By KC of the Dragon Common Room
Competing groups were seen on Thomas Street,
arrayed in festive and archaic clothes,
and following behind with marching feet
their acolytes on Eve of All Hallows.’
The first group chanted solemnly, downbeat.
The next cackled with laughter like some crows.
One warned that fêting evil leads to death;
the next dismissed that as a shibboleth.
The mournful melody of mindful monks
kept chanting with the rhythm of their steps,
unmoved by drunken men acting like punks,
who were, de facto, Satan’s intercepts.
“The people,” so they thought, “had simply drunk
from deep within the well of modern texts.”
Continuing their march, they were unfazed,
and prayed as if it were the End of Days.
For their part, all those old marauding boys
kept right on laughing, drinking, having fun,
and singing songs and making lots of noise.
They acted like some battle had been won!
“Just look,” they said, “at all of those killjoys!
You’d think the Father never sent the Son!”
And with that smug derision strode along
while greeting other costume-wearing throngs.
As parents brought young children door-to-door,
in silly costumes, innocent and sweet,
the teenagers preferred the look of gore
and playing tricks on people in the street.
Each house dressed up in Halloween décor
invited everyone outside to meet
on porches and in yards under the moon
when history and folklore are oppugned.
For on this night of all nights, so they say,
the veil that keeps the darkness from the light,
betwixt the death of night and life of day,
is thinnest, and there is a mass invite.
From Hell or Purgatory, come they may,
and they do come for mercy or for spite.
The Penitents and Damned come out to beg,
for sweet relief—or curses on your head!
The monks passed the marauders on the street,
and then an odd cacophony was heard.
Not chanting or enchanting laughter sweet,
but keening mixed with low guttural slurs.
“Oh, pity me! A soul cake or a treat!”
“You damned, wretched Trinitarian curs!”
The monks kept up their prayers for saving grace.
The old boys kept their partying apace.
As night rolled on and demons kept their flight,
and penitents kept pleading for their cause;
as children’s dreams were fueled by sugary bites
and moms and dads were grateful for a pause;
the monks went back to Vespers for the night.
The old boys stammered out a last “Hurrah!”
Then evening started turning into day,
and demons were succumbing to dismay.
The veil that parted, granting them parole,
began to close when darkness neared its end.
The penitents, those called the Holy Souls,
turned ‘round as one as they began to wend.
The raging demons, desperate for control,
were cursing, begging, screeching, “Hell forfend!”
They craved, with burning lust, man’s ruination,
and prowled the world to hasten his damnation.
But penitents don’t rage, so they kept keening;
their hour had come and not one moment more.
Though anxious for an answer to their pleading,
they faithfully walked back to that far shore.
The demons were pulled in kicking and screaming;
their nails and hooves were clawing at the floor.
While all the saints and sinners finally slept,
the monks finished the vigil that they kept.
We have been working hard in the Dragon Common Room on our next big poem.
Visit our website at dragoncommonroom.com for updates!