‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all thro’ the wood,

Not a creature was stirring, and that was not good;

For Berthold had hung up his cam’ra with care,

In hopes the “Low Dark Ones” soon would be there.

He’d checked all the settings, he’d put out the feed,

And eagerly waited, with good books to read.

But Berthold had just about given up on the game

Shaking his head, sad to see nothing came–

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

That he ran in the field to see what’s the matter.

Tripping over his pumpkins and Halloween junk

Running past the old graveyard and dodging a skunk–

When, what to his screen-glazèd eyes should appear,

But that all of his internet friends were now here!

With a look of surprise, did the blogger exclaim,

And he chuckled, and shouted, and call’d them by name:

“It’s Noah, and Patrick, and Audrey and James! Paxson,

And Eileen,  and Phillip, and–”,  he said, gaspin’.

“We all know our names,” chorused his followers all.

”Then why,” said BG, “Have you come this evening to call?

 For there’s naught going on, as my camera shows,

 It only records ‘coz sometimes the wind blows.”

 ”Oh, you mean like your books?” Waberthold chimed in.

 And Berthold shot him a look, erasing his grin.

“As I was saying, there is nothing to see,

 The forest here’s quiet as quiet can be.

Not that it matters, since I can’t record sound,

 (If only a cam’ra like Katie Dawn’s could be found!)

 But anyway, not a creature is stirring, not even a—”

 At which point, his friends all together said “shhh!”

“You already said that,” they all pointed out.

“And we’ve come to tell you what the season’s about.”

“Eh?” said Berthold, looking dazed and confused.

 (Could it be they had realized he was less than enthused?)

“Oh, Berthold,” said Carrie. “You silly vampirical soul,

You’re lucky your stocking’s not filled up with coal.”

 “The point of the season is family and friends,

Not churning out ‘content’, as if it ne’er ends.”

Berthold began nodding. “Yes, yes; now I see what you mean!”

“Thanks all, for coming, and happy Hallo–”

“Argh!” said Mark, with a scream. 

 “Just kidding, of course, Happy Holidays one and all!” 

They said cheery farewells, till the next time they’d call.

And Berthold went home full of holiday cheer,

And only later did see on his camera appear

 Just barely in sight through the winter night’s fog

The shape of a—something. A coyote? A reindeer? A dog?

At any rate, whether man or a woman or a gigantic hound–

Even though, as I’ve said, the camera does not record sound–

I am sure it exclaimed, ere it vanished from sight—

“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Walpurgis

Blazing torches, starry night,
Walpurgian moon, shining bright–
Walking through the forest, ancient map in hand,
A traveler passes through this cursèd land,
Beset by never-ending blight.

Wind in branches, making moan,
Trees above him list and groan,
A frightful sight he’d be, if any saw him now,
A-coming to fulfill the long-forgotten vow–
But no one sees–he is alone.

Creatures stir upon the hill,
Birds are shrieking, long and shrill,
And yet the lonely traveler presses ever on
Seeking that which is forever gone
But which Time shall never kill.

Works of virtue, works of sin,
All works merge together in
The inkiness of sprawling space above
That covers all on this disturbing evening of
Long-worshiped Hallowmass’s twin.

Blazing torches, starry night,
Walpurgian moon, shining bright–
Within a forest clearing, the unnerving figures stand,
Gazing up at Via Lactea‘s shimmery band,
As if praying to its light.

Roone Howard was the best strategist to ever write a political ad.

He could convince starving men that entitlements were bad;

He could make you self-disenfranchise to prevent voter-fraud;

It is said that he made the Holy Spirit believe there wasn’t a God.

If you employed him, your head would lie easy underneath of its crown;

Because he would lie easy to cut all of your challengers down!

But if you opposed him; then may Heaven have pity on you,

For he’d tell your fam’ly and friends  you weren’t anything like who they knew.

 

Oh, no one likes to hear it said,

But he could paint McCarthy “Red”

If that’s what was needed to serve the empowered.

By stroking feelings barbaric,

Or stressing facts esoteric,

No one persuaded like that Devil, Roone Howard!

 

One day, his most prominent client, a National candidate, came to see him and ask

Him to set about working on what he reckoned a well-nigh impossible task.

His opponent, it seemed, was lovely and charismatic with a great reputation;

She wore her good deeds and record like armor against character assassination.

She spoke like a Cicero, and was quite incorruptible; her personal life was above suspicion;

While Howard’s client was deficient in every category but that of ruthless ambition.

So old Roone Howard set straight to work on how to stain and destroy and annihilate

The political chances of this candidate with the resume seemingly so inviolate.

 

                For weeks on end did he toil,

                Burning each night the midnight oil

                As for any shred of a scandal he scoured.

                But never even a trace

                Of shamefulness or disgrace

                Ever met the eye of the clever Roone Howard.

 

At last, just when all hope seemed utterly lost, Howard hit on an ingenious scheme.

He at once called a meeting to announce  the whole plan to his political team.

“’As ours is a business that’s dirty and vile,” this political Clausewitz reasoned,

“A lady this good has no place in it–let it go instead to a man tough and seasoned.

This, gentlemen, I feel is a message which our cynical populace is bound to feel true!”

He proved to be right! In a matter of weeks, the lady in question up and withdrew.

Howard’s man could then run unopposed, and his targeted office he easily won;

Howard was given a government job, and the lady they’d beaten could find herself none.

 

                O, Howard took comfort, I’m sure,

                That he’d destroyed someone so pure;

                And laughed at her whose votes his campaign devoured.

                For even perfection complete

                Couldn’t hope to compete

                Against the devious mind of that scoundrel, Roone Howard!

(more…)

All of us dressed in our Witch-Sabbath best
To celebrate Halloween’s coming.
There was the Countess Villette and her one-eyed pet
Hosting that mad night of mumming.
There was the fiery hell-cat, in her black pointed hat,
And a lumbering mountainous man.
There was the old gypsy crone, and a creature unknown
Who looked like a doll from Japan.
O! Not even the Devil could imagine that revel;
That cosmic costume soirée of the weird.
Its ghoulish appeal was so very surreal
And nothing was what it appeared.
We laughed and we danced, and all were entranced
As if by some powerful hex.
The fiendish fell spell could be felt down to Hell;
A cocktail of madness and laughter and sex.
Then the clock struck thirteen, and with that, Halloween
Had ended as fast as it came.
And everyone vanished–the occult magic was banished,
And once more, all was quiet and tame.