Be Not

With Halloween less than a week away; do you fear the night, the dark? This is the prompt offered by guest host, Mark, for Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday. It struck a chord with me, and the following frightening tune is what came forth. Enjoy!

I fear the night

Be Not


Be not afraid of the dark

But fear the absence of light

For therein awaits terror

Of unknown proportion


When darkness holds sway

And the things of it scurry and scrabble

Heard but unseen and demanding

Demanding sustenance, then excess


We scoff, with smiling smirk

As we stumble alone

Feeling our way along corridors

Afraid in the unseen and unseeing crowd


Afraid, not of the dark

But of the walls and

What they are made of

Knowing it was we who built them


Wondering if the floor we stand upon

Is real, or merely a figment

Of our imagination

As… so too… might be our very life


Copyright © 2013 C Mashburn



  1. Heidi said

    Very spooky. What is reality and what is not? Very good question. There are times I am not sure….

  2. Wow! That took my breath away and made me think. You’re right, though. It’s not the dark we should fear, but the absence of light because if we’re unable to see things then we can’t safeguard ourselves from them. Thank you for sharing!

  3. We see the dark but what is too often missed is the light within that darkness. Great impromptu write, Charles!

  4. phylor said

    The line, “But fear the absence of light” makes me think of black holes!
    I once went through a long tunnel on a train, with the lights out — I truly couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. Scary as you say! Great response to Mark’s prompt!

  5. Colline said

    I enjoyed reading your spooky response to the prompt. I could sense the fear coming from the words.

  6. Oh my Charles — you are so inside my head with this poem — excellent descriptions. Your first two lines had me hooked:

    Be not afraid of the dark

    But fear the absence of light

  7. Mark said

    Great post Charles! The line > Afraid in the unseen and unseeing crowd > really struck a chord with me. You are right the dark is due to the absence of light and that is where the fear come from. Thanks!

  8. My favorite line is the one about the walls we’ve built around ourselves. We often create our own darkness don’t we?

  9. Sherry Mashburn said

    good write, Charlie. It is our own perceptions that trigger our fears.

  10. Ooooh, now that’s deep. I like it! 🙂

  11. nice one charles…interesting as well how we react when you take away our senses…and how much of an impact on the dark a little light can have as well…and impact on us as well…

  12. You used the metaphors very well here. the absence of light… so ever present and so well timed this last week of October.

  13. I’m loving these Halloween poems…You are such a talented writer and you have a brilliant imagination. I love this poem by you. 🙂

  14. Truedessa said

    Great to read your work darkness would
    be scary..thankfully, there is always light lingering about
    to help us feel those walls we built.

  15. Morgan said

    Deliciously dark and beautifully expressed. marvelous!

  16. One person’s floor is another’s ceiling. I understand but I am still often afraid of the dark.

  17. Interesting. I’ll be thinking about this one again for sure. 🙂

  18. shanyns said

    Love how you brought this around to the big question at the end – clever and well written!

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