ysabetwordsmith: (monster house)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem fills another square on my card for the [community profile] cottoncandy_bingo fest.

The following poem belongs to my poetic series, Monster House; you can find its other poems on my Serial Poetry page. This is suburban fantasy that ranges from fluff to horror, usually in the middle range of weird humor. It's about a family, some of whom happen to be monsters, and how that affects family dynamics. If you like The Munsters or The Addams Family, you'll probably like this too.

Fandom: Original (Monster House)
Prompt: Glowing with happiness
Medium: Poetry
Summary: Backyard camping is extra fun when some of your family members are monsters.
Content Notes: None.


Camping In


It wasn't really feasible to take the whole family
camping out, to travel down highways and into woods.
So instead we camped in, pitched a tent in the backyard,
built a little brick fire circle and a campfire.
The lurking shadow furled darkness around the edges,
more secure than any privacy fence.

We roasted wieners and marshmallows over the fire,
buried potatoes and apples to bake under the golden coals.
We learned quickly to flick our sticks up and out of the way
to keep the radiator dragon from devouring them.
When the inevitable happened,
and this wiener or that marshmallow fell on the ground,
we tossed them into the flames and watched
the dragon gulp them down, his serpentine form
gradually swelling in the middle.

Still he wove his way through the fire,
all tongues of light and crackling coals,
burrowing into the heart of its heat,
glowing with happiness.

The little old lady ghost and the bogeyman
told scary stories in the flickering light,
while the monsters in-the-closet and under-the-bed
let us cuddle close to their warm furry bodies.
The troll, too, told stories, cautionary tales
about the forest primeval and the industrial revolution
and the delicate, crucial balance between the two.

We all sat around the campfire, its smoke spicing the air,
orange sparks swirling up toward the far silver stars,
the yellow light shining on our faces, and
the radiator dragon still gleaming in a bed of gray ash.

This, I thought, was how we had come to be human,
to be people -- to catch and hold the light,
to stand against the darkness and yet, sometimes,
bring it also into the circle of kinship.
So fire became science, so wolves became dogs,
and so too some of the monsters became family.

For what it means to be people
is to look, and see beneath the surface:
not only what is, but what yet may be.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-09-26 12:35 pm (UTC)
jenny_evergreen: (Jenny 11)
From: [personal profile] jenny_evergreen
Beautiful!

(no subject)

Date: 2012-09-26 12:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] e-scapism101.livejournal.com
I want to go to there. Also, I can now never, ever buy a fixer-upper Victorian because it won't be complete without monsters and a little old lady ghost and a radiator dragon!

Aww...

Date: 2012-09-26 08:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
That is so sweet.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-09-26 07:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rhodielady-47.livejournal.com
I like what you said about what makes us human and how we became human. This is another poem that's going to linger in the mind long after we finish reading it.
:)

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2012-09-26 11:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rhodielady-47.livejournal.com
I am beginning to suspect that the ability of a piece of writing "to linger around" is the difference between a piece of "technically good" writing and writing that's "really good reading" and maybe on its way to becoming "literature".
:)

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2012-09-27 01:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
Yes, that's high on my list for that distinction too. Closely related is whether you can learn things from it that are applicable elsewhere.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-09-26 11:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rhodielady-47.livejournal.com
You know, I'm really beginning to LOVE this system of prompts you've got going here--I've never seen a better way of coming up with good ideas to write about.
This cottoncandy bingo card idea generator is a wonderful thought challenge tool as well. You're giving ME ideas now!
:)

Yes...

Date: 2012-09-27 01:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
>>You know, I'm really beginning to LOVE this system of prompts you've got going here--I've never seen a better way of coming up with good ideas to write about.<<

I've always liked prompt lists. Cottoncandy_bingo has all of theirs listed online, in addition to letting people request actual cards. I've found them useful for combining with fishbowl prompts along with writing things separately. It just works nicely for me.

>>This cottoncandy bingo card idea generator is a wonderful thought challenge tool as well. You're giving ME ideas now!<<

You should request a card, then; there's plenty of time left. I want to try a couple of other fests, too, but I may get another CCB card after finishing this one.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-01-04 09:07 pm (UTC)
lynnoconnacht: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lynnoconnacht
Oh, that is beautiful. I love the final stanza and the radiator dragon. You've captured the feeling of camping wonderfully, if you ask me. There's the warmth and camaraderie of going camping, but also the darker feelings of what lies beyond the light. It's wonderful. ^_^

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