Mists of Halloween Magic



The creeping cold sweeps graying clouds

over blazing autumn branches

And familiar cats grip wicket fences

poised upon their haunches


The green has drained from leaves

like rosy-pinkness from the faces

of Momma’s children watching

covens haunting up the high places


The leaves loosen and they fall

like ripe fruit drops into the hand

blowing pungent yellow spices

across the hallow glowing land


The rustling of the leaves

and the cawing of the crows

the scratching of tree limbs

upon the darkened windows


Send the goblins and the ghosties

and little witchies galore

cohorting out from their coffins

to fall upon our doors


Spooks they seeth and spirits writhe

they precipitate from the night

shadows leer a bloodless sneer

bent away from happy light


While wolves they howl to silent moon

and bats they swarm and twitter

Gremlins growl and goblins mutter

where eyes in blackened bushes glitter


So children follow their fearless fathers

out upon this nighttime excursion

to celebrate the coolness

following summer’s dispersion


to where pumpkins are lining

the festively decorated streets

ghoulishly beckoning

these feisty fiends for sugary treats


For candies and pastries

and rosy apples in caramel

they threaten “Trick or Treat”

as they thump upon the doorbells.


And mother stays home

boiling and brewing her cider

to serve to her witches

with chocolate-dipped spiders


So magic is and magic’s not

where Diviner’s fire’s smoulder

So magic is and magic’s not

in the heart of the beholder.


Yet in the coiling mist,

the many pointed deer

go silent through the orchard

with nothing to arouse their fear


And trees they bend and limbs they dance

their supple balding arms

to the strength of winding Wind

singing his cherished ancient hymn.


The Magic Sword and the Basement Dragon


Once upon a time there was a wealthy family that was renown throughout the land as mighty dragon slayers.  A double-edged magic Sword had been passed down from father to son as the family’s tool to purge the evil dragons from the countryside. Great-Grandfather had battled a dragon in its cave, Grandfather had battled a dragon in his pasture, and Father had battled a dragon in the barn. Each father had triumphed over the dragon in its attempt to consume his family using this Sword.


In these days, the son owned the Sword. He lived in a small cottage in a field full of well clothed flowing grasses and bright ravens with his two daughters. The countryside was quiet, for the dragon no longer openly terrorized the farming families. Indeed, saying, “Peace! Peace!” was the popular greeting in the markets and fields.


However, there was no true peace, for the dragon had crept into the man’s home and taken residence in his basement, curled up on top of their store of heirloom gold. The man was determined that one day he would go down there and challenge the dragon, but days turned to weeks, and weeks turned to years, and the man had yet to confront the dragon in his basement.


The reason he had been putting the battle off was his discovery that the magic Sword  could be used for gain. When he used it to dig up the soil around his house, it turned up hidden nick-knacks, curios, novelties, and trinkets.  Every new morning he would tell himself, “Today is the day I will slay the dragon!” But the Sword turned up so many interesting things in the soil, he would lose interest in dragon slaying by lunchtime. Now the man is not to be blamed entirely, for his two daughters, being silly creatures, were delighted in the trinkets their father brought home.  “Give! Give!” The two daughters cried, and the man, who was the son of the great dragon slayers, spent his time using the magic sword digging in the mud around the cottage, sifting the dirt for things that might amuse his daughters.


Presently, the little cottage, which was built to house a family and their necessities, became so full, that many rooms became unnavigable, and the man resolved to build a bigger storehouse for his daughters’ things.


Now the dragon, who had been hiding in the basement, was growing bolder day by day. The more the man used the Sword’s power to raise up idols from the dust, the stronger the dragon grew. He was no longer content to sleep on the pile of gold in the darkness, but was ready to occupy the space above as well. The time was ripe, for the man had been leaving the Sword unused on his bedside table as he worked on completing his storehouse. The dragon resolved to eat the man and his daughters as soon as he was finished building the new storehouse. “Why should I have to complete the project?” reasoned the dragon, “Let him finish it for me.”


On the day the man was to finish the storehouse, a wild looking Stranger rode into town. He was heavily armed and looked ready for battle. “Peace! Peace!” said the villagers. “I did not come to bring peace,” said the Stranger, “But a sword. Where is the son of the great dragon slayers?” “He is in the field finishing his storehouse,” the villagers replied.


When the stranger arrived at the storehouse the dragon was pounding his way out of the basement. The girls had run in terror to their father, who, without the Sword, was defenseless to protect them. Immediately, the Stranger lit fire to the cottage. The fire joyfully plundered their goods, and as the trinkets were consumed the dragon began to lose his strength. The ashes from the cottage curled off into the wind, and the dragon, now the size of a snake bit the strangers heel, who turned and crushed the his head into the dust.


The son of the mighty dragon slayers with his two daughters, was saved, but only through the refinement of the fire. However, he never again used the magic of the Sword for gain, but he and his daughters ride with the Stranger slaying dragons all over the countryside. And once again, the countryside knows peace.

The End