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Originally posted by [profile] greenmanenvy_fd at With Long Boney Fingers... / The Spell of Jack O' Lantern

With Long Boney Fingers...

With Long Boney Fingers... 2008

The Spell of Jack O' Lantern

By Everett A Warren

With the chill of the night air
comes the fear that he shall return;
Dried corn stalks without the gleaming bones
line the paths he walks,
grinning ear to ear,
as in his heart evil wyrms churn.

Come the harvest moon and the flurry of falling leaves
comes the fear that he shall reap what we have sown;
Cried our tears and left them out to dry
up to the windowsill he stalks,
plucking them up like roasted seeds
upon which he feeds – if they please him, he shall leave us alone.

As the midnight bell tolls
over the fields he rides;
Firelight like autumn leaves flickering in his eyes,
the only warmth he'll ever show,
dancing in the darkness and blood,
as his world and ours collides.

With a creak of a door in the dark of night
comes the fear that has become real;
Soft footfalls upon the stairs,
like whispers of the ravens wing,
silencing the blood in a poor soul's veins,
quiet, now, the night, as the final bells peal.

So heed this warning, for in the waning months
comes the fear that each year he returns;
Bitter winds and silent cries
are all that he leaves behind,
fallen leaves and fallen lives
fuel the fires that, in our dreams, he burns.

Copyright © 2004 Everett A Warren

This poem can be found in the collection Poetry from the Porch Period,
available via the publisher or from Amazon.com
or on order from your local bookstore!

ellyssian: (Default)
Individual local governments set trick or treating to whatever day they want (this seems to be pretty much a Lehigh Valley/surrounding area thing - I've heard that places slightly north and, presumably, west, and maybe south of here act normal and Halloween occurs when it is supposed to.

Moving the trick or treating to other days just sucks the life out of it for me - it's fine when trick or treating happens (for us, the last Wednesday of October), but it makes Halloween itself... just seem like another day.

Bah, humbug.

You'd think after a dozen years of this crap I'd be used to it.

Allentown had its Halloween on some other schedule - I only experienced that my first year here: bought tons of candy and made ready to greet all the kids - the place gets into Halloween even more than Salem, MA, so I thought it was going to be great; turns out the kids were out and about while I was out getting the candy the day before. WTF?

Bethlehem also has it on some other schedule, and after 5 years of it, I have no clue. You just listen to when others say it is. Maybe it's the last Friday of the month. I don't know.

You really have to check the paper.

No, seriously.

They publish a schedule each year, because otherwise no one knows what day trick or treating will be on. Move from out of the area and don't read the paper, well, you're SOL.

People who aren't from this area don't understand this concept. People from here seem to accept it.

I think, in a dozen years, there's been trick-or-treating on Halloween maybe once.

For entertainment purposes, here's this year's schedule - with Halloween falling on a Friday, there's an abnormally high number of days on the actual day (some of them do have trick-or-treating on Halloween; others go with the last Friday, which happens to work out this year...):

Alburtis: 6-8 p.m. Friday . No rain date.

Allentown: 6-8 p.m. Friday.

Allen Township: 6-8 p.m. Friday. Rain or shine.

Bath: 6-8 p.m. Friday.

Bethlehem: 6-8 p.m. Friday.

Bethlehem Township: 6-8 p.m. Friday. No rain date.

Bowmanstown: 6-8 p.m.Wednesday.

Breiningsville: 6-8 p.m. Friday. Rain date, 6-8 p.m. Saturday .

Bushkill Township: 6-8 p.m. Friday. No rain date.

Coopersburg: 6-8 p.m. Friday. Rain date, Saturday.

Coplay: 6-8 p.m. Friday. Rain date, Saturday.

East Allen Township: 6-8 p.m. Friday. Rain or shine.

Easton: 6-8 p.m. Friday.

Emmaus: 6-8 p.m. Thursday.

Fleetwood: 6-9 p.m. Thursday and Friday. No rain date.

Forks Township: 6-8 p.m. Friday.

