oliver larch

Posted: 10/25/2014 in house of crazy

don’t bother looking for oliver larch.

he didn’t die.

he’s been here with me,

counting frogs that fell from the sky.

mama washed out my mouth with soap

for tellin a lie,

but oliver larch

calls and cries

from under the snow where no footprints go–

with a look of surprise

instead of eyes.


herotomost says write about something that was “your thing” when you were young. I used to scavenge the bookshelves at home, in hopes of finding paperback books about strange and creepy (but supposedly true) occurrences like the disappearance of oliver larch, or rains of frogs, or such like. i found three or four, over time, and would curl up with my new find and devour it. i never forgot those stories, and have never lost my fascination with the unexplainable.

  1. herotomost says:

    Why Coal Black…its been a while, and let me tell you…you look real good..lol. I can picture it, once I started reading regularly, which was a a little late, maybe 9th grade, I too loved the creepy and the surreal.. Well that and fantasy books.I remember the first scary but supposedly true book I read was The Amityville Horror which to this day creeps the hell out of me. Good to see you dear, love that you came out!

  2. There’s something arresting in the creepy and inexplicable happenings…you gathered this well and so appropriately with Coal Black’s voice. 🙂

  3. Kerry O'Connor says:

    You tell the story of Oliver Larch in the great tradition of ballads of lost souls. I thoroughly enjoyed the rhythm and phrasing of this poem. The last two lines really clinch the deal.

  4. lolamouse says:

    Sounds like we would have been great friends as children! I loved this kind of stuff as well. Until I scared myself silly!

  5. hedgewitch says:

    Very cool–a childlike voice just makes this all that much creepier, I think.

  6. Helen says:

    I can see you all curled up with ‘your find.’ The first seeds sowed ~ writer to be!

  7. Kay Davies says:

    Hello Ms Coal, so nice to hear from you. I love this poem, and I love “counting frogs that fell from the sky” the most, though I don’t know why.

  8. ManicDdaily says:

    Super cool poem–great rhyme and rhythm and the end brings up the mystery and surprise of death that any child feels–especially these ghostly ones though. Thanks. k.

  9. Mama Zen says:

    I read those same books!

  10. grapeling says:

    now I want to find those books , too ~

  11. dani says:

    {sigh} how many times in one night do i have to google something you’ve written? YOU may have grown up in a household that allowed those kind of books, but my mother made sure i only had access to the BEST in literature ~ paperback romance novels.

  12. heathersawaya says:

    Love everything about this. It is multi-layered. Some of us never really stop using our imaginations to escape. The tone and flow are great. There is an edgy- whimsy overall. Maybe I am looking too deep, but I felt a slight twinge of sadness also. Excellent piece.

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