I had some short stories, poems and photographs to share ... and so here I am

A Pause For A Poem

It's halloween, and this year it means more to me than ever before! I'm in New York, and a big parade is due to creep past my hotel on 14th street on the night of the 31st! Thanks to Minx's poetry contest, I've got this little poem to get you into the mood. One of the many stories I remember reading about this festival was how spirits of those who will die over the coming year gather for a march through the streets. People are supposed to have left lanterns outside their homes to scare away the spirits, to make sure they didn't recruit any family members for the "flight" at summer's end.

the flight of the chosen

you're not out there, I've been looking,
seen the white faces, for miles and miles,
thanks to the lanterns, guarding the gates,
not on the list for this new year, I promise,
made doubly sure by my yellowy mixture

it's watery, without butter, nor sour cream,
tepid, lumpy, stains across the bowl's rim,
my pumpkin potion, says the sweet child,
stepping back from her wicked coughing,
the high whistling the doctors frown at

in her frozen hand the spoon hangs lifeless,
a faint smile between her laboured sipping,
the legend, the stories, now she's regretful,
sow-en, he'd repeated, the Samhain Sabbat,
the flight of the chosen, their summer's end

he's laid down marigolds, chrysanthemums,
feverish, relentless chanting, until he sleeps,
right up beside her, dreaming of the lanterns,
it'll be better tomorrow, lots more summers,
the surgeons will take back what's been said

Copyright, 2006. Shameless Words.

1 comment:

cate sweeney said...

Hi Shamus
What amazing photos. Are you a photo journo by any chance? I love the flags and the reflections one. I went to NY for first time at the beginning of this year, unlike you I thought it was too clean, Grand Central too shiny, I wanted it all in Black & White like my favourite movies! Still loved it though and conquered my fear of lifts to get up the Empire State. You travel a lot don't you?