The History of Halloween

“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.Blue Moon

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.

A Poem About Loss

“A Poem About Loss”

She closes eyes and briefly takes a breath;

remembers scent of him where lay his head.

She covers up her face with sheet instead;

remembers melodies before his death.

She slides her hands along the silken cloth.

She winces as the bed sheets now are spread

into a layered box where now he beds.

She wanders like a kind of muted moth

as now he sleeps in white and huddled hutch

and blanketed with warmth, she hears his voice:

“The soul is kept alive by human touch

so I will never leave you; that’s my choice.”

Imaginary arms embrace as such

but loss so loathsome she cannot rejoice.

 

Form for poem: referred to as a “George Gordon/Lord Byron” Italian sonnet. Rhyme

scheme: abba;abba; cdcdcd.) Iambic Pentameter.