Monday, 31 October 2016


All Hallows’ Eve. Yet shadows are just that,
Shadows, nothing more, while the non-dead sit,
Remote controls in hand, switching sides when
The people’s narcotic no longer can

Hold them together. “Trick or Treaters” call,
Disturbing, guisers in theatrical
Facsimiles of terror, otherwise
Comfortable viewers of war, disease

And famine contained within the HD
Terrainium. Most have bought a poppy
Already, les than a fortnight away
From the annual ritual trinity

Of elevens. All those wooden crosses
Set up before cenotaphs; each misses,
Like a bad shot, that man’s son whose horror
It was. Harmless fun, and as parents steer

Their vampires, zombies, imps and sprites towards
Bedtime – school in the morning – sleek war birds
Are swooping, careless of children below
Who can’t change channels, can’t let demons go.


Dave Alton