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Saturday, 30 October 2010

Pardon me while I scream

This is the night for the bones to rise
and cartwheel across the darkening skies,
for wind-blown ashes from years ago
to gather again like driven snow,
to dance with their clanking limbs on fire
with partners they drag from the funeral pyre.

This is the night the lovers wed
then sleep for a year on a thistle bed.
The dead and the undead welcome here;
the living may come in mortal fear.
Consume your partners, one and all,
then step it out at The Pox-Trot Ball.

This is the night the rivers flood
and boil and bubble with human blood.
The priest stands waiting to plunge you in,
then lift you up to a life of sin.
From his censer the smell of putrid meat -
a promise of death at The Judgement Seat.

This is the night they rattle their chains
who will suck the mind from a vicar's brains
and strip the flesh from his stinking corpse
for a stew to enjoy when your sane mind warps --
as it will when you taste in his body's juice
the heart of a long dead, mouldering goose.

This is the night when a million eyes
replace the stars in the furry skies,
and snouts and ears shake out as well
and all the creatures from every hell
appear as shadows with blazing trails
on birds of prey with monster scales.

This is the night when mice eat owls
and the woods are full of hoots and howls
the night for a visit to do you no good --
(If you haven't been, you bloody-well should!)
This is the night to impale the flesh,
and the careless to end in a spider's mesh.

This is the night of the cancelled wake,
the coffins will empty, the churchyards quake;
the spirits are leaving before their time,
the souls of the holy are smeared with grime;
an innocent's head goes by on a stick --
for some it's a treat, for others a trick.

Thanks for inspiration also due to Magpie Tales

They're off to Holland
learning how to mountaineer -
beginners, it's true


Strummed Words said...

A fitting song to All Hallows Eve!

Brian Miller said...

sounds delightful...when does the party start...smiles. nice imagery...

Rachel Green said...

What splendid rhythm, sir!

Titus said...

In awe, Dave; great rhythm and rhyme and a chill up the spine.
And you got the link into the body of the poem! A first, I think.
Shall be reading this to the children tomorrow night.

I need to borrow a bit of one of your earlier PB poems - did you get the e-mail?

Gerry Snape said...

Dave..what a wonderful tongue rolling, exploding in the mouth, speeding up rhythmic and rhymey feast for All Hallows Eve.

Noelle Dunn.... A Poet in Progress said...

WOW...this is the best I've read in some time...the mood and imagery are chilling!!! Awesome one!!!

Anonymous said...

Delightful! Happy Halloween!

Linda Sue said...

Oh Dave! This poem is one of my all time FAVES! Very good, playful, well done, you! LOVE!

David Cranmer said...

Pardon me while I scream was tops, Dave!

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

A delight of a poem, a joy to read.
Rhythm and rhymes, tasting of the multicoloured grains of earth.

Tess Kincaid said...

The opening image of bones cartwheeling across the skies grabbed me and wouldn't let go! WONderful piece, Dave.

Liz said...

Amazing lines and rhythm in this, Dave...love the depths it goes to and the hypnotic repeating of that first line. Congrats!

Windsmoke. said...

You've out done yourself again with vivid, rhythmic, chilling and spooky verse. Happy Halloween.

Rachel Fenton said...

Felt like you were channelling Poe there, Dave (While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping/As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. - The Raven) Perfect Hallowe'en spine tingler!

Laugherd at the haiku. Seriously?Holland for mountaineering practice; it'll be Ayers rock for polar trecking next!

Kathe W. said...

perfect lead in to Halloween...BOO!

Dick said...

Great stuff, Dave. So good to see form (anapestic tetrameter, just to be pedantic) and content working so well together. Rhythm drives the incantation forward and - as should be the case for Halloween - genuine spookiness coexists with humour.

Rachel Fox said...

Very enjoyable! Done with aplomb and a sense of fun.

Dave King said...

Thanks everyone for all your generous comments, and a special, warm welcome to all newcomers to the blog,
Please forgive if this once I do not reply in person to you all. I fear that if I did so I would not have time to get round to all your blogs - and would not want to miss out on that pleasure.

Peter Goulding said...

Should be read at all Halloween parties with the light turned down. Brilliant fun. (Think possibly censor should be censer?)

Dave King said...

Thanks Peter
It should. I'm having a weekend of senior moments, must be something in the air!
Thanks again.

Karen said...

You win, Dave! This is phenomenal! The rhythm and rhyme and eerie imagery make this one to remember.

Argent said...

What a vorker! Such nicely turned, stomach-churning images. Vincent Price could be reading this for me.

Enchanted Oak said...

I read this on Halloween night, and it gave me a wonderful case of the shivers. That poor innocent's head on a stick really capped it for me. Ha!

Unknown said...

vivid imagery,
masterfully written.

Dave King said...

Thanks to All again.
Hope it didn't disturb your nights!

MuseSwings said...

Perfectly chilling! I'll give you the Absolute Zero award for replacing all body heat with ice and fear

Tumblewords: said...

Uh huh! I love this, love it!

Dave King said...

That's great, thanks for it. My most cherished dream realised!

Much appreciated. Thanks.

Unknown said...

Can't tell you how much I enjoyed that, Dave!