Crow Halloween

When my heart is lost, and love doesn’t last

My mind wanders back to love in the past

I remember the love I loved in the summer

I remember the day I found him with another

I remember the knife, I remember the blood

Yes, that was the night when I murdered my love

They sent me to prison, locked me up right away

But I knew I’d escape, somehow, someday

And when my chance came, when I was finally free

I hid myself so well they never found me

I slept during the day, and I travelled at night

And, at last, I found refuge on Halloween night

I found a strange house, in a forest of stone

The fence was a picket of wrought iron bones

The gray bricks were crumbling even as I looked on

The front door was open, but the shutters were drawn

A crow cried above, as I stared at this sight

“Be careful, dear child! It’s Halloween night!”

But I knew no caution, because I was now free

And, when I revelled, there was no stopping me

So I ran up the steps and walked through the door

Took one step more and fell straight through the floor

I landed with a thump! in a terrible place

I was surrounded by mirrors, but I couldn’t see my face

As I pondered the meaning of this uncanny fright

And wondered if it had some link with Halloween night

I heard a sound come from somewhere high up above

And, when I looked up, I saw the face of my love!

He was still very handsome, but a little on edge

His skin was glowing white, and his eyes were bright red!

He jumped from the ceiling, and, with a bow, said

“Hello, my darling. I see we’ve met yet again.”

But his face was a skull! He was a skeleton man!

And then, when I screamed, he grabbed onto my hand!

“Now, darling, don’t panic. It’s Halloween night!

We have so much to see! So many beautiful sights!

Eerie things happen when the old crow calls

But this is Halloween, so let’s have a ball!”

With a snap of his fingers, the glass disappeared

Leaving no trace that there’d been anything there

He snapped once again, and the room filled with light

He said, “Now let’s relive the good times  tonight!”

But I was not soothed, no, I’d started to cry

I turned to the ghoul and said, “I don’t want to die!

I never meant to hurt you! I was angry and afraid!

But, darling, if you loved me, why, oh why did you stray?”

My love, he only smiled, as flames danced in his eyes

“Why, darling, I’m the Devil! Don’t you know I cannot die?

As for straying, well, for shame, it’s what I’m made to do!

You couldn’t think that I’d be faithful to a fool like you!”

My eyes were like moons, but my breath had turned shallow

“So…you’re not real? You’re nothing, but a shadow?”

His red eyes turned dark, as the room did, too

“I’m the King of Hell, darling. Don’t be a fool.

I rise when people find the pain of living turns too great

I wait for them in the darkness, to make their last mistake.

Jus like you did, my darling!  Why, think back to your fall!

Oh, gosh, it makes me giddy, just thinking about it all!”

My vision blurred, the room spun, and my beating heart turned numb

I had loved the Devil? What on earth had I become?

Behind the mist I saw the room fill with a thousand ghosts

Who joined together and encircled the one I loved the most

They danced and sang quite merrily, of Halloweens gone by

Of all the lost souls they had trapped, and all the ways they’d died

I kept my gaze upon the Devil who’d torn apart my soul

I’d say he’d torn apart my heart, but he stole that long ago

I was angry and confused and scared all at the same time

How stupid I had been to think the Devil’d once been mine!

And then I saw a candlestick with flames still burning bright

“Come closer to me,” they seemed to say to me, “it’s still Halloween Night!”

And then I had a grim idea which set me all afire

I threw the candle hard as I could, and set the Devil on fire!

I heard him scream in agony

But I ran so fast, he couldn’t catch me

Yet the thousands of ghosts were too fast to beat

And when they caught up with me, they threw flames at my feet!

My eyes started burning, and I could taste rust

As I fell into the flames, I burnt into dust

So I lifted my hands to scatter the ashes above

And, as soon as they scattered, I realised they were my love

The last thing I knew was the crow overhead

It screeched, “HAPPY HALLOWEEN”, and then I was dead

So, on Halloween night, when you’re tucked in your beds

Just remember the Devil, and the ones he left dead

Our bodies are bloody, broken, and charred

Our souls are distorted, twisted, and scarred

If you mess with the devil, he’ll mess with your head

He’ll tease you and taunt you, and you’ll end up dead

But don’t worry, darling! It’s all in good fun!

