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There is a cold place in the woods -
where tangled vines choke
each other for space
on the hard, sallow dirt.
Where trees have ossified,
turned rangy,
their branches pilfering dust from the air
as their roots forage deeper
needing the vile taste
of the narcissistic underworld.

I have sensed this while out walking,
peered through the brush and pulled myself back
frightened by the knowledge of
something devoid of all that is good.

There is a place in the woods
where no child plays,
no cardinal sings,
no pod, nor leaf, nor seed
Where a chill exists, hangs, and lingers.
There is a place -
unkind and unfriendly.
I cannot chance losing my soul -
I cannot permit another thought,
nor pen another word.
And so my poem remains

Style / type: 
Free verse
Review Request (Intensity): 
I appreciate moderate constructive criticism
Last few words: 
My attempt at something eerie for Halloween. Very different for me. Dunno...
Editing stage: 
Content level: 
Not Explicit Content


dear lavender
this has absolutely a scary feeling to it especially as it comes to the last few lines.

Rich language I had to check up my dictionary for a couple of words or more which is not bad at all, you know.

These are my favorite lines
There is a place -
unkind and unfriendly.
I cannot chance loosing my soul -
I cannot permit another thought,
nor pen another word.
And so my poem remains
Great job dear!


Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

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I've actually come across a few places like this while ambling or hiking throughout the years. There is an eeriness that sends chills down my spine and makes me walk away. I've never written about it before - a little hard to find the exact words. Thank you for reading and sharing your comments!

author comment

these places do exist. I have been to some of them and could not wait to leave.
Some of them make you shiver, even in the heat of a summer day!
I always think that some great tragedy has happened there, and the energy
left there [or lack of it], is sucking at the life it feels when you come upon it.

Somehow, the word [forage] doesn't seem to fit
I guess maybe because I think of forage as an animal trait
not some lack of emotion. I would use [push] instead.
Nothing else to add, it's a pretty creepy piece, just right
for this season. ~ Geez.

Writing purely for oneself, is the ultimate in defensive posture.

This happened again this past Saturday while walking - the feeling is overwhelming. Glad you know it and can relate. It's hard to put such a place into words. I chose forage because it refers to feeding, which I sense it what the roots of the trees are doing - feeding on the foulness below. Definitely the trait of an animal, or this time, even a predator. Thank you for reading and helping with this! I hope Killer has a satisfying Halloween!

author comment

I get it. Oh yeah, Killer is going home for the holiday. He has unfinished business there. It's been on his mind a lot lately.
He will be back soon though. He left last night, and Anubis and Sir Gee are going with him, a little family type excursion, if you will. Do you suppose that there are "bad" trees? I imagine that there are, maybe that is what is happening?
Anyway, good poem about a creepy thing, in a creepy place. ~ Geez.

Writing purely for oneself, is the ultimate in defensive posture.

I'm so happy for Killer, et al!
I cannot imagine a bad tree...but I can imagine bad energy affecting trees. Sad.

author comment

wow. speaking technically it is sensational, in that it engages the senses. though free-form, it scans beautifully, in a natural rhythm. I especially like the use of triads...

"where no child plays,
no cardinal sings,
no pod, nor leaf, nor seed
Where a chill exists, hangs, and lingers."

Note as well how the triad is compounded with:

"no pod, nor leaf, nor seed"


"exists, hangs, and lingers"

There's a lot of mojo working here.

But (you knew there was a but ) there are three things that might tie this all up tighter. I don't have a solution, but here goes.

One thing that is actually unnamed is "the chasm below," where the leafless trees' roots seek their nourishment. Clearly it is meant to contrast with

"the void
of both Divine and Good"

(this is also noteworthy, that it is a pair of what seems to be synonyms. They certainly overlap. And the the pairing contrasts with the triads. It raises questions about how that pair could be more vividly contrasted with the void under the roots. Should "Good" be eliminated, and just let it be "Divine?" Should the other void be defined as "Evil?" I don't have an answer--just questions...)

also, they are more or less unnamed.

Which brings me to the last line

"And so my poem remains

In that line, the poet brings herself out of the moment of the poem. Like an actor out of character, speaking out of the script, directly to the audience. Somehow, it seems to me, the poet should remain in character. Is there a way of saying what needs to be said, while still remaining behind the mask? If so, could it end with

"And so these woods remain unnamed"

Regardless of this quibbling, it is a strong, evocative poem.

Thanks so much for the time you've spent here. The areas you've mentioned are the exact places I had the most trouble. I lightened this poem up a lot, because it felt so intense and uncomfortable writing it. But now that's it's shared and has a bit of distance from me, I may be able to go back and deal with the, somewhat. horrifying feelings of the void and the chasm below. My initial poem contained words like: unholy, stench of hell, ungodly...and the like. Which all describe the eerie sense I get from these places. I intentionally stepped away from the poem with the final line - wanted to convey the idea to not spend another thought or write another word for fear of losing my soul. Thus the poem is unnamed, not the woods. Dunno. I will revisit this piece and rework with many of your thoughts.
Thanks, again, for your insight and time! Appreciated!

author comment

Halloween poem! I have had my run-ins with a few of these places, while visiting an old desecrated part in the bottom level of my favorite cemetery. There were definitely some angry spirits there and the one place there I have never returned.


eerie places, indescribable. Suggestions from Alan helped make this a bit stronger.
Thank you for reading!

author comment


I still held back. It is just too intense and uncomfortable. Really appreciated your help.
Thank you!

author comment
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