Monstrous Mystery

The mystery is what grabs you
Like he grabbed his victims
Reaches across time
More than 120 years
The mystery
Blatant and nagging
The Who? and the Why?
What did the face
Of the monster look like?

Those women knew
Polly Nichols
Annie Chapman
They saw his face
Heard his voice
Felt his breath
They knew
In the last moment
When it was too late
They had seen the face
Of an animal in human clothing
Something vicious
A horrible human failure
Anonymous and predatory

Eddowes and Stride
And poor Mary Kelly
They looked evil in the eye
Faced Death
Masquerading as a man
But never lived to tell
What a walking atrocity
Looked like

Blood stained fingers still reach out
Across time and space
Like they reached for those unlucky few
The monster still grabs us
With his infernal mystery

NaPoWriMo 2013 post #14 and Brian Miller‘s dVerse prompt on “Monsters”.  For those wondering, this is written about Jack the Ripper and the Whitechapel murders in London in 1888.  Over the last 125 years there have been many, many, MANY theories of who committed those incredibly horrific murders, but no one knows for sure who did it, and probably never will.  I believe that is why this real life monster is still famous (or, more accurately, infamous) today- It’s the mystery that grabs us.

9 thoughts on “Monstrous Mystery

  1. i would agree…it is the mystery that grabs us, and even is romanticized as well…understanding the motivations of one that would do such things…and not only that but the way that he did them…i will admit i am intrigued…very cool take on the prompt…

  2. Nicely done David. If you’re interested in Ripper theories and enjoy a contemporary thriller which uses the mystery within it’s plot, then I’d recommend S J Bolton’s novel “Now You See Me”. Unfortunately I don’t know whether it’s available in the US, but your poem reminded me of it because it interweaves some of the differing theories within the story.

    • I’ll definitely have to look for that one. I’ve been fascinated by the Ripper mystery since I first read a book about it as a teenager. I have several books about the different theories….Personally, I think it was just some psychotic nobody whose name has probably been lost to history. But it’s still fun to read all the new theories.

  3. yep…It’s the mystery that grabs us… when i went to london i did a night tour and the guide told a bit about jack the ripper as well…ugh… terrible and probably these women really knew him, just didn’t think it’s him..

  4. Oh wow. This is a great poem. I like how you took a historic twist and that you point out that there are indeed “monsters” among us.

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