Sunday, 14 April 2013

When a poem wants to be a story.

April 14th

A strange thing happened when I was trying to write a poem yesterday.  I was using a prompt from The Poetry School (sounds of a dog bark, bell ring, liquid pour and the poem to sound menacing) but my poem began developing into flash fiction!  So today you get both a poem and flash fiction.....I'm so good to you!  The poem is a Tanka, a poem based on syllables in the pattern of 5-7-5-7-7 and the last two lines are often a surprise.  Mine is a little saucy.  Enjoy.

Barking Mad

A howl then three sharp barks.  I was cringing behind the bedroom door of the country house residence of Dave’s parents.  Everyone was asleep except me.  The damned dog, which I hadn’t seen before, had chased me into the room as I left the bathroom and now it was snuffling on the other side of the door.  I hated dogs.  Actually, I was terrified of dogs and the brewing storm didn’t help matters.

A flash of lightning flooded the room in white light accentuating the wood panelled walls and brooding furniture.  I jumped as thunder crashed and the wind blew the window open.  I cried out.  Rain splattered the floor and the drip, drip from some overflowing gully made a rhythmic beat on some object below.

As if in some gothic novel a heard a church bell ring and wondered who the hell would be doing that at this time of night.  Then there were footsteps on the stairs.  My heart thumped against my chest.  I let out a sob.  The door handle turned.  I stood and pushed against it.
               ‘David?’ I squeaked.
               ‘What are you doing in there?’
               ‘The dog.’
               ‘What dog?’
Still shaking I slowly opened the door.  I sank back in relief.  Dave put a hand on my arm.  I looked up as he inched through the slit in the doorway.  It was then that he smiled and I saw the fangs.  There was froth on one side of his mouth.  Then he growled. 


Open skies, calm sea
of deep lagoon blue, and you
there on the shore line
fishing for my underwear
discarded in our passion.

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