October Poem of the Month contest

For October, the Poem of the Month prompt is: In honor of Halloween at the end of the month, write a poem about something you fear. Your poem can be about ghosts or monsters, or about public speaking or losing a loved one. Writing our fears can make them seem less scary and help us to let go of them.

When your poem is finished, copy and paste it as a comment on this post. Be sure to include the poem’s title, your name and your township of residence.

Happy writing!

About Stacia M. Fleegal

York Daily Record multiplatform journalist. Degrees in creative writing from Lycoming College and Spalding University, and a coupla books with my name on them. Central PA native who came home after floating around for a while, but always grounded by words and the places and people I remember.
This entry was posted in Poem of the Month 2013 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to October Poem of the Month contest

  1. Thorne McFarlane says:

    I am unable to sleep, so I lie awake.
    I peer at a figure that stands there, but I can’t see his face.
    He stood there like a ghost, not a movement he made or a sound at the most.
    He just stood there, eyes glaring into mine; his body, still like a post.
    He was a tall man, who had a grizzly smile.
    I assumed he was here to stay for a while.

    Call it intuition, but I felt I knew him,
    He bears a resemblance to a guy I knew once ago.
    We were once friends, but turned to foes.
    He died – years earlier, in a tragic accident,
    Never able to repent, into the dark bowels is where he was sent.
    Possibly hell-bent on taking me with him, wherever he went…

    A cold chill ran down my spine as I gazed at the dark figure,
    Quicker and quicker –
    It moved until it appeared before me, ever eager.
    My vision of the figure quickly became hazy as if I was in some sort of blizzard.
    Not a muscle in my body could move as if I was under the spell of some wizard.

    At 2 a.m things got more serious.
    Worries flurried, and my heartbeat hurried, as I sensed he was getting furious.
    There I lie dozing off every half hour only to wake up and see the figure never left the room.
    Waiting there – oh’ so patiently, watching me, creepily, as I had assumed.
    I heard a small, menacing laughter echoing from the rafters,
    The soft words “I’ll kill you” whispered thereafter.

    I fell asleep only to have the cursed apparition haunt my nightmares.
    Visions of him in grabbing my lungs through my chest, as he tried to choke me to death.
    I woke up, scared, seeing him still waiting there.
    As I sit up in my bed, wide-eyed, gasping for breath.

    As it got later in the night, it got darker outside.
    Not even robbers lie awake at this time.
    The dense dark covered my body like a shroud.
    Nothing to be heard, not a sound and not a soul to be found.
    Unless, of course, you count that odd, shady figure staring me down.

    Wondering if he’ll kill me, wide awake, feeling weary.
    Faced with the scary realities.
    6 feet buried, my face imprinted in the obituaries.

    My limbs ached with pain at the thought of dying in vain.
    Seeing my future as one man, mysteriously slain.
    What a shame, case ruled insane,
    No evidence showing this figure ever came.

    Thoughts pursue me as a calm, but bitter wind blew over me.
    Leaving me immobile, incapable of moving,
    Spasms ran up my thigh as shock ran through the rest of me.

    I have gotten used to his eerie gaze, I am no longer phased,
    But I still lay trapped in my own home like a hostage.
    Trapped like a weakened puppy in a cage,
    Trapped like an unsuspecting rodent in a bewildering maze.

    At last the figure made its first move as it started to lean towards me.
    I can’t believe what I’m seeing, rocking back and forth, trying not to scream.
    I close my eyes hoping this is merely a dream.
    I think my heart has just skipped a beat.

    I start to feel my heart rapidly beating,
    I start wheezing as my lungs struggle to keep breathing.
    So much nervous lip biting, I think I’m bleeding.

    The curious figure made silent footsteps near.
    Beads of sweat matted my hair,
    My body trickled with fear as I said a quick prayer.
    I wasn’t going to die here,
    I wanted to survive to see another year,
    Then, like a beacon of hope, sun came after the long twilight.
    The figure walked backwards to the shreds of shadows and disappeared, nowhere in sight.
    I exhaled a strong sigh of relief as I went back to sleep, thinking I have won this fight.

    I don’t know what I saw, but I am not sure it was just some shadow on the wall
    Facts are things we can prove, but what about the things we are not sure of at all?
    Is it possible the essence of a person can linger on even after they have died?
    Is it possible that there are murky, atrocious things that go bump in the night?
    Things that give even the bravest men fright?
    Things that make even skeptical men go insane?
    There are things in this world that we just can’t explain.