Fountain Hill: 6-8 p.m. Friday. Rain or shine.

Freemansburg: 6-8 p.m. Friday. Rain date, Saturday.

Hamburg: 6-9 p.m. Thursday and Friday.

Hanover Township, Lehigh County: 6-8 p.m. Friday.

Hanover Township, Northampton County: 6-8 p.m. Friday.

Jim Thorpe: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday.

Kutztown: 6-9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.

Lehighton: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday. No rain date.

Lehigh Township: 6-8 p.m. Friday. No rain date.

Lower Macungie Township: 6-8 p.m. Friday. No rain date.

Lower Milford Township: 8 p.m. Friday.

Lower Nazareth Township: 6-8 p.m. Friday.

Macungie: 6-8 p.m. Friday.

Moore Township: Friday(no official time).

Nazareth: 6-8 p.m. Friday.

Northampton: 6-8 p.m. Friday.

North Whitehall Township: 6-8 p.m. Oct. 31. Rain date, Saturday.

Palmer Township: 6-8 p.m. Friday.

Palmerton: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday.

Perkasie: 6-9 p.m. Friday. No rain date.

Quakertown: 6-9 p.m. Friday. No rain date.

Phillipsburg: 5-7 p.m. Friday.

Roseto: 6-9 p.m. Friday.

Salisbury Township: 6-8 p.m. Friday. No rain date.

Slatington: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday.

South Whitehall Township: 6-8 p.m. Friday. Rain date, Saturday.

Springfield Township: 6-8 p.m. Friday.

Stockertown: 6-8 p.m. Friday.

Stroudsburg: 6-8 p.m. Friday.

Tamaqua: 6-8 p.m. Thursday.

Tatamy: 6-8 p.m. Friday.

Topton: 6-8 p.m. Friday.

Upper Macungie Township: 6-8 p.m. Friday. No rain date.

Upper Milford Township: 6-8 p.m. Friday. No rain date.

Upper Nazareth Township: 6-8 p.m. Friday. No rain date.

Upper Saucon Township: 6-8 p.m. Friday. Rain date, Nov. 1.

Walnutport: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday.

Washington Township, Lehigh County: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday.

Whitehall Township: 6-8 p.m. Friday. Rain date, Saturday.

Wilson: 6-8 p.m. Thursday.
ellyssian: (Default)
Last night, [livejournal.com profile] aequitaslevitas and I set up a makeshift driveway light so trick-or-treaters could find their way up the driveway:

Will o' Wisp
Will o' Wisp

Some more under the cut... )
ellyssian: (Default)
Last night was Brandon's first time going door-to-door on Halloween. He went as a fireman, with his bright yellow jacket, a yellow helmet with visor, heavy coveralls, and big ol' boots. Deb made him an axe out of foil & a stick. Turns out you can (once again) buy tons of guns, soldiering, and policing type stuff at toy stores, but there was nary a playset or single piece of toy equipment for a fireman to be found.

On the way back to the house, Mr. B was excited to get down to the real business of the night: eating some of the two pumpkins-full of candy he collected. He turned to Deb and said "Dad seerily likes candy" in a very seeril, I mean serious, tone.

Rachel went as an artist - all paint-splattered and Jillyish - and her cousin Dariah went as an award winning gymnast. I asked both girls when they were going to change into costumes - Rachel is starting deny she can do artwork (although she limited her denials to watercolors) and Dariah is a gymnast, and if she hasn't picked up awards yet I expect she might sometime soon.

Justin and I handed out candy, and we had to close down shop about a half hour or forty-five minutes early on account of running out. First time in four years that we ran out of candy. Actually, one of the first times in my life. Even when we were in Bethlehem, we barely handed out stuff to more than two or three kids, even though we were just on the edge of a neighborhood that made those overly populated cinematic Halloween sequences look like ghost towns (seriously, I mean, seerily, most houses on one of the streets would run out of candy within a half hour or so... each house would have a line of kids waiting...)

