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.
Your comments will be read with interest.
This poem originally appeared on my e-mail newsletter, An Lios