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Flashback Friday: ‘The Grindylow’

Welcome to Flashback Fridays!

A blog series where I share poems, short stories, and other pieces I wrote a while ago, and am revisiting now! (Check out the masterlist here–and the masterlist of Freewrites, pieces of recent writing, here!)

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This month’s Flashback: ‘The Grindylow’!

I’m not a poet–not in the slightest–but I had to write two poems for the first module of my Creative Writing degree (SEVEN YEARS AGO–what even is time?!). This one, inspired by a striking flower I saw at a botanical garden, seemed especially fitting to revisit, given the season!

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The Grindylow

A bright red sentinel with flame petals,

Scarlet Skullcap warns children from the Fens.

But small toes push their luck; the bog ripples;

from its depths, the grindylow awakens…

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Arm or tentacle? One foul limb appears;

putrid, a diseased shade of jade, oozing,

decaying into moldering feelers

that slither through the marsh, probing, seeking…

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The children shriek and flee. Just one remains:

a savvy girl who calls the sentinel.

Scarlet petals scatter like acid rain;

pockmarks breach viscous skin, making kindle… 

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A repugnant stench fills the air before

the slimy limb retreats, scorched, singed, and sore.

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