This was also the first night in maybe a dozen years that trick-or-treating actually coincided with Halloween. Eastern Pennsylvanians are strange people, what with all this random date determination and all.

After we shut down, Justin and I took a look at the stars. The lights from the neighboring house still blazed bright, but we were able to pick out a lot more up there than I ever recall seeing before. Nice night for it.
ellyssian: (Default)
Peeps, made by JustBorn, just around the corner from here, has left the bunnies and duckies of Easter behind (for now), with a collection of bats, ghosts, and other things to celebrate Halloween.

So I'm eating spiders today... =)

~ ~ ~

In other news, our area's tradition of holding trick-or-treat on any day *except* that which it falls upon in all other sane portions of the world has worked against those in our city! The last Wednesday of the month, which is the mandated day for such festivities, just so happens to be Halloween this year.

It's been more than 10 years since I've been around trick-or-treating on some random, local government declared day - it will be nice to have it back where it should be.
ellyssian: (Default)

The Nightmare Before Christmas (Special Edition)

I realized, as I sat watching this with Justin, that this movie - like a handful of others - will always have an additional special meaning to me.

First off, I love Tim Burton's stuff. His imagery, when you get to the essence of it, is always somewhere between Halloween and Christmas. Think of Edward Scissorhands, with the dark and eerie appearance, but with Edward's deep and loving innocence at its heart, or his second Batman film, with the Dark Knight lit with the bright lights of Christmas. However he may use that imagery in other movies, this movie, which starts on Halloween and ends on Christmas, is that imagery.

Danny Elfman, as a composer, also lives in that same realm, which is one of the reasons that the two work together so often. One of my favorite directors, and one of my favorite composers.

The story here is also great; simple, perhaps, but perfectly fitted to the whole of the work. The stop-motion animation brings back memories, as the narrator says at the opening, of those holiday worlds of old.

For me, though, what I will always remember is watching it with Justin about 10 years ago. I had just moved to Pennsylvania, and that move ended immediately in an split from Deb. I absolutely hated seeing Justin only on weekends - but I treasured that time spent, and it is really the only thing I remember much about from those months.

Like this movie, the separation spanned from (a month or two before) Halloween to (a couple weeks after) Christmas. I had no car, so a friend from work drove me to the mall to get Justin presents. A big yellow dump truck was the main toy - and, as it was a very tiny apartment, the truck carried a 3' tall tree in it.

I remember watching certain movies with Justin when he'd come over - this one and A Muppet Christmas Carol in particular - and I will forever identify them with a feeling that was a mixture of pain and pleasure, sorrow and heart-warming. Something kind of like the contrast between Halloween and Christmas.
ellyssian: (Default)
Friday night we went to a neighborhood halloween party, where Brandon-as-a-Pokemon ran around (mostly out in the cold rain) and visited with pumpkin friends in the yard. Deb wound up chasing him because my sword and Justin's dragon couldn't get wet - however, since Deb chose to go as a harried housewife, I thought this added an extra touch to her costume. =)

Rachel reprised her roll from last week's-having-absolutely-nothing-to-do-with-the-real-actual-Halloween-which-*still*-hasn't-happened trick-or-treat, and went as a karate student. From Mars, she decided, although I can't verify for the authenticity of that part. Justin went as a dragon mage, with his familiar sitting on his shoulder and looking around attentively, almost nearly poking a few eyes out with his long wings. I just carried a sword instead of a walking stick (I debated bringing both, and bringing my dragon along for the ride, but decided to keep it simple. Two hands were needed to prevent people from attempting to draw the katana, and to keep it from swinging around into people.

Later that same evening, Justin read of some of the maneuvers from The Book of Nine Swords so I reinvent Tungur Knivur as a crusader of Thor (which he always was anyway; the DM allowed the swap with the level of fighter because we didn't have the book to begin with.) The name of the class and of the three disciplines available underwent quasi-Norsification, so, in addition to being a Skald and a Stormsanger, he's also a (big nod to a certain Michael) Storm Bringer with studies in the Gathering Storm, Mountain Heart, and Frost Raven disciplines. He's also a couple sections into The Saga of Giant's Gate, but I'll hold off posting it for at least a week. I'd like to catch up so I'm not posting bits of the sagas so long after we play them out, but I don't know if that will happen. It is, after all, just a game, and not my highest priority.

