“The History of Halloween”
Running around October 31st in a witch costume and acting crazy is human. We practice what our forefathers did in past centuries, laughing at and respecting Death at the same time. Halloween predates Christianity. The 15th Century was a dark and cruel, uninviting place with a struggle for simple things like food and warmth. With the harvest in, they’d celebrate life and respect the dead. The fire and light of the Halloween pumpkin scares the ghost away. And that same mystical light paves the way home. Some say religion liberated Halloween from its former “Pagan” traditions. Probably true if we are talking about the insane practice of human sacrifice. The lovely thing about my fellow player on life’s stage is his imagination and courage to laugh at even life’s most final part.
Like Pavlov’s dog awaiting now my bell,
I hold a bowl of goodies in my hands;
Like Frankenstein, I shuffle to the door
and, zombie; deadpan, answer their demands.
Why should this be? That I’m bewitched is lame!
Why does tradition force me to the door?
What is All Hallows’ Eve but some blind rhyme
and why, within my nature, strive for more?
The world is cold and dark; a demon walks
throughout our village Fourteen, Forty-Eight.
The Fifteenth Century takes courage, more
than most of us might harness here-to-date.
The Plowman works but death tugs at his sleeve
“Come dance with me”, says Death, “you may as well
for in that final day, I’ll set you free.”
New Orleans’ mourners nod, “Amen; that’s swell.”
My DNA’s a part of that dark way;
the bones of all my ancestors connect.
Our Celtic danse macabre takes that fine day.
That Dark Prince known as *Samhain, we respect.
We run through streets, our Jack O’ Lanterns play
with light held high, dispel the darkness cast.
Our mask will keep us safe and keep at bay
that looming beast of death at our request!
So Halloween’s an everlasting call;
life’s laughter mixed with pain and innocence.
Respect for Death would harvest lovers all.
The knocking at my door means no offense.