The Haunted Schoolyard

black wooden door frame
Photo by ramy Kabalan on


The Haunted Schoolyard

We’ve all heard the stories in the school lunch-queue,
Every village has its ghost or two:
Headless horsemen, women in white…
’Course, we don’t believe you, and you’re just kidding, right ?

Witches had a presence – there was always one around,
But werewolves and vampires, were rarely ever found.
We knew them from the telly, sure: a terrifying throng,
Yet somehow in the villages they didn’t quite belong.

And then there was that we·ird guy who hardly ever spoke,
Since ever since he’d lived alone, and never smiled at folk,
And his house was full of boxes full of empty snail shells,
And it made these funny noises, and sometimes funny smells.

The heroes of the playground were the locals who won’t rot:
The strangled and the drowned and the poisoned and the shot
Spirits of our neighbours – though they’re long since dead and gone –
Except, of course, they’re not.  They’re out there.  Pass it on.



Listen, Children…

low angle view of man standing at night
Photo by Lennart kcotsttiw on


Listen, Children…

Listen to the east-wind as it rattles at the window latch…
Listen to the mice behind the skirting…scritter-scratter-scratch
Listen to the garden foxes gnawing on some unearthed bones…
And listen to the creaking and the thumping and the sighing groans…

Now the sun has gone to bed and now that night has spread its gloom,
Then shall I tell you, children, of the ghost that haunts this very room ?
Listen closely…closer still…behind the death-watch beetle’s click…
And there he is…the ghost of time…the never-ending tick-tick-tick

Shall I tell you, children, shall I tell you what is worse than witches ?
Scarier than sprites and spectres…filling sleep with sweats and twitches…?
Listen then…and listen for the tiny voice on nights like this…
The tiny voice that ev’ry child must hear…must hear its icy hiss…

Never witches…never spectres…nothing ever living on…
Nothing from an afterlife, and nothing but oblivion…

Listen…can you hear it ?  Can you hear the voice from the abyss…?
Listen to the tiny voice that terrifies on nights like this…



Night of the Restful Dead

orange plastic bucket
Photo by on


Night of the Restful Dead

Halloween, when the dead don’t walk,
The wraiths don’t keen and the sprites don’t stalk,
The shades don’t slink, nor devils prowl,
The vamps don’t drink, nor werewolves howl.

Halloween, when the dead stay dead,
The walls aren’t green and the sheets aren’t red,
And physics’ laws still reign supreme,
We’ve got no cause, yet still we scream.

Halloween, when the ghoul-less roam,
Or sleep serene in their haunt-less homes;
We walk this night with carefree airs,
And won’t take fright, nor whisper prayers.

Halloween, when the kids raise Hell –
It’s always been within their spell –
They may look gaunt, but fake their gore –
They only haunt from door-to-door.

Halloween, when the pumpkins smile,
And folks convene in a gothic style –
With tongue-filled cheeks and boozy breath,
They dress as freaks and laugh at Death.

Halloween, when the graves aren’t stirred,
The ghosts aren’t seen nor the banshees heard.
Yet still we fret by thinking dumb
When we forget how far we’ve come.

Halloween, when the mind plays tricks,
And the silver screen gives us frights for kicks.
For this one night, let’s dig suspense;
Just don’t lose sight of our common sense.



Into the Future, Shambling and Mumbling

Star Wars Zombies
Star Wars Zombies by Fredrik Edén


Into the Future, Shambling and Mumbling

Lookit all you zombies, living lives like you was thinking –
But I know you’re just the puppets to the Codebooks in the sky.
Lookit all you androids – yeah, you don’t fool me by blinking;
Cos I know you’re really dummies – and the suck is, so am I !
Ev’ry single doll of us is following the Script
With its plot for ev’ry atom all controlled in all its jazz:
Gotta keep ’em tight in line, you can’t have strays or space-time’s ripped,
And then how can the Future come to pass like it already has ?
Of course, it’s all that Albert’s fault:
Him and his flash equation.
Had to open up the vault,
Loose the tachyon invasion.
Had to prove, and quite routine,
His theory for the time machine.
And whoops, he’s sent our free will sinking.
Hello zombie.  Goodbye thinking.

Now when it comes to sci-fi, I can take a little licence –
Like your artificial gravity – we know all that’s all bunk;
And beaming-down and warp-speed – well, the concepts have entice-ence:
We all so want to so believe, like any cyberpunk.
But daddy of them all, be it phone-box or DeLorean,
Is scorching up the past when it ain’t so dead and gone.
Sticking-up two fingers to the know-it-all historian,
And making sure our parents got to meet and get it on.
But don’t you see the problem here ?
The Future is already there –
And all we do must all adhere
To make it happen right and square.
So ev’ry choice is just a lie
We’re ruled by Codebooks in the sky
We’re puppets with our choices stripped
We’re zombies to the Master Script.

Unless, of course, old Albert’s wrong, and time is just a line instead –
Then could in fact causality, just like us zombies, be undead ?



Bless You, Dammit !

Garden of Earthly Delights
detail from the Hell panel of The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch


Bless You, Dammit !

Save a place for me in Hell
Should you get there first.
Get the drinks in, anyhow,
And coin a joke or two to tell,
Dress up in your fine attire,
(There’s not much point in skimping now.)
Cos soon I’ll hit that lake of fire
With a raging thirst.

Save a place for me in Hell
Cos I don’t believe;
Just like many cohorts swell,
Who lived it good and lived it well.
I reckon it can’t be so bad,
When friends like these are those who dwell.
It sure ain’t Heaven, so be glad –
And raise a toast to Eve.