2020’s Halloween

[Poetry Friday is with Salt City Verse this week. Last week we were way over in Europe with Bridget. Go travel!]

C r e a k! The first treat out of my Halloween book fault was created by Lee Bennett Hopkins.

RAGGED SHADOWS, Poems of Halloween Night will delight! Haunt the collectible book sites for this unnew treasure to spend All Hallow’s Eve with Jane Yolen, Nancy Willard, Fran Haraway, Karla Kushkin,Deborah Chandra, Barbara Juster Esbensen, Alice Schertle,Valerie Worth, Marilyn Waniek, Pamela Espeland andof course, Lee. Such a partee!

Here is Lee’s poem.

And isn’t it so like Lee, in his selection for the collection, to remind us of the day-after all-safe! day of Allhallowmas. It’s only been a year and two months since Lee left this earth, but it still feels fresh. So grateful to find a Lee hug within each of his books.

This year I’m late to Halloween preparation but here is my short confection.

2020 Halloween

 Ghost stories for a Celtic celebration.

What October traditions have you seen?

Thank you, olden times Irish refugees

for your gift import, of All’ Hallowe’en.

 𝕔𝕠𝕡𝕪𝕣𝕚𝕘𝕙𝕥©𝟚𝟘𝟚𝟘JGAnnino, all rights reserved

Please look for KNOCK ON WOOD from poet Janet Wong and artist Julie Paschkis.  It’s great for older kids who still love Halloween but deserve a more nuanced illustrated journey. This one weaves through the world of superstitions.

copyright, JULIE PASCHKIS, from Knock on Wood. Poems about superstitions. by JANET WONG, all rights reserved. 

A favorite treat in Knock on Wood is this poem:

“Wood” copyright JANET WONG, from KNOCK ON WOOD, illustrated by JULIE PASCHKIS.

I also like to run my finger over the branches  finding all the tree details.

Halloween isn’t just an outdoor partee at our house. This year I’ve used the fireplace hearth, too. Where in the house do you decorate?  We are still feeling festive about a socially distanced Halloween. How are you handling things? I have an idea to put a big plastic bowl of candy on a chair at the end of our drive & keep lights off, blinds down.  

RAGGED SHADOWS art C. Giles Laroche, all rights reserved

The RAGGED SHADOWS page-turning step-this-way don’t-be-too-scared! cut paper artwork is from the very talented Giles Laroche.

Trusted friends are also recommending, these I haven’t seen:

THAT MONSTER On THE BLOCK, by Sue Ganz-Schmitt and Luke Flowers MONSTER MAKES A SANDWICH by Adam Rex                                              SHE WANTED TO BE HAUNTED Marcus Ewert and Susie Ghahreman

PICK A PUMPKIN by Patricia Toht and Jarvis,  earlier love, here. 

Just in today’s traditional mail post, a treasure from an author I met through Michelle Barnes at Today’s Little Ditty, rhyming poet Carrie Clickard, who has sadly passed on, but not before creating this treat with artist John Shelley, MAGIC FOR SALE.

“On the corner of Hemlock and Blight/. skulks the shop of Miss Pustula Night/ with a sign on the stair:

COME INSIDE. BUT BEWARE

THE UNWELCOME MAT’S LIKELY TO BITE!”

copyright Carrie Clickard, illustrated by John Shelley

Please add your favorites in the comments. Day and night we visit with our October gal when we pass down the drive.  Her flair is the work of my artist mother-through-marriage, my hubby’s talented Mom, and it’s just not Halloween month without her riding herd on our yard.  She never arrived with a name and I feel we are way overdue in conjuring that. Hmmmm.

Hope the zombies don’t get you!

On stage with the FSU Flying High Student Circus, Halloween edition, 2017

Irma’s irritation

Poetry Friday is flashy over here.

(also, winners of books from my last post at Bookseedstudio haven’t been notified yet.
With work on my verse novel, I am delayed in that project. Appreciations for your patience.)

In the meantime . . .

Hurricane Irma scares every sensible person
with connections to our treasured
Caribbean Islands & Florida.
So I feel it’s fitting that
I share another scare, a fright that I hope
you will want to see because it has been delightfully
distracting to me, to put it together on short notice.

It is my new intro to
a wicked collection of Halloween poems that
were brilliantly created
by my longtime writing pal, Audrey Parente.
First pubbed as a private chapbook in 1992,
this chilly collection returns now in 2017,
in time for Halloween. I’ll report back with
the link about it when ready for prime time.
I’ve previously mentioned this chapbook
at Bookseedstudio. And here
I am reading from it.

Fortunately any poetry person likely owns
a stack of spooky poems or stories
to read, by candlelight or flash,
or FLASHLIGHT NIGHT power,
if the electric juice
fails due to
furies of weather.

c. all rights reserved
Jan reading
ON ANY DARK AND
SPOOKY NIGHT, written by
Audrey Parente.

If you or loved ones or
beloved places are anywhere underneath the path
H. Irma, H. Katia or H. Jose, my best wishes & prayers for
safe hurricane days include you, too. Now, The Intro….

Bleatings to all.
Only the fortunate few
will dare turn pages of
this clever collection.
And why is that?

The Headless Horseman.
Carrie.
Frankenstein.
Nurse Ratched.
Thing.
Perhaps you know
these chilling
characters of literary legend?

As you inch through
these pages, or rather,

when these potent pages
are through with you,
it will become clear that none
of the denizens listed
dare out-Boo! the
inventor of this edition.

In tattered times before this,
when animals talked
and the undead walked,
Audrey Parente,
damsel of dark words,
crushed creeping chinch bugs,
added to those bodies,
jaundiced juice
for her purple purpose
– invisible ink.

Her silently screaming
scrawlings and scribbles
slunk their way to visible
publication
in an ancient age –
nineteen hundred ninety-two.

Fortunately for the
discriminating Halloween howler,
these visions rise again.
Relax, sit back. Allow them
to haunt you, taunt you,
delight you, fright you,
educate you, saturate you.

You are in the hands of a
master mistress of the
verse arts, the singular
Audrey Parente*,
with her terrorizing truths in

ON ANY DARK AND SPOOKY NIGHT.

– J.G. Annino, 2017

* warning!: author assumes no responsibility for resulting strokes, faints, heart attacks, etc.

Finally that scary weather picture book: CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS. Take cover!