Conversation From the Basement

Rooster and I went out to breakfast at a local restaurant yesterday morning. They have a picture hanging on the wall of Italian Prisoners of War during WW II being led down the street in shackles. Word Daddy whispered that I should write a poem about that photo and a conversation between old guys at a liar’s table. If you’ve never attended one of these meetings, you should. You’ll realize none of these guys know a thing about what they are talking about after you’ve listened for five minutes. Once you get past that, a writer will understand that they have a front-row seat to a wonderful exercise in dialogue. I created this dialogue Poem I titled Conversation From the Basement.

I researched dialogue poetry online without wanting to give my muse credit for an original idea. A form of dialogue poetry already existed, but there weren’t any hard or fast rules, only general suggestions. So, I decided to write out a firm set of rules I plan to use for my dialogue poetry.

Rules I used to write Dialogue Poetry and Conversation From the Basement

  1. My Dialogue Poems will consist of a conversation between two or more people.
  2. They will be a reflection of different opinions and views.
  3. The conversation should be controversial or argumentative.
  4.  I plan to use poetic elements and techniques, but no rhythm or meter rule exists. Free verse is acceptable.
  5. The dialogue might be tagged or untagged. “He said” or “she said” might or might not be used.

Okay, so I’ve set down a few rules. I hate to give Word Daddy any credit, but he did whisper a good idea into my ear. I plan to have fun writing in this style.

Conversation From the Basement

“Grandma, how long do we have to stay down here?
And do you think the tornado is very near?”
Chicken Little asked.
“I don’t have the answer, but we must stay underground.
We’ll know it’s past when we hear a roaring sound,” I said.
“But why do they have to have a tornado?
What about the people who have nowhere to go?”
Baby Bird added.
“I know it’s hard to understand,
I guess the people will do what they can.” I said.
“But it smells bad and is dirty. I got to pee.
How much longer do you think it will be?”
Chicken Little complained.
“When the tornado siren stops, we will rise.
“For now, try to keep the dust out of your eyes,”
I said.
“But this basement gives me the creeps,
I know this is where the monster sleeps.”
Baby Bird explained.
Rooster thought it was time to get into the picture
And add a few words to the whining mixture.
“The radio says we only have twenty more minutes.
That shouldn’t push anyone past their limits.”
“You have to be kidding grandpa, that’s so long,
I need to go, and my bladder isn’t that strong.”
Chicken Little said.
“Why does it have to be this way?
“Why can’t I go up to my room and play?”
I looked with sad eyes at the child.
“Mother nature is very riled,
And when she gets angry, she goes wild,” 
I explained.
“Well, I wish she would get happy again.
Making us stay is this dirty basement is a sin.”
Baby Bird said and stuck out her tongue,
“None of this is any fun.”

Who is Molly Shea?

Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh.  To read more of her short stories and adventures, click here.

Be sure to follow Molly on Twitter!

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Published by henhouselady

I am the author of Saving the Hen House. I didn't know when I started it would turn into a series. I love to ride motorcycles, the blues, my family, and going on adventures. This old hen rocks.

12 thoughts on “Conversation From the Basement

  1. Te: Basement conversation

    So why are there rules, Daddy?
    So things are predictable, Angel.
    Why do things need to be predictable, Dad?
    So that we know where to step next, Princess.
    But how do we know where we are going, Father?
    Don’t ask stupid questions, Child.

  2. That was clever and very cute, Molly. I can imagine a similar conversation happening in a lot of basements over the years. And I hadn’t heard of this type of poetry before. It’s inspiring. I like your rules too.

    1. I don’t know if it is an established style, but I researched, and it exists. We were hiding in the basement from a storm. I hate when we have to go to that basement.

      1. That’s what I figured, Molly. I’ve never had that experience, and don’t want to. It was interesting to see how little kids react and have their usual concerns about needing to go to the bathroom.

  3. Wonderful dialogue. I know that a dialogue is not easy to write and a poetic dialogue is even harder. Your Rooster really has good ideas.

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