Under the Carpet

I belong to several writers' email discussion groups. On one of them there is usually a "challenge" for the day. This poem came out when we were challenged to write a short short story or a poem about a mysterious stain on a carpet, using the word "hobnob". Like all form poetry, the results surprised me.
I decided to try this with the abecedarian form, which is a 26 line poem, not rhyming, but starting the first line with a word beginning with "a" and each succeeding line with a word beginning with the next letter of the alphabet. (For more about "form poetry" and why it fascinates me, see the link below.}

    A spreading stain mars the carpet
    by the door - a mystery unsolvable.
    Cats sit outside the door, ears cocked.
    Doors are closed, locked, yet the stain
    edges outward. It has a dusty smell, like
    flowers, old and dried, or unloved museums.
    Guess what? It doesn't worry me. I've been
    hobnobbing with elves and faery folk.
    I feel that mysterious stains are
    just part of life - as long as the roof isn't leaking.

    Keep looking if you like, but I
    love mysteries to be mysterious,
    magical and more. This one is kinda
    neat. I don't like that carpet anyway.
    Ooops! The stain is changing, turning
    purple and the carpet rising in the center.
    Quick! Hand me a fly swatter - I may need to
    repel boarders here. What is coming through?
    Savage hobyahs? Stately elves? Strange sprites?

    This is worrying the cats. I want to look
    under the carpet to see what's there.
    Various possibilities occur to me--
    wizents and wizards, woofles and wobsters.
    Xenophobes would not be happy here.

    You say you don't want to know? Then
    zoom out of here. The carpet is rising!

Copyright © 2000 by Jessica Macbeth. All rights reserved.
This poem originally appeared on my e-mail newsletter, An Lios

Your comments will be read with interest.