In honor of the season, I’m posting a scary poem today. This poem was first published in the online zine, Underneath the Juniper Tree in June, 2011, along with the artwork shown. I just recently learned that literary agent, Bree Ogden, is the co-founder and managing editor of Underneath the Juniper Tree.
This poem is a roundel, a form with an interesting history. First devised by Algernon Swinburne, it is the Anglo-Norman form corresponding to the French rondeau. It makes use of refrains, repeated according to a certain stylized pattern. A roundel consists of nine lines each having the same number of syllables, plus a refrain after the third line and after the last line. The refrain must be identical with the beginning of the first line: it may be a half-line, and rhymes with the second line. It has three stanzas and its rhyme scheme is as follows: A B A R ; B A B ; A B A R ; where R is the refrain (from Wikipedia). I know it sounds complicated but it's really not too bad once you get going. The roundel is another favorite form of mine.
This poem also fits into the category of speculative poetry. Speculative poetry is comprised of science fiction, fantasy, and horror (The Science Fiction Poetry Association). For children, that would be mild horror. I love to write speculative poetry.
And now, the poem:
By B.J. Lee
The things I saw when I was lost
and followed signs for "Devil's Claw."
I took that road at such a cost--
the things I saw!
Through forest trees I peered in awe
at witches standing in the frost,
who handled things -- an ear, a paw,
then quickly, in their cauldron tossed
these objects with a birdie's craw.
I turned and fled. My eyes had crossed--
the things I saw!
(c) 2011 B.J. Lee All Rights Reserved