Writing from a Picture - Henry Darger - Post Book Exercises, Day 2


In this exercise, I chose a piece of art by Henry Darger. Interesting guy and I love his art. I figured this one had a lot going on, but was not too hectic. It is from his book Realms of the Unreal.

For this one, there is no intended rhyme scheme, you can rhyme or not. However, you should use lines and stanza type of writing. No syllable count. The idea is to freely write about it, but keep it to lines that could be used in songs (as opposed to writing paragraphs). Good luck!

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The chapel’s cold at midnight
The green carpet crushed and pressed tight
Pink walls worn the congregation’s wild
And outside, all is quiet
The four walls are closing in
While songs are sung unimposing
The pews are empty except for sin
All the business is tabled

Death and life watch over us
Hiding us from the silent howls
Death and life come over us
While the nothingness prowls
Smell the silence, touch the fear
Death and life watch over us
Right before we disappear


The lord and saviour hangs his heads
for sheep of purple and gold unite
to ask the lords forgiveness
and pray they’ll be alright
all searching for a meaning
message, sign or clue
to navigate the sinful world
and holding on to their own truth
Elders plan the young ones lives
young ones blind by faith
The cycle continues once their old
and new kids take their place

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I love your second line! It is like two opposing groups in uniforms coming together in humility. The only thing I question is the use of “young ones” twice so close together. It certainly helps to emphasize, but I think it might read better to use a different phrase the second time. Like, calling back to you “flock” usage, you could say “little lambs” or “bleached lambs” or something? I really enjoyed yours.