FF – The Lake

I am not a poet and if you read on you may see why, but this is what came when I saw Dale Rogerson’s picture as todays FF prompt. Also, please forgive the extra 5 words today – I’m normally a perfectionist on word count, but I can’t see anywhere to cut without wrecking either the rhyming or the scanning. You comments on that or any other element are very welcome.


The Lake

At the bottom of the lake lies a snake.
With a bellyful of everything it ate.
And further bits it swallowed, inhabiting its hollow.
If you venture there in daylight youโ€™ll see –
Just underneath the flotsam and debris –
Something writhing in the dimness, a studded line of slimness

And if you go later, in the eveningtime,
There’ll be writhing nearby, of a different kind
And more serpent-things discarded into that lake of garbage

For our snake that thrashed and thrusted in its day
No more lived than sprouted legs to run away
And the serpents, fish and tweeters are long-gone, to places sweeter.



Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

36 responses to “FF – The Lake

  1. Jennifer I love it: you are a poet.

  2. Dear Jennifer,

    It’s always nice to experiment, isn’t it? At second read, after seeing your tags, I’m blushing a bit a few shades of pink. ๐Ÿ˜‰



    • I think so, yes. I find poetry constraining, as a rule, but this time the editing was the real sticking point. It was originally 155 words and maybe became a bit more subtle in the edit, hence the need for explanatory tags. Sorry to make you blush!

  3. Who knew it… Elmo’s a Poet!

  4. I would say that you’ve managed to put the Halloween creepiness into poetry with humor… (one of the hardest thing for a poet to do).. we had two prompts at dVerse last week, and your poem would have fitted both (better than a few of the one that did it).. and you are right it’s very hard to cut words from a poem without sacrificing rhyme or meter.

  5. Dale

    Well, you did a helluva lot better at poetry than I ever could!
    I liked it!

  6. Thank God for tags! ๐Ÿ™‚ Went back and read it again, no need to cut out anything.

    • Yes, tags are handy. I think the meaning was a bit clearer in the original 155 word version, but I couldn’t bring myself to go that far over, hence the cuts and the use of tags for clarity.

  7. I didn’t need the tags to glean the meaning . . .
    a studded line of slimness – great line.

  8. My eyebrows started to raise during the middle of your story. Then they waggled a bit.

  9. I see where this went on a second read. Oh, you are so clever. And I do think you are a poet! Well done.

  10. This was beautifully written. How strange that something as mundane and apparently blush-inducing should sound so wonderfully mysterious and lurk in the dark waters of this poem! I liked it a lot!

  11. Nice poem! I like that as a change of pace from the prose of the other submissions.

  12. I’ll be honest, it didn’t work for me as a poem. The content was quite funny, so I tried to read it as a piece of prose. But I’d be first to admit, I’m not much of a poet. Clever stuff though and full marks for coming up with something different.

    • THANK YOU for being honest, it’s really all I ask. I think it was more obviously poetry in its original longer incarnation, but having written it as such, I couldn’t really think of a way to take it back to prose either, so it’s stuck in this weird limbo. Anyway, I’m glad the content kind of worked for you even if the style didn’t.

  13. I love it, although I only understood all of it on second read (with the tags). On first read I just read about a snake in the lake. Maybe I’m too naive for this world. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    With an experiment like that, I think the 105 words should be allowed, I only could think of cutting one word if you change the line, “If you venture there in daylight youโ€™ll see โ€“” into “Venture there in daylight and you’ll see” but I’m not sure if that would still maintain the rhythm. I know nothing about poetry.

  14. Clever.
    But doesn’t really work for me as poetry.

  15. I thought my mind was in the gutter but then I read the tags and realised this was poetry for a mature audience ๐Ÿ™‚ Very cleverly done. You can easily lose those 5 words, removing 2 from here does not take anything away:
    “Underneath the flotsam and debris โ€“
    Writhing in the dimness, a studded line of slimness”

  16. Did the snake die?!? Poor snake.

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