For a Late October Evening…okay……Hallowe’en!!

October Evening                                           J Johnson Smith

The moon creeps through the glimmering autumn mist

to hang, a wolf’s eye, scarred by baring branches that loom

overhead as a net to catch the fall.


The dark crowd stands around, silently akimbo

as the fairy ring grows spads of white

that creep and open grey hoods to hide their gills

swaying gently to the rhythm of the breeze.


The beasts, lying in wait in the tall fronds hesitate

at the cry in the night.

The shimmering silence pitched headlong, pierced, strung through

and hung, hanging in the silence. Lost to the darkness,

overlooked by the wolf and the fairies setting their spells.


In the glade, where the beck dreams on

with its hallowed evening song in it’s soft gritty bed,

no soul sees the mingled stream red.


All Hallows Night                             Lizette Woodworth Reese

Two things I did on Hallows Night:—
Made my house April-clear;
Left open wide my door
To the ghosts of the year.
Then one came in. Across the room
It stood up long and fair-
The ghost that was myself-
And gave me stare for stare.

Black Cat                                 Rainer Maria Rilke, 1875 – 1926

A ghost, though invisible, still is like a place
your sight can knock on, echoing; but here
within this thick black pelt, your strongest gaze
will be absorbed and utterly disappear:

just as a raving madman, when nothing else
can ease him, charges into his dark night
howling, pounds on the padded wall, and feels
the rage being taken in and pacified.

She seems to hide all looks that have ever fallen
into her, so that, like an audience,                                                                                                         she can look them over, menacing and sullen,
and curl to sleep with them. But all at once

as if awakened, she turns her face to yours;
and with a shock, you see yourself, tiny,
inside the golden amber of her eyeballs
suspended, like a prehistoric fly.

The Apparition             John Donne, 1572 – 1631

When by thy scorn, O murd’ress, I am dead
And that thou think’st thee free
From all solicitation from me,
Then shall my ghost come to thy bed,
And thee, feign’d Vestal, in worse arms shall see;
Then thy sick taper will begin to wink,
And he, whose thou art then, being tir’d before,
Will, if thou stir, or pinch to wake him, think
Thou call’st for more,
And in false sleep will from thee shrink;
And then, poor aspen wretch, neglected thou
Bath’d in a cold quicksilver sweat wilt lie
A verier ghost than I.
What I will say, I will not tell thee now,
Lest that preserve thee; and since my love is spent,
I’had rather thou shouldst painfully repent,
Than by my threat’nings rest still innocent.


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