Bonfire Tales


Allium heads rise dry on withered stalk

in this season of mists and bone-chilling rain.

In bonfire tales, the dead will rise and walk

through fields of rotten flesh and blighted grain.


In elder years, they spoke of goblin men —

with fruit so fair, they stole a bonnie lass.

True Thomas entranced by glorious queen and then

awoke on cold hillside; seven years passed.


Those tales seem brighter, with a lovely air;

beauty balanced fright and loss and woe.

Our modern tales suffer by compare;

our modern days seem bleaker.  Even so,


I cannot believe these barren days will last.

The spring must rise; have faith.  Hold fast.