August 7, 2018 by Mike Madden
My tribute to Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven”, this poem highlights the difference in perception when dark falls.
I lay upon my bed a-dozing,
Questions in my head a-posing,
Questions with no answer that would still be there at dawn.
They kept me from my sleeping,
And my heart was gently weeping,
Gently weeping in the darkness of a night oh so forlorn.
On the edges of my hearing,
Came a sound so slowly clearing,
‘Twas the sound of scratching, scraping at the window, at the door.
I closed my eyes still tighter,
For my mind to make it brighter,
But the scratching and the scraping was now screaming, shouting more.
I rose in trepidation,
Facing my hallucination,
Facing fears that would be gone if this were day instead of night.
But as I drew back the curtain,
So my step became uncertain,
And the goosebumps on my neck became the shivers of my fright.
Down below a face was smiling,
But so horribly beguiling,
Hues of red and black and blue and yet it shimmered shining white.
Its hair was just receding,
And its mouth was limply bleeding,
Filled with pleasure, filled with hunger, crying foul into the night.
So I edged back from the window,
But it spied me in the shadow,
Giving purpose to its scratching and its scraping at the door.
Then its fists they started beating,
And the hinges started creaking,
As a crashing sent it smashing loudly splintered to the floor.
I was frozen for the moment,
As I wondered at the torment,
That the creature climbing, snarling, coming for me had endured.
Coming for me, I was shaken,
On the brink my senses wakened,
As its rampage found the staircase, in the darkness creature roared.
Sharply tearing at the plaster,
And my heart was beating faster,
As I struggled in a panic there was nowhere I could hide.
With a noise as loud as thunder,
So the door was rent asunder,
And the shadow of the creature was about to step inside.
So I ceased my nervous breathing,
In the blackness so revealing,
But a gap o’er by the window drew a sliver of moonlight.
Then I saw its jowls a-gleaming,
And I felt so much like screaming,
As the pallor of the creature showed itself a deathly white.
There I crouched upon the floorboard,
As the creature motioned forward.
Sensing flesh just out of reach then as my body shook with fear.
So it knelt down there beside me,
Almost close enough to touch me,
As its muzzle sniffed and snuffled oozing hot breath in my ear.
How I screamed in desperation,
And it growled in jubilation,
As its teeth drew ever nearer sinking deep into its prey.
For my blood was warmly flowing,
And the creature’s eyes were glowing,
Then a blackness overtook me never more to be a day.
Upon my bed I ceased my dozing,
No more questions still a-posing,
Just the dampness of my shirt to foretell what had gone before.
But with the comfort of the dawning,
I arose that fateful morning,
To a scratching and a scraping at the window at the door.