Old Bart's Awakening: A Narrative Poem

Updated on April 9, 2018

Old Bart's Awakening

Bart lit a fire in the stove that eve

To take the chill so he could read

A tale about a killing spree.

He read the life of a family of four

Father worked all day, but still were poor

Then came a knock at the hovel’s door.

Mother loved a visit from neighbors few

Threw open the door with a welcome true

White mask with holes for eyes of blue.

A torch flew in on feather tick

Did land and light in a manner quick.

The family fled but the door was fixed.

Bart dropped the book on the floor at right

He could not read of the family’s plight

But conjured an ending of could or might.

Came a knock on door that autumn eve.

White mask with holes for eyes of green

He recalled just then it was halloween.

But book and story and guise of white

Did fill the man with dread and fright

So he chased the children into the night.

He grasped the sheet poor child wore

And stopped the chase to think yet more

Of his own grandpa in days of yore.

Old Bart was stricken with horror and grief

At the thought of kin who’d worn the sheet

And did such crimes, had done the deeds.

Inside he saw the book of gore

And in his heart he solemnly swore

That for his part would nevermore

Look down with pity on another’s plight

From manufactured social heights

And call this error a moral right

Grounded on freedom’s level land

Face to face he’d speak his ban

That race be not the measure of a man


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    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      2 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Thanks, Shauna. I intended for this to have a completely different ending. I like the message, but I"m not sure I like it on this story. I may redo this and post it on Creative Exiles.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 years ago from Central Florida

      Great message, Chris! And a fluid, smooth read to boot.

    • manatita44 profile image


      2 years ago from london

      Feels like a Ballad. Josey Wales? Lol. Very nice writing, my Friend. Carry on! I will keep watching over my shoulder to make sure you don't run past me. Lol. Be a kid, Bro... part of the secret. Ha ha.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      2 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Eric, That's quite a string of words you put together. Try it again, anytime. Thanks for the kind words.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      2 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Larry, Thank you for that feedback. I think I saw that you posted something new. I'll be along.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Well ain't that a dandy. Aside from spellbinding, creative and perfectly written, I guess it was ok.

    • Larry Fish profile image

      Larry W Fish 

      2 years ago from Raleigh

      This poem kept me mesmerized from beginning to end, Chris. It was well written and flowed like it should.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      2 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Thank you Nikki, that is encouraging. Poetry is out of my comfort zone, but I am enjoying the challenge.

    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 

      2 years ago from London

      Great poem Chris, and rhythm was perfect.You’ve done it very well.The message is very strong and effective.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      2 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      John, I hadn't planned on writing more than one for National Poetry Month, but I seem to have a little string going. Thanks for stopping by.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      2 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Ann, The photo at the top of the old man and the book was shocking to find, especially with the smoke of the fire rising from the pages. Thanks for reading, and I appreciate the kind words.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Another very interesting and enjoyable poem, Chris. You are flying the flag for National Poetry Month.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      Superbly chosen illustrations, Chris.

      Superbly written poem with a deep, serious message. I'm in awe.



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