Saturday, I broke my back into tiny little pieces for [livejournal.com profile] dragonflypug, who moved. Again. Much use of the heating pad over the rest of the weekend, and Deb even gave me a massage. Anyway, owie.

Sunday, Rachel had her trophy day and soccer olympics - her team came in second place, so in addition to the trophies for the season, they all received silver medals.
ellyssian: (Default)
Yes, that's right - in Eastern PA every city, township, and crackpot authority decides Halloween is on their own inconvenient day!

Today was our day!

Rachel went out as a karate student in full sparring gear (Justin's old stuff) and Mr. B, Justin and I manned the candy-handouts, along with a couple of dragons, a cat or two, and some incense, with soundtracks by way of Bram Stoker's Dracula and Hellraiser.

We actually had a few customers, and more than one noticed the dragons nodding and looking around from our shoulders, although we only got to show off our costumes once (we were cereal killers, and dutifully demonstrated the destruction with a handful or two of apple-cinnamon Cheerios.)
ellyssian: (Default)
It does not feel like Halloween.

Funny, how big a holiday it is around here - I've been amazed each of the nearly ten years I've lived in the Lehigh Valley area - this place overdoes the Halloween decorations, possibly even more than the Christmas stuff.

And then they go and each township, city, or other municipal entity randomly selects a day to go trick or treating. One city (Easton) actually has it tonight. In those ten years, that is the first time I recall hearing that anyone in this area actually celebrated the holiday on the actual day.

It just does not feel right without the usual rite...

Oh well, at least this year we actually had kids at the door (last Wednesday, of course - I mentioned going out, but don't think I updated with the results)... more than we could handle, really. We think Rachel going to public school had a lot to do with people realizing someone lives all the way down the end of the street and actually showing up. A good number arrived via car, and a good portion of the remainder had cars as escorts - one group used two parents in two cars as flashlights. Not sure why they needed two cars, they were all bunched up in front of the first car, so the light from the second didn't help much. The PA Game Commission (or something similar) was also cruising the neighborhood - almost ran me and Rachel over as we headed off the front walk of the house across the street. I suspect they were looking for - or otherwise monitoring - bears. Can't think of any other reason for them to be cruising the neighborhood over and over.
ellyssian: (Default)
Trick or treating tonight - all of Rachel's school festivities were planned for today as well, but they were cancelled and changed to Friday due to expected rain.
ellyssian: (Default)
What dipshit (politicians?) decided towns in Eastern PA - at least Lehigh Valley and Poconos area, if the madness hasn't spread - should celebrate Halloween on some obfuscated, random-by-locale, day?

When I first moved down from MA about 8 years ago, I was amazed at the amount of decorations people put up for Halloween around the Allentown area. I mean Salem, MA doesn't seem to get into at as much as these folks did. That first Halloween, I had missed Allentown's trick or treat night, and sat by my lit porch on Halloween wondering where the hell everyone was.

Okay, I understand why the Halloween Parade is held on a weekend - that makes sense, although Lehighton's was two weeks ago, which is pushing it a bit.

But I've got a 6 year old daughter at home all excited to go trick or treating, and that was last night for our neighborhood. True, hardly anyone goes out in our neighborhood - she got a reasonable amount of loot last year, but we received absolutely no visitors at our door. And the bear-who-ate-my-birdfeeder and his or her associates roam freely. But still...

The only advantage to this ass-backward celebration of Halloween is that we can hunt and peck and find some town that has trick-or-treating on Friday night. With luck, our old neighborhood (which gets a turnout like I only thought happened in movies) will be scheduled for Friday - they usually seem to pick the Friday closest to Halloween.


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