The Back Woods

Love Shack

Image by radianthorizon via Flickr

The woods were just steps from my own back door but

the foreboding they held could make my blood run cold.

A legend, a rumor, a spooky story was told

of the rickety shack that to this day stood.

SOMEONE HAD DIED THERE, A CHILD JUST LIKE ME.

All of us kids of the neighborhood had heard,

so we skirted its periphery while we played and explored.

The house was a small one and built out of wood

with four wide, wobbly steps that led up to the door.

The steps were now tilted and cracking with decay

and there was a large hole in the porch that had rotted away.

Some of the windows were shattered and busted

and those still intact were covered by years of thick dusting.

One day I was out there goofing around with my brother,

when he double-dog dared me to go touch the door.

He cajoled and enticed me with a promise of candy or such,

if I did the unthinkable and obeyed his request.

Well it took a lot of coaxing and prodding me on

but slowly I picked my way over those dilapidated steps.

And approaching my goal while shaking like a leaf,

I slowly reached out my hand with a great tremble and twitch,

when from somewhere behind me came a shrieking, bellowed shout–

“LOOK OUT FOR THE WITCH!!”

Well, with adrenaline surging, I was thrust into forward

and spun on my heels and flew over those stairs–

(right past that big oaf)

and sped all the way home–safe to the sofa.

Why did I listen to such a rotten brother as he, who was

always teasing and tormenting me?

I had wanted him to like me, to think I was brave

but finally I had learned my lesson that day:

YOU CAN NEVER TRUST THE DEPRAVED!

But in spite of our trepidation around that old house,

we kids had years of fun in those back woods of ours.

Making forts, climbing trees and just lounging about,

those days in the woods were a kid’s paradise.

And as we grew older, we learned the truth of that cottage,

it had just been abandoned–only deserted that’s all–

no mayhem had been committed there, never at all.

Entry for Thursday Poets’ Rally 42 :http://thursdaypoetsrallypoetry.blogspot.com/

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54 Comments

  1. Pretty cool, reminded me of the many horror flics that took place in the backwoods, but not as scary and gory. Good write about old times!

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    • Those woods were the best–so much fun back there. Of course usually keeping well away from that “place”.

      Thanks, Paulo!

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  2. This was an enjoyable story. The relationship with brother and sister is so typiacl. They are always there to frighten us into knwoing we are girls. Throughout , I wanted to know more. GREAT one Gayle …
    Namaste,
    Isadora

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    • He was the most tortuous brother! Thank God he’s turned into a very loving, sweet brother.

      Thank you, Isadora!

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  3. Chills. What fun. I remember such adventures – city kid equivalents – as this. Nice childhood memories. Another fine post. 🙂

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    • Lots of fun. We kids were allowed to roam pretty freely in those days–had to be home for dinner though!

      Thank you, Jamie. xoxo

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  4. Grew up a single kid.. older siblings already gone.. But the woods held the same spirit of exploration and fun. Nice memories shared.

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    • I think all kids should grow up near woods to play in–it was the best fun! I’m glad you were able to have that experience, Michael.

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  5. Kids have tremedous imaginations…and those that carry those imaginations into adulthood make the best writers 🙂

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    • I’m very grateful that I still have my fun memories and haven’t gotten too “old” to remember what it was like to be a kid. In fact, I think there’s a good part of me that’s still a kid!

      Thank you, Michael–how nice. 🙂

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  6. a brilliant poem gayle. you created an environment of chill. beautifully crafted and narrated- enjoyed it to the core.

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    • I’m so happy you enjoyed this snippet of my childhood, Trisha. Thank you.

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      • it was very beautifully written, your brother was like my elder siblings- they loved scaring us (me and my younger brother) to death- they had a strong resemblance with home alone caulkin’s siblings. 🙂

        they used to scare us so much that we were afraid to go to the next room after sunset.

        almost all siblings are like that i assume.

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      • Both of my older brothers loved to tease us girls. The younger one was the worst. I saw that movie so I know what you’re talking about.

        I assume all siblings have similar experiences too–some worse than others…

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      • exactly. i wonder if there is any family in the world which has more than four children in it and they are “picture perfect” to each other before their adulthood 🙂 🙂

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      • Most families with that many children live with chaos and are far from “picture perfect”. Our family of eight lived with lots and lots of chaos–much to my dismay. 😦

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      • my older siblings are the only reason i dont want to go back to my childhood days, no way, or else it was really beautiful- excluding those four. 🙂 they were enough to soak anyone’s life’s joys dry.

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      • Yes, you really had it rough too. Who would want to go back to being tortured and tormented? It was mainly one brother who teased us so badly but thankfully he grew up to be our best friend. I’m so grateful we kids are all such good friends.

