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.”
* * *
Smiling, pigtails Laughter lines These things that make you Seem benign
Pinprick pupils Greasy hair These things reveal you in the Mirror’s glare
Gentle eyes and Manic mouth These things betray what you’re About
Ageless smile Withered soul God help us if you Lose control.
“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.