Raven and More

ClemonsIMG_1937

Just a quick post here-I’m feeling an October surge or rush today. Actually, I want the younger ones to read two poems, one by me titled “Plot” and another by the famous, now dead, Edgar Allan Poe! His is titled “The Raven-Nevermore” and if you think you are going crazy as a freshman in college or life has you feeling out of sorts, well, read his poem and you’ll feel sane. I think.

Thanks for following me and more to come in October.

The Plot

“There’s somethin’ ‘bout these cemetery plots,” he said.
We ventured, like it or not, no longer tots, a folly she read.

What an idea dared on a dismal black-chilled Halloween night!
My friend’s sister I never met sought thrills of Frankenstein fright.

Clouds raced by luminous and white, night sky filled with ghosts
The wind kicked in, howling, seriously it scared me the most.

Dead leaves wet on the grass, all the way to the back we ran.

“Why?” I bothered to ask.

“Farther away,” he said shaking, “from the caretaker man.”

Out of breath, I stared at the raven atop the towering grey stone.
Silent. Statured. I gasped, tightly clenching my pocketed phone.

“Thought your sister was meeting us tonight?” I asked. “Here.”
“Here,” he moaned. The blackbird stirred igniting frenzy and fear.

His beak haunted me while black eyes loomed an ominous presence.
My heart raced and mind panicked remembering the fluted fence.

Then I traced my friend’s line of vision as his eyes grew in size.

“Boo!” She screamed and jumped from behind the plot and stone.
Laughing hysterically as my heart emptied a sudden surprise.

By Caroline Clemens

 

The Raven (Nevermore)

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—

While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—

Only this and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;

And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.

Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow

From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—

For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—

Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain

Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;

So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating

“’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—

Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—

This it is and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,

“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;

But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,

And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,

That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—

Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;

But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,

And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”

This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—

Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,

Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.

“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;

Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—

Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—

’Tis the wind and nothing more!”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,

In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;

Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;

But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—

Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—

Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,

By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,

“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,

Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—

Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,

Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;

For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being

Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—

Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,

With such name as “Nevermore.”

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only

That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.

Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—

Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—

On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”

Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,

“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store

Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster

Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—

Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore

Of ‘Never—nevermore’.”

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,

Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;

Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking

Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—

What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore

Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing

To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;

This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining

On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,

But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,

She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer

Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.

“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee

Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;

Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—

Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,

Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—

On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—

Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!

By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—

Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,

It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—

Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—

“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!

Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!

Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!

Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting

On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;

And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,

And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;

And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor

Shall be lifted—nevermore!

By Edgar Allan Poe

From Google-Public Domain

 

 

 

 

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Short Scary Story

Little Old Spider

Ghost Over LightI remember it all so well …

My grandma sent me to the basement to retrieve the three missing costumes. She was cleaning up after her annual Halloween party and I’d been dropped off to help her out.

After I gave her tea and toast in bed for her headache, she told me to check the back room in the basement for the missing items.

“Okay, no problem grandma. Anything else?” I questioned.

“Yes, there is. Turn on my CD player and put on that wonderful opera singer. You can turn it up loud, too! Thanks, honey,” she replied.

I complied as told. It seemed as I left the room the sun was setting; I waved goodbye, not sure why. She smiled and began her quirky hand movements flowing with the music.

“Old people,” I muttered to myself. They’ve seen it all. I’d get her to tell me a story tonight when I bring her dinner to her at eight. She ate late on weekends she told me. It reminded her of the good old days.

You see Grandma had had a slight stroke. Nothing serious. She just needed TLC my mother the nurse told me. TLC stood for tender loving care.

I walked the long hall headed for the steps, and out of the corner of my eye I swear I caught a glimpse of a ghost just above the light. That didn’t scare me but I did take a second look after I blinked. I hadn’t even been scared of the costumes last night at the party, or trick or treating to the houses. I was seven now and pretty much a big guy.

Her music faded as I opened the basement door and entered the passage below to her dungeon, I mean very old house. My nose smelled something foreign, probably old clothes of Grandpas who’d been dead five years now. I pulled the chain for the light at the bottom of the stairs. Broke. Great, I thought. I’d have to walk in the dark to the backroom. I’m a big guy I told myself a couple more times.

My body shivered when the cricket let out its joy tune. My hands now felt like I had rubbed lotion on them, and when I swallowed three cotton balls coated my throat. Geez, I thought as my eyebrows curled up with the pull of my forehead. I felt for the door and hoped the light wasn’t broken inside the back room. Darn those cousins who played back here last night and left their costumes for me to get. Next time I saw them they owed me a favor.

My hand with no blood supply turned the nob, while the hairs on my forearm stood in the attendance line at a foreign military school I’d never been to. It opened. Good. Why didn’t I bring a flashlight? I thought. Shut up! Just get the costumes.

I walked slowly in the dark and lost my footing. I heard the door slam shut as I fell to the cold slab of basement cement.

Later on …

The back of my head hurt but I opened my eyes and saw her staring at me.

Was she a good witch? Her eyes glowed green and she wore black with orange and green striped leggings, and then she came for me rustling along on her broom. I blinked.

Was I dreaming? No. I saw her. She turned and howled, and then she lost her pointed hat as she swooped back over me. That’s when I saw him, Dracula, walking my way. Man, I need to bust out of here, I thought.

I couldn’t move, I must be pinned down. Wait. Someone help me.

Scream for grandma, I decided. “Grandma,” I screamed but it was all breath not a sound.

I heard a noise as Dracula made his way over to me. I blinked my wet eyeballs but he was still coming for me. I turned to see where the noise was coming from, and my eyes became glued to a vision I’d seen on television. Grandma told me not to watch the zombie show. OH NO.

At this point I fainted. I’m sure I did.

When I woke the vampire was looking over me licking his lips. Smiling. They were glowing red and dripping the hot juice right on me. My neck hurt. I couldn’t touch it. I still couldn’t move.

Who would save me from this terrible nightmare? Except, I wasn’t dreaming. It was real. I said a quick prayer for any angel that might be in my presence. I sure hoped the zombie went for the vampire, and then the two of them got knocked over by the witch. Evil or good, she might be my hero.

Just then the door opened and someone said, “Here he is!”

“Oh! Honey are you okay?” asked my mom.

“No. I’m not!” I yelled back.

“Your head is bleeding,” she said as she flashed a light upon me. “And it’s all over your neck!” She exclaimed.

My heart skipped a beat and tried to jump from my chest like a frog.

“What?” I asked. “Mom, get me outta here.”

I stood up and ran from the room towards the steps. Mom said be careful of the spider web at the top. She flashed the light on the staircase.

I replied. “A little old spider doesn’t scare me mom. Nope. Never.”

Spider and Web

Story by Caroline Clemens (pen for Kim Troike) for Kelly Elmore Friday Fiction.

Photography by Kim Troike.

Miss these weekly writing/poetry prompts! Must do again. Thanks to all my followers and prompt writers for your encouragement. Kim