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Old Bart's Awakening: A Narrative Poem


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



Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on July 30, 2018:

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.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on July 27, 2018:

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

manatita44 from london on April 09, 2018:

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.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on April 09, 2018:

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

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on April 09, 2018:

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

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on April 09, 2018:

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

Larry W Fish from Raleigh on April 09, 2018:

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

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on April 09, 2018:

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

Nikki Khan from London on April 09, 2018:

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

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on April 09, 2018:

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.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on April 09, 2018:

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.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on April 09, 2018:

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

Ann Carr from SW England on April 09, 2018:

Superbly chosen illustrations, Chris.

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


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