Screams and Squeaks: a blitz poem

Poet of the Week Poetry Prompt
Muri is the Poet of the Week for the W3 Prompt #29: Wea’ve Written Weekly. Her poetry prompt is to write a poem in the Blitz form originated by the poet Robert Keim. To write a blitz poem that includes something about a mouse or mice. 

What is a Blitz Poem?

Why did Robert Keim call his invented form of poetry blitz? Blitz is a shortened version of the German word for lightning war. This poetry form has nothing to do with WWII, which was my first thought, associating it with the Blitz over London (at least, I don’t think it has). I suppose it might refer to the speed and sudden attack of repeated and unpunctuated words? When reading a blitz poem, you read the short phrases with pace and rapid flow—with a rush leaving little time to breathe!

A blitz poem has 50 lines in total. The last two lines repeat the last word of line 48, then the last word of line 47. My example quote shows the last four lines (lines 47-50) of Keim’s poem Bucket of Poetry.

Poetry takes
Poetry gives

Robert Keim

The title must be the first word from the third line (in this Robert Keim’s poem it is Bucket) and the first word of the 47th line (in this poem it is Poetry). Add a conjunction or preposition in the middle and there you have it! Bucket of Poetry.

To know that Screams and Squeaks is the title of my Blitz poem is to know what words I’ve used in the 3rd and 47th line! In this, my first Blitz poem, I only realised this requirement when it was written. Next time I shall plan the title first! I mean, who in their right mind titles a poem, Screams and Squeaks?

The mouse who inspired my blitz poem, Screams and Squeaks

I filmed this little mouse coming out of its hole to check the roof of its nest after I watered the plants (I suppose it was leaking?). I stopped watering when I realised this flower pot was home to a mouse. There were also young mice (not shown in footage) living in the flowerpot.

A mouse living in a terracotta flower trough checks it’s roof after I watered it | Video: Lesley Scoble

Screams and Squeaks

Don’t forget that this is a blitz poem—so read it at pace!

Eek A mouse 
I hear you shriek loud screams
screams and shrieking
Screams with a gasp
Gasp gasping intake
Gasp of breath
Breath of fear
Breath of dread
Dread not I
Dread not I
I am tiny and cute					
I look up and see
See a human staring down aghast at me in fear
See a human far too near and tall
Tall as a tree
Tall and big
Big as a house
Big as can be
Be kind to a mouse
Be kind to me please
Please don’t get the Cat
Please don’t do that
That wouldn’t be fun
That wouldn’t be fun at all
All I want is to live in a flower pot down a hole
All that cat wants is to hunt and chase
chase me to death to eat me up whole					
chase till I’m caught
caught in a trap
caught in its jaws
jaws that slaver and snap
jaws clenched
clenched tight
clenched shut

Shut the cat flap
shut him out
out of the house
out of here
Here is where I reside
Here is where I hide 			
Hide from view in my
Hide in the terracotta plant pot					
Pot of earthenware
Pot of dreams
Dreams of cheese
Dreams of screams
screams and squeaks
Screams quiet

L. S. November 2022

Three mice feeding on a bird table | Photo: Lesley Scoble
My thanks to Poet of the Week Murisopsis for this prompt in this inspiring new form of poetry by Robert Keim. (I don’t know any biographical details of this poet—so if anyone knows more about him? I’d love to hear.)
My thanks also to David Ben Alexander for his weekly prompt event.


    • Thank you so much Sunra! 🙏I enjoyed the blitz form 😊
      Haha yes 🐁 I discovered the family when watering the plant! The mouse poked its nose out of the hole and I saw a baby mouse looking over its shoulder. They appeared to be looking out to see if it was raining. It was fortunate for them I watered the back of the pot and not where the hole was. The parent mouse kept looking out of the hole until it braved its check on the roof. The poor plant suffered a drought from then on. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

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