“Things Your Child Was Not Meant to Know” by Pat Harrigan

2017 Poetry Division Winner

Come hither, my child, and harken to me,
And we will augment your vocabulary.

Old Grandpa Theobald respects not your “daren’t”s
Nor the mindless objections of idiot parents.

A is for crumbling, witch-haunted Arkham,
B for Brown Jenkin the vermin homunculum.

C for Cthulhu and the Chaos that Crawls,
D is for Dagon and Deep Ones and dholes.

E is for Eibon in the Vale of Pnath,
F for the Fungi from frigid Yuggoth.

G is for ghouls and the gravesites they rob,
H is for Howards both Lovecraft and Bob.

I is for Innsmouth in fishy seclusion,
J for von Junzt’s Unaussprechlichen Kulten.

K for the wasteland of chilly Kadath
and L for lost Leng, the plateau without path.

M for the mysteries Miskatonic men bury,
N for Necronomicon in its secret library.

O for the Old Ones, the great gods who rule you,
P for “Ph’nglui Mglw’nafh Cthulhu.

Q for a question: What have I forgotten?
R is the answer: “R’lyeh Wgah’nagl Fhtagn.

S for the shoggoths and the shapes they change freely
and T for their terrible Tekeli-Tekeli-li.

U is for Ulthar where the cats are untouchable,
V for sign voorish, to watch the unwatchable.

W for Wilbur and Old Wizard Whateley,
X the xenogenic twin, unseen lately.

Y for Yog-Sothoth, Y’ha-Nthlei, Yig,
and Z for the zoogs, who don’t grow very big.

That’s all for tonight, but there’s more, so much more,
That lurks ’neath the bed and claws at the door.

So sleep now, my child, and stifle your screams,
And may the Great Old Ones grant you great old sweet dreams.