Poems are often scary for Halloween, but some folks enjoy a chuckle or two. Here are a couple.
(Remember, all poems are best read out loud. These two are no exception.)
by Charles Causley
Colonel Fazackerley Butterworth-Toast
Bought an old castle complete with a ghost,
But someone or other forgot to declare
To Colonel Fazack that the specter was there.
On the very first evening, while waiting to dine,
The Colonel was taking a fine sherry wine,
When the ghost, with a furious flash and a flare,
Shot out of the chimney and shivered, "Beware!"
Colonel Fazackerley put down his glass
And said, "My dear fellow, that's really first class!
I just can't conceive how you do it at all.
I imagine you're going to a Fancy Dress Ball?"
At this, the dread ghost gave a withering cry.
Said the Colonel (his monocle firm in his eye),
"Now, just how you do it, I wish I could think.
Do sit down and tell me, and please have a drink."
The ghost in his phosphorous cloak gave a roar
And floated about between ceiling and floor.
He walked through a wall and returned through a pane
And backed up the chimney and came down again.
Said the Colonel, "With laughter, I'm feeling quite weak!"
(As trickles of merriment ran down his cheek).
"My housewarming party. I hope you won't spurn.
You must say you'll come and give us a turn!"
At this, the poor specter- quite out of his wits-
Proceeded to shake himself almost to bits.
He rattled his chains, and he clattered his bones
And he filled the whole castle with mumbles and moans.
but Colonel Fazackerley, just as before,
He was simply delighted and called out, "Encore!"
At which the ghost vanished, his efforts in vain,
And never was seen at the castle again.
"Oh dear, what a pity!" said Colonel Fazack.
"I don't know his name, so I can't call him back."
And then, with a smile that was hard to define,
Colonel Fazackerley went in to dine.
I included the following poem, which has an elf, part of Halloween lore.
The Elf and the Dormouse
by Oliver Herford
Under a toadstool
Crept a wee Elf,
Out of the rain
Under the toadstool,
Sat a big Dormouse
All in a heap.
Trembled the wee Elf,
Frightened, and yet
Fearing to fly away
Lest he get wet.
To the next shelter-
Maybe a mile!
Sudden the wee Elf
Smiled a wee smile,
Tugged till the toadstool
Toppled in two.
Holding it over him
Gaily he flew.
Soon, he was safe home
Dry as could be.
Soon woke the Dormouse-
"Good gracious me!"
Where is my toadstool?"
Loud he lamented.
__And that's how umbrellas
First were invented.
In a National Geographic article, William Shakespeare wrote about witches in Macbeth as King James I of England believed in witches and witchcraft. The King wrote Daemonologie in 1597 and presided over the persecution of witches in Scotland.
I hope you enjoyed my blogs on Halloween. I will close by posting my favorite poem by Harry Behn.
Tonight is the night
When dead leaves fly
Like witches on switches
Across the sky,
When Elf and sprite
Flit through the night
On a moony sheen.
Tonight is the night.
When leaves make a sound
Like a gnome in his home
Under the ground,
When spooks and trolls
Creep out of holes
Mossy and green.
Tonight is the night
When pumpkins stare
Through sheaves and leaves
Where ghouls and ghost
And goblin host
Dance round their queen.
I'm glad it is dead leaves that fly like witches and make a sound like a gnome, and it is the pumpkins who stare.
In my mind, it's great that "real" witches, ghouls, and ghosts don't exist. Still, I wish you all a Happy Halloween!