All Hallows’ Eve . . .

Caldron nearby
she is the enigma,
silver flowing garb
white hair plaited high.
Index fingers encased in wax,
flame extinguished
by gust from fleeing bats.

Eyes heavenward, pointing skyward
she seeks illumination.
Answering nay, consumed by clouds,
lunar glow dims and disappears.
Tear soaked cheeks
dried on thinnest cloth
sHow dwindling faith . . .

     consumed moon
          pearls from tissue
               candle salve
                    skulls of saints
                              spiritual songs


her crooning voice cracks
this hallowed eve.
This burial ground,
last chance
to find her gods.
All sounds, all hopes
cease.

Pleas unanswered
she returns to abysmal cave,
forsaken and alone.

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Laura hosts and refers us to the American Poet, Samuel Greenburg. His “…feverish tubercular episodes gave him a verbal recklessness that lent itself to surrealism.” In The Pale Impromptu, written in 1915, he strings words together in indentations and to Laura, they appear like charms on a bracelet. She has listed for us twenty-one of these “charm” phrases from The Pale Impromptu and asks us to use five of them in our poem. I’ve attempted to use his form as well as five of his “charms” which are italicized for easy recognition. My apologies to Laura and Samuel Greenburg if I’ve not explained this very well.

Photo from Pixabay.com

37 thoughts on “All Hallows’ Eve . . .

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) October 20, 2020 / 2:13 pm

    Oh I love this… a story of loss I read… did she hope to raise someone loved from the grave?… it will not work … it never does.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Laura Bloomsbury October 20, 2020 / 3:16 pm

    Very well explained Lilian. I like how you made the ‘charms’ into an incantation for this seasonally haunting poem full of visuals:

    “white hair plaited high.
    Index fingers encased in wax”

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 27, 2020 / 12:38 pm

      Thank you, Laura. This was a challenging prompt….I enjoyed it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. kim881 October 20, 2020 / 3:25 pm

    I like that you used his form as well as five of his ‘charms’, Lill, which has turned into a proper witch’s spell. You’re already geared up for Halloween! I love the way you indented the charms, as if she is chanting them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 27, 2020 / 12:38 pm

      Thank you, Kim. It was a fun one to do! Tis the season of the bewitching! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Carol J Forrester October 20, 2020 / 3:46 pm

    You tell such a clear story here, without loosing the way trying to fit in the lines. I love the image of the spellcaster at the start. I got the impression of someone poised, and elegant, rather than the typical bent crone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 27, 2020 / 12:39 pm

      Exactly! Witches are so stereotyped as black hats and robes, warts on their noses etc. I wanted to make her different….elegant, exactly!

      Like

  5. peterfrankiswrites October 20, 2020 / 3:53 pm

    Portrait of a despairing and unquiet soul – abandoned by moon, bats(!) and the very gods she’d hoped to find. Very seasonal, very spooky.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 27, 2020 / 12:39 pm

      Thank you. Glad you enjoyed. Tis the season of the bewitching! 🙂

      Like

  6. msjadeli October 20, 2020 / 3:58 pm

    I feel her sorrow and imagine her there in the dark, waiting until next year to try again 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Glenn A. Buttkus October 20, 2020 / 5:05 pm

    Spooky and spiritual, spiced with Greenberg–a strong poetic with a clever tip of the top pen to Greenberg’s style and eccentricity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 27, 2020 / 12:40 pm

      His style is eccentric indeed. Glad you enjoyed, Glenn.

      Like

  8. sanaarizvi October 20, 2020 / 5:37 pm

    This is deliciously spooky and feels like a tale which has been told and spread over the generations. I especially love; “Eyes heavenward, pointing skyward she seeks illumination.” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 27, 2020 / 12:41 pm

      Thank you, Sanaa. A witches tale for the season 🙂

      Like

  9. hank77 October 20, 2020 / 7:36 pm

    kaykuala

    she returns to abysmal cave,
    forsaken and alone.

    There are times solace for a while can be the therapeutic answer. Wonderful wordcraft Lillian!

    Hank

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 27, 2020 / 12:41 pm

      Thank you, Hank. Glad you enjoyed!

      Like

    • lillian October 27, 2020 / 12:41 pm

      Well, captivation is good…..especially in this bewitching season! 🙂

      Like

  10. Ingrid October 21, 2020 / 3:28 am

    You’ve written the perfect poem for Halloween here, Lilian, and your words seem really in tune with Greenberg’s style. I really enjoyed this Halloween treat!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 27, 2020 / 12:42 pm

      Oh thank you, Ingrid. So glad you enjoyed! Tis the season for bewitching tales. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 27, 2020 / 12:42 pm

      …bubble bubble boil and trouble….. Tis the bewitching season!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Xan October 22, 2020 / 9:37 am

    A lovely response to the prompt. I found the prompt very constraining (which I suppose is what poetry is–constraint of words to tell larger truths), and couldn’t find the rhythm, but you’ve really made this your own.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 27, 2020 / 12:43 pm

      Oh….I’m with you on finding some poetic forms constraining. The minute someone asks for iambic pentameter I shudder and I have to count beats on my fingers etc. I’m definitely a free verse kinda gal!

      Like

  12. rothpoetry October 22, 2020 / 9:57 am

    A spooky one for sure! You have captured the Greenberg style very well!
    I love this…
    Index fingers encased in wax,
    flame extinguished
    by gust from fleeing bats.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 27, 2020 / 12:43 pm

      So glad you enjoyed! It was a challenging prompt…but I ended up enjoying it alot! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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