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 wikiart.org


  1. Ooh. Now this one is really creepy, though tragic may be a better word. Especially as you get to the penultimate verse-- that feels just terrible-- I think of a malevolio figure or even a falstaff who may be far from perfect -- bloated and pompous-- and venal too-- but who does not deserve the level of revenge taken. Well done. K.

    1. I actually was thinking of a more innocent or naive and thus more tragic figure~Snowden or Manning or even Bernie Sanders, but see your point.

  2. I am loving your pre-Halloween write, Hedge. this is suitably dark and creepy - I especially applaud the cautionary tone of the final stanza.

  3. Friggen comment orcs bit up my last one -- Great ambivalence in the figure you present, so reading him I think will be plural -- in my read, I got a usurper of sorts, a modern Jack O' channeling the ancient vibe, speaking sooth and truth with a little too much tooth. Maybe that's all we get these days, and though the Powers might chase these boys down the road and crush 'em good, some fuse remains -- ahh, that curse, which is what Jack should have derricked in the first place. Or something. It's such a fun, perfectly-metered and graphically intense read, it's meaning isn't as important and fun of the menace. Was for me, anyway. Like attending one of those witches' orgies in the dark -- a good time was had by all, although you aren't quite sure who to thank. Keep it coming!

    1. Ha. ;_) Sorry for the goblins in the blogger machine, B. And I agree, the figure can be many things--not least a speaker, or even a dreamer, of the old ways and days, gone but by some pumpkinheads, not forgotten.

  4. Somehow I get Humpty Dumpty in my head, hiding a real character behind the riddle.. I see someone ridiculed but yet able to cause harm.. the curse at the end is interesting.. some curses are really blessed.. so maybe we need more pumpkinheads willing to sacrifice themselves.

  5. What a wonderful read! I read it out loud twice, and the last time I whispered the last two words! Creeeeeeepy! Thanks for the chills!

  6. I can see Snowden...yes....you are in your element this time of year, Witchy Woman!

  7. Poor poor pumpkin head! I only wish it was the truth he saw and said that lived on and not a curse!

  8. Poor Pumpkinhead! But i think he gets the last laugh. ;-) A perfect, light piece for this time of year, Joy!

  9. Really it is rather heartbreaking.
    Made me think of a boy that was taken out into a field and beaten
    and killed all because he was suspected of being gay.
    You know, the curse is that those boys that did it
    will have to live with the weight of it for the rest
    of their lives.

  10. Your comment above on the people you might have been thinking of when you wrote it...puts the poem into perspective for me.,, hopefully good comes out of these brave efforts.

  11. I saw a comment on FB about this being the 17th anniversary of the murder of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming, and this pen reminds me of that, somehow. ~

  12. That last stanza is terrifying--love it. The idea of being conscious, probably wanting to speak, but having no mouth... And let's not forget the mess of the actual explosion.

    You, my dear lady, are Halloween-touched. And that's awesome!


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

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