With pictures by Niki Daly
Regardless of what you believe,
Tonight’s the night – All-Hallows Eve,
And now the midnight hour is struck –
Thoughts of dim and bitter luck
Fly like bats before the moon
Squeaking high and out of tune,
And the players take their place
On a stage as dark as space.
Several creatures of the dark
Swagger through the misty park:
The melancholy dame who tried
Her fingers at infanticide,
The dreaded lurker-in-the-gloom
That hovers near a crumbling tomb,
The little girl with rabbit ears
Designed to seek and focus fears.
Ghost and goblin, nasty elf
The Great Lord of Misrule Himself,
Pale as linen, Mr Death
Who seeks to confiscate your breath,
The Wicked Witches of the quarters
And their Naughty Wiccan daughters,
All make you gasp, with jellied spine,
“I hope they haven’t come to dine.”
Observe how, in the distant glooms
A grim and eyeless fortress looms.
Its features give you quite a scare!
You quickly turn your gaze to where
The fellow in the Iron Mask
Goes about his gruesome task:
His bat-winged shirt he now unfurls
To terrify two little girls.
On the stage is now deployed
The couch of Doctor Sigmund Freud:
The ego, smaller than a pug
Left abandoned on the rug,
The Lurking Id, Oedipus Rex,
The Libido, whose muscles flex,
The sweaty terrors of the dream
That comes from eating clotted cream.
Niki sent me the wonderful pen and ink/watercolour drawings, and I illustrated them with words, so we have reversed the usual way that this kind of thing goes. I hope you all have a scary Halloween.