Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Deafening Hush - brief poetry

This was my entry to October's One Word (poetry) Challenge over at Writers' News and Writing magazine's online Forum Talkback. For non-Brits, WH Smith is a huge Stationers with branches in more or less every town in England.

The theme of the challenge was 'Silence.'


I’m standing still in WH Smith.
All is numb.
All is quiet.
Staff chatter, making Os and Es
with empty mouths.
Eyes wide open
I stare around,
newspaper in hand –
my shuddering hand.
Crowds mill
hustling, bustling, shuffling
past me.
I’m in their way.
I don’t feel their elbows,
don’t see their looks,
can’t hear their tutts,
their complaints.
The world’s fallen silent.
All I can do
is stare at your face.
The front page.
You’re on the front page.
And I know
that you know
where I live.



  1. That was cool. Although it was a poem, it also felt like a mini scene of a story. The last five lines were really powerful and were a perfect ending

  2. Nice one, Lily. I liked that one, a lot. As Sean said, the last 5 lines were great.

  3. Thank you Sean, cheers David. It came from misreading a headline on the local rag and I suddenly experienced a moment of fear - nothing like as dreadful as the poem's character, but good enough to explore.

  4. An excellent blend of scene description and inner monologue in this catchy poem - and yes, the shock and worry came through perfectly at the end.

  5. I wasn't expecting that ending at all. Very clever!

  6. oy lookie who's the poet now? Very nice I'd say.


Lily Childs is a writer of horror, esoteric, mystery and chilling fiction.

If you see her dancing outside in a thunder storm - don't try to bring her in. She's safe.