Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. Leonard Cohen

Saturday, October 25, 2014


When I was a child
The line between doubt and belief
was permeable
a meandering current in a stream
between reality and imagination
How I loved to cross that portal,
to lift the veil of certainty
that disguises the world of possibility

We had a ritual:
Winter was best
as dark came early,
before we had to go home for dinner
Sit in a circle
with the board in the middle,
each of our hands resting ever so lightly
on the indicator

At first we thought it a trick
But we pinky swore it was not
The spirit was speaking
We were the conduit

Soon, the game became unnecessary;
We just held a pencil
and it spoke to us
in smoky, graphite

Over time
amorphous scribbles became
Scenes of destruction, fire, slaughter
emerged from our own hands
without our intent
Our feast of fun
became fear, force-fed

I made the decision
to sacrifice the board
and, along with it, the drawings
Sealed in a trash bag to be carried away
with the week's junk mail
and coffee grinds

Belief and doubt battle to this day
Childhood fantasy or
something wicked narrowly avoided
Belief usually wins out.

submitted for Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Get Listed for October
and It's Ma Thing


Helen said...

Mouse, you have transported me to another realm with this ~ intrigued.. I have never encountered a ouija board.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Our parents forbade us from playing this game, so of course we found means to try it out... I am still creeped out by the experience to this day, so I this poem makes a lot of sense to me.

Fireblossom said...

I never mess with ouija, though it turns up in my poems sometimes. There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio!

Herotomost said...

I loved the Ouija board and all things spooky and creepy. Nothing like scaring yourself silly and not being sure if it was you or the others!!!!LOL....I loved this.