Don’t hide from the Devil! He won’t be outrun!

Perhaps he’ll come see you, in the midst of your dreams

As a crow far away calls, “Happy Halloween!”

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The Bishop’s Wife (Revised)

She stands by the window. Lady Petra, the Bishop’s wife, wearing a flamboyant gown from her youth. But the corset is pulled too tightly, and you can see the threads struggling. She is neither as thin nor as fair as she once was, but she paints her face to give the illusion of youth. An illusion many of the passers-by fall prey to. They are easy to fool. She watches the young men of the village go by, happy with their girlfriends, wives, and newborn babes. They are oblivious to the predatory gaze of the sharp Lady Petra. But woe to the man on whom her eye lingers! His moral mettle is no match for the beguiling charm of the Bishop’s wife.

As the Bishop’s wife, of course, she follows the rules he sets for the kingdom. She is faithful; she does not break her vows. But the Bishop is an old man, blinded by his faith. He sets the rules, so she bends them for her amusement. But who could blame her? The Bishop is so uptight; she deserves some fun for putting up with him every day!

Many a young man have been swept into her snare. The Bishop’s wife hides in the shadows, whispering sweet nothings in dark corridors in return for a pledge, a word, a sigh. She keeps notes tucked in her bosom, and the roses in her boudoir are always fresh. She stares — oh, yes, she stares! — at the men passing by as she rides through her carriage, silk fan in hand, the neckline of her dress cut just low enough to be noticed. She is a flirt, a tease. But she never goes all the way. That would be a crime. But there is no crime in looking.

The Bishop’s wife is cunning, to say the least.

Today, the Lady Petra sees a familiar face pass beneath her window. Not a man, but a woman. It is her young sister, the fair Lady Anne, walking with a stranger. Lady Petra licks her lips. He is quite handsome, this strange man. Why has she never seen him before? By what trickery did Lady Anne catch his eye? She is younger than Lady Petra, smarter, kinder (although the scoundrel who said that now walks with no tongue). But Lady Anne is naïve, and innocent; she does not understand the art of seduction. She is a hopeless romantic, who dreams that her love will one day fall from the stars.

Lady Petra snorts at this thought. Men do not fall. They must be cornered, tethered, and trained.

The stranger passes Lady Anne a small pouch. Petra’s eyes widen. What is it? Money? Jewellry? Good Lord, could it be contraband? Lady Petra’s eyes gleam. Has she caught the kingdom’s darling in the middle of a crime at last?

Lady Petra leans closer to the window, eager to see more. But Lady Anne doesn’t open the pouch. She leans towards the man, kissing him lightly on the cheek, then turns around and runs, leaving the man standing alone, his eyes following Anne all the way out the gates of the manor. He never once glances up at the window, where Lady Petra stands. Petra is outraged. How dare a man not notice her, while noticing her pathetically good-willed sister instead! She is the Bishop’s wife! She is the one men worship! Not that wretched Lady Anne!

A cloud of jealousy follows Lady Petra as she storms down the stairs. Lady Anne will be invited to dine with them tonight.

Later that night, Lady Anne and her maid arrive at the Bishop’s house to pay their respects. Both of them have arms full of fresh fruits and breads from the market. The Bishop is cordial to them, perhaps because they have brought his favourite sweetmeats. But, behind him, Lady Petra is furious. First her sister gains the favour of the kingdom, then she consorts with strange men in the streets, and then, most unforgivably, she couriers favour with the Bishop himself! How dare she!

Lady Petra corners her sister as soon as the Bishop excuses himself, likely to relieve himself before the meal.

“Who is he?” Petra asks, her voice laced with venom.

“Who is who?” says Anne.

“Don’t be daft,” says Petra. “Your secret lover. The one you were walking with today.”

“Lover…?” Anne asks, confused.

“You can tell me,” Petra says, swinging an arm over Anne’s shoulders. Adultery is punishable by death. Petra can only imagine the glee if Anne’s lover is a married man. “It stays between the two of us.”

