Monday, 24 October 2011

The Ritual.

For reasons unknown, the theme this week is Ghost Stories. Well, it is coming up to the end of October- ghouls are a big thing this season and vampires are just so, whatever. Honestly, if I hear another schoolgirl swooning over bloody Cedric Diggory (whom is still dead, by the way... Vampire my arse.) I'll probably lose it.

This being a 'poetry blog' though, I decided to go with my newly refreshed enthusiasm (thanks, Lancaster LitFest) and write something new. Trawling the mind for childhood memories- the ones I feel are always the scariest, the one moment of fear I remember most from those days is quite clear still- waking up to catch children being dragged through a door on TV (I believe, Poltergeist). I was sleeping out, away from home at a friend's house over the way.

I was quite surprised it was a different story that came from within me then. I spent a lot of years in the Scouts as a kid, learnt a lot about myself in the process but, like all the other kids, was only really there for the holidays. A few mates, some tents and several liberated miniature spirit bottles did me for a weekend just nicely, thank you very much. Some of the memories, it seems, weren't quite as jolly. I hope you enjoy the poem.

The Ritual

Trudging with socks sodden from the track
we smelt the air- caught ear of crackling wood over
bleating sheep and rushed towards flickering light.

It was there, with Pendle Hill still fresh in mind
you showed your stripes- pulled rank and asked,
Do you believe in ghost stories.

Our legs trembled below fire flushed faces
as marshmallows bloomed and dripped their mess
into the spitting hearth. You snapped.

On the tops things change- new variables
with every breath of the wind. You must obey.
Do as you are told, pull together.

That was the night he danced.
Took to the pole for tuck shop
twenty-ps he gathered, cap in hand.

And boy, did he dance. Shed his shell
crab like as he scuttled fleshy and nude-
woggle half covering his pubescent penis.

We soon saw his face- caught it in the torch
as you hoisted damp pants up the flagpole.
I'd never seen a ghost before-

and we just sat there, trembling.

Thanks for reading, S.


Ashley R Lister said...


A good one. We've got ghosties and ging-gang-goolies to start the week.

And don't be too harsh on Cedric Diggory. Without researching, can you name anyone else from hufflepuff?


vicky ellis said...

:D shouldn't that be ging gang ghoulies Ash?

Fab Shaun. That sounds like a character building experience. It explains a lot really ;)