October 7th, 2012


Poem: "The Shadows in the Valley"

This poem came out of the October 2-3 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired and sponsored by rix_scaedu.

The Shadows in the Valley

When a soul approaches
the valley of the shadow of death,
all the demons stand back
to give it room to pass.

It is only when the soul
moves into the valley, and
usually somewhere toward the middle,
that the demons follow.

When the soul slows,
stumbles, falters
from feet to knees,
that is when the demons close in.

They yip and yell, bear their brilliant teeth,
flap wings as awful as thunderclouds --
there can be no stopping here,
for the only way out is through.

The soul drags itself onward,
hurrying now toward the far end
of the valley of the shadow of death
where God awaits.

The demons, too, are waiting
to see whether this day
they will become angels
or devils.


Poem: "Deviltry on Steroids"

This poem came from the October 2-3, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired and sponsored by laffingkat.

Deviltry on Steroids

It began with a bodybuilder
who wished for an easier way
to build his body.

He wanted more strength,
more definition,
larger muscles in general.

So the Devil came to the gym
and tempted him,
and the bodybuilder sinned.

The Devil told him of steroids,
where to find them,
how to use them.

There were side effects --
lust, wrath, and most damnably impotence --
which the Devil neglected to mention.

The muscles, however,
formed and performed as promised,
and the bodybuilder was pleased.

It took a while for other humans to notice,
but eventually they did,
and new rules were made.

So the Devil returned,
and offered another deal,
if the bodybuilder would bring friends.

Again the man agreed,
and the Devil spoke of blood doping
and certain obscure herbs.

The men came in,
and the souls went down,
and the Devil was thrilled with results.

As for the side effects,
well, there was always Viagra
or old staples like rhino horn and tiger penis.


Poem: "The Cybernetic Sorcerers"

This poem came out of the October 2-3, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from the_vulture.  It has been sponsored by janetmiles and mdlbear.

The Cybernetic Sorcerers

Computers were born out of drudgery
and the desire to escape it,
innovation driven by laziness.

For a long time,
they retained the roots
of their humble origin,
requiring long hours of code
to accomplish things
that the programmers
imagined ought to be easy.

Then someone rediscovered
an old grimoire and found
summoning rituals.

They lifted servants
from the infernal plane
and bound them fast
with lines of light and metal,
Enochian and code.

They were discreet about it,
for the most part, but occasionally
a word would slip out --
IMP software and mailer-daemons.

People called the programmers
computer wizards, but in actuality
they were cybernetic sorcerers.

monster house

Poem: "Bleeding Light"

This poem came out of the October 2-3, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from janetmiles and westrider.  It has been sponsored by janetmiles.  It follows the poems "Thunder Without Rain" and "Whatever We Feed," so you should read those first.  The discussions following those poems contributed significantly to this one, so thanks also to the_vulture, jenny_evergreen, rhodielady_47, aldersprig, kelkyag, rix_scaedu, siege, and e_scapism101 for the thought-provoking conversations.  This poem belongs to the series Monster House, and you can read more about that on the Serial Poetry page.

WARNING: This poem is psychological horror and it features unhealthy mental states, dysfunctional family dynamics, childhood trauma, and assorted violence.  If you've been reading the series for suburban fantasy humor, this may not be to your taste.  If you have issues with child abuse or disturbed children, think twice before reading it.  And yet nothing is ever entirely what we think it is, looking at it from the outside ...

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Poem: "Infernal Felines"

This poem came from the October 2-3, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired and sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.

Infernal Felines

They have tails,
but neither horns nor wings.

They do not need pitchforks;
they have teeth and claws.

It does not matter if they are red or black
or white as the robe of God Himself.

All cats are kin to mischief
and have a little bit of the Devil in them.

Humans, now,
They go both ways;

They have a shoulder-angel on the right
and a shoulder-devil on the left.

Cats run wild down the hall
and no angel can hold on for eight seconds.

Shoulder-devils are made of sterner stuff;
they can stick it out.

Sometimes, when the damned cat
is tearing through the house at 2 A.M.

you can hear one squeaking, "Yeehaw, Kitty!
Rip up that rug!  Puke in that shoe!  Let's get more catnip!"


Poem: "Knocking On"

This poem came out of the October 2-3, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from DW user jjhunter and Anthony & Shirley Barrette.

WARNING: This is rude political humor of the anti-Republican flavor.  If you're a conservative or you're just tired of politics, you may want to skip it.

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Poem: "The Seven Fatal Malfunctions"

This poem came from the October 2-3, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by marina_bonomi and thoughts on the Seven Deadly Sins.  It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.  It has been checked for British spelling, but if you spot any errors, please mention them.  This poem belongs to the series The Steamsmith, which you can explore further via the Serial Poetry page.

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