Our Atticus: The Linnet's Wings Halloween Supplement 2007
Ancestor by Jim Boring
The Witches Grace by Nonnie Augustine
Dance of the Dead by Maureen Wilkenson
Issue Art Wall
So Alice was a children's book for adults
Dreaming of their childhood and how
They wish it could be again or was really
When they were having a bad day and they wished
Three wishes, for an angel, a fairy or a genie,
As they poured from the wine bottle
they would rather have rubbed
while closing their eyes preparing for enchantment
in the life that was lived then.
Close your eyes, count one, two, three and
There you are, a soul swirling, but no
Not down a rabbit hole. Oh no!
It's the new millennium you got stuck in
And you've become a squiggle on cloud's surface.
Clamouring with other like souls as Tinkerbelle,
the Mad Hatter and the fairies look on.
You're knocking on a cottage door and you grow big
So big and they won't let you in,
And you grow small and you know you'll disappear,
But before you disappear forever
You step back into a body and pour a toast
To your existence as your soul stays screaming
In clouds that were once for dreaming.
Then you know that Alice is a children's book,
For adults dreaming of their childhood
And how they wish it could be again
When they are having a bad day
And wishing three wishes, for a angel, or a ghost,
as they pour from the wine bottle
they'd much rather rub.
Vampires, Ghosts, the Dead returned by Yvette Managan
Carnal Knowledge by Stan Long
Necromancy by Karen Jones
I lay her out the way I did the others, before rigor mortis sets in: naked, on her back, right leg bent, so the inside of the right foot rests against the left thigh. Her right arm is across her flat belly; left hand resting on the left thigh.
This one is so fresh, so fragrant -- only minutes since her grateful last sigh. I lie down beside her in that same position -- the position I've slept in since childhood. We look like we were meant to be together.
In a few hours the spell will work and she'll speak to me. She would never have spoken to me when she was alive, but when I wake her she will howl my name, shriek and curse, filling me with passion.
Sometimes the others come back -- seven girls berating me. Those are the best nights, when the pleasure is almost too great. And when they and I are spent, I lie down by my latest love; the others fade away.
From the college campus, sounds of innocent, girlish laughter float through my basement window, lulling me asleep; to dream of next time.
My Dead Love Came In by Bill West
Night Maneuvers by Ramon Collins
Moonlighting by Craig Capron
Liam's coffin lay across two saw horses. It was