The Beast

01-21 Flower

It slithers through

subconscious caverns,

slinking around the darkest

corners cloaked by repression,

nourished by denial;

the sweetness, addictive-

the hunger, insatiable.

Shrouded in ignorance,

the beast dances the host

into quick-stepped slavery

in jeweled shackles of depravity…

The beast thrives,

while humanity dies.


Bjorn Rudberg invited me to check out the First Quadrille at dVerse. The challenge invites us to write a piece in exactly 44 words, using the word “dance” as a verb including an object.  If you’d like to join in, the prompt is still open.


For those of you who read the poem and are thinking, “huh?” this is where I normally help by explaining what I was thinking when I wrote it.  Unfortunately, I can’t be so specific as to name the addiction (and I can’t say why, either), but I can say I was writing about the  impulse (beast) that lives within, unchecked.  It thrives, hidden by our own denial, gaining strength as it consumes us.  Left alone, that impulse/behavior becomes us and we lose who we used to be.  The frightening thing is, others can see this happening, but the afflicted person is often clueless.

I’m sorry I haven’t had as much time to read and comment on blogs – I have about a week before I need to be out of my house, so things are crazy right now.  It will probably be a couple more weeks before I am able to really get back into things – please be patient with me!  Have a beautiful Thursday 🙂


43 thoughts on “The Beast

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) January 21, 2016 / 12:49 AM

    So great you took up the challenge.. and I really like how you used the beast. Maybe we all have those beasts luring us to dance. An addiction to drugs of consumption, maybe to sex… maybe for me the beast is a benign one of poetry… Love where you took it, and so glad that you came in.

    • jannatwrites February 17, 2016 / 12:21 AM

      Thanks, Bjorn! I’m glad you shared the challenge with me… I haven’t done any challenges for quite some time. Poetry is one of the better addictions, I think 🙂

      • Björn Rudberg (brudberg) February 17, 2016 / 1:41 AM

        We have a challenge biweekly now… the next one is up on next Monday and will be done by De Jackson (also a former Trifecta)… The other weeks we have a haibun challenge.. so Monday will be a good day to check out… (we have challenges on Tuesday and Thursdays too…. 🙂

        • jannatwrites March 6, 2016 / 10:34 PM

          Thanks, Bjorn. I would like to check into these more once I get some life balance 🙂

  2. Timothy Price January 21, 2016 / 7:05 AM

    Wonderful poem, Janna! I think there is no need of explanation other than the bit about the challenge. The poem cover it all.

    • jannatwrites February 17, 2016 / 12:22 AM

      Thanks for reading, Tim. I’m happy the poem was clear… I thought it was, but then again, I’m not exactly objective 🙂

  3. philosophermouseofthehedge January 21, 2016 / 8:13 AM

    “the beast dances the host
    into quick-stepped slavery
    in jeweled shackles of depravity”
    That is addiction ( of any kind). Brutal to watch a person destroyed.
    Now go pack!…the house…not words into another story/post. Pack!

    • jannatwrites February 17, 2016 / 12:23 AM

      Addiction is horrible for all involved, Phil. Thanks for stopping by. Oh, and I survived the move… barely, haha!

  4. suzicate January 21, 2016 / 10:05 AM

    The beast thrives,

    while humanity dies. -this line says it all. Addiction of any kind not only eats away the addicted but those who love him/her.

    • jannatwrites February 17, 2016 / 12:23 AM

      I’m glad you stopped by, Suzicate. Addictions are cruel.

  5. whimsygizmo January 21, 2016 / 12:31 PM

    What a stunning picture of addiction. So well done.

    • jannatwrites February 17, 2016 / 12:24 AM

      Thanks so much for reading, Whimsygizmo!

  6. katiemiafrederick January 21, 2016 / 12:47 PM

    Dancing addictions feed
    what’s missing.. now.. not
    just related to drugs.. food..
    sex.. or gambling dice.. new
    addictions ranging
    from video games
    to other modern
    screen addictions..
    new poison
    of human
    mind and
    body balanCinG
    soUls.. danCinG
    feet die under screen
    feats.. ‘scream’……….!

    Love iS MisSinG..:)

    • jannatwrites February 17, 2016 / 12:26 AM

      It’s true that addictions take many forms… the electronic addictions are worse than chemical ones, in some ways. I swear, sometimes I think I can’t function without my phone (my life is in the calendar… I can’t commit to anything without checking it!)

