Friday, August 24, 2012

998. Through Deep, Dark and Lovely Woods

Here's a poem I wrote a few years ago for an online zine for a provided prompt of 'Deep, Dark and Lovely Woods'. The phrase was no doubt taken from Robert Frost's 'Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening' and so I threw in a few subtle references to Frost's work inside the poem. See if you can spot them.

Through Deep, Dark and Lovely Woods
By Vikram Madan

Despair not, O Weary Pilgrim
   I too made the same mistake
Stopped and fell under the spell of
   Easy wind and downy flake
Took a path that was less traveled
   Through deep, dark and lovely woods
Falling snow erased my footprints
   I too was then lost for good…

Daylight gave in to the darkness
   As did fortitude to fear
Fear to fright and fright to terror
   When those voices reached my ear
Vile and vicious, harsh and hostile,
   Reeking of pain and torment
Surely mortal tongues might never
   Harbor so much ill-intent…

As the sounds grew ever closer
   As my heart beat louder still
I saw shadows in the darkness
   Lurking, lurching down a hill
Rough and ragged raspy breathing
   Shuffles of demented feet
Hints of claws and fangs and maws and
   Whiffs of rotten, spoiling meat…

Was that wind that tugged my collar
   As I turned around to flee?
Were those roots that sent me tripping?
   Thorns that dug into my knee?
Could I be but more uncertain
   Were those rocks that struck my head?
There is little I remember
   Past that final sense of dread…

Despair not, O Weary Pilgrim
   Even if prospects look grim
You too have been well surrounded
   Chances of escape are slim
Heed my counsel, curb your anguish
   When the end comes, do not fuss
Once your misery is over
   You too shall be one of us…
Copyright (c) 2006 Vikram Madan, All Rights Reserved

I remember I spent a month on and off back then tinkering with this poem trying to get it just right and was quite happy with the end result... 

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