Minutes til Midnight

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I am watching my clock countdown the minutes until this 31st dwindles down to moments and memories.  There were a few memorable quirks to the day and the evening, I hope you can all say the same.  As the tomb shuts on this Hallow’s Eve, I draw a final breath of cinnamon stick candle wafting up from the scorched insides of gutted gourds, I gather the crinkled remains of candy skins in their bright coverings shriveled and torn, destined for the recycle bin, and take a long last look up and down the street as porch lights dim, jackos darken and light shows blink and die.  I sigh, shrug my shoulders, turn and close the door behind me.  The house goes dark and here I am at the keyboard…already thinking about Halloween 2018 – I wonder what that escapade will reveal?  So much to plan and plot and ply, as the season passes by…so quickly, much too quickly this year.  Thanks to all of you who stopped to look around this blog, more thanks to Countdown to Halloween for highlighting another great batch of blogs this year, always so much fun to see what others are up to.  I will poke through the leftover candy and ponder…mmmmm….Junior Mints! Rest In Peace Halloween 2017.  I will remember you fondly.

 

 

 

A Trick of the Eye, a Treat for the Soul

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For those of you awed by the odd…Haunters everywhere, a good night!

Whispered words of patience, tickling my ear

The summer crawl, the wait for fall

That highlight of the year

 

random scribbled drawings, and mundane seeming lists

will help devise a dark surprise

a Hallows Evening tryst

 

long preoccupation upon a nightmare scene

as yard or lot like canvas taut

transformed by grisly theme

 

silently I labor, and daily it unfolds

all to create fright filled landscape

the Haunters story told

 

months in preparation, at last the visions done

the lights the fog the folks agog

a play for old and young

 

hordes dwindle slowly with anticipation sated

I’m left with thoughts of greater plots

annually fated

 

I wouldn’t change a moment, or alter inclination

I’ll persevere, each hallowed year

In this haunters occupation.

Revise by A.E., September 2017

Mirth and Musings Part 18

Streetnight

Thursday nights.  My sister and I take a weekly nighttime walk round our neighborhoods during the Fall, we do this specially to see the decorations in yards and on porches.  These “spooky walks” serve to heighten our anticipation for Halloween, but they also create a wonderful shiver up the spine tingle that propels us one week to the next during September and October, even when décor and haunts are slow to emerge.  Our own imaginations are enough at these times, the usual sights and sounds of a suburban street transformed into intriguing murmurs of “malevolent mirth”.  Long shadows thrown from streetlamps and porch lights, the far-off sounds of garbled conversations or t.v.’s drifting from second story windows, creaking gates from indiscernible sources and erratic gusts blown through trimmed trees and banks of fallen leaves, pushed into swirls like slithering snakes across our path.  We encounter random “haunting” objects; a pumpkin on a porch awaiting its fiery grin, a lone shrouded figure hanging off a scraggy tree, or the odd string of orange lights wound haphazardly on rooftops or fence lines. Dogs bark and growl at imagined slights, cats slink along drives, undaunted and furtive.  We step quickly by the garages with opened doors and darkened interiors, and laugh nervously at a car door slamming shut in the distance.  We remark on the absence of folks out walking, the too quiet traffic on the roads and the general pervading stillness.  As though the whole neighborhood was blanketed in the anticipation we feel, and the sense of tethered thrill wasn’t just a flight of fancy but actual and waiting to be realized. Eventually we turn homewards and we whisper inspired plots and plans back and forth, heads twisting to continually observe our surroundings.  Our pace increasing along with the knowledge of time running down, elapsing steadily towards that night of madcap and mayhem, these walks the long breath drawn in, till the eventual exhale into Eve.

Bewitchment this 13th!

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Posting a bit of spellcraft to get you through this Friday the 13th – beware, bewitch and bedevil!

