Friday, January 08, 2010

Entry #63

Night Terrors
by Anne Elizabeth Connors

Within the eyes of one small child
the world could change inside a darkened room.
Imagined terrors manifest
where coiled and slithering Vipers lurk
in the serpentine stems
of Jacobean patterned wallpaper.

Keepers of Gothic parapets by day
winged Griffins crouched.
Sentinels on grey stone ledges,
guardians of the village church.

Motionless they perched ‘til dark then,
silent as a feather falls,
spread their wings, returned to roost
in the cavernous lair
beneath the bed.

Sharp taloned, eyes coal black, dragons of menace
silently waited only for opportunity.
Penalty for coverlets pulled too high
a child’s socked foot exposed,
sure to tempt the pounce of demons
it is hastily retrieved
into the sanctuary of pink counterpanes.

Nine O’ Clock horses, nightmares of children,
bearing with them all conceivable fears.
“And if I die before I wake.”
A child’s prayer of whispered words
begs protection from the harm at hand.

In exhaustion, from the dread contrived,
mercifully came the unconscious haven of sleep.
Reprieved, at last, when tear wet lashes fell on rosened cheeks.
The night time terrors of childhood
in the shadowed presence
of the Sandman.

(Anne Elizabeth Connors was born and educated in England . Presently resides in Colorado. Writes novels, short stories, prose etc.)


Sarah Laurenson said...

I love this. Wonderful words and images woven into a child's night.

Nevine said...

Very elegantly delivered. And disturbing on a more than superficial level...


pjd said...

Cavernous lair beneath the bed. I love that part.

When my older son was little (3 or 4), he could not fall asleep if the closet door was left open, even a tiny bit. Now that he's 13, we can't drag him out of bed with a team of Clydesdales.

Bernita said...

I really like how you made the monsters real.
Nicely done.

Leatherdykeuk said...

I remember such terrors. Well done.

wrath999 said...

Great visuals of childhood fears. I think we all have thme at one time or another

JaneyV said...

Anne - you have brought to life every dark fear that lurked in my imagination as a child. I thank goodness that I shared a room with two sisters who used to let me sleep with them when the nightmares came. I now think of every ghoul and goblin as a seed for a story.

Well done for this. I loved it.

Aniket said...

I've always felt more at peace with myself in dark and at night.
Morning sunshine on the other hand... ;)

I loved the way you brought out each emotion.

@PJD: :D :D I'm liking him already.

Lena said...

That feels so real. Very visual. Loved it!

Craig said...

Vivid imagery.

catvibe said...

Man, it reminds me of my poor son who grew up with these things. Well written, quite beautiful actually.

laughingwolf said...

very well done, anne :)

SzélsőFa said...

a disturbing world many children are too familiar with....
I liked this part the most:
perched ‘til dark then,
silent as a feather falls,
spread their wings

Laurel said...

This is PERFECT. My husband and I war over the nightlights in the kid's rooms. One is scared of the dark, as I was, and my husband was not. I am going to make him read this because you nailed it.

Things do lurk under the bed and will get your exposed little toesies and fingers. If you have to get up to go to the bathroom, you'd best perch on the edge of the bed and leap over the reach of clawed arms and tentacles. But not far enough for whatever is in the closet to reach out and get you.

And those buggers are fast. They outrun the light so you can never prove it to your mother.

This is really fantastic.

CJT said...

oh yes, I most definately like this one. Great take! I LOVE IT

Sharon Poppen said...

Great visuals that evoke the actual feelings we all thought we'd left behind all those years ago. Well done, as always!

Chris Eldin said...

Really enjoyed this one! LOL at exposed socked foot!!! And the structure you chose to write this in... perfect! Nicely done!!

Michael Solender said...

Nicely constructed and great flow. A tight and well crafted piece.

Stephanie Green said...

It reads just as beautifully aloud as it does in print! Vivid and thoughtful- I enjoyed this immensely.

Marji said...

Perfect! Those shadows and creepy critters that hide under the bed survive to haunt generations of children. By all means, keep those tootsies covered. Thanks, Anne, so nice to read your poetry again.

Dolors said...

You're describing a child's nightmare in a poetic form. Great work

james r tomlinson said...

Those creatures, those monsters, are very very real in the eyes of a child.

Aerin said...

Dear Entrants #1-105,

I have read your pieces so that I can fairly participate in the Readers' Choice vote. (I read all of them through last week, before I started commenting.) I will be coming back around to offer my keep/tweak comment, but I didn't want anyone to snark.

Aerin (#236)

BTW, it's perfectly fine if you still want to snark, but this way you can choose a more appropriate subject, like Sarah Palin's hair or the enigmatic career of Justin Timberlake.