Tuesday, September 2, 2014

On Halloween Night--By Carolyn Devonshire--United States

On Halloween Night

Lila had no Mom now to make her Halloween costume
Just her Communion dress, adorned by angel wings she’d made
A halo of gold chrysanthemums she laid at Mom’s tomb
But dusk was falling as in the cemetery she prayed 

Against the amber harvest moon, Spanish moss was swaying
Eerily it danced, taunting ghosts in the cool autumn air
Beyond old tombstones came chilling howls of werewolves preying
A strange sound like a door creaking open gave her a scare 

Footsteps seemed to follow her when she scampered to the street
Where a band of rowdy teenage ghouls murmured words so harsh
Her flashlight dimmed; only tricks came this Halloween, no treats
As vampires emerged from the mist over a nearby marsh 

Trembling and crying, Lila sprinted, overwhelmed with fright
Bushes and trees rustled in the breeze as she darted home
To the most horrific creature she’d encountered that night
The beer-swilling father who let her trick-or-treat alone

A Florida writer, Carolyn enjoys writing humor but also receives inspiration from nature and people who touch her life. She has enjoyed co-writing with other poets and finds that both writers grow when they share their thoughts. She has spent most of her life as a reporter and a writer for magazines.


  1. Thank you, Jack Horne, for the following--

    You know what a sucker I am for Halloween and I just love this, my friend - and a very hard-hitting last line too

  2. If ever I encounter a day where absolutely nothing seems to go right, I am going to reflect back on this poem, and surmise, as bad as things are, someone out there is contending with a far worse set of circumstances.

    Your Lila was not afforded this opportunity, as her plight was as sincere and severe as any ever witnessed...

    You take this Halloween scene and magically transform it into an entertaining, dark poem that transcends... as it should be. I really enjoyed it, Carolyn... Myke

    1. Dear Myke,

      Thanks so much! I do worry about the little ones who trick-or-treat without parents. This poem just came to me as I was thinking about the children getting ready for Halloween.

      You are very kind.

      Love and blessings,

  3. Hello, dear friend! Love the incite you've written into this poem. These "events" can be so happy and carefree in the minds of our children and yet, they become moments by which we have learned to be aware and cautious for the safety of our kids. It is far too easy and would be out of our control if we were to become lax for a second. I'm frightened that this little girl is out there by herself and one supposes the experiences she's dealt with out there give her the strength to "deal with" what may await her in the supposed haven of her home. What some kids must deal with in life seems so bizarre and so unfair, it is unbearable to think about....... Sheri / www.poetryandbeyond.net

  4. Dear Sheri, Halloween's "monsters" only parade for one night. Many children are neglected or even abused at home and that is something they can't escape throughout the year. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Love, Carolyn

  5. Dear Sheri, what a poignant poem so well written and spoke volumes to my soul as I think on what Carolyn just said, that yes some children are in such terrible circumstances at home that Halloween night is a chance to escape reality, if but for a brief couple of hours,.to make believe there is something worse than what they are dealing with. It brought many ambivalent feelings; my own experiences with Halloween and now watching my grandchildren want to portray something evil, I am not much for all of it anymore. Thanks for the great write and your attending talent.
    Love, Charlene

  6. Hello, there, Charlene. Thank you for your grand comments but I cannot take credit for this super poem as written by Carolyn Devonshire, but only for the humble comments I've made crediting her poem as written and expressed from her soul. Carolyn is only responding to my comments regarding her poem. This is so easy to do and I have probably made this assumption myself from time to time. I do agree, however, that her poem is strong in its message. Thanks again for your exceptionally astute comments and thoughts. I am sure Carolyn will be very pleased. Sheri

  7. Nicely done, Carolyn. I really like when you weave a story into your poetry. Great job. Thanks for sharing and continued blessings!

    -MJ (www.tgbgpublictions.com)

    1. Thank you, Maurice. I do enjoy writing stories in poetry. Storytelling was one of my father's favorite activities and it's been passed down not only to my sister and me, but to at least two nieces as well. I just wish my mother had given it a try as she had quite a creative way of looking at the world.

  8. Interesting take, creative! Well done!!!

  9. I am not crazy for Halloween, but really enjoyed the story telling of your poetry. Sad, but so real to life. Way to go Carolyn...

    Rhoda Galgiani

  10. It is indeed sad when a child has to experience so much without the love and protection that should be, but never is, because of a selfish parent. A heartfelt write that touches upon life that exists in some families. Thank you for sharing Carolyn, blessings always, Leokadia

  11. Dear Carolyn, being a darn good writer always, I believe you have the makings of a very good story...this is captivating yet, it tugs at the heart to realize that some kids do not have the attention they need from their parents. Great job as always! Love, Audrey

  12. Carolyn,
    A good poignant poem. It really shows the carelessness of a father who would let such a young girl "trick-o-treat" alone/
    Your friend,
    David Fox

  13. Thank you for penning and sharing this lovely poem, Carolyn.

  14. Halloween isn't on the Dutch agenda. Having read this beautifully woven "atmospheric' image I wish it would be a Dutch annual returning feast. Although.. Those lonely last words a real cliffhanger'............ Dutch greetings. Elly wouterse

  15. Dear Caroline:
    You really captured the fragility and vulnerability of this child.
    Prayers go out for all the unprotected children of this world. Your poetry
    is a force for good. God Bless you.

  16. Thank you, Suzanne Clement, for the following--

    My, what a scary poem, Carolyn. Proof that Halloween can be a scary time. Thank you for that reminder.


  17. Thank you, Gerald Heyder, for the following--

    Dear Carolyn--Thank you so much for enjoying my poem. Your poem, "On Halloween Night," is well written and tells a very scary story. Your poem makes Halloween a very ambivalent time of year! It is quite a read!

  18. Thank you, Eleanor Michael, for the following--

    The message is clear. Good imagery in lines 5 and 6. Good use of active verbs in the last two stanzas.

  19. Thank you, John Williams, for the following--

    What a terrible experience to encounter--Halloween or any time--Especially all alone and in fear...and the fact, Lila had no Mom only adds to her unfortunate circumstance.

  20. Dear Carolyn,

    My friend, you weaved one heck of a frightful true to life story in this Halloween tale. It is very well constructed and written, Carolyn, Awesome!

    Love Sandra