Yes, “’tis near Halloween!” Here, in my corner of the map, it’s autumn—a time filled with all the color and glory of the calendar’s last bright whirl. With Halloween near, I thought a related prompt might be fun.
By the way, did you know that the poet John Keats was born on Halloween in 1795? His last poem is an untitled, eight-line fragment that seems chillingly well-suited to his birthday:
This living hand, now warm and capable
Of earnest grasping, would, if it were cold
And in the icy silence of the tomb,
So haunt thy days and chill thy dreaming nights
That thou would wish thine own heart dry of blood
So in my veins red life might stream again,
And thou be conscience-calmed—see here it is—
I hold it towards you.
For our Halloween prompt this year, begin by reading some Halloween and associated poems to get into the "spirit" (some examples are offered below), and then write a Halloween poem that brings back the memory of a particular Halloween (from childhood or more recent), a costume you’ve worn or wanted to wear, or a mask that says something about you. There are no guidelines or tips other than to observe the usual caveats and to have fun with this. Here you go ...
- Your poem can take any form: narrative, lyric, prose
- Be sure to evoke a mood or tone that's compatible with your subject.
- Include some “creepy” similes and metaphors.
- Use language that's appropriate to Halloween and your content.
And, by way of sharing, here’s a Halloween prose poem from my book A Lightness, A Thirst, or Nothing at All:
By Adele Kenny
Trick-or-treaters come to the door repeatedly—little ones early, older kids into the night until she runs out of candy and turns off the outside lights. The wall between worlds is thin (aura over aura—stars flicker and flinch). The woman buttons her coat, checks her reflection in the mirror, and stands cheek to glass (eye on her own eye, its abstract edge). She leaves the house (empty house that we all become)—shadows shaped to the trees, crows in the high branches.