Folktober Challenge, Day 2: Beware

For Paul Brooks Folktober Ekphrastic Challenge. I responded to all three images: F2.1. F2. 2., F2.3


On Halloween, the fairy folk ride
glide on steeds, that shine and glitter
and they as well, but beware their shimmer
and their beguiling queen with gold-spun hair

whose honeyed-scent drifts in the air,
stare not, and never take her hand
as she will take you to her land
where minutes drift ever-sweet and light

as decades here pass out of sight.
But on Halloween, take extra care
of all spirits, vengeful and fair—
who wander as the sun grows dimmer

gnomes mostly benign, though some are grimmer–
there’s La Llorona who wails and weeps
and seeks to keep
your children for hers, dead and gone.

Await the dawn
especially on Halloween,
do not go into graveyards, and don’t be keen
to display courage in haunted places, or the woods.

Don’t stray into the garden—understood?
when midnight strikes
run from shimmer, shadows, and all the ghost-like—

sometimes, things are not what they seem—
sometimes they are—no matter how bizarre,
truth may come in dreams. The unseen, seen.

Paul Brookes is hosting a month-long ekphrastic challenge using folklore images to celebrate the launch of his new poetry collection, “As Folktaleteller.” You can see the images here, and also read the other responses.

19 thoughts on “Folktober Challenge, Day 2: Beware

  1. This is another mock-scary poem. There was a time when people were really frightened by the idea of fairies.
    I didn’t realise you’d set yourself a month of Halloween poetry. It’s a good subject!

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