Posted in Quatrain

Illusionary Tales

Written for the Poetic Asides 9/18/13 prompt: write an “illusion” poem


Illusions aren’t just magic tricks
we might see on the stage,
those optical deceptions made
for senses to engage.
Although they’re quite compelling,
I’d bet a weekly wage,
the scariest illusions
are written on the page.

Take, for example, Stephen King,
a master in his field.
In “Carrie” and “The Shining” are
illusions that will yield
a panic once thought buried deep
or cleverly concealed.
The horror meant to grip your soul
is suddenly revealed.

Bram Stoker and his “Dracula”
and Shelley’s “Frankenstein”
are written down illusions
sending chills along the spine.

And then, there’s Edgar Allen Poe,
macabre man of yore,
describing how “The Tell-Tale Heart”
can beat beneath the floor
or how a somewhat pensive man,
behind a chamber’s door,
can travel into madness by
a simple “Nevermore.”

Through trickery and sleight-of-hand,
the true magicians write.
These conjurers take pleasure from
the terror they ignite.
So heed my word of warning:
read these stories in the light
and not when sunset brings you to
a dark and stormy night.

© Susan Schoeffield


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