Lizard lung

Scent of skull

Serpents tongue

Shipwrecked hull

Toe of frog

Wool of bat

Zombie bog

Screeching cat

Adders fork

Siren scream

Vikings torc

Fiendish gleam

Witches tear

Mandrake wail

Crippling fear

Dragon scale

Belladonna

Monsters moan

Withered sigh 

Kidney stone

Ghastly cries

Wisdom tooth

Beedy eyes

Awful truth

Spectral trail

Flaxen hair

Ghostly wail

Piercing stare

Wormwood sliver

Genii gem

Canopic liver

Apple stem

-AE

Thirty Days Has September

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“…tell me you didn’t use pumpkin spice…”

Wow – that went fast.  Falloween has passed and we are on to the next.  I do hope October doesn’t speed by, I like to take time and savor this time of year.  Deeply Autumn, scent and sense and scintillation.  Spice and season, crackle and rustle, thrill and shiver.  Days spent in anticipation, the gradual reveal of funereal farce and festive folly.  Countdown to Halloween begins tonite, midnight, don’t forget to stop by and look over all the great Halloween themed blogs to surface this time of year, as a hand reaching through the ground that grabs for your attention.  Always so much to experience from the creators and curators of these specialized blogspots…a wonderful way to spend a little time during the coming weeks.  Check the link at right to get yourself started.  My own blog will be witch flavored this year, I will be stirring, spicing, swirling up a cauldron of tidbits about my favorite icon of the season.

 

Mirth and Musings Part 17

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I was just leaving my place the other day to do some shopping and driving up the highway noticed two jack-o-lanterns decorating some porch steps.  They caught my eye for a number of reasons, that I am on the lookout generally this time of year for folks to begin setting out pumpkins on porches as they bring them home from lot, farms, markets, etc. and because these particular ones had already shrunken inwards. I determined that they were in service from the night previous (otherwise I am certain to have noticed them before) and thought it an odd thing considering its quite early to be putting these winter squash under the knife. It left me wondering just why they’d been sacrificed so soon.  Early celebration of Autumnal glee?  Birthday party?  General exuberance? Dry run?  I suppose I will never know – just another Halloweenesque mystery that will remain unsolved.  I do however appreciate the effort.  It is just a simple thing, really, whether in abundance from your favorite pumpkin ranch stand or picked up as an afterthought as you roam a supermarket, the bright orange beckons and betides.  A definite herald of the Season. Whether sitting alone atop a mantelpiece or countertop or in mass upon the porch steps.  Minuscule or jumbo, tall, fat, round, smooth, pebbled, even white, gray or cinderella, this annual tribute to the Eve is welcome in its forms and prized in its function.  Though diminutive in comparison to grand displays of Haunters everywhere, it remains the definitive measure of Halloween involvement, maybe even more than the porch light.   The superlative harbinger of mischief, mayhem and madcap.

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Anticipate the Equinox

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I know its still three weeks until the “official” start of Fall, but its September 2 and for me Fall begins now.  In the absence of the colours, weather and general coziness of the Season (since its still way too hot for those lovely steamy drinks, pumpkin spiced or otherwise) there are the more prosaic heralds of the changing of the “gourd”.  The usual cryers of the earlybirds of retail have come, and gone.  First was the much anticipated 10th Anniversary of the Yankee Candle Boney Bunch collectible figures, next for me was the now annual trip to Rogers Gardens and their detailed themed displays which are always a surefire blast of welcome and kick-off to the coming weeks of planning and preparation, its nice to see others have been doing so for months and months. I will post more info about them, be sure to drop by and take a look for yourself.  Other major retailers are keeping up but some have decidedly fallen back in their support, Pottery Barn and its partner store William Sonoma have been offering what is really the same themed merchandise for a few years now and its disappointing to see, they were the last of the big name stores to still offer thoughtful and beautifully packaged wares.  The Crate and Barrel offerings are always simple, but beautiful, and this year is no different.  Michaels, T.J.Maxx, Marshalls and Target and Home Goods are all following suit and filling their shelves, albeit slowly, with a huge variety of the usual and the new.  So it’s starting to look alot like…Halloween.  Can’t say I am disappointed in that.  Nice to know I don’t have to explain why I am dragging out my boxes and boxes of skeletons, witches, ghosts and carved jacks so “early” – seems I am right on time.

