A “Friendly” Poem For Friday The 13th

By, Donna M. Monnig

Considering that today is Friday the 13th I felt that this poem written by the late, great Louis L’Amour would be somewhat appropriate. While it is titled, “My Three Friends”, I think you’ll find that with such friends as these one does not need enemies.



My Three Friends

I have three friends, three faithful friends,

More Faithful could not be–

And every night, by the dim firelight,

They come to sit with me.


The first of these is tall and thin

With hollow cheeks, and a toothless grin;

A ghastly stare, and scraggly hair,

And an ugly lump for a chin.


The second of these is short and fat

With beady eyes, like a starving rat–

He was soaked in sin to his oily skin,

And verminous, at that.


The crouching one is of ape-like plan,

Formed like a beast that resembled man:

A freakish thing, with arms a-swing,

And he was the third of that gruesome clan.


The first I stabbed with a Chinese knife,

And left on the white beach sand,

With his ghastly stare, and blood soaked hair,

And an out-flung, claw-like hand;


The fat one stole a crumbling crust,

That he wolfed in his swineish way–

So I left him there, with eyes a glare,

An his head cut off half-way.


We fought to kill, the brute and I,

That the one that lived might eat,

So I killed him too, and made a stew,

And dined on human meat.


And so these three come to visit me,

When without the night winds howl–

The one with the leer, the one with a sneer,

And the one with a brutish scowl;


Their lips are dumb, but the three dead come

And crouch by the hollow grate–

The man that I stabbed, the man that I cut,

And the gruesome thing that I ate.


Their lips are sealed, with blood congealed,

But they will not let me be,

And so they haunt, grim, ghastly, and gaunt,

Till death shall set me free.


I have three friends, three faithful friends,

More Faithful could not be–

And every night, by the dim firelight,

They come to sit with me.


This poem seems more like something that you’d find in a collection of Edgar Allan Poe’s versus something written by Louis L’Amour. According to his wife Kathy L’Amour, this poem came about one night in a ship’s foc’stle:

“…Louis had been trying to work out a particularly romantic poem when several of the other seaman began to tease him about only being able to write “love-stuff.” After several hours of work he presented them with “My Three Friends,” proving that he indeed had other talents.” (xiii)

He certainly did!

What are your thoughts on this poem? Do you like the writings of Louis L’Amour or Edgar Allan Poe better?

Citations from: Smoke From This Altar By, Louis L’Amour (1990)


About Donna M. Monnig

Donna M. Monnig is a published poet, aspiring novelist, freelance writer, a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, and is a cowgirl at heart.
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5 Responses to A “Friendly” Poem For Friday The 13th

  1. I love this. I thought it was going to be serious at first! It’s a great tale, and I love the rhyme and rhythm to it.
    I do love Edgar Allan Poe and I agree, the images you conjure up with this poem are similar to those I get when reading Poe. There is also a little bit of Roald Dahl in there too! 🙂
    Great job!


  2. booklover says:

    Creepy but in a very good way! I didn’t know Louis L’Amour wrote poetry. I learn all kinds of things on this blog!


  3. Pingback: Flight of the Pumpkins! | Rhyme N Review

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