The Bad Places


PAD Challenge #3 at Poetic Asides

For today’s prompt, write a location poem. The poem can be about a location, but it doesn’t have to be. It could also just incorporate a location into the poem (like a love poem in Paris or something). This poem could also state your feelings about location in general.

The Bad Places


Darkness crept into your room,
oozed its way beneath window sill
to fill that space from wall to wall,
and from floor to ceiling.
It called to you, like some haunted song,
and although you were sure it was all
wrong, you followed, slipping slowly
away, a little more each day.
Swallowed you in tiny pieces. Foolish,
I hung on, perhaps thinking I could
fight alone, bring you home, somehow
save you,
save myself,
save us.
 But, I am no Orpheus, nor Demeter.
Had no music with which to woo, or soothe
your tortured soul. No queenly light to bring
to that whirling, swirling forever darkened night
with all of its monstrous memories. Caused
only deeper anguish, when you finally turned,
screamed, “I don’t want to take anyone down
with me.”  Could only shrug, whisper helplessly,
 “Too late, I’m already here.”
 Lost you to all those other voices
I couldn’t hear, no longer owned right ear
with which to lean in, to listen. Now,
found myself alone and lost, unable
 to find home. Stumbled around, brailing
subconscious caves of unknowing, no longer
even hoping for small light in all of that
darkness. Swallowed in terror, sure
that should brightness come, I would be
forced to see that you no longer existed,
were no longer here, holding my hand,
no longer beside me.


Damned. I was damned to wander
through this choking fear, forever.
Never knowing peace, release for soul
suddenly grown old, weary beyond

believing in myths, fairytales with
magical happy endings. Cursed to blend
in, like some ghost of former self, hostess
only to shadows of what should have been.

No real memory of months spent
rocking alone, howling in distress,
arms pressed around brittle curves of own
body. Pain filled rage coursing,

like a black river from pores, flowing
poison in and through me. Unable to recognize
eyes in mirror, bleared red with crying,
or face of hag that rode my back, like

a succubus, bleeding me away in tiny
bits and pieces. Lacking all concern
for what might come, wanting always
and only, what had been

and would never be, again.

Elizabeth Crawford  11/3/10


About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here:
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5 Responses to The Bad Places

  1. I like that you decided to visit this “bad place.” But it pains me to think of you there. It seems no matter which direction you decide to take, your writing is so beautiful…and you write with such authority. I feel that dark night.

    Annell, each of these poems is a separate place on a very slow descent that took two years of my existence. But, it was also 15 years in the past. It wasn’t my intent to write these poems, I actually was thinking I would be writing about my Mother for the challenge. Guess something else needs to be written first. It’s been a long time coming. Thank you for your kind and generous words. Beautitul and with authority isn’t what I was feeling while writing them. Scared is more like it. Scared and a just a tad bit curious.



  2. Mary says:

    This is amazing writing, Elizabeth. These words obviously begged to be written. Painful in parts, but necessary. PAD is good. One never knows what will demand to be written.

    Mary, I wrote my head off after all of this happened. But, it was all prose and certainly not meant for public consumption. Have not attempted to put it into poetry. Couldn’t even begin to think how to do that. Yet, this morning, when I saw the prompt, it started whispering and at first I said “No.” But, as you said, some poems demand to be written. Thank you so much for visiting and commenting, it means a lot,



  3. Irene says:

    Found my way here, Elizabeth. This seems to be a cathartic process. I could definitely empathize with these dark places. I have succumbed to the PAD challenge as well. So yea, day 3.

    Fantastic Irene, and yes, you are absolutely right, this is cathartic and never saw it coming. But, following the words, as I’ve said a hundred times, will eventually lead one to that place one has been avoiding. Thanks for your generous words, and will come take a look, see shortly,



  4. Diane T says:

    Oops, I commented on the day before poem! I really want to see the movie Crazy Heart. Beautifully written and poignant. I feel your pain.

    Diane, really not sure if it was the movie or the music. But, the movie made sense to this place I seem to have written myself into, so guess it doesn’t make much difference. Thanks again,



  5. pamela says:

    The pain is this hit right upside the head. I believe this is one of my favourites of yours.
    A beutifully written poem.
    happy poeming my friend.

    Pamela, the pain is much behind me now. That’s the reason the poems can be written. I’m glad you found something of beauty in them. Amazingly enough, I feel a lot the same way. Thanks for commenting,



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