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      • as you know, my siblings did not changed, only got worse, thats the thing that really surprises me. really!

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      • Yes, in your case there was no change–except for the worse. That’s really too bad that they chose such a way to be in the world.

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  7. Rama Kaur

     /  April 2, 2011

    How fun to read your poetry! This one brought back great memories of running around so freely in my own neighborhood. There was a spooky old house there, too…I can surely imagine which of your brothers was the depraved brother!! I’m glad I didn’t have an older brother, although having two older sisters was no pic-nic either.
    Thank you so much for sharing all of this with me, I love it!

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    • Thank you, Rama Kaur–I’m so happy you paid me a visit. Funny that we both had woods with a spooky house in them. Yes, I’m sure you can imagine which brother that was–he’s still kind of depraved! Haha!

      Rama Singh and I had a nice day out together yesterday–I didn’t get home until around 1AM! I’m sure he’ll tell you about it. We had some good fun.

      I’m so glad you liked your visit here–come again sometime. xoxo

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      Reply
  8. Julian Javier the Cyber Mushroom

     /  April 21, 2011

    feels like a movie! nice!

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  9. Ah! the chills and spills.. There was a big house in our neighborhood too. Supposed to be haunted. We did the same, kept away from it. Nearly would touch the gate, but an elder would tell us off from afar.. Nice memories of childhood, Gayle!

    My Post Is Here

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    • Those old abandoned houses really get children’s attention don’t they! We were so curious but were scared to death at the same time. I’m glad you liked this, Vinay and thanks for sharing your memories too.

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  10. so cool,

    I have 3 siblings in my family, heard lots of stuff from peers as well, very elegant highlight…

    bless you.

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  11. Wow, this fantastic! Absolutely stunning.

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  12. ah, brings me back to my childhood days, where we run free around the village. we have an abandoned pill-box where it was rumoured soldiers had died there, and adults like to frighten us kids with spooky stories.

    this poem has such vivid images. i enjoyed it. 🙂

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    • Yes, someone always likes to scare the kids with spooky stories–I guess because we were so gullible. 🙂

      So glad you enjoyed my poem. Thank you.

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  13. reminds me of a scary movie, the house does look haunted (chills)
    enjoy the rally!
    http://lynnaima.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/on-peace-and-wisdom-haiku-poem-ing-on/

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  14. that is so brave of you, to run! lol. I really enjoyed this one and remembered my childhood fear of the forest at the back of our house only to realize when I grow up that it’s only a few meters wide 🙂

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    • Had to run! Hehe! Everything seems so much larger and more menacing when we’re children. And then when you grow up wonder what all the fuss was about. Ah, childhood! 🙂

      Thanks for sharing your memories too–I enjoyed them.

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  15. good ol’ memories.. nice one gayle..! my thursday post : http://fiveloaf.wordpress.com/2010/06/20/me-before-us/

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  16. Beautiful story telling! I’ve always been a fan of the chilly stuff 😀

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  17. what an exciting tale of old… mesmerizing and fun at the same time.

    http://pinklady-bing.blogspot.com/2011/04/getting-high-on-sobriety.html

    Like

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  18. So mesmerzing.. a beautiful story.. a first ~ sweet ~ pour for you to enjoy…

    Someone is Special

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  19. So glad you enjoyed this, SIS–thank you! xoxo

    Like

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  20. A brilliant poem Bodhirose. The atmosphere was expertly built up and the masterfully defused with the passage of time. Reminds me of prank my Dad pulled when he was younger, about scaring friends with his grave. Loved it.
    The Lonely Recluse.

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    • Truly a lovely thing to say, TLR–I appreciate your kindness and that you enjoyed my poem. Thanks so very much.

      Maybe you could write a poem (or something) about your Dad’s prank–would love to read about that.

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      • Hmm thanks for the idea, it’d be pretty simple so very useful :). Basically my dad is named after his uncle who died just before my dad was born, so my dad has his name on a grave stone, he was staying at the church with a bunch of his friends and showed them the grave after telling them some spooky story. Proper scared them all supposedly :). Again thanks for the good idea.
        The Lonely Recluse.

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      • Maybe your Dad was telling them something along the lines of “rising from the dead”. Ha, that would be a good one! 🙂

        I’ll be waiting patiently for your story/poem.

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  21. A.B. Thomas

     /  April 23, 2011

    Fantastic write with a solid story, enjoyed the read!

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  22. Goosebumps!
    I live in the middle of nowhere and reading this i was thinking..”EEK”

    Like

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  23. Emily Jane

     /  April 24, 2011

    great imagery, lovely story. I definitely enjoyed this one

    Like

    Reply

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