Thursday, October 8, 2015

Halloween Party

Halloween Party

What shall we be
for the masquerade? 
you asked from
the deep grinning dream.
I already had on my Valkyrie hat,
the one sewn with tattoos and blood.
You must do as you please, I replied
(tho this seemed to bring
 little illumination.) 

There isn't much left
in the bag of tricks; the banker's
taken the vampire's mouth, 
the real estate man is pandering the wig, 
and the clown suit's loaned out
in the service of the nation--
but in the trunk
at the bottom
of the basement stair,

there's a kilt and a claymore, 
so allay your despair
 and grow a pair,
if you're still
man enough to wear 
a skirt.
You looked grim and no wonder,
(pondering no doubt
the smoked mirror legs)

absently fingering a long
sheet-white robe, a thorny circle,
a plastic cross.
You'll have to go by yourself,
I said
into my wandering hat,
if you're thinking of

~October 2015

posted for       real toads

Image: Masked woman, author unknown, via the internet. No copyright infringement intended.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Lay of Rose And Blade

The Lay Of Rose And Blade

I have no silver left on my blade
   only the pure grey iron.
The lay of the knife, 
   the way of the sword
is all a warrior can rely on.

The lay of the rose is
    from bud to bloom,
a fragrance annulling a thorn.
   The way of the rose
is bloom blown to split hip,
   so lovesome but not so long.

I am the last of the lay and the way,
   a rod without petal or haft
I am the iron that forges itself
   short and sharp through the breast.

~October 2015


Images: The Blow To The Heart, 1952 Rene Magritte
Meditative Rose, Salvador Dali   
Fair use via

Tuesday, October 6, 2015



How he bled
the pumpkin head
for seeing what he saw
for saying what he said
when he was only
a nerve left on
 to burn down a house
where no one's at home.

But still
they kicked him
down the road,
they laughed
when they made
his shell explode;

O that was bad, but even worse,
that they killed his voice
but not
his curse.

~October 2015

posted for   real toads

Images: Pumpkinhead, 1972, Warm Halloween, 1989, by Jamie Wyeth  fair use via

Monday, October 5, 2015

House On The Hill

Image (c)  Erik Johansson

House on the Hill

I’ve built a  fine house on top of my head, grey
dormer windows, tall stories, preaching chimneys,
heavy boards of years across the door. 

It’s easier now, not going in and out,
and I needed a way to keep out the dead.

The time it's taken you'd never guess, to 
trim my ears into topiary frogs, meticulous sentinels here
by the door, crouched comical, listening and green

on the hair I’ve mowed smooth as a fog. Totems
well placed can help keep out the dead.

Of course, my eyes still stay outside, blind ovals in
the wild blow of storm, hit by each unseen coldslap surprise,
while inside my house, white incense smoke takes 

the sweetened song of a bird in a cage from attic
to hall, to ward the doors that keep out the dead.

There's the child in her room, lining treasures up.
See her bone beads of grace in a plastic cup gleam
rich red in an eyeglow turned in, flicker 

and spark giving light where there is
neither fire nor candle to keep out the dead.

She wears my mist necklace of disappearing jewels
clothes of umber leaves, shoes from old squirrel tracks
left on the lawn, paints my face with the scent 

of rosemary rubbed on the dark skin of dawn,
come climbing up over the living and dead.

And the view is good from the slanting roof,
laid on the summit of my growth, looking out
where my own eyes ever go, beyond my topiary ear

to the walled horizon of clouds and fear
the dead must cross to get to here.

~May 2011
A little Octoberish music from the past, which I was inspired to dig out of mothballs by a post at Oran's Well. I haven't revised it much.

The artist for the image at top, Revelation Fields, is Swedish photographer Erik Johansson. All rights belong to him. His website of amazing art is here, and his print store, here

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Haunt Collector

The Haunt Collector

A bit of a skull's snipped sonata,
notes hemorrhaged in saffron and gold,

starved ribs on a pumpkin piñata,
carved smile where the next loss unfolds;

in a basket, the wheel'd sigh of summer
broken down to a cracked clod of clay;

all these and more I've put in store,
dry wood for the auto-da-fe.

~October 2015 

posted for real toads

O Fortuna! indeed...

Image: Mischief Night, 1986, by Jamie Wyeth fair use via