That great anglo-saxon institution...Apparently originated from Rome and one of its feasts - Pomona - the goddess of Fruit & Seeds... Or in the festival of the dead, Parentalia.
Wow - seeds of life to roots of death. Deep!
Linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain, in turn derived from Old Irish, meaning roughly Summer's End. Cool! ...Where does it leave us in all that? I plunged my knife through orange skin and curve a grin to kiss my fears!
As soon as I heard the Westsiders were invited, a brand new challenge creeped up. A creative process with much darker flavours. Not really my cup of tea so much I celebrate the world of the living and walk my shore in all its light!
We did not wait for the last day of October to gather up and have wir fun on the island... Karen Fraser is such a busy librarian, she invited a few of us to get spooky and celebrate this occasion with taste and style.
The poster said it all... Something Wicked
The three witches opened that night.
Our actors from Serpentine Drama entered this great temple of books in full regalia. The tone was set.
Among our group of Westside Writers, Karen's wickedness did not give me the chance to let fly those butterflies in my stomach. Nordicblackbird sang under the lamp post at eye level... And then my fellow companions delighted the assembly with prose, poetry and music. Great fun!
Each one of us faced that moment - Vaila Boston, Beth Fullerton, Robin Ditchburn, Donald Anderson, James Sinclair... Doug Forrest and June Ross-Smith.
Such a myriad of voices in their own right.
And in-between moments of spook, that impromptu performed by the Hellish Fiddler! ...What I called the shrieking fiddle.
Another friend joined in for fun - Gordon Dargie, who began his act in darkness and relying on a mini-torch to read his words. Grace.
As we all lost track of the clock, Andrew Ross and his gang of musical witches joined in to add to the celebration. Delight.
The Great Classics were not at all relegated to that cupboard where skeletons jig, sleep and dream... Bien au contraire. Our other librarian, Kat Brack, based at the Anderson High School, voiced Hamlet and Frankenstein among other delightful chubby cheeks. Self-indulgence and pure pleasure! She and local actor, Peter Ratter, gave a vivid chill through that attempt to revive the ghost of Hamlet's dad.
Fun night. That autumn gale still howls outside.
Blackbird's attempt to tweet dark style...
Three Halloween Haikus
Moon in eclipse, On the last day of October,
may the dead rise among black cats – pumpkin faces on window sills -
boo! fog & fright.
Trick or treat,
Pyramids of Quality Street –
Hallowmas at Tesco’s.
The Curse of the Full Moon for Rosco & co.
You stopped to photograph beauty.
What was between North Sea and stars?
Bewitched by her power to shine inside that great indigo room where eyes reflect on horizon, you cried for light instead of wolves and bowed to the great hunter’s moon.
Who wants to flirt with her dark side?
Crystalised air, night turned to knives. As you decided to go home, car ignition remained silent. You turned the key so many times, that sudden fear steamed up windows…
Your dashboard’s jinxed, as it flicked & blinked inside black.
Why do you believe in angels?
You watched headlights whiz on main road. Nobody saw you from above, too busy, focused on cat’s eyes… Knives turned to swords. Hunter’s Moon beamed indifferent.
A seagull’s wings across the sea. One simple call, they always come to the rescue.
To hell with chimes, mice and midnight!
Take a wild ride among dark woods -
two headdressed horses
with dark plumes,
The sly grin carved to kiss your fears,
the hollow face lit with a match.
Now the bairns
left for trick-or-treat,
let's laugh in the pulp of horror,
distorted void in the mirror,
shadows on slashed walls,
eye in the earth, furrowing claws -
squeeze the marrowbone off the blade...
Hold your horses:
you dance with ghouls but despise gore -
let's add garlic to pumpkin juice,
sieve the concoction from the seeds
and serve it with dandelions...
Now raise your glass to Hallowmas.
© Nat Hall 2010