Halloween Candy

I’ll toss this in your trick-or-treating bag: an excerpt from a lengthy dark poem I included in my chapbook Fruit & Bones.  The entire thing is embarassingly long, but a bit of it still goes down rather nicely with the chill wine of October…

Dr. Mirabilis

…In the dream she saw two stars

framed in the window’s upper reach

like twin fires on some far hill

and thought she heard the roar

and flutter of the flames.

The scent of autumn, smoky cold,

drifted in as guests departed –

perfume of rain-gilt leaf and root

and mushroom-candled loam.


Two stars like eyes were all her field

of view, more luminous with each

whispered tick of tall case clock,

nearer with each breezy sweep

of pendulum, silken-hushed

as wings against the dusk.

From the barn loft dropped the owl,

gliding round-faced through the wood,

feathers belled by silver sequined

drops of rain.


Behind it streamed a star-burnt tide

of living night, like velvet brushed

and beckoning the touch.

She felt its pull, the soft seduction

of the traveling dead,

their speed and purpose unimpeded

in the owl’s broad wake.


Up she flew, and saw below her swift feet

the ranks of trees, shattered pools in mossy glades,

the tilting earth in sable clothed,

white-flame streaks of meteors like

scars upon the hide of night,

and all was silent as the tomb.


Her heart grew heavy in her breast;

like rain, it would return to earth.

She faltered in her flight and tumbled

down between the worlds…