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The Experiment ~ a Poem

John is a poet and short fiction writer who enjoys collaborating on stories with other writers, and partaking in challenges.

Image by Sabrina Eickhoff from Pixabay

Image by Sabrina Eickhoff from Pixabay

Inspired by Word Prompts Help Creativity ~ Week 37 "Experiment" by Brenda Arledge.

Every week, rain, hail, or shine, in sickness or in health, Brenda manages to come up with a word prompt to challenge and inspire us all. At first when I saw this week's word "experiment" I thought, "Well, this one will be a challenge!" But after sitting a while, I donned my thinking cap and this rather obvious idea came to me. I sometimes enjoy writing poems based on popular stories or books and this is one of those. Thank you to one of my favourite authors, Mr Robert "Louis" Stevenson.

So, I hereby present to you: 'The Experiment.'

As I was writing this poem I realised I had also penned another poem previously that also fits the prompt. For that reason, I am including a link to a bonus poem (at no extra cost) 'The Alchemist' for anyone who may have missed reading it when originally published.


Robert "Louis" Stevenson: Lloyd Osbourne, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Robert "Louis" Stevenson: Lloyd Osbourne, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The Experiment

The Doctor worked in private,

behind locked doors at home,

at his private country estate,

away from prying eyes.


Test tubes lined all the benches,

and Bunsen burners too,

and jars containing ... who knows what?

were stacked upon the shelves.


His life was dedicated

to this important task,

the culmination of his work.

He'd soon achieve his goal.


The constant evil urges

he'd find a way to quell,

to separate the good from bad.

He knew he was quite close.


Image by Gerhard G. from Pixabay

Image by Gerhard G. from Pixabay

He added more solutions,

a drop of this and that.

Experimenting with amounts

until he got it right.


The test tube foamed and bubbled,

it gave an awful smell.

He held his breath, and took a sip,

then waited for a while.


The acrid taste made him cringe.

There was no quick effect.

He thought about just one more sip -

then gulped it all instead.


Would this be the final test?

He choked and gasped for breath.

It seemed that he had failed again,

and this could spell his death!


Photo by Henry Van der Weyde (1838-1924; London, England), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Henry Van der Weyde (1838-1924; London, England), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

But, as he huddled over,

his hands ran through his hair,

he coughed up phlegm and rolled his eyes,

then he just sat and stared.


Dr Jekyll was no more,

he now was Mr Hyde.

As he gazed in the looking glass

he gave an evil roar.


His hair and beard grew shaggy,

his teeth turned into fangs.

He grabbed a box of surgeon's blades

and held them to his chest.


Without need to pause for thought

Hyde rose up from the bench,

then donned a black cloak and top hat

and slipped out in the night.

The Alchemist ~ an Earlier Poem by Jodah

'The Alchemist' is a poem I wrote in 2018 as part of my 'Off the Shelf" series. I realised that it is a perfect example for Brenda's word prompt "experiment" so I have included the link here. It is also fun to write and one of my personal favourite poems. I hope you enjoy it as well.

An Alchemist at work

An Alchemist at work

© 2021 John Hansen

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