Sunday, October 28, 2012

Haunted House

Haunted House

Down the basement steps of alone
when the bed began to spin,
things gored in
on the mind left behind
with their horns of tin.
The walls were softly talking,
the dead were walking.

In the attic of glass and bone
the roaches began to roar,
acid pour
brainspangled light too bright
as ceiling flipped  floor;
when the bullet ate the gun
the house came undone.

~October 2012

Posted for   real toads
Sunday Mini-Challenge
Kerry asks us to work with a seven line, counted syllable stanza used by Paul Laurence Dunbar, and with a seasonal theme. For full explanation of the form, see Kerry's excellent exposition at the link above.

 Image: (c) Isadora Gruye, of the Nice Cage blog
Used with permission


  1. Perfectly spooky, which for me only arises with brushes against the real and concrete - can feel the crackle of the roaches here upstairs amidst that too-bright light. I should say scattering - I've had some kitchens like that I'm ashamed to say. And love the basement steps of alone. Basements are like that. They couple with alone. Great verbs here by the way and fits form. k.

  2. Oooh! This is so cool. The rhythm is so fluid throughout both stanzas - no mean feat - and the rhymes seem effortless. I loved the horns of tin and the attic of glass and bone.

  3. I love this Hedge
    Rekindled memories of my own
    The rhyming is exquisite~spot on
    And yes basement stairs seem the alone~est of places.
    The ceiling flipping reminded me of the line from "whiter shade of pale"
    "as the ceiling flew away"
    Well done!

    1. Thanks rick, yes, that's the reference I was going for.

  4. when the bullet ate the gun, ha nice turn of phrase that....sounds a rather spooky place. made all the more so by your rhythm in this hedge...lots of cool textures too...hope you are not too sore from all the gardening yesterday....

  5. This is some haunted house! Dunbar, yes .. shades of Poe as well (for me.)

  6. Roaring roaches, brainspangled light and bullets that eat the guns they came from...that's haunted, indeed.

    No form scares our Hedge, though.

  7. These spooky and unexpected images in basement and attic would make a great film. Seriously. Keep the screams in the audience, where the house has been undoning. Guns removing themselves could actually reverse the process.

  8. Absolutely and wonderfully frightening. The walls talking, the attic of glass and bone....AND you put it all into a difficult form and made it look easy. Fantastic writing, Hedge! Love it.

  9. You had me running scared with the roaches! Spooky perfect!

  10. "the basement steps of alone" — what a scary phrase. It reminds me of the cellar we had when we were children. I was terrified to go down there when Mom sent me to get something.
    We have a cellar now, and I've never been down there, because I can't negotiate the ladder pretending to be stairs.
    A perfectly October kind of poem you've written here, Hedge. Great work.

  11. oooh, I love how spooky yours is~ Spectacular fun~
    You did make it look easy~ Love it :D

  12. My favorite is, "as ceiling flipped floor," I just love the idea of everything flipping upside down!!

    Great work with this form...your rhyme is super subtle and natural!

  13. Wow, that's great and creepy and surprising. And, I had a hard time with the make it look effortless!

  14. If roaches began to roar around me... now that would be the spookiest situation ever.

  15. yikes, yikes! the basement steps of alone.... DON'T GO DOWN THERE!

  16. This is freaky awesome! You really do know how to create a haunted house. The form really lends itself to this kind of spooky write.

  17. "No form scares our Hedge, though." I must agree with that! Adore "Down the basement steps of alone"... 40+ years later, I still become a toddler shivering and so very afraid!


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