MonstERs Aren’t so Scary!

MonstERs Aren’t so Scary!
It’s Halloween Emergencies
beneath the cloudy skies,
And every beastie that we see
Is worried it might die.

But ghosts and ghouls that terrify
Are actually big chickens,
They moan and wail and loudly cry
and whine to beat the Dickens.

Wolf-man fears the rabies
from his canine inclinations;
he mauled some little ladies
but he wants a vaccination.

Mummy chased an aged docent,
Now he’s out of breath.
Usually he won’t relent
Until his victim’s gruesome death.

Vampires dapper count their losses,
suffering from many things;
garlic, wooden stakes and crosses,
wailing ‘holy water stings!’

A witch’s coven comes in haste
in fear of deadly toxins;
their brew had such an awful taste
like someone put a pox upon ‘em!

Hulking monster Frankenstein
is quite the sobbing wreck;
while terrorizing villagers
the bolts fell off his neck.

And skeletons of every size,
have bones of all sorts broken;
the orthopedist shakes his head
since all the breaks are open!

By morning all have slunk away,
the blood and fur swept up.
The staff can see the light of day
and cling to empty coffee cups.
Doctors, nurses, medics all
and seasoned secretaries
know this happens every fall;
to them the beasts ain’t scary.

Compared with all the normal nights,
the mayhem and the pains,
the wrecks and strokes and hateful fights
that leave the staff all drained,

The monstrous band of Halloween
does not cause much alarm;
It’s mortals and their earthly woes
that suffer all the harm!

The Halloween Battle

So every year, at Halloween, the world embraces darkness.  In the West, we laugh about it and adore the most horrific costumes and the most murderous, blood-soaked movies in the growing pornography of death, as my wife describes it.

And while my kids have done their share of Trick or Treating, and I’m not a hard-nosed, Southern Baptist, anti-Halloween guy, I am puzzled by the way we seem to assume that the power of evil is so great.  Even as we, as a culture, desire safety and peace, love and acceptance, hope and long life, we bow at the altar of terrible things in our films, shows and culture…and celebration.

So I’ve been playing with this idea and put it into a kind of free-verse poem.  Excuse me, as I’m not trained as a poet.

The Halloween Battle

Though no one could see them,

the forest burst with dark spirits;

the Banshee wailed and the dogs howled

as even owls hid their great, glowing eyes beneath

soft wings in windswept, leaf-bare trees.

 

They streamed to the vast house,

full of holes for spirits and creatures,

night-loving, dark-seeking things that adored

creaking porches and swaying, finger-like trees,

reaching, reaching for children on the walk.

 

Children there were, bright-eyed, grasped

tightly by light-wielding mothers and fathers,

alert, even in these late ages, for things their sires

spoke of only in hushed tales around bright fires;

knowing that evil things love their single night of praise.

 

Unseen by dim-witted moderns, only felt at the nape of the neck,

or in goose-bumped, hair-raised flesh;

dark, unspeakable shapes wove along the walks

looked in windows, hovered over roof-tops, climbed lattices,

pointing down at the innocent parade below.

 

In dark caverns candles were lit, spells read,

And from empty wells, crumbled graves, things emerged;

All about the silent scream of the unleashed

heard only by highest saints and deepest sinners,

as the educated skipped along in blind collusion.

 

The mass of dark things, hungry, constrained, probed

the wall between realms, stretched and scratched,

salivating for the fear it could unleash once more

on men and women who knew (they thought)

everything there was to know.

 

But just before, just before, Emmy Pitts, age four,

saw Mia Perkins, (fresh from invoking darkness ’round a pentagram);

Saw that she knelt over Pepper her black cat,

struck by a car full-of costumed creatures with candy,

and she saw Claudette weep hot tears into the black fur.

 

At the height of the creeping, sneaking, howling, growling,

wind-snuffed candle, soul-stealing, moon-dimmed night,

Emmy asked, ‘can I pray for your kitty cat? I’m so sorry!’

Wrapped fair, innocent limbs around dark-hearted mourner

on the cool, candy-littered asphalt of Halloween night.

 

Heavenly host burst forth from the throne room of the King;

from horizon to horizon stars flared up and the moon

burned clouds away; the breeze blew warm. Caverns were sealed,

cages locked, passages shut and hearts lightened. The things of the dark fled

in terror, and in envy of the light as from the beginning.

 

No human saw but Emmy and Mia; saw that

the battle ended in an instant. Mia set free

as dark things fled and Pepper breathed once more.

Emmy, duly dressed as angel, skipped away nonplussed.

Mia stroked Pepper and pondered these things in her heart.