Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Sunday, 14 October 2012


The cottage light pricks inky gloom, 
Where ghosts and forest shadows loom.
The stumbling stranger filled with fear,
To make the menace disappear,
Seeks out the comfort of the room.

The barn owl’s screech brings sense of doom, 
And echoes through the murky coombe.*
The lost soul starts and hurries near
                            The cottage light.    

His icy hands, cold as the tomb,
Grab greedily the tempting shroom.**
He bolts it it down and does not hear
The voice now whispering in his ear,
Nor sees the spectral shape consume
                                   The cottage light.

© Marilyn Brindley

* a valley or hollow on a hillside or coastline, especially in southern England
**a mushroom, especially one with hallucinogenic properties

I like the challenge of wrting to a form and this week I tried a rondeau. This is an old French lyric form containing a refrain. It has fifteen lines, two of which are the repeated one line refrain. The refrain is usually the first phrase of the first line (but may only be one or two words).  

Each line has eight syllables and there are three stanzas of different length: the first has five lines, the second four and the third six.

There are only two rhyming sounds throughout the poem. 

The rhyme scheme is as follows (R denotes refrain): the first stanza : a, a, b, b, a; the second stanza: a, a, b, R and the third stanza: a, a, b, b, a, R.

From 'The Poet's Craft' by Sandy Brownjohn

Taking part in The Mag where Tess Kincaid gives us an image to get the creative juices flowing, This week it's 'Midnight Snack' 1984by Curtis Wilson Cost. If your nerves aren't shattered after reading my poem, why not gatger up your courage and go and see what others made of the prompt?


  1. This is lovely! And a wonderful response to the prompt!

  2. Nice one, Nell. But beware of those shrooms!

  3. A perfect October poem. I always like reading poems that demonstrate a set form.

  4. Brilliant.
    I had forgotten about the word 'coombe' and yet, come from one myself LOL
    This was spooky, gripping and very atmospheric. Magic mushrooms, or not! :)

  5. Nice poetry form ~ Very chilling and spooky, perfect for Halloween ~

  6. Oh, very spooky, and I love that you used the Rondeau form!

  7. Nice form...lovely shivers for the season...

  8. You were true to form and gave me goosebumps with this chilling tale! :-)

  9. This makes me think we may be related! Love the form..it works so well...

  10. That shroom should be written up in a zine. :-)

  11. The form really works here. Perfect mood-setter.


  12. Great build up for Halloween! Spooky!

  13. Shivery - and a lovely form to showcase it.

  14. eeek yikes this sent shivers up my spine....just in time for Halloween!

  15. I loved this , Nell, sort of like Tam O Shanter on acid, thanks !

  16. Whooooo ! Quite Cold & Worrying ! Topical not only for Halloween but also ,It's Shroom Season I Believe?

  17. I love that you use interesting forms every so often to give your poem a traditional connection. This one is fabulous because of the rhyme sequencing. This is inspirational, Little Nell. Thank you for sharing.

  18. I don't know much about poems so I enjoy your explanation of the structure (I do know something about song structures, I can see the simularities). On a side-note, I've just read that Herman Melville wrote an 18,000-line poem...

  19. Great form for this provocative read!


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.