Poetry Friday – Tricks and Treats

It’s Friday! And you know what that means: Poetry! Want to know more about Poetry Friday? Click this link right here. And be sure to check out Bridget Magee’s blog, Wee Words for Wee Ones, to see this week’s round up of wonderful poetry related posts, blogs and goodness. 

Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! I am into week two of my Poemtober personal challenge and I am happy to say that I am staying caught up. Some days I’ve had to scramble, but that’s ok. You can see my October 1st poem here. My goal is to have 10 poems with potential by the end of the month.

I have been typing up the poems and then printing them off and gluing them to the backs of my little watercolors and this has been saving me quite a bit of time. And it looks better too since I don’t have to worry about fitting the drawing and the poem on the front like I did last time. Plus my handwriting is atrocious.

prompt word: ghoulish

Whistle Past the Graveyard

Walking home
I take the path
Quickest route
Or Mama’s wrath.

Through twilight woods
And over hill
Up my spine
I feel a chill.

And overgrown,
From the graveyard
I hear a moan.

Stop and think
I can’t be late
Trembling hands
Push open gate.

Creeping past
Weathered stones
Marking long
Forgotten bones.

Up ahead
The weedy yard
Makes me stop-
Dug up and marred.

I creep close
And peer within.
My blood to ice
A ghoulish grin

Gapes up at me
I stumble back.
Sunken eyes
Teeth rotted black.

Skin on skull
Old and sagging
I turn away
To stop from gagging

Take a breath
Nausea lingers
Around my ankle
Bony fingers

Kick my leg
And scramble free
Up and running
Time to flee

Through the gate
Down hill I run
Past twisted trees
Where I’d begun.

Long way home
Will have to do
Better late
Than zombie stew.

© Becky Herzog, 2020

prompt word: decapitated

Death-bringer in your tomb
Emaciated and gaunt
Cunningly disguising your true nature
And walking among the village
Plucking young maidens
Innocent and naive
To be your brides
Anointing them with your blood
This is your reckoning
Everlasting damnation
Death comes to you now

© Becky Herzog, 2020

prompt word: zombie

Hungry, mindless
Moaning, shambling, gorging
Your dedication is commendable

© Becky Herzog, 2020

prompt word: weeping

The Weeping Woman

Soft crying
From the river:
“Where are my children?”
You see a tall woman
Wearing a pretty lace dress
Her brown eyes are filled with sadness
“Where are my children?” she asks again.
You take a few timid steps forward
La Llorona’s bony fingers
An icy vice on your wrist.
“My sweet child,” she whispers.
You try to struggle
But can’t get free.
She drags you

© Becky Herzog, 2020

This is based on a Latin American folktale about a woman who drowns her own children after finding her husband with another woman. So now she wanders the river bank, looking for her own children and drowning anyone who comes close enough for her to grab.

prompt word: tricks

Bonfires light the night
Food and dance to trick the dead
Samhain revelry

© Becky Herzog, 2020

Samhain, celebrated from October 31-November 1, was an ancient Gaelic festival that celebrated the harvest and marked the beginning of winter. People believed that it was a time that spirits could roam the land. So people would wear animal skins and leave offerings in hopes of tricking/placating the spirits. This is believed to be where we get trick or treating today.

prompt word: tomb

prompt word: orbs

Cunning Boitatá
Eating your favorite morsel:
Eyeball ambrosia.
Slither through the undergrowth
Fiery orbs in the darkness

© Becky Herzog, 2020

Boitatá is the Brazilian equivalent of the will-o’-the-wisp. Except the glowing orbs are a giant snake’s glowing eyes. Why does it have glowing eyes? Because it absorbs light from devouring other creatures’ eyes.

5 thoughts on “Poetry Friday – Tricks and Treats

  1. So creepy! This is a great ending: Long way home/Will have to do/Better late/Than zombie stew. I love that you are introducing us to new scary creatures, like La Llorona and Boitatá.


  2. Wow! You sure do shine at Halloween! Not only do you write a poem, you write and illustrate a creepy collection! Wowsa.
    Seeing your post reminds me that I need to send you my address. I sent my address to the first e-mail addy you shared on Instagram for winning the book. I think I’ll creep quietly back to my kitchen table and let these ghouls get ready to scare their next reader. lol


  3. Wow, your Poemtober poems and art are such a treat, Rebecca! Your commitment to this project is SO impressive. I like that you share your process of choosing your prompts – I always feel like I need to be linear, but your freer approach really serves your craft. : )


  4. Becky, I have been thinking of you as I walk my neighborhood. The variety of your creeping poems is amazing. Each one offers the right tone to scare some readers during a read aloud. Ii remember each year when I opened my classroom in the basement to the school’s classrooms. It was decorated for the season but one of the highlights was flashlight reading of Jack Prreluscky’s book, Halloween. Your poems reminded me of his poetry collection. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vg8qeWDSk3o


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s