October 4, 2016

Two Poems by David Allen: "Halloween" and "Halloweeks"

David Allen is a retired journalist and now full-time poet living in Central Indiana. He is the Poetry Editor of Indiana Voice Journal, the 1st Vice President of the Indiana State Federation of Poetry Clubs, and is an active member of the Last Stanza Poetry Association of Elwood, Indiana. His poems and short stories have been published in several journals and he has published two books of poetry, "The Story So Far," and "(more)," both available from Amazon.com. He also has a blog, “Type Dancing,” at: www.davidallen.nu.


We’re ready
for the onslaught
of the little beggars
in costumes threatening
to trick us – perhaps
toilet paper the maple
in our front yard,
or soap the windows
of my car, unless we
treat them, bribe them,
with handfuls of candy.

But we won’t do it
without a fight,
after all, we are 

the Last House on the Left,
at the Dead End of the Street,
Where the Sidewalk Ends.

To get to our door
the ghosts and gruesome
ghouls will have to face
the horror of the severed
leg under the mower and
the bleeding hand smashed
in the wooden chest lid.

Then, if they survive,
they must then confront
the hairy ape who greets
them with ferocious roars
and threatening moves.

Halloween, my little witches,
warlocks and walking dead,
is our favorite holiday.


For me, the scariest
part of Halloween
comes in mid-September
when the stores start selling
candy and costumes
and tombstones start cropping
up on my neighbors’ lawns.
It’s like the country’s gone ghoulish
in a big way.
It wasn’t like this when I was young.
The earliest the carved pumpkins
showed up on doorsteps
was two weeks in advance.
There were no ghosts and bats
swinging from tree limbs.
The scariest decoration I remember
was a huge stringy spiderweb
outside the housing project’s
Community Center the night
of the Halloween Party,
where a plastic spider might be floating
in the pail where we bobbed for apples.

The night before Halloween
– Mischief Night –
now, that was scary for the residents of
our suburban town;
eggs smashed on car windows,
blazing dog poop bags on doorsteps,
Nair cream in water balloons.
But nothing back then came as close
as the body I saw swinging from a tree
last night over on the next block,
or the stuffed Grim Reaper
holding a bloody head and standing
next to a neighbor’s garage.
I swear, these scenes are more
intricate than those Christmas displays
that show up the first week of November.

And, yeah, that scares me, too.

~David Allen

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