Malevolent Mirth

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Posting this as the clock strikes midnight and porch lights darken on another fiendish, funky, frivolity-filled festival of fright! Hope you all got what you wanted in those plastic orange pumpkins, sorting through wrappers on a self-induced sugar high, a good replacement for the adrenalin now on the wane. Halloween 2017 falls on a Tuesday which will prompt its own challenges and I for one am grateful for the long weekend this year which meant a lovely long stretch of the legs towards the slow amble of this evening.  I really appreciated being able to indulge in the extra time to surprise and savor.  That being said, this month flew by faster than witches on firebolts, and as an extension of the magical theme of the Season, am really looking forward to seeing Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them which opens Nov. 18th, 2016 – yet another foray into the wizarding world of you-know-who.  Let me thank you all again, those of you who stopped by for a bit of “light reading” and I hope you found something you liked.  Kudos to Countdown to Halloween for another raucous romp through Halloween blogs, nods to all those who partook for their dedication.  I am posting a painting by an etsy artist named Chelsea Bester, this witchful depiction of the nights festivities leaves me wistful and wishing for just a little more time, alas I must reset the clock.  Malevolent mirth indeed, till the moon rises next Eve, farewell!

 

Perils Night

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For one Night only amid the Pall

Of fleeting days that come with Fall

Into that time of lengthy nights

Come Harvest Moon and candy Rites

For this night only Perils walk

And Nightmares wake as mortals gawk

Upon odd Folk on festooned streets

Marauders bent on taking Treats

For one night only alive They seem

To Whimsic frolic as if a dream

To Caper and Croon til Cock will Crow

With fierce abandon They bestow

For one night only We join the Fest

And add our glee to glamour’s Best

To mix Within and earn Their pass

To hide ourselves amid the Mass

For this night only too soon will end

Sun will rise and Barrier mend

They’ll draw away as if a wand

Had swept them off to Their Beyond

For this night only You too will pine

To be among those few Sublime

Who in Their turn will watch and wait

For warmer Seasons to abate

For this night only They will Return

As surely as the candles Burn

And once more will They dance on scene

With all who welcome Halloween!

by A.E., October 2009

Mirth and Musings Part 16

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I am encountering a rise in anticipation as the Eve approaches and I find that anticipation can quickly turn to anxious knots as preparations progress.  Still its not without merit as I liken it to the same apprehension I would feel venturing out into the darkness, drawn towards the smoky lights of flickering jack-o-lanterns, the more ambitious smoke and mirrors of yard haunts, even the rather mundane porch light.  In my day (yes, I am that old) we left the house in our made up costumes, lucky enough when Mom took a hand, and with just a group of friends with hands grasping well worn pillowcases, brown paper bags or the (dare to dream) printed plastic shopping bag, with its colorful Halloween images, take ourselves off into the unknown.  This New Yorker Magazine cover by Abe Birnbaum is a wonderful image of a group of friends heading out along well worn or maybe undiscovered paths on that annual candy rite of passage.  Certainly the prospect of free candy had its merits, but I think it was the absence of adult supervision that really appealed to me.  We could go anywhere – talk to anyone – take part in mazes and haunted garages and plans and plots for short-cuts to far off neighborhoods we only really saw from the school bus windows.  It was a no holds barred aberration of rules, instead of being home before the street lights came on we made our way through the darkness to those elusive flickering lights of yards and doorways, instead of making certain we were dressed appropriately for our destination we chose the rattiest or gaudiest draping we could find to deck ourselves out to fit our idea of “witch” or “ghoul” or “Batman” or “princess” and instead of being told we couldn’t have one more piece of candy, we could gorge as we went along, sure in the knowledge of one more street to plunder before the porches went dark.  Sigh.  So despite the hype of candy checking and actual horror of “trunk o treating” I extend my heartfelt appreciation to those of you still doing it the old fashioned way on both sides of the door.  To you Trick or Treaters and Haunters everywhere making the journey and the destination equally worthwhile.