Poetry

Mad Scientist’s Regular Morning News

I have a little bit of a story about this poem.

One of the best things about writing is sharing my imagination with others–even when what I imagine or create is a bit unsettling and dark. I haven’t published or shared any fiction-in-progress for a while, and while I created this poem mostly for my own thoughts, I’ve decided to share it here on the blog.

A couple of weeks ago, I scrolled through my Yahoo news feed and found snipped after snippet of things going on in our world that really bothered, nay, disturbed me. There is a lot of sorrow, a lot of pain, a lot of darkness in this world, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by it.

On the other hand, I have also been doing family history work in my spare time and have had the opportunity to attend LDS temples almost weekly for several months. I have had some amazing experiences attending the temple, where I often bring questions in my heart to ponder as I worship and refresh my view of things of the Eternities.

Even though I have had wonderful experiences doing this, the despair of the world I return to is often still palpable. In serving as Relief Society secretary in my church ward, I pray constantly for dozens of young women and men by name. I’ve started praying for lots of people I wouldn’t have thought to pray for regularly in the past, from co-workers, to refugees, to people who help me at stores or restaurants I visit, to people I hear about on the news that I don’t even know personally. I find that I am more sensitive than ever before to the suffering of others, seen and unseen. And I am not without my own stretches of personal shortcomings, confusion, angst, and despair.

I had a thought that, as I am a horror writer, I might try turning what I perceived as the unmistakable “sings of the times” into a cliché science-fiction-horror-movie style poem, to visualize that despair in my own words in a creative way that ultimately doesn’t take itself too seriously–or literally. (And I apologize in advance for any parts that may come across as irreverent as well.) It’s a horror poem, kind of gross in a few stanzas, with an ending that can be viewed as either hopeful or harrowing depending on what outcome you wish to imagine for the main character. I didn’t conform the structure too strictly to a rhythm or rhyming scheme. It’s not really an “uplifting” story in a sense–because it’s horror. But it’s a thing I wrote that I thought worth sharing because it was cathartic to write. In my mind, it’s about fighting back against the tides of darkness in the world even when it seems futile. I have no idea if that’s actually what I achieved, but my readers already know my writing style pretty well… So, enjoy! And don’t take the regular morning news too darkly… :-)

MAD SCIENTIST’S REGULAR MORNING NEWS
By Sarah E. Seeley

I’ve reached the end of this tunnel.
Instead of light I’ve met a wall.
This thing men made growls after me.
I did not touch it,
I spoke against it at the summit,
I fled—but somehow I am drenched in blood.

I know not whence this blood did come,
Whether it is my own, or another’s.
I may have tripped, or pushed someone down.
My fear is loud,
My heart is pounding in my ears,
There’s no way out—I’m naked to the creature’s sense of smell.

It feeds and grows, but never sates.
Its maw snaps bone and squelches flesh.
Others scream out their dying breaths.
As it draws near,
The fate of all the world seems clear,
These are the jaws of destruction once prophesied by crazy old mystics—and they who called it forth by their own hands cannot stop it.

This Abominable Experiment Gone Wrong,
It knows I cannot run away.
Its body scrapes the concrete halls,
Beneath the earth,
Where night chokes out in silent mirth.
I cease to claw at the halting barrier—and turn to face the creeping basilisk in the darkness.

I fall and plead to gods thought dead,
That as I die I might be numb.
I quail at approaching pain.
A voice inside,
Then bids me rise and fight the tide.
I take a breath—and dive head-first into the monster’s belly past the teeth.

White and Red

 By Sarah E. Seeley

WhiteAndRed-2-01

White and red

The earth extrudes

In brightly-banded bed

The air is hot

My pack

It weighs

Upon my neck and head

*

The road is gone

My path

Alone

Is of my choosing

Now

And I will blaze it

As I judge

To study

Ponder

Somehow

*

To climb a slope

To brave a ledge

To dance and bathe in red

To grit my teeth

Against a piece

Of rock

Detecting

Tasting

Types of sed

*

And leave myself

To nature’s hand

To be one

With her sand

To find

One’s inner genius

To read the earth and land

*

To notice

The smell

Of Junipers

And be whole

With past

And present

All in one

Place

My secret stage of intellect

In my heart

And

My mind

*

White and red

The earth extrudes

In brightly-banded bed

The air is hot

And still

Except

For a breeze

That can be heard

Rushing

‘Round the hill

And trickling

Through

The trees

*

It catches me

By sheer surprise

I hold my breath

And close my eyes

*

The breeze

Hits me

It tickles

My face

It teases

To pluck away

My hat

And papers

And scatter them

Upon

The steeper

Crumbling face

*

It overrides

My voice

To carry

It bids me

Stop

And hold still

*

Its force

Against my body

Challenges me

To remember

I am

Strong

By Heavenly Father’s Grace

*

It buoys me

By my invisible wings

And lifts my soul

Into flight

*

I inhale sharply

And look out

On the beautiful

Expanse

Before me

I had not noticed

My breath is stolen away

*

As I sigh

I am

Empowered

And refreshed

***

About White and Red

I wrote this poem when I was working on my summer field capstone course for my undergraduate degree at Brigham Young University (summer of 2009). It is inspired by my LDS religious perspective as well as the incredible experiences I had studying geology out in the field. I love geology and I love studying the earth. In my mind knowledge, discovery, and divine inspiration all go hand-in-hand.

Since I don’t post my creative works themselves on here as often as other content, and the old blog where I used to have this no longer exists, I thought it would be fun to share this poem again. I hope you enjoyed “White and Red.” (Once titled: “Finding The Inner Genius On a Geology Fieldtrip”)

Sarah E. Seeley is a fantasy and horror author, and an affiliate member of the Horror Writers Association. She has a bachelor’s degree in geology and loves exploring the science of human origins.

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