NaPoWriMo Day 8 – A Graverobber’s Curse

Photo by Scott Rodgerson on Unsplash

A Graverobber’s Curse

some nights
as you kill time
hanging out in graveyards
fleecing corpses, all you will find
are bones

the curse
awaiting most intrepid souls
daring to excavate
pauper’s plots is

the bell
shall not rattle
seedless pockets of old
mortally bankrupt spirits for
your gain

you wane
bit by bit with each passing phase
perhaps near your own berth
later exhumed
and fleeced

Written for NaPoWriMo Day 8 Prompt:

“I call this one “Return to Spoon River,” after Edgar Lee Masters’ eminently creepy 1915 book Spoon River Anthology. The book consists of well over 100 poetic monologues, each spoken by a person buried in the cemetery of the fictional town of Spoon River, Illinois.

Today, I’d like to challenge you to read a few of the poems from Spoon River Anthology, and then write your own poem in the form of a monologue delivered by someone who is dead. Not a famous person, necessarily – perhaps a remembered acquaintance from your childhood, like the gentleman who ran the shoeshine stand, or one of your grandmother’s bingo buddies.”

NaPoWriMo Day 8 Prompt

Obviously, I didn’t follow the prompt because it gave me the creeps (I tried, but it gave me all of the “yips” if you get my meaning), but I’m still sharing the prompt along with a link to the book because it was an intriguing and innovative idea, though yes, also a very creepy one. I read some of the poems and it’s ingenious in a macabre way how they all seem to fit together.

Though I didn’t do the prompt, I leaned into the shivers I got from trying by writing dual-mirrored cinquains on what felt like adjacent subject matter. Now if you excuse me, I’m going to go sage my laptop.

common tempest


common tempest


pooling downward

joining creak to marshland

ponds, streams, tributaries fed by

her tears



chasing lightning

sonic reverb transfer

potential, kinetic shudder

his pain



rushing downward

life uprooted, falling

order, chaos, all the same vibe




churning, winding

carving stone like putty

flushing nutrients to deltas




what’s left behind

river lapping edges

touching, lingering at tidepools




chasing lightning

life uprooted, falling

touching, lingering at tidepools


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Written for dVerse Poetics: The River. Paul Dear is guest hosting. The river theme is his baby. Feel free to drop by and check out other poets’ river-themed poems.