at once forgot

yet somehow they had caught upon her wrist

and with a movement pulled into her fist


A twist, and through the window’s pane

the moon before its wane did cast a silvered plane

upon the floor

Before her shrunk the hidden horror

outside the beaming boundaries of the light

around the girl


but sensed she in the blackness watching

the crouching creature still there slouching

while behind her fast encroaching

‘cross the lunar face a looming cloud


Fast the hallowed halo now retreating

lifted she again her hands entreating

in the dark that followed

as the moon was slowly swallowed by the shroud


About this poem:

This is probably the poem I've been trying to write for the longest time. The vaguest idea of it crept into my head quite some time ago - years, perhaps - yet I could not get it to coalesce. I have stared many a time at the few, disjointed notes I'd written, in idle moments trying to piece them together. The marathon proved itself a wellspring of inspiration once again and I was at last able to breathe life into the long-dormant words.

Form/Style: Free Verse, Narrative
Rhythm/Metre: Chaotic accentual verse, usually following syllabic stress patterns of threes and fours
Rhyme/Scheme: Heavy internal rhyme and assonance, with no fixed end-line rhyme scheme
Themes and Tone:
Though not so masterfully composed as his work, you may see some of Poe's influence here, with particular inspiration drawn from The Raven in terms of pace, tone, and theme. It is a dark and menacing narration of horror, suspense, and emotional torment. I had originally intended to end it with less ambiguity; but after spending a few agonizing minutes unable to take it further, the next checkpoint of the marathon stalking closer, I realized it wanted to end there. It wanted to be subtle, ambivalent. 


The End

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