Witches Kettle

by Gina Torre
(Chatham, NY, USA)

Witches kettle in the sky.
Their morbid exuberance,
Running high.
Sooty, tattered rags,
They would call gowns,
Flowing behind them,
Leaving trails of,
Stinking smoke.
They cackle and whoop.
They dive and swoop.
Hysterical with anticipation,
They climb higher still,
Smudging the remnants,
Of a beautiful Autumn sunset,
With their hideousness.
Why might these Raven-Women,
Be so gleeful?
What makes their black hearts,
Sing hymns of Grace and Glory?
All Hallow’s Eve:
The crest of the,
Aimless Wandering of unclaimed souls.
The most abundant day of the year,
For the most wretched and foul beings,
Who scavenge and scrape and gnaw,
The flesh and bones of the unaware.
One day and only the one,
Is given for the unaffiliated,
To redeem themselves;
To rectify past offenses.
To reject Darkness,
To beg Forgiveness,
To ask to be taken Home,
Where their souls are cleansed,
Purified and purged.
One day. One brief, Cornucopia,
Spilling its ghoulish contents
Into the claws of these horrible creatures.
They do not hunt respectably,
Like a hungry lion waiting to pounce,
Nor do they outrun their prey,
Like the fast cheetah,
Who wins her meal fairly.
The witches feast on orts,
Fallen from the table,
Of one craftier than they:
The Dark Master,
Who reaps souls who wander,
In search of the Light.
He has no use for the earthly remains;
It is the souls that he is after.
Craftily, he devises tricks and treachery,
To lure the Wanderers into his Realm.
Grateful for guidance along the murky path,
They fall prey to his foolery.
With an insatiable appetite,
He gathers their wayward souls,
And casts aside the useless,
Half-rotted carcasses.
The streets of Purgatory are strewn
With heaps of carrion,
As the everlasting spirits,
Fall from the path,
And plummet into,
Darkness ever after.
Hear the owls hooting,
Carrying messages from the Desperate,
To anyone who will listen.
Unable to do more,
Than tell tales,
The Owls cry out.
They bark warnings to the Living.
They call to the mindless,
Alerting ones who aren’t careful.
In a symphony of hoots and silent wings,
The owls give way to the Sinister Sisters.
These women screech through the night sky,
Raking their bony hands toward themselves,
Snatching at the unsuspecting.
They are insane with greed.
God help those who get in their way,
As they rush to the Boorish Banquet.
A scratched ear, a clawed face,
A fistful of tangled hair in their grasp,
Any of these and more,
Awaits the unaware.


As you go out,
On the Eve of All Hallows,
Beware the haunts and hoots.
Safeguard your precious soul,
Against the Evil one.
Protect yourself from the hungry,
Dour, dank hags of Hell.
Fear them, I tell you,
For they mean you not well.



© Gina Torre 2015

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