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The Dungeon of Hell

Gwendolen Rix Avatar    Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled The Dungeon of Hell which was written by poet Gwendolen Rix. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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The Dungeon of Hell

On our tippy toes
Peering from the old basement window-
…was a dingy dungeon of hell

“The girls’ are napping,” mother said
“Please visit another time"
The car door slammed 

...grandmother drove away

An ancient light fixture barely illuminated the basement 
Purposefully, I broke the string  
Then mother couldn’t turn off the lights without 
Scolding her fingers on the yellow light bulb

...light was our survival 

How else could my sister and I spot encroaching insects…
Our basement was their kingdom
To us it was the bowels of hell

Not a soul could hear us weeping as we sat in
The middle of the old mattress on the
Cool damp concrete floor

...well, maybe a mouse 

They were everywhere
Staring at us with delight
Eventually we grew immune to fright

Above us 
Beethoven and Tchaikovsky blared 
As mother dealt with the disappointment of her daughters 
and nervously waited for the  barbiturates to have their desired effect

Hours we waited to hear two sets of footsteps
…then dad would temporarily rescue us from the pit

Musty, dusty, and chilly
I remember using a single pillow case as a blanket
And leaning against the rusty hot water heater 
In the corner where the spiders
Laid their eggs…

As months passed
We resolved to be their new friends
The largest ones I named as I held them in my palms
Curly and Jo Jo

Later grandmother taught us that
Flowers cannot bloom in the darkness
And children should not defecate in jars
Would she not think there would be 
Permanent scars…

Angels kept us entertained 
And a sisters’ bond grew through rage
Even at this age
We are inseparable
As we try hard to forget the time 
We spent in our childhood dungeon of hell

Written for Debbie Guzzie’s Contest “Down in the Dark Dungeon”

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  1. Date: 12/5/2012 2:27:00 PM
    Hi Rix,, love this... but it needs butterflies....Butterfly in the sky I can go twice as high Take a look It's in a book A Reading Rainbow I can go anywhere Friends to know And ways to grow A Reading Rainbow I can be anything Take a look It's in a book A Reading Rainbow A Reading Rainbow ...pd

  1. Date: 10/1/2012 7:59:00 AM
    I'm Chilled to the core, Gwen.

  1. Date: 9/19/2012 11:22:00 PM
    This is absolutely awesome Gwendolen ,,,,, congratulations on your win , you have a blessed day ;}

  1. Date: 9/10/2012 5:19:00 PM
    this is very well written.. So many sad stories of broken child hoods. Rip at the heart strings.. But you are a bigger and stronger person because of what your parents did. congrats on the win

  1. Date: 8/27/2012 12:34:00 AM
    this was an awesome insight Gwendolen .. thoughts to ponder my friend .. yes Ron is a dear soul helping me so with poetry .. we read together .. then I dictate my comment .. he types for me ..for now .. my hands are swollen and not able to flex fingers to type .. also need new computer for people like me who cannot use fingers any more. well we all get tested in different ways but never r defeated luv ..

  1. Date: 8/11/2012 5:04:00 AM
    Congratulations, Gwenie, on the win with this heart-rending piece, lots of luv to you!! Jag

  1. Date: 7/31/2012 1:06:00 AM
    Is this drawn from experiece Gwendolen, or just imagination?? I wish you the best of results in the contest; thank you for the comments on (a partners tale) I put it in the idyll catagory because I considered the chance of actualilty springing from a certain potential an ideal situation, yours Joe..)

  1. Date: 7/26/2012 1:02:00 PM
    Congrats on your win Gwen. I don't even know what to say to a poem like this. It just makes me sad. May God help the little ones to find the light.

  1. Date: 7/26/2012 5:57:00 AM
    Congratulations on your win in Debbie's "Dungeon"contest Gwen. Love, Carol

  1. Date: 7/25/2012 12:47:00 PM
    Gwen, this is one chilling write.. I see congratulations are in order as well.. Hope things are going well with you ;) love Wilma

  1. Date: 7/24/2012 10:58:00 PM
    Thats very sad, Gwen...but a great courageous write by you. Congrats!

  1. Date: 7/24/2012 4:37:00 PM
    soup mail...

  1. Date: 7/24/2012 1:04:00 PM
    Come on lovely Gwen, let's see your shape poem, you can do it,..did you know St. Gwendolen is the patron saint of LOVERS......David

  1. Date: 7/24/2012 12:51:00 PM
    Omg,this is a chilling,disturbing image.Well thought out.No child deserves this undeniable pain infliction.Especially from a mother.Wow,you nailed profound emotion from me.I could read this over and over!Thanks for your recent comment on my ''To Hell And Back'' poem~I love to write,especially when it is a deep expression required.Have a great day Gwen.Keep in touch love~sincerely

  1. Date: 7/24/2012 9:34:00 AM
    This is a well crafted beautiful poem, Gwendolen.Hope you are well.My book Moonlight and Solitude has been launched in a grand function here in India.If you want a copy ,soupmail me.Lovingly,Fabiyas

  1. Date: 7/24/2012 8:32:00 AM
    i can see why this placed high, gwenie.. a fine story teller you are.. gotta have a book published!..congrats with love and huggs! :)

  1. Date: 7/23/2012 3:30:00 PM
    Dark, cute, scary, nostalgic...this has it all...very impressive write here!!

  1. Date: 7/23/2012 4:29:00 AM
    Gwen, have just posted a blog on shape if it helps at all....David

  1. Date: 7/23/2012 3:04:00 AM
    Gwen, congrats on your win, love it..excellent write...David

  1. Date: 7/22/2012 4:22:00 PM
    Wow Gwen, stupendous, congrats on your win hugs vie