Halloween – the poet, the witch and the eel

Halloween is a night when witches, devils, and other mischief-making beings are all abroad on their baneful midnight errands.

This year was no exception, at our dark shrouded hovel. But why am I talking about it, when I should be poeming about it?

Up in old East London

Things roam on claw’d feet

We dare not walk the streets this night

For fear of what we’ll meet.

Light thickens; and the crow

Makes wing to the rooky wood.

Good things of day begin to droop and drowse,

While night’s black agents to their preys do rouse.

Upon that night, when goblins light

On Hackney Downs to dance,

Or over the ways, in splendid blaze,

With urban foxes prance;

Or for Dalston the route is taken,

Beneath the moon’s pale drops;

There, up the road, to stray and rove,

Among the pubs and shops

To sport that night.

Among the gentrification,

And the construction site,

By London Fields station,

Shone the pumpkin light,


Some handsome, friendly people

Together did convene,

To drink expressotinis, and eat their figs and ham

And have their Halloween

Full of fun that night.

A demon hung within the room,

With fear they all were shaking,

As cats green of eye around did prowl,

Good Lord! but they were quaking!

But whether it was the devil himself,

Or whether it was a shadow,

Or whether it was just a Thing,

They did not wait on talking

To ask that night.

Tho’ his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming

And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadows on the floor;

And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor

Shall be lifted-nevermore!

Give me the daggers! The sleeping and the dead

Are but as pictures.

Is it only the eye of childhood

That fears a painted devil?

In darkened room above the revel,

A wise old witch did squat.

Black of hair with wrinkl’d face,

Within a ring of salt.

Her dark arts she did well perform,

Ministering to each mind diseas’d;

Plucking from the memories each rooted sorrow;

Razing out the written troubles of the brain;

And with her sweet oblivious antidotes,

Cleansed the stuff’d bosom of that perilous stuff

Which weighs upon the heart.

Which had so sorely frighted us

That very night.


Or did she feed us on the insane root

That takes the reason prisoner?

Because our hair began to stand on end,

She was so queer and eerie:

Till presently we heard a squeak,

And then a groan and grunting;

As in her dark corner we did peek,

Then tumbled out with a stagger

Out over that night.

Fair is foul, and foul is fair;

Hover through the fog and filthy air.


Then later next the groaning board

As all around it stood.


As all in uffish talk they stood

As if within a deep dark wood,

As if a ghastly grim and ancient portal showed them to the nightly shore;

As if they had been walking down that night’s Plutonian shore,

Deep into that darkness peering, long they stood there wondering, fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;

The sorceress, with eyes of flame

Came whiffling through the living room, and burbled as she came!

(Her face all dark and shrouded in a dark unholy hood)

And burbling still, she ran she did- she ran toward the door.

She roared a horrid murder-shout,

In dreadful desperation!


And all those there came running out

To hear the sad narration;

“The devil damn thee black, thou cream-faced loon!”

One, two! One, two! And through and through

Her vorpal blade went snicker-snack!

Back into the chamber turning, all her soul within her burning,

Soon I found my hands are surely more bloodied than before?


Is this a dagger which I see before me,

The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee;

or art thou but

A dagger of the mind, a false creation,

Proceeding from my heat-oppressed brain?

Confusion now hath made his masterpiece!

Most sacrilegious murder hath broke open

My sacred breast, and stole thence

My life that night.


Yet who would have thought me to have had so much blood in me?

Great cause you have to fear a witch,

For many a one has gotten a fright,

And lived and died delirious

On such a night.

Hence, horrible shadow!

Unreal mockery, hence!

I had almost forgot the taste of fears;

The time has been, my senses would have cool’d

To hear a night-shriek; and my head of hair

Would at a dismal treatise rouse and stir

As life were in’t: I have supp’d full with horrors;

Direness, familiar to my slaughterous thoughts

Cannot once start me.


Then, upon the hard floor sinking, I betook myself to linking

Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous witch of yore-

What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous witch of yore

Meant by stabbing me so sore?

Was I now my life to lose, here sinking to the floor?

I whispered “Never, whore!”

Be that word our sign of parting, witch or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting-

Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!

Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul has spoken!

Leave my loneliness unbroken!–quit this house from out the door!

Take thy blade from out my heart, and pull my form from off my floor!”

Quoth the Dark One, “Oh well, sure.”

Click here for the The Showreel of the Witch

With merry songs, and friendly tales, 

The night it fell not weary;

And music bright, and poetry Click here for full Math Jones Witches Poem

Decorations cheap and cheery;

By the pricking of my thumbs,

Something wicked this way comes:

Open, locks,

Whoever knocks!

As shadows from beyond the grave

Set all the walls to stirring

Then, with a social glass of liquor,

They parted off careering

Full happy that night.

Up in old East London

Things roam on claw’d feet

We dare not walk the streets this night

For fear of what we’ll meet.

Food of the Damned

Skulls with Cheese & Pineapple & Cocktail Pickles

Gothic Fig, Persimmon & Prosciutto Platter

Wrinkled Fingers AKA Cocktail Sausages

Malevolent Meatballs on Mad Melba Toast

Regurgitated Guacamole & Hellfire Salsa

Cupcakes of Sweet Death

Haunted Black Grapes

Bloody Mary Crisps

Gruesome Green Popcorn

Eyeballs in Candyfloss

Nachos of Horror

Vicious Vodka Jelly of Green Jealousy

Booze of the Damned:

Pumpkin Spice Espressotinis

2 shots vodka

1 shot expresso coffee

½ shot Mozart Pumpkin Spice Liqueur

Combine with ice and shake until frothy- pour into a cold glass and sprinkle with grated darkest chocolate. After two or three of these, what fearfu’ pranks ensue!

Jellied Mai Tai Coffins

As we made last Halloween

Like cold jellied Death itself.

Happy Halloween!

Apologies & thanks to William Shakespeare for Macbeth, William Allingham for The Fairies, Lewis Carroll for Jabberwocky, Robert Burns for Halloween, and Edgar Allen Poe for The Raven. If you thought that poetry was a bit crap, bear in mind I am stealing from the masters.

Click for full movie here: Halloween Party 2017



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