Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Mansion of Memory



In the mansion of memory
there are goblins and ghosts,
invisible wings flapping 
down the hall
presaging a death,
hoofbeats galloping 
the twisted lane 
under a midnight  moon,
no horses in sight,
whose riders 
never come home.

A little old gnome
sits at the foot of the bed
and points a gnarled finger
at Ivy,
who dies in a week.

The madwoman shrieks
in the bathroom
and rends all the towels.
A heavy tread stomps 
up the stairway,
stair after stair.
Pure dread
and shivering
under the blankets:
the Monster is here.

There is a long dragging step,
and chains,
above the ceiling.
Bats perch on the windowsill,
looking fierce:
Let us in! Let us in!

A pale ghostly woman
appears on the 
second floor balcony 
and peers through the glass.

And somewhere between
the earth and sky,
a soul books passage
to Eternity,
finds herself walking across
a barren landscape
There is a river ahead
and, around the bend,
she can hear people 
dipping their oars
and singing.
They are coming to get her,
but then she wakes up
and comes back from the dead.

Whoo. Nearly scared myself! The Sunday mini-challenge at Real Toads asks us to write using a form with a seven-line stanza. For those who prefer freestyle, we could select and write about any of the offered photos. I chose Isadora Gruye's spooky looking mansion, and decided to go with a Hallowe'en feel. However, all of the events described above actually happened to our family, except for possibly the bats, the chains in the attic, and the Monster's heavy feet on the stairs. OTHER feet on the stairs were definitely scary though! Check out Real Toads  for some other offerings "with an October feel".




43 comments:

  1. This gives me chills, Sherry. A great end-of-October write.

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  2. Well Done..I love all the elements you shared to add to this marvelous haunting tale ;D

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  3. Oh...dear it sounds like a haunting...very scary, Sherry. I've had a couple of ghostly incidences, too.

    I love this part:

    "There is a river ahead
    and, around the bend,
    she can hear people
    dipping their oars
    and singing."

    Aside from the other spooky parts this stands alone for me...it's a beautiful image!

    Well done with Izzy's photo...you definitely captured the innards of this ol' mansion!

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  4. Sherry, like your photo choice! The poem goes so well on the theme, great ending!

    P.S. Hope commenting at my blog works for you now, I changed the settings!

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  5. Compellingly scary read.
    I can provide the bats.
    Luckily they are in hibernation now, but still only inches away above my ceiling.Protected species in this country, so we are not allowed to move them.

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  6. Ya gotta keep an eye on those gnomes. ;)

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  7. Great depiction of something scary especially in reflection of Isadora's ligted ghostly mansion.

    Gracias Sherry, mi amiga. Well wishes to your friends on the coast

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  8. All these ghostly stories are a bit heavy. One gets the eerie feeling that may make one unsettled. Just shows your verse is very effective! Nicely Sherry!

    Hank

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  9. This is definitely not a house I would like to spend a night in! Wonderful written in the spirit of Halloween.

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  10. Ooh - I love that she rends all the towels! What a guest! Clever and fun. k.

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  11. The first stanza grabbed me. Between that and the picture, I was ready for a ride, especially "hoofbeats galloping
    the twisted lane
    under a midnight moon,
    no horses in sight,
    whose riders
    never come home."

    From then, I let my mind build up the images without logic: the gnarled finger of death, the shriek and torn towels, hiding in sheets with dread from the tread etc.

    The singing and return from the dead are familiar too--I didn't want her to wake up. Selfish for a good story, I guess.

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  12. Definitely one of those "things that go BOO in the night poems.

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  13. Yikes... not mind kind of a house at all. We have enough spooky things happened to us in the past few years, would not want anymore...
    This was very effective Sherry...spooky indeed :)

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  14. Wow. Eek. Shriek. But definitely "wow"!
    K

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  15. You lived in a haunted house Sherry? How cool.

    This was scary, you touched all those places within us which are full of irrational fears. Happy Halloween.

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  16. perfect timing for this journey...

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  17. Don't read this one to the kids! I love the madwoman tearing up towels, and the other atmospheric and seasonal touches. Happy Hallowe'en, dear Sherry.

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  18. Scary and perfect for the picture ~

    Great work on the form too (will be posting mine tomorrow ) ~

    Happy day ~

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  19. Wonderful Halloween feeling and images. These types of pieces are fun on occasion, however the mansion of memory contains as many thrills and horrors as the one pictured,

    Elizabeth
    http://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/2012/10/28/a-list-poem-about-why/

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  20. Definitely haunting and drear, scary and powerful.

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  21. Quite an adventure! Word choice was on-point, too. I enjoy careful craft. "Rends all the towels" made me laugh, what a great line.

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  22. scary yet engaging... this is a brilliant halloween piece, sherry. :)

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  23. Oh my - I don't think you missed any of the iconic spooky images we scare ourselves with! You're last stanza is my favorite.

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  24. This gave me the chills, especially when I read that the events actually happened! Eek!

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  25. Such a haunting piece...I used to have nightmares all the time. Thankfully they are very rare these days....I love how she woke up and came back from the dead!!

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  26. Ready for the movie...lol. Scary stuff Sherry, maybe you missed your calling!!!!

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  27. What a great write for Halloween... or the outline for a screenplay for the next horror movie! Love it.

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  28. What a great Halloween write--I so enjoyed the pairing of picture and poem here

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  29. Very spooky stuff! That last stanza is killer (pun fully intended.) Love this!!

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  30. I definitely thought you were a 'gonner' for a few minutes. Very atmospheric!

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  31. You definitely spooked me! Great Halloween poem. :)

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  32. You had me at "hoofbeats galloping" of course. :) Love the image you chose and the way you let your mind and fingers "go". Happy Halloween.

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  33. An irresistible, yet scary Halloween write, Sherry. And with your laid back style drawing the reader in, who can possibly resist?

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  34. Very scary indeed, a really excellent tale!!

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Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!