Writing Dark Poetry #amwriting

Some people write beautiful uplifting poetry. I am not a poet, but when I dabbled in verse (back in my twenties) my poetry was heavily influenced by the music I was listening to at the time. That included King Crimson, an orchestral rock band that meshed the antiquated with modern arrangements.

I’ve shared a few of my poems before. Today, I’ve got an interesting story about one of them. During one of my early jobs I had a co-worker whose teen daughter enjoyed writing poetry. “Leslie” knew I liked to write, and shared some of her daughter’s poems with me. Somewhere during the course of encouraging her daughter to write, I foolishly mentioned that I had dabbled in poetry. Of course, that resulted in pleas to read my poems.

I’ve never been shy about sharing my prose, but poetry is different. Those creations are raw, a slice of soul we don’t normally expose. After repeated requests from Leslie, I finally gave her several of my poems to share with her daughter. Days passed with no feedback. Finally, I pushed the envelope and asked what her daughter thought of my poems.

Leslie was uncomfortable, even embarrassed She finally admitted that after reading my work, her daughter had asked “Mom, is she evil?”

Evil?

I’ve never shared another poem until putting them on my blog.

Okay, I get that if you don’t know me, you might find my penchant for the dark and unusual, well…dark. Because I love fictional accounts about ghosts and all things odds, people are generally surprised to learn I won’t set foot in a haunted house, or take part in a seance. I won’t even have my fortune read!

And movies about demons and exorcisms? Forget it. In real life, I’m pretty much a wuss. But that hasn’t stopped me from conjuring fiction and poetry tinged with a darker side.

Here’s a poem inspired by my King Crimson period, and one which left me tagged with….well, that “E” word I shudder to repeat:

Simple wooden cross on nature grave in the forestA Funeral for the Fallen

In forests dark, the Harvest Witch smiles,
a black-draped carriage passes her by,
a silent trek through crossroads and hollows,
championed by Death’s primordial scythe,

Horses of ebony stamp their hooves in the stillness,
the strike of shod iron upon moss,
icy breath plumes in the air,
and shrivels upon the casket’s gold cross.

The Harvest Witch grins and turns to her hex,
drawn with the sprig of a sapling oak,
etched on the soft, pungent floor of the forest,
where enchantments are whispered, and spells are invoked.

Mushrooms and toadstools, she gathers for portents,
a funeral of the fallen is a soul to collect,
bound to the forest by a fragile, pale vision,
are the shards of a life fate failed to protect.

Comes now a pale horseman topping the rise,
the black-draped procession pretends not to see,
the Harvest Witch plucks at the bones of the earth,
and summons the Herald to the funeral’s debris.

The forest is silent, brooding with souls,
a funeral for the fallen matters not in the end;
how fleetingly mortal and fragile are lives,
which in conscience forever, our sprits transcend.

Tada! So what do think? Was I thoroughly warped or did I just enjoy experimenting with imagery and archaic ideas? Anyone out there remember King Crimson as fondly as I do? As a writer, do you ever find your niche misjudged by others? Chat away in the comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts!