2013-04-02

Celebrating the Poem


As I mentioned yesterday, April is National Poetry Month. Poetry is all over the place, you just have to know where to look.

Writer's Digest has their sixth annual PAD Challenge, where you're invited to write a Poem A Day from their daily prompts throughout the month. Just post your poem in the comments for that day's post.

If you prefer something a little less intense, Poets.org has 30 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month. There's lots of good suggestions on this list.

My own home town is holding the Cobourg Festival of Poetry, a three day event that includes guest poets as well as local poets.

My own tribute to National Poetry Month will be posting a poem here each Tuesday. Whether or not I keep this up after the month is over . . . it's anyone's guess.:-)

This week's poem is a little out of season, but it's one of my favorites that I've written lately.


Jack O'Lantern

Beware ye fool the devil, for the devil has his due
Beware ye lest the devi, should turn the tale on you
Stingy Jack was one who thought the devil he could best
For him his fate was worse than death, he wanders without rest


Now Jack was not a well-liked man, a mean and wretched soul,
He liked his drink, and that's a fact, be it bottle, keg, or bowl.
'Twas on a night that's such as this Jack bade the devil drink,
A guileless smile upon his face, his cheeks a ruddy pink.

They drank a toast to Samhain Eve and all the souls in hell.
Another, then another, till they heard the church bells' knell.
But Stingy Jack had not the coin 'twas needed then to pay,
He had a plan instead and this is what I heard him say:

"Old Scratch, into a coin ye must turn into straight away.
I'll pay our tab and ye'll change back without a long delay"
The fiend agreed not knowing that old Jack had tricked him well,
In a wallet with a cross beside, Jack put the coin to dwell.

The devil seethed, the devil raged, but all to no avail,
He tried to use his power, even knowing he would fail.
They struck a deal, that should Jack die, he'd not go straight to hell,
Instead he had a year of grace in which to say farewell.

Before his year of grace was up, Jack took the plague and died
But Heaven didn't want him, and the devil had his pride.
Because the year was not complete, he would not claim Jack's soul,
But sent him off into the night with just a burning coal.

A coal is just too hot to hold in nothing but your hand,
So Jack, he carved a turnip face to hold the burning brand.
On Samhain Eve he wanders now throughout the chilly night
A sad and lonely figure in the Jack 'O Lantern's light.

Beware ye fool the devil, for the devil has his due
Beware ye lest the devil, should turn the tale on you
Stingy Jack was one who thought the devil he could best
For him his fate was worse than death, he wanders without rest


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