Folktober Challenge, Day 1

Images: F3.1, Bloody Mary, Pantoum Form

Be Afraid

You scoff. Say it’s merely folklore,
no fears from a mythical tale,
but away from the mirror, gaze at the floor,
beware the world’s thinned veil!

No fears from a mythical tale.
you say. But don’t light the candle,
don’t say her name, don’t watch for her image pale–
don’t yearn for what you cannot handle.

You say, “but don’t.” Light the candle
I will. There’s a dare in the air, and to it, I thrill—
don’t yearn for what you cannot handle.
I can. Yet suddenly I feel a chill.

Still, I will. There’s a dare in the air, and to it, I thrill–
until I don’t. Bloody Mary in the glass, I can’t—
I can. Yet suddenly I feel a chill.
I see her pass, I hear her laugh, rant, chant–

until . . . I don’t. Bloody Mary in the glass! I can’t.
But away from the mirror, gaze at the floor—
though I see her pass, I hear her laugh, rant, chant.
You scoff. Say it’s merely folklore.

Paul Brookes is hosting a month-long ekphrastic challenge using folklore images to celebrate the launch of his new poetry collection, “As Folktaleteller.” I just had a bit of fun with this one, but there are some other excellent responses. You can see the images here, and also read the other responses.

My favorite podcast, Ghosts in the Burbs, had a Bloody Mary episode.

26 thoughts on “Folktober Challenge, Day 1

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