It’s Halloween! The perfect time to share eerie art and weird poetry. Earlier this month I teamed up with an artist friend to assign poems to some of his Inktober artworks. (If you haven’t heard, Inktober is an art challenge to draw a new creation every day through October based on daily prompts. You can find the rest of @ejikin’s Inktober drawings over on Instagram.)
I don’t dabble in poetry often, but I enjoyed the excuse to flex my writing muscles and have some fun. So here are five poems inspired by E. J. Ikin’s newest oddball character, ‘Little Stitch Eyes’.
“Little Stitch Eyes knew the way home. But perhaps the path less travelled offered her more?”
* * *
Soft steps leave stitched footprints sewn into the fabric of the ground
Each cracked twig a patch in need of darning
The soil lovingly embroiders the path most trodden
with seams of sweet-scented leafmould
and silent earthworms.
A glowing light sends shadows flickering
Bounding away like scared rabbits over the bracken
It carries a promise, a mere wisp
of hope, or something more
If you follow it, you might end up on the path least trodden
and leave your stitched-up footprints scattered over flawless forest floor.
“She held the skull in her hand. Was this what people were meant to look like? Eyes? Nose? Teeth?!“
* * *
I wanted to make friends with my skull
I poked sociable thumbs into eye sockets
Invaded nostrils with odorous friendship
Shouted greetings into wide-open jaw
Got nothing back but echoes in cavities.
“Eyes??? Ewww. Who’d want one of those?”
* * *
I prefer my stitch-eyes anyway
They see the world in greater shades
Of black and white and black and white…
… and sometimes, even grey.
“You can trust Little Stitch Eyes – said no one ever.”
* * *
These things that make you
These things reveal you in the
Gentle eyes and
These things betray what you’re
God help us if you
“She prayed, down on her knees, hoping for redemption.”
* * *
Some people sew words into prayers
Weaving tapestries of disgrace and desire and desperation
Disguised as redemption, pleas, and mindless adulation
I like to sew prayers into people
Lacing strands of fear and hope and dreams
With love, like a frayed but sturdy central thread
I cradle these new personalities like psalms in the palm of my hand
And sing them to life on the eve of an Eden
Picked out in cross-stitch on a brand-new band of cotton
Placed in their eternal, perfect, needlepoint motherland.
E. J. Ikin is a British artist known for his eerie urban art. ‘Little Stitch Eyes’ is the latest creation in his surreal character series. Follow him on Instagram here.