Friday, April 29, 2011

Three Fetches

Three Fetches

Three fetches came to the door last night.
I  watched them come pouring,
pale blood from the world’s wounds,
toward the pearlgrey house of self where I live
but do not own.

There where I sat writing
at the convex monocle of the front window
my eyes pushed against them,
hoping to blink them out, away, back
somewhere, anywhere,

yet still they slithered, ternion missiles
faster than white fire consuming a paper leaf,
than the killing icemelt of cataracting waters,
a sepia triad of naked grue and clutch,
bony fingers long as the last mile.

Before I could run, they slid 
crawling on their bellies, inevitable as the tic
of thunder to lightning, three vapid mouths spreading 
in a parody of breath, closer, faster, to the only door 
on that blur of a street that never was.

They had no bones, they had no souls, 
no voices, only infinite need, 
an abyssal void to fill and the means to fill it.
I screamed. I screamed your name.
I screamed: “Three Fetches!”

You laughed,
you told me it was just
Anita, and Raul’s wife and
the soldier’s widow, coming to the dead house
where you let them in.

I looked before we went down
and saw no wives or widows
nothing named
just the cold wet dripping teeth
the black unblinking amphibian eyes.

April 2011

(Originally posted for Friday Poetically  at the inimitable OneStopPoetry)

Image: Release the Ghouls,   by ~pixiepoof
courtesy deviantART

fetch2  ~noun
wraith ( def. 1 ) .Origin:
1780–90;  perhaps short for fetch-life  one sent to fetch the soul of a dying person  


  1. Wow! What a great poem. I read this three times before I could tear my eyes from it. It is rare for a poem, especially free-style to grab me that hard. Fantastic!

  2. Wow, this is totally amazing. The descriptions are haunting, the mood so well executed. I lived it as I read. Fantastic writing, as always!

  3. Suspense is a difficult tool to master, and you have done that here. Exceptional poem!


  4. This is beyond goosebump worthy! And so many notable phrases, where does one begin! Makes my dream look like a day spent in Oz...toward the pearlgrey house of self where I live
    but do not own...I think this is my favorite...but that is subject to change without notice! Loved it!

  5. A truly imaginative piece. Masterful writing.

  6. This is quite simply the best thing I have read all week. Icy cold and resonant with the primal fears we fall prey to on any given day.

  7. Chilling, hedgewitch. You take us beyond our imagination in your poetry. I've got to get a seatbelt for my chair!

  8. holy crap hedge...between you and tash there is no way i am going to be able to sleep tonight...frickin boneless teethy things belly crawling on the floor...

  9. Outstanding and creepy, beautiful image of a place only you must have visited and where we readers remain at awe!

  10. Another shivery poem-- and the contrast of ordinariness (is that a word?) of Anita, and Raul's Wife, and the soldier's widow make it so much more frightening.

  11. Very fetching...
    I'd love to hear Vincent Price read this for the perfect dark effect

  12. "cold wet dripping teeth"...that is thinking like Edgar here ....a dark tale of deep meaning that goes beyond these three I assume...bkm

  13. Okay, so I sleep with the lights on tonight. Great job, visuals, voice to match, word choices and creation of overall mood. Successful.

  14. truly fearful and terrible - this held me from beginning to end. The images are more scary just because they are not overworked.

  15. Wow! I feel I have been launched into your nightmare and I'm still struggling to escape! An amazing vacuum of grizzly terror!

  16. Just love the language. Such imaginative phrases and metaphors! Terrific.

  17. come on hedge...lets cross the finish line!!!!

  18. I absolutely adore this! I'm glad I followed a link and found your page. I'll be back again. :)

  19. oh my goodness...getting goose bumps - absolutely love it joy ann and my fav part was the one with Anita, and Raul’s wife and the soldier’s widow

  20. I love that opening stanza. And also that you come up with marvelous things like fetches.

  21. Phew! Yes, this is some classic Steampunk/Victorian nightmare. I love the language and the whole setup, so well described all the way to the last cold drip.

  22. Wow. You squeezed out every drop of this terrifying scenario and made it so very, very good!!!

  23. This has got the serious freaky! Love, love, love the monocle window.

  24. Great storytelling; the imagination is always the mind's reality, even if it contrasts with reality's reality. Love these lines:

    "toward the pearlgrey house of self"

    "a sepia triad of naked grue and clutch"

    "nothing named
    just the cold wet dripping teeth
    the black unblinking amphibian eyes"

  25. The Victorian feel is definitely here -- along with every person's nightiest nightmare. Whew! What a poem!

  26. Oh, Hedge, this is rugged and the same part that Brian mentions plus the part about their three mouths sends chills down my spine. Terrifyingly written. Great work!

  27. oh crap i think i am looking at some nightmares tonight. eek!


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats