17 June 2010

before you go out in the dark tonight . . .

It’s dangerous in the dark these days
to stroll through streets under stars.
Monsters hide beneath human veneers,
and in evening hunt weaker beings.

“Exploited” adjectifies children.
Sexuality dulls at a price.
Hungry for victims, the Ogres evade.
It’s dangerous in the dark these days.

Neighborhood kids fifty years ago played
night games like “Scream Bloody Murder.”
Milk & Honey Comfort set parents free
to stroll through streets under stars.

Today, children vanish no stories to tell,
their fingers file flesh from beasts.
Creatures, scratched, shop and sing praise.
Monsters hide beneath human veneers.

They enter the workplace, actors in part
they cough, they resent, and they shit.
In light they seem just like you and like me
then in evening hunt weaker beings.

When faced with a wordle prompt from Big Tent Poetry this week, I relied on a poetic form to give the words shape. This is my first cascade.

Big Tent’s prompt draw a creative crowd. Visit the link above to see other responses to this wordle.


Brenda said...

Ooooh, the gouls rise! It's dangerous out there, for sure. The darkness here is almost unbearable, though, hunting children, who are no longer safe, who "vanish no stories to tell." You've written a strong poem that is chilling in its telling. And we can't recognize the child-molesters during the day, when "they seem just like you and like me." Gouls, be gone!

Stan Ski said...

You made good use of the form to send a chilling message.

Anonymous said...

Scary stuff. It is amazing to see how many of the poems are dark this week. The prompt didn't seem to point in that direction.


vivienne blake said...

You have laid bare some uncomfortable truths in this poem: "Monsters hide beneath human veneers"
is just one of them. Your use of form reinforces the message.

Mary said...

You did do well with the cascade form, Brenda. I want to try this too. It seems so many of us have written poems with a dark tone this time. It is so true about the dangers of the dark nowadays. We used to play outside late into the night, never afraid...nor did our parents discourage us. I wonder now if we were naive or if times really WERE different.


flaubert said...

Brenda using the cascade does reinforce the message Bravo!
It is a horrible reality!

rallentanda said...

The monsters are pretty active 24/7 these days.
Not just restricted to night hours. The weaker beings don't stand much of a chance which way!

angie said...

I love the cascade form -- it's just about my favorite of the repetitives.

chilling poem. it left a stone in my gut, reading it. fantastic piece.

Dina Spice said...

Visually dark...I was in the street, could feel the fear.

You did a super job of capturing that feeling that hovers over me personally, as a mom, somewhere in the back of my brain (forced to the front by the nightly news). That feeling that evil is lurking in today's society and I must always be aware, and on the defensive to some degree. Sadly true.

Thanks Brenda for a very scary, but well-written read.

- Dina

brenda w said...

Thanks for stopping by, reading, commenting.
Rallentanda, I agree--it's not just restricted to the dark. Kids get nabbed in broad daylight.

Dina--I shared some horrible truths with my daughter at a young young age. I wanted her to fear strangers, yeah, sad that we teach our children to fear people.

Linda Frances said...

You have spelled out the danger with some vivid images. Thanks for putting up a cascading poem. I think I'll try one soon.

barbara said...

"Milk and Honey Comfort" is a new one on me, but has a grand sound.
nice use of the form, I like the cascade, too. It works without being in-your-face.

don't you love seeing how differently the same words turn up?

Diane T said...

This poem gives me the chills. It is sadly true that so many things can happen to children at night OR in broad daylight. Well written wordle.


Robert Lloyd said...

You captured the underbelly of humanity quite well. I can see the nice man over there smiling with his white veneers. Although such a dark tale it was a well written one. Now I have make sure the batteries in my night light still work.

Anonymous said...

they do seem just like you and me. frightening.

and on the poetic end: very impressed with wordle + cascade!

Systematic Weasel said...

This is a brilliant way of reinforcing a haunting reality! Nicely written! Thanks for sharing!


Mr. Walker said...

That first stanza just caught me, and to see your use of the cascade form carried out so well. Scary, predatory poem.

Anonymous said...

I've never been a fan of cascades, yet here yours arrived at the last line with a haunting inevitability; perhaps I find myself converted! The word 'veneer' caught me, and I like the way words like 'sexuality', and especially 'shit' at the end of that list, cut through the fairytale language.

Deb said...

Chilling is a great descriptor for this poem. And to combine a Wordle & cascade - wow!

nan said...

Powerful and absolutely scary. The disgust comes through strongly in the last stanza.I found myself shuddering . . . repulsive!

Uma said...

Yes, a safe world for our children keeps shrinking. Beautiful form aand beautiful poem.

Cynthia Short said...

So powerful, and all the more so for being true. The line you repeated, "It's dangerous in the dark these days" sets a very frightening tone.

beth said...

Certainly chilling... "fingers file flesh" gave me the willies!

Personally, I don't think the world has changed much -- it's just that they put this stuff all over the news now, which they didn't used to do.

Good job evoking that fear we all share of this -- and wow -- to do it in a cascade!

Just someone said...

A chilling cascade! Nice one

Tumblewords: said...

So true - the ghouls look normal during day - even in the mug shots. Stunning and heart ripping piece.

Francis Scudellari said...

There does seem to be something very dysfunctional going on in society. That's probably why we have this resurgence of horror films. This piece generated the same unsettling feeling for me.