Afflicted Bane

Down to the basement, dark and damp
stamping my feet to scare what may
play and scatter down there. Things in corners,
(foreigners with matted fur and eyes of red)
bred to frighten and scare me silly.
Willies they give me and shudders and shrieks,
(speak in low and guttural growls)
foul and forlorn their lives down there.
Fair, not one bit; their teeth are green.
Between the washer and the dryer
higher up on the shelf above
sort of wedged back way too far
are the canned beans I need.
Flee fast as soon as I grab,
drab basement, my afflicted bane
gaining speed up the steps, I depart
heart thumping, safe at last.

Victoria instructs us on meter and setting a mood at dVerse Poets.  I chose a chain/link form to attempt matching meter to mood.  Oy!  I have no idea what I’m doing!

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  1. Yikes, I am scared to go down to the basement Gayle. I’ll be hurrying up as fast as I can, back to safety.


  2. Yes, you do know what you’re doing. The meter is fine and the form is fun. I’ve never tried it! I kinda think it’s more funny than frightful but that’s me. It made me think of once in a health care facility in which I worked a mouse up and croaked in an ice machine in the employees dining room. Oh, the horror. Fortunately it was in the machine part not where the ice was.


  3. Such a wonderfully riveting use of meter in your poem, Gayle 😀 I love it!!


  4. Reminds me of when I was a child. I hated going to the basement by myself. As long as I made sure the lights were all on, I was OK though!


  5. The only place I ever had a basement was in Germany – and it was shared between all the apartments, we each had our own ‘cage’. I don’t know many houses with cellars or basements, other than English pubs. But I felt the unease as I read your poem, Gayle, and it ave me a shiver!


  6. Glenn Buttkus

     /  June 17, 2016

    You did good, Gayle; interesting counterpoint form you used, & wonderful poem. Several times in my life, rats & mice have made my life hell. We have a full finished basement. We use the bedroom down there. Our three daughters, when still at home, used the bedrooms upstairs. We have ghosts here, but no rodents.


  7. You have no idea what you’re doing, and you do it so well! Do not be hard on yourself, Gayle. The process will bear you out!


  8. I like the way this feels like a thumping heart, Gayle. I would say you have metered it out quite well. 🙂 (I’m not fond of meter, per se, on purpose, either.) I think we do it on accident more often than we think. Ha. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh yes … you made my skin crawl with those critter of the basement I think the meter matched it very well.


  10. This reminds me of the cellar that lay like a dark, charred ghost in my mind beneath our house when I was growing up. The steps were slippery and curved (old Victorian house), and the idea of going down there scared me silly!


  11. Anonymous

     /  June 17, 2016

    Cute. Brings back memories of the cellar under our old house.


  12. Well I for one, Gayle, am carried on and on, and the tension and the fear of the creepy crawlers is there! I was always jealous of my friends who had “finished” basements! My old upright piano was in the basement and I had to go down there to practise. Maybe that’s why I quite piano after two years!!!! 🙂


  13. Definitely a tone of chills and suspense with your metered poem! I like how it made my heart race. ;)


  14. Remind me never to go in your basement! Lol! At my mom’s house she used to send me down to get frozen food from our freezer in the basement and as a kid I hated it. My heart would race and my feet would too as I flew up the stairs. I so know this feeling.


  15. The excellent imagery had my heart thumping with every line! I’ve never worked in this form… hmmmm. Thanks for sharing!


  16. Excellently atmospheric Gayle, I can feel your terror! 🙂



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