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Creeping Dread · Poetry Minific ·
Organised by Anon Y Mous
Word limit 15–1000
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You left before you had the chance to say
Happy Twelfth Birthday
And let me in my little room delay
Another twenty, anyway

For every friendship, yours is in the way
Not ghastly gray
But sitting as you were with plaits that day
With sagely wrinkle, stay

Come down, Old Maid, from moonlit hills of May
And see the play
And take the clocks about the heads, away
Of theater-goers’ sway

And grab that thief the moon, whose turns betray
That time we knew yesterday
Where every man could scoff at dream’s dismay
And every girl could pray.
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#1 ·
There is a some lyricism here, but the tone gets a bit mixed up. We go from birthdays and photographs in mostly plain language to a Greco-Latin vocative

Come down, Old Maid

and the image of a sort of Elysian Field. The effect is that the poem leans toward sentimentality, rather than precise statement.
#2 · 1
· · >>Heavy_Mole
I started off liking this a lot. The first stanza paints a clear picture of someone who's in turmoil over someone else leaving long ago. Then the second continues that theme by saying that trauma clouds every friendship since. Still good. The third loses me. Part of it is the strange word choice, and I do appreciate the difficulty of having enough word choice available to you in the first place, since you decided to have every line use the same rhyme. But the only thing I can understand from the third is that the clocks may signify further passage of time while the main character still suffers from that abandonment or loss. Maybe the reference to a play means the act she puts on to hide her pain? The last seems more concretely to keep saying the same things again, that time elapses but the pain doesn't go away. Though I don't know what dreams or prayer have to do with it.

Strong beginning, but the last half largely went over my head, and what meaning I do get from it doesn't develop any after the second stanza. I think this entry may actually do a better job of establishing mood than any of the rest, and the rhyme pattern alone does put the difficulty level up there.

Oh, and you had me wondering whether the title was a reference to Yume Nikki, but I don't know enough about the game to say.
#3 ·
· · >>Heavy_Mole
Where time leads us astray,
Take up your tray
And sculpt, resculpt your clay
That aught may stay.
#4 · 2
"Creeping Dread" does not figure very predominately in my own emotional repertoire, so for this prompt, I tried to inhabit someone else's point of view.

'Nikki' is the name of my younger sister's best friend, who died many years ago from cancer when they were both still young.

I had my own scare this year, and while I was visiting her over the summer, we had some very serious talks. She said that with the memory of Nikki, and with Covid, and with my own recent troubles, that she has begun to see "clocks over people's heads".

There's turmoil. But my purport was to articulate the feeling of two different kinds of time: one which plays out in the conventional way, with graduations, weddings, kids, etc., where our actions seem to have a place and a course; and the other a "dismay" of this kind of time, which hangs over us, as with the moon's turns.