      • katiemiafrederick February 17, 2016 / 6:38 AM

        SMiLes.. So true and OMG! My soul lives online.. Transhumance iS i..;)

  7. Grace January 21, 2016 / 7:31 PM

    Dark and gritty writing ~ That beast thrives, driving us to hardship and pain ~

    • jannatwrites February 17, 2016 / 12:27 AM

      Thanks for reading, Grace… the beast is pretty powerful, but not impossible to defeat.

  8. Debbie January 22, 2016 / 12:37 PM

    Well done, Janna! Is that flower a hibiscus? I didn’t know you had them out there. Best of luck with the move — I can empathize with the craziness, having moved a few times myself. The hard part is finding stuff, before and after!

    • jannatwrites February 17, 2016 / 12:30 AM

      Thanks, Debbie! It is not a hibiscus… I think it’s a jimson weed (I didn’t plant it- it just appeared and I obsessed over the blooms for weeks!) I have seen hibiscus in Phoenix, though not often… and usually worse for the wear in summertime. I survived the move…but I still can’t find my nail clippers, a pair of earrings my son gave me and my car washing stuff. Oh well 🙂

  9. Bodhirose January 23, 2016 / 12:46 PM

    It can be a stealthy beast too and strike before you even know what hit you. “Nourished by denial”…oh yes!

    • jannatwrites February 17, 2016 / 12:30 AM

      I think most addictions take hold because we choose not to see them sneaking in. Thanks for reading, Bodhirose!

  10. nrhatch January 23, 2016 / 8:25 PM

    Best of luck as you move out and move in and move on!
    See you in a few weeks, when you’re unpacked, settled in, and have time to breathe!

    • jannatwrites February 17, 2016 / 12:31 AM

      Thanks, Nancy. I survived the move, but am thinking I probably won’t move ever again 🙂

  11. agjorgenson January 25, 2016 / 5:29 PM

    The photo works so very well with the poem. Best to you in your moving…

    • jannatwrites February 17, 2016 / 12:32 AM

      Thanks, Allen! I survived moving, but am not planning to do it again anytime soon.

  12. the dune mouse January 26, 2016 / 10:46 PM

    wow, a great response to that challenge. Brilliant I might add and with the image as well. I too am getting ready for a move!! Take care and all the best.

    • jannatwrites February 17, 2016 / 12:33 AM

      Thanks for reading, TDM! I hope your move went well. I’m really behind on reading, but I will discover soon if you’ve posted recently 🙂

  13. Emilio Pasquale January 29, 2016 / 11:31 AM

    The best things require patience. I love what NRHatch said, earlier: “Best of luck as you move out and move in and move on!”

    • jannatwrites February 17, 2016 / 12:34 AM

      Patience has not historically been my strong suit, Emilio. Thankfully, as I’m getting older, patience is forced because I’m just too tired to push things along 🙂

      • Emilio Pasquale February 17, 2016 / 8:16 AM

        Patience and tiredness. Two sides, same coin!

    • jannatwrites February 17, 2016 / 12:34 AM

      I appreciate you stopping by and reading, Frederick!

  14. GodGirl January 31, 2016 / 1:51 PM

    You’ve captured the darkness of addiction so vividly. It really can take over a whole person until nothing of their ‘humanity’ is left. Well done.
    All the best with moving. Hope you are ok x

    • jannatwrites February 17, 2016 / 12:35 AM

      Thanks for stopping by to read this, GodGirl. I appreciate the well wishes… I have survived the move, but am still recovering from a nasty cold (a gift from my younger son!)

      • GodGirl February 17, 2016 / 1:07 PM

        That’s very frustrating – moving is hard enough as it is without being sick. Take care!

  15. J. P. Cabit February 1, 2016 / 12:05 PM

    Moving! The beast sure is a real pill.

    I’m dusting off the shelves over at Excellence in Bad, if you ever want to take a break from writing good poetry…

    • jannatwrites February 17, 2016 / 12:37 AM

      Hey, good to see you around, JP…. it’s been a really long time! Thanks for the invite…. I’ll have to check it out again when I figure out which way is up again 🙂

  16. pattisj March 21, 2016 / 9:24 PM

    Janna, you can write anything! Gee, you’re probably moved by now. I’ve gotten behind, as well.

    • jannatwrites March 21, 2016 / 11:17 PM

      Haha, I did move the beginning of February but still have plenty to do (that isn’t getting done) 🙂

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