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Orlie's Ire: A Narrative Poem

Chris has written poetry for 28 years though he focuses on short fiction. But watch out for the occasional twisted nursery rhyme.


Orlie's Ire

Wind roared through the town of Orlie’s Bend

On the night the people planned the death and end

Of he who raped their women and murdered their men.

Last count of the women he defiled was twelve,

And the men he slew had been themselves

The husbands of those into whose skirts Orlie delved.

Enough was enough the living pined

As on their souls, wicked Orlie dined.

The townsfolk swore his haunt they’d find.

Through wood and swamp to river’s edge

The mob rampaged and shouted their pledge

To sleep no more until Orlie was dead.

With pitchforks and axes, sledges and scythes,

They drove the scoundrel to where the river plies

Its course through solid rock, then dives

And falls one hundred feet or more

To the cool and dampened forest floor,

A drop that had carried many into lore.

The murderer and rapist they wished aroint

As he teetered on a ledge that petered to a point,

The rocks below, his blood to anoint.

But Orlie made his stand and had his say

That he’d haunt the town every year this day

And require one soul the town must slay.

To appease the sting of Orlie’s ire,

They must burn the one upon a pyre,

And Orlie would then for a year, retire.

But the crowd was mad, heard not a word

Of Orlie’s plan, their future to gird,

And pressed the man until his cries reverbed.

One year to the day Orlie strode into town

And danced with no music like a circus clown.

He stopped the dance, smile drooped to a frown.

Now do my bidding or the town I’ll slay,

As he drew from his cloak a bag of gray.

This powder, he claimed, would make them pay.

They feared for their lives and drew straws to see

Who the first sacrifice to Orlie would be.

Each held up their straw and saw they were free,

Until a quivering voice whispered, “Please, not me!”


© 2018 Chris Mills


Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on November 07, 2018:

John, I mean this sincerely. You have taught me well. Thank you for your faithful attendance to your readers.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on November 07, 2018:

You expertly wove a creepy story into this poem, Chris. I am so glad you decided to branch out into poetry as well as fiction. You are a versatile and gifted writer.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on July 11, 2018:

Shauna, thanks for that comment. It reassures me that I am more effectively describing what I see as the story unfolds. It's good to see you today.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on July 11, 2018:

Chris, this is as dark as it it well-written.Your use of words to create images in the mind speaks volumes for your creativity and knack to delve into the scene and call it as you see it.

Well done!

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on July 05, 2018:

Sean, The encouragement I find here from you and others is valuable in the sense that it keeps me trying to achieve something more and better. Thank you for those words.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on July 05, 2018:

Eric, The more "horribles" you string in a row for a story like this, the better. Thanks for the comment. You are a constant source of encouragement.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on July 05, 2018:

Delilah, Thank you for stopping by and checking out this poem. I appreciate the feedback about imagery. I began writing poetry again not long ago as a way to improve the imagery in my short fiction. I hope it is working there as well as in the poems.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on July 05, 2018:

manatita, Violence and dark endings new for me? No, this goes back to my beginning with fiction. It is the entertainer in me, or at least the effort to be so. Some of my writings contain my heartfelt passions, others are purely for entertainment. The first are fulfilling. The latter are for fun. I appreciate your input always. Thank you.

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on July 05, 2018:

I have said it before, and I think I'll say it many times in the future:

Chris, I admire your talent, you are so gifted! To make all these images alive in my mind using verses is rare. I am grateful that I can read your work.

Thank you!


Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on July 05, 2018:

Just horrible, horrible. But boyo was it written well.

Delilah from Kentucky on July 05, 2018:

Wonderfully written poem Chris. I love the way your writing always paints such wonderful images of your story.

manatita44 from london on July 05, 2018:

An interesting tale. A different one from you. Actually no, you have been moving that way recently. As far as the poem goes, it's very well done! A Brilliant piece!

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