    “The Figure”
    Written by Thorne McFarlane

  2. Sick Talk

    My father’s illness is so close I do not write about it. This is not writing about it. If I were writing about it you would know. It would be like your father having a stroke and like your mother closing her life. It would be about diapers and nurses and therapy. And about your mother insisting because she opens her life sometimes to see if it is still closed.

    More things must happen before I can make meaning out of the bad remembering. Right now I remember it all and I cannot write about it all. It would mean nothing to you. Like my monologue for when people ask.

    I can see the moment they think it in their face. First we talk about saying hello. But when we begin to run out of street words, I must talk about my sick father to fill up silence that did nothing wrong, with sentences left to say about my baby or their babies or your babies.

    This is of course why my mother took him someplace bright and empty. And it is why I must call my mother to talk about my father because there is nothing left to say.

    By Ana Maria Caballero

  3. Kristopher Ivie says:

    I’m Only Scared of Politicians
    by Kristopher Ivie
    Hellam Township

    I have no fear of ghosts or witches
    Or monsters built with bolts and stitches
    I do not cringe at gruesome visions
    I’m only scared of politicians

    Medusa won’t turn me to stone
    As I’m sweating while running home
    I can hear the buzzing of the drones
    As they follow me on my smart phone

    My house is haunted as they pry
    My email under watchful eye
    Reporters push and repeat the lies
    The opposition will surely die

    Vampires can’t scare me in the least
    I have no fear of hairy beasts
    But I fear my money will be decreased
    As my health insurance costs increase

    Unsanctioned wars and market crash
    It’s scary all the things they’ve passed
    You know their paychecks will still be cashed
    While loyalists will defend their acts

    Zombies follow their positions
    Shut down by their bad decisions
    Before we’re lead to the morticians
    We all should fear the politicians

  4. Courtney Donovan says:

    10:13 PM
    If this clock ticked at all, for one long minute,
    it would be a dirge, slower by half steps
    than the minute before this
    but all that might tick here is the ceiling fan
    with one bolt loose. Everything halts,
    even my breathing, even the denial
    of the cat’s refusal to accept gravity,
    the sickening screech of claws on walls
    suddenly muted for sixty seconds of the night.
    The only sound in this frozen minute is the raspy ebb
    and flow of blood, magnified as my ear presses into the pillow
    as I stare at the blank black wall to my right,
    fearing the minute that hesitates to pass.
    Finally, I bravely shift my eyes to the glowing, silent clock
    on the bedside table. Finally, it too releases
    its hold on the seconds. The oval lines that define minutes
    become six instead of seven. At last, I can breathe,
    the fan can creak and the cat can climb,
    and finally, fear and superstition loosen the hold
    that they have placed on peaceful sleep.

  5. Yoe, Pennsylvania by Brittany Truscott, of Windsor Township

    When we were eighteen,
    the abandoned cigar factory in the village of Yoe
    proved worthy of a Wednesday night’s entertainment
    so we drove three loud cars into the back parking lot
    of a building that time had forgotten
    as the market shifted
    from smoking rooms to radio rooms
    to TV rooms in what seemed
    like a few months time.
    We went in, through a broken glass door on the side
    that had been hastily boarded up
    and warned NO TRESPASSING and no one cared.
    Inside, things creaked and wires hung from the ceiling
    and the only light came from our flickering dim flashlights
    and the full moon outside.
    There were puddles of oil on the floor,
    and shredded newspapers reading 1954.
    While Deddick and Dengy and Dyl
    started throwing around boxes
    and climbing paper bale mountains,
    I envisioned cops with tasers breaking down
    the door with the smashed window
    and hauling us off to jail.
    While you could have persuaded me otherwise,
    or told me to relax and quit being so paranoid,
    you said we could go outside if it would ease my mind,
    so we stood guard by the door
    and for once we were alone
    in the bright moonlight of Yoe.
    You stood with your back against the weed woods
    and I with my back against the cinderblock building.
    I said are you scared? and you replied no
    even though it was nearing Halloween.
    You wanted to kiss me,
    I could see it in your eyes.
    But being eighteen was hard
    and we stood there like eighth graders
    at a junior high dance,
    arms folded awkwardly, looking down,
    and then into each other’s eyes,
    talking about adventure,
    and calculus,
    and what it might feel like to be in each other’s arms.

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