When you are a child you are in touch with the old magic that rides the winds
in the month of October.
It's palpable, tangible, substantial in the air at night when the moon is
full and darkness descends and the cool winds blow through the almost naked
Often, you laid in your bed, blanket held high, tight just below your eyes, as you
stared at the shadows dancing, tapping just outside your window creeping,
because every sound, every movement, outside or in, was more
ominous in the enchanting halls that you called the days of October.
From one to thirty-one you knew you marched certainly to your gleeful deaths
under the blue shadowed sky cast by a vengeful moon that had nothing better to do than to spy on you as you tried to sleep a fitful sleep.
As a child, you loved to fear, but feared to know the full extent that your fear could roam
and go, but roam you did. And Fear always got the best of you, wide eyes and all as
you ran to your Ma or Pa.
Secretly though, even consoled, you loved the tenseness of that feeling,
that soul reeling fright, the goosebumps crawling across your skin at night.
You relished that magic, that what-if of awfulness lurking.
Life was alive in you. Breathing like a bellowed fired, and wanting to escape from that feeling was never a question truly ever posed
in the slightest.
by Philip Wardlow ~ October 1st of 2021
Good Old Jack,
walks in the twilight between our world and what you would
call the other.
Into the out of, on paths that only he can see
with Fool’s Fire held in a hand-carved gourd to light his way.
A Ne’er-do-well if ever there was.
Cursed to wander the earth.
Never to know heaven or hell.
You may see his spook light bob in a graveyard or two as you pass,
especially on All Hallows Eve and on through to all Souls Day.
Wise men say, Old Jack’s looking for a way into heaven or hell
on such nights as these when the veil is thin.
If you see him, it’s best to keep on walking.
He has anger in him, a deep abiding bitterness swells.
like the ebb and flow of time that has trapped him.
He will have no hesitation to collect your soul should
you cross his path.
So beware or you may find yourself dead or a mindless
by Philip Wardlow
Death appreciates life , just as life appreciates death.
Both are impartial to the other.
A cold touch caresses the
beauty which flits to and fro
How are we to interpret the horrors of this vitality
when we ourselves are trapped in a purgatory
of our own design?
Perhaps a small light
shall lead the way for each of us
in our final hours as we lay
in our deep dark
By Philip Wardlow
Sister, sister, you’re dead now.
known as only ashes buried deep in a cold shallow
grave at the top of a lonely hill…
I saw you burn hotter than the sun, tied to a stake
worse than a dog was ever done.
Sister, your shrieks still fill my ears from
that day, as they continued to pile on the wood to your funeral pyre.
I saw them laugh as the flames rose ever higher and higher.
I could only salt the earth with my tears for I was far too young.
Far too young to save a lighted soul such as yours being wronged.
My own darkened that day,
blacker than a shipbuilder’s pitch.
A witch you never were, but now
a witch I have become,
and tonight I hunt.
Hunt for the many ones,
and oh they will surely see a witch
tonight of the like they
have never seen.
By Philip Wardlow 2016
I knew the moment I spied you
that the devil lived behind those blues.
How long ago did you trap him, for
I see he’s itching to play.
It’s clear from our encounter,
your a girl who can handle her boomstick
when it goes off with a kick.
Your grip on the gun is tight but loose as
silver bullets fill it, along with a gleam.
You smile that smile that I could die for as the
full moon rises, and
the day descends to glorious night.
My hand takes yours as we roam
the dank castle far beneath in the catacombs.
I’ll take the hammer, you take the stake
as we take out a vampire or two on our first date.
When other monster’s wish to interlude upon
our first kiss your casual air and
sadistic flair with an axe
cannot be denied as the crimson droplets fly
in the midnight air….Oh, I think I’m in love!
Let’s not dawdle, let’s not hesitate in our fate.
For we have a rendezvous, me and you, and it involves
Frankenstein and the Wolfman’s heads
on a plate.
by Philip Wardlow
I’m in the dark.
I look at it, as it looks at me.
Silently it sits.
The minutes draw out to what seems hours.
I move left, it moves to follow.
So I stop. It stops.
The sound of heavy breathing, like the bellows of a fire
emit from its mouth. My heart speeds up.
It seems to be waiting for something. But what?
I raise my hand as if to wave. It waves backs.
Oh you fool, it’s just your reflection in the mirror.
Calm your breath, its your own lungs you hear
expelling in your ears, your own movements which
track from across the room distilled from the dim
photons which bounce back to your misguided
“You idiot” I tell myself out aloud.
“Yes, you are” it answers back.
by Philip Wardlow
Ba dump…ba dump…ba ba dump.
down the streets;
orange and angry.
Why do they roll?
Why are they not in bed,
with green leaves as blankets
To cover their orange ripply heads.
I suppose they’re pissed off
for being left behind
in the patch.
What the fuck was wrong
with them, they ask.
It’s Halloween and they’ve
waited long enough.
Knives in hand with
grins carved in,
ready to show
the little tricker-treat bastards
a real killer
So they roll
and they stroll
down the street.