There were no pumpkins, no tricks, no treats,

This Halloween.

No dancing to haunting music, just a ghostly silence,

In the clinging black graveyard night,

Where memories and people were in another spirit world.

The moon was on a day trip,

Turning a blind eye to the witches,

In Chantilly they were on the look out for

Which is and which isn’t a winner?

On all fours in the beer sanctuary,

Searching for flyers,

Riding high in broomstick betting land

Dreaming up outrageous brews

To intoxicate souls.

And seeing phantoms and poltergeist

And sorcerers like Don Juan

And seeing double.

I remember as children,

Running outside in the dark,

Feeling creepy fingers of dewy webs

Between the trees

And trying hard not to scream,

Giving the pumpkin an ear to ear grin,

And watching his head cave in from the candle flame,

Spellbound by wax forming strange Merlin shapes

In cold water,

And counting on tealeaves.

Finally to bed

Eyes on organ stops,

Making out alien shadows in the blackness,

And listening to the other children

Breathing like hobgoblins.


Caroline Baldock©1978