Down a Dark Hall – A Poem

I wander down a dark hall

Peeking in this room

Throwing wide the doors in another

This door is locked

That door I quickly shut

One door leads me down a corridor/path that takes me a few hours to get through and back to where I was before

Now, I have to walk quickly

The light from my phone

Illuminating the way

I find a door and pull it

But it’s stuck

I jiggle it

I lean into it

I hip check it

I take a running start and slam into it

I slide down and sit

My back against it

It opens

And there sits my muse

She says, “Hello…Poet.”

I originally wrote this poem for Jamie Dedes’ Wednesday Writing Prompt to “write about our own creative process”. You can read other responses to this prompt here.

I also incorporated Christine’s Brave and Reckless October Monster She Wrote challenge #9, Down a Dark Hall into this poem. That title pulled the poem together for me as my writing process is necessarily compartmentalized otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to complete my other obligations during the day.

I had several different endings to this poem – the version I posted for Jamie as well as a few others, but after reading the synopsis for the book, Down a Dark Hall, I felt I needed to change the ending to make it somewhat more ominous (even though my writing process is anything but ominous…despite doing most of my writing in the middle of night in a darkened house where I’m the only one awake and the wind is howling outside and the tree branches scratch scratch scratch the window pane…).

So I changed the punctuation! Oh the power of a three tiny dots! Scary, isn’t it?

©️ iido 2019

Toni in the Room with the Yellow Wallpaper – A Quadrille Honoring Toni Morrison (1931-2019)

Her voice bounced off the yellow wallpaper,
Reverberating with strength and wisdom,
Uplifting the mahogany tones
In the old-fashioned design.
She refused to allow the surround to distract her,
Refused to explain her powerful gift.
She rose above inert ideas
Owning her freed self.

Toni Morrison died this past Monday, leaving behind an unapologetic legacy of literature centering Black American lives. She spoke candidly about racism in America, calling its function a “distraction” (read more here).

In this quadrille for De Jackson at dVerse (Quadrille # 83 – Voice), I have imagined her in the setting of Charlotte Gilman’s novel, The Yellow Wallpaper, to fulfill Christine’s Brave and Reckless August Feminist Book Title Challenge.

For me, Toni Morrison embodied the ultimate goal and greatest achievement for any writer/poet – that is, to write stories/poems as your Authentic Self.

©️ iido 2019