Reflection, or: Reality

‘Step into the realm with me’, a d’Verse prompt

I can't
 I... 
      please...

In the mirror his hand reaches-grimly t'wards his pounding-bared breast
Reddened eyes, tears drip down chest heaving, he stands alone-undressed

What- wait
 That's
      not...

Fiery, snarling with malice-and-avarice, born, as it was, of doubt's incest
Vigilant, ever watch-waiting, its bright eyes blinking with unrest

Oh my
 God
      no

In chamber red she's deep imprisoned, essence of poise with great pride blest
To throbbing walls, she lies chained-sobbing, at dread dragon's greedy behest

Please...
 we can't
      do

Pleading-frightened, fearful sobbing, feeling his own fingers pressed
Into his soft-flesh pliant digging, fear's pet dragon there to wrest

I'm...
 this won't...
      ... oh...

Rhythmic beats can't drown out roaring; Faith's head hanging down, depressed
But... no dragon comes slither-rippling, pure snow white skin to molest

How... 
 un-  
      less?

The above poem is my take on d’Verse’s ‘exploring Gothic’ prompt.

d’Verse gave us a selection of potential titles for our poems, and let us do the rest.

To be honest, I think I pretty much failed at writing a gothic poem, but I like the piece above nonetheless 🐉

52 thoughts on “Reflection, or: Reality”

    1. Thanks, Angela… It’s dark, yes, but I don’t think that makes it gothic. According to the prompt, Gothic literature contains:

      The eight elements of Gothic Literature include, setting in a castle, an atmosphere of mystery and suspense, high and even over-wrought emotion. An ancient prophecy which is connected with either the former or present inhabitants of the castle. Omens, portents and visions. Women in distress and last and but not the least, supernatural or otherwise inexplicable events…

      But, regardless, I’m really okay with my poem – I enjoyed writing it 🙂

      1. Interesting list. I get the 5 aspects, but woman? does it always have to have a woman in it? makes you think how powerful a woman can be, to be a part of something. No?
        on another hand, just ignore me, my brain wondering aimlessly once again lol. Glad you had fun writing it 🙂

  1. This is actually brilliant 🙂 you portray the inner conflict and turmoil that plagues one .. constantly clawing upon the conscience. The deepest and most concealed of emotions that come through here (for me) is Guilt. Thank you so much for writing to the prompt 💝💝

  2. In baby language my mind go racing,
    Rapunzel, rescue rapunzel.
    I wouldn’t know why, on first reading it did so.

    But i haven’t even followed the task set before you at d’Verse, let me go and read first.

  3. I’m not sure, this is an imprisoned man
    The dragon has completely devoured him
    Prison has shaken him, he can’t contain the dragon
    No more, there isn’t a beacon of hope left inside of him
    He must surrender to all his demons, they have devoured him

    In a display of the most refined form of language, you gave us the dark and the horrific.
    d’Verse is indeed an inspiration, and we are gathering the fruits and lessons thereof.
    It gives me the feeling that there is so much freedom of expression by responding to a prompt.

    1. That is a very interesting observation, Abi:

      there is so much freedom of expression by responding to a prompt.

      It’s somewhat counterintuitive, but I think you’re totally correct!

      -David

      1. I don’t know about counterintuitive since you following the task which allows you practice in technique whichever way you choose. Intuition comes to play as you are practicing.

        1. well, sort of counterintuitive to me because one might think that a prompt limits one’s direction in writing the poem.

          maybe not, I don’t know 🙂

          -David

        2. No I think a allow an enormous amount of freedom and I don’t think everyone has the ability to jump onto a cloud and ride it out into the night with so much poetic finesse.

    2. Yes! I loved writing stories to a prompt when I was at school, it was the seed of a story and then you could go wherever you wanted. So much better than staring at a blank page…

      1. You explain in the way i would’ve love to say Yvonne. Thank you so much for citing an example. That’s exactly how we began to write composition…..wishing you a wonderful day.

  4. This kept me on the edge of my seat, wondering what would happen. Glad whatever was expected to happen didn’t. Very vivid imagery!

    1. I dunno Kate… I feel like this is some combination of psychological thriller and fantasy (on account of the dragon)

      But thank you for the kind compliment!

      -David

    1. That’s very kind of you, Yvonne.

      I’m less than convinced, but I have been tweaking this poem further after posting it, and it has increasingly grown on me 🙂

      Sincerely,
      David

  5. Very interesting, and I think it’s a nice twist on the traditional Gothic. There’s lots of psychology at play here: ‘what lies beneath?’ we’re left to wonder…

  6. Wow… I liked the way you have written this, to bring out some innermost feelings in a daunting circumstance❤️❤️

  7. I like the form of this, even if black on dark grey is very hard to read! There’s plenty of blood and horror and chained women, so that probably makes it Gothic, and the dragon…replace dragon with vampire or lunatic with a pair of garden shears and you’ve got pure Gothic. But who wants pure Gothic?

  8. I am starting to see that all the beast of a gothic novel is really a metaphor for something much more real and sinister… I thought of a werewolf until I realized it could be a dark tale of incest… and there is a clear parallel in how a father might suddenly change into a raging beast…(maybe more moonshine than moonlight though)

    1. yes, I was thinking that too… but I was worried that by changing the “monster” I was undoing the poem’s “gothic” theme entirely 😟

      🤷‍♂️
      David

  9. The darkest battles take place within our own minds, don’t they? The poem was an evocative read, the format worked well to build suspense! 👏

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