Saturday, 6 August 2011

The Delusion of Arlecchino - dark verse from Lily Childs

The Delusion of Arlecchino

He dodges in and out of night
to dance the Tarantella.
And when the dance begins to slow
he looks for Lillabella.

He ‘spies her in a shady glade,
her arms around another
In that stark moment threats are made
to kill poor Lillabella.

He stabs the lovers, three times – more.
Their blood mingles together.
The Harlequin reveals himself
“You queen whore, Lillabella!”

He cries out when he sees her face
for this girl is no other
than his own sister, full of grace,
unlike dour Lillabella.

He launches forth to stem the flow
but she is gone forever.
Comes from behind them, gruff and low
“I’m not ‘your’ Lillabella.”

He swallows deep, her rancid breath.
The spider’s Tarantella.
She dances him straight to his death.
She’s no more Lillabella...
than Il Diavolo himself.



  1. One word, Lily. AWESOME!!! 'Nuff said!

  2. Great poetry, Lily. The dark tale leads us in then coils upon itself to finish the deed.

  3. I really love this. It's hypnotic and feel like a dance. Very Poe and very hypnotic.

  4. Lily, this is my favorite kind of writing from you. Dark & delicious. Sent shivers straight down my spine.

  5. I agree with Anthony - this has shade of Poe all over it. The deliciousness of the words, and lightness of the rhyme play wonderfully with the dark material.

    Excellent poem.

  6. Ooohh... cold fingers just danced down my spine!

    Hypnotic rhythm... I haven't read Poe in a long time, but I get that "feeling" I used to, reading his prose.

    I love the contrast here of the dark words in light rhyme... it works so well...

    Brava, Lily... BRAVA!!

  7. Ah, I read a lot of flash fiction that verges on the poetical, so it's a real pleasure to read poetry with urges in the other direction... =)

    This is gorgeous, Lily.

    I have a little something for you, here. =)

  8. This is lilting, musical, and dark, with some fabulous twists...hard lessons...and good ol' karma!

    That's a perfect pic too.

  9. Thank you everyone for enjoying this. Arlecchino's a little bit Masque of the Red Death, a little bit Venice Carnavale.


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.