“Ain’t been no one new, mum,” Anne’s servant chimes in. “Less’n you mean Chris.”

“Chris?” Petra says. Is that his name? It sounds so plain!

“Oh, Chris!” Anne laughs. It sounds forced. “Don’t be silly, Nina.”

But it is too late. Petra has caught up to her game.

“Who is ‘Chris’?” says Lady Petra. “Is he tall and dark, with a moustache and a well-defined face?”

“No!” says Lady Anne. “He is our new garden gnome, who tends to the cauliflowers and carrots, and helps Cook with the stew.”

“Oh,” says Petra. A gnome? She knows that Lady Anne is famously generous, but employing a gnome seems a bit too much, even for her.

Petra decides her sister is lying. “Then who was that gentleman you were seeing earlier? The one who gave you a gift?”

“Oh, that man!” Anne laughs again. This time, it is genuine. “He is the herbs dealer. The hospitals are running low. We’ve had a long winter, and the forests aren’t full as yet. I’m surprised you haven’t noticed him as yet. He is often around.”

Herbs dealer, Petra thought, as her eyes darkened. I suppose I could work with that.

“And is it customary to kiss the herbs dealer on the cheek, dear sister?”

Lady Anne flushes just as the Bishop enters the room. He is not alone. “My dear!” says the Bishop. “You remember the Duke’s son? I thought he could join us.”

It takes Lady Petra only a moment to recognise Lady Anne’s consort from earlier. She fixes her dress, accentuating her copious bosom.

“Of course,” Lady Petra purrs. “The more the merrier.”

Lady Anne is still red. Petra smiles. She will rip her sister apart tonight.

By the time dessert arrives, Lady Petra is frustrated. The Duke’s son will not spare her the slightest glance, preferring to keep her eyes fixed on that detestable little sister of hers. As she spears the delicate, flaky pastry with the tines of her fork, Lady Petra decides she has had enough.

She excuses herself, asking her sister to accompany her for a walk outside to “help with the digestion”, even though she has never had difficulty stomaching the rich dishes the Bishop despises, but serves anyway, to please her.

Halfway to the gardens, there is a terrible accident. They are walking down a dark corridor, one of Lady Petra’s favourites for her clandestine rendezvous. Lady Anne trips, perhaps over a loose rug or unstable floorboard. There is a crash, a pause, and a heart-wrenching scream.

By the time a light is found, Lady Anne is unconscious, face-down in a pool of acid. The type used in cleansing chamber pots. It seems that a careless servant had left the open bottle in the middle of the corridor.

How unfortunate.

Lady Anne is taken immediately to the healers, where she remains for several days. A steady stream of visitors flits in and out, but Lady Petra what she needs through the gossip. Delicious, juicy gossip. Lady Anne’s beautiful face has been disfigured beyond recognition. No man will ever look at her again.

Lady Petra smiles at this as she picks out her most flattering gown. Perhaps it is time to pay that dashing Duke’s son a visit.

Halloween Spooks (Revised)

Spooky McBoo and Sneaky McGhee

Went trick-or-treating on All Hallow’s Eve

Spooky was sly, but Sneaky was bad

And all of their tricks drove the neighbourhood mad

Spooky would knock three times on the door

Steal all the candy, and then ask for more

Sneaky would give all the children a fright

Then scurry off cackling into the night

Spooky and Sneaky were a terrible pair

Spreading their tricks without seeming to care

They weren’t afraid of the goblins and ghouls

They frolicked along, disregarding the rules

But then President Pumpkin caught up with the two

And said, “This must stop, McGhee and McBoo!

It’s a blight on society! A plague on our name!

You scandalous scoundrels, this isn’t a game!”

But Spooky and Sneaky didn’t care for these words

So they ran ahead, acting like they hadn’t heard

They frolicked on, with their tricks without treats

But then President Pumpkin caught them back on the streets

“McGhee and McBoo! What am I to do

With a pair of imps as mischievous as you?

Your tricks without treats are a scandalous plague,

You two must be punished because you’ve disobeyed!”

With that, Old Man Pumpkin locked the duo inside

Of an old wooden coffin, and buried them alive!

On Halloween night, they were removed from the fun

Because of the mischief the two spooks had done

“I’m sorry,” said Spooky, his voice very soft.

“I’m sorry, too,” Sneaky sniffed, or perhaps he coughed.

In any case, the duo made shallow amends

In hopes that their punishment would come to an end

But President Pumpkin wasn’t easy to fool

“Do they think me mad? I’m not an amateur ghoul!

I’ll teach them a thing about tricks, now,” thought he.

So he went in search of the best tricks to see

And he found them, too, with a wizard so small

That Pumpkin swore he was less than two feet tall!

“I need a spell, if you please,” President Pumpkin said,

“Which will fill naughty spooks with caution and dread.

They ignore our rules, and continually cheat

They hand out tricks, but never with treats!”

The wizard, it seemed, was more than happy to help

And when the President left, he felt all would well

But Spooky and Sneaky were far from all right

When they were let back into that lovely, dark night

The sight they beheld caused their hearts both to sink

They found that their bodies had been had coloured bright pink!

“How can we trick,” they said, “in a colour so strange?

What are we to do? Does he expect us to change?

If we look like this, we can’t play tricks on the street!

Why, if we can’t play tricks, we might have to give treats!

President Pumpkin just laughed and said, “What shall I do,

With you, Sneaky McGhee, and you, Spooky McBoo?”

Now, Spooky McBoo and Sneaky McGhee

Are the friendliest spooks that you’ll ever see

And on Halloween night, they give everybody treats

Without tricks at all while they’re haunting the streets

And though they are pink, they’re a sight to behold

The subject of many ghost stories we’re told

Around Halloween time, in the midst of a dream

About Spooky McBoo and Sneaky McGhee

Dame Olga

Dame Olga sits on thrones of steel

Bending mortals to her will

She slices throats with puffs of air

And leaves their corpses hanging there

Although she’s dressed in ivory lace

A big black boa hides her face

And though you might not think she’s here

She’s watching you. She’s always near.

Empathy Overload

He knocks on the door, eyes trained on the floor

He says he doesn’t know what he is here for

He is restless and anxious. He can’t even stay seated.

“I don’t know what I did,” he says. “This is no way to be treated.”

He is still quite young, not much older than me

He isn’t that tall, maybe just five-foot-three

His eyes are dark brown, just like my mother’s

In strangers’ eyes, he might even be my brother

I look at his file, at his history and meds

He should be admitted, but we’re short on beds

I make sure I have tissues, there’s water within reach

He clears his throat twice, and then starts to speak

He speaks of his childhood, of the things he has known

He speaks of new problems, now that he is grown

With every new word, I feel my heart beat faster

How could a life turn into such a disaster?

What do some people do right, and others do wrong?

What lets me be a doctor, while his future is gone?

But while all these thoughts fly fast through my head

He is still speaking, and says, “I wish I was dead.”

My heart cracks in pieces. There are tears in my eyes.

But he’s still in the room, so I know I can’t cry

What’s the matter with me? I have to be strong!

I can’t start crying with every case that goes wrong!

I can’t go through this heartbreak again and again

But I feel all their pain: when will it end?

I don’t want to go through this every single night!

They tell me I’ll lose it, but is that really right?

Every patient matters; I don’t want to lose touch

With the kindness and compassion which matter so much

But with every new patient comes another new storm

The tear ducts start queuing, and my feelings all swarm

One day I know he’ll be just another man

With a sobering story I’ve heard time and again

But I’m not there yet, so I’ll cry for them all

Until my heart has constructed an impenetrable wall

But it’s not yet finished, there’s too many seams

And while I’m in Empathy Overload, there’s no help for me

serial nightmares

late at night, i lie alone

the ceiling creaks, and the shadows groan

i see her face, it comes to me

under the pretense of a dream

oh it is hell to see her there

bloody and battered with eyes that stare

straight through my soul

i know she’s dead

but every day

i think

it should have been me

instead

and then i wake

and then i find

the empty bed

she left behind

and i get up and walk around

my ragged breath the only sound

but when i close my eyes again

brand new nightmares will begin

and she is angry

she calls me names

but it’s all true

i can’t complain

i killed her love

i killed her soul

and now i’ll suffer

all alone

when i wake up and see the sun

i think about the things i’ve done

my hands are stained with her blood

my heart has withered from lack of love

i see the body i never did

i feel the things i thought i’d hid

i take a breath to clear my head

to try to forget that she is dead

but no matter how many

breaths i take

the dreams persist

long after i wake

Beautiful Mother

In a world full of darkness, her love blossoms through

Calm and serene, like a bright harvest moon

She’s an angel, a goddess, the Queen of all Queens

She’s the Lady of Loveliness walking out of my dreams

Her eyes are so loving, love spills out in tears

Her heart is weighed down by the pain of past years

But her love knows no limits, she shines bright like a flare

I can be strong because I know she is there

Beautiful Mother, you glow like the sun

How lucky I am to be the one you shine on!

You love like the stars, and if you were twice as far

Mother, I’d traverse the world to be right where you are

Oh, you’re a beacon of hope, like fresh summer rain

You rinse off the blood caked from stale winter’s pain

If you walk away now, I know that I’d die

Because I can’t survive without you by my side!

I’d give up the moon and the sun and the stars

If you would only let me stay right where you are

I love you so much that I cannot imagine

One day without you, so please don’t let that happen

I’ll be happy forever to stand in your light

And let your glow surround me, all through the dark night

Not Mine

I walk beside a ghost sometimes

But the hand he holds, it isn’t mine

He reminds me of those happier times

Of the life I lived before my crime

He walks through walls, and memories

He walks through me, and I start to bleed

I killed him once, I killed him twice

His heart turned cold and hard, like ice

We loved each other in the past

But, like a heartbeat, it couldn’t last

I killed for love, he died from pain

He broke my trust, I took the blame

But when I could not take it anymore

I left his body on the floor

And now I see his ghost, sometimes

He holds her hand. No, not mine.

Even when he stands near me

It isn’t where he wants to be

Though I beg him to come back, one last time

I know his cold, hard heart isn’t mine

Confessions of an Ex-Teenager #546

i don’t know if you remember the day my

fish died it closed its mouth and floated up

to the top of the tank and it lay there on its

back for hours until i finally got brave and

poked it with a stick and it didn’t move and i

screamed and cried for hours because i’d

touched a dead fish and i wouldn’t eat fish

even weeks later on good friday because that

fish was more than my friend it was the first

thing i’d ever taken care of on my own and then

i killed it.

Rainbows at Night

Rainbows at Night

Do you believe in rainbows at night?

Or do you drown in the darkness, in sorrow and fright?

Are you haunted by demons? Do you writhe in your cage?

Do you abandon your sanity and give in to your rage?

 

Do you dare to believe in rainbows at night?

Or do you see a reflection of the loss in your life?

Do you flinch from their aura, the glow they exude?

Or do the gossamer lights bring hope shining through?

 

When you lie wide awake, and feel the pain of lost love

Do you ever look up for the rainbows above?

Do you dream of their colours? Would you bask in their rays?

Would you jump on their colours, and let them whisk you away?

 

I once dreamt of a life with the one whom I loved

When my dream disappeared, I saw rainbows above!

I watered their beams with the fresh tears of pain

And, when the moonlight shone through, they turned into rain

Then the rain turned to blood, and I bled through the night

I reawakened my heart, and it gave me new life

And, when I was renewed, and my tears had all dried,

The night rainbows burst, and disappeared from the sky

 

…do you believe in rainbows at night?

The paints born from tears, bathed in moonlight?

Would you raise up your hands and embrace them above?

Or would you let yourself drown in dreams of lost love?

 

I am a believer; I’ve seen rainbows at night

Their beautiful colours swell with pale lights

In the depth of the darkness, they help me be strong

And, with the rainbows behind me, I stand up, and move on