Saturday, 1 January 2011

Rest In Peace

I'm very touched that my poem 'Rest In Peace' has won Writing and Writers' News Magazine's monthly One Word Challenge on their online forum Talkback for December 2010. The theme was 'Peace'. I had several ideas for the challenge and particularly toyed with words about worthy Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo - but the poem wouldn't write itself. I guess, for once, I felt too emotional about it.

So I returned to the darkness, took a suck of a Grimm lozenge and spat out a character, Benjamin Spinks - who may well take on a life of his own if I don't rein him in.

Rest In Peace

Benjamin Spinks is the prick
to my finger,
his spindle - the weaver
of darkness and spite.
He lingers at noon
with a love declaration.
The door to my boudoir
is locked and shut tight.

At night when he croons
with a howl through the mist
I cry
“Leave me in peace!”
He laughs in my face, his voice
creeping tendrils from
outside the gate.
I am trapped by his cruelty.
A victim of hate.

I’ve no turret, no secret,
no fine golden thread.
I’ll be dead before morning,
his chains round my wrists.
He answered my prayer.
Five long days he’s been gone.
Not a drop of cold water,
no food’s touched my lips.

I whisper my last breath,
watch skin leave my bones.
Benjamin Spinks
has left me alone.



  1. Ha! I love it! Congratulations.

    This reads like an old-timey children's poem, one that you might sing-song to when you are eight, then grow up and think, "Goodness. I had no idea those were the words!"

  2. Congrats Lily! I knew my wishy washy love poem isn't that brilliant, so congrats. I've only ever won the poetry once, and I'm sure that was a fluke!

    Happy New Year :)

  3. Big Congrats to you, it is well deserved. Like it very much.

  4. Aw, brilliant!

    Congratulations Lily, well deserved!

  5. Thank you so much everyone. I really appreciate your comments.

    Rereading it (again) I wonder if:

    I’ll be dead before morning,
    his chains round my wrists.

    Would be better as:

    I’ll be dead before morning,
    his chains bind my wrists.

    Slightly different emphasis between them.


  6. I would expect no less. Excellent work, Lily! Congratulations!

  7. Top piece of work, Lily. Well done indeed!!

  8. Well done lily, an awesome poem.

  9. Very fine piece of work Lily worthy of the accolades. HNY to you!

  10. Congratulations Lily, a deserving winner. Great poem. As R.S Bohn pointed out it almost sounds like a dark and forgotten nursery rhyme that suddenly shakes you when you realise the true subject matter.

  11. Well done, Lily

  12. Lily, Congrats. I like the sound of round for some reason.

  13. Many thanks to everyone for your comments and best wishes.

  14. Lily, this is so fantastic! It is lilting, yet bold. One of my favorites from you. From start to finish, we are pulled in, and though there is a drop at the end, it is subtly expected and satisfying in the gritty embrace of death. Love it.
    Well deserved, congrats.

  15. Oh, Lily. This remnds me of a nightmare I've been hving. So dark these beasts that try to possess us. This is dark, gothic and strangely romantic. I love the name. You must write more of him.

  16. Erin, Jody - thank you so much for your lovely words. What I fear - are the moments when I'm not the narrator, but Benjamin Spinks himself :)

  17. Just catching up on blogs. Great news, Lily! I love the poem! I want more to hear more about Benjamin Spinks cheeky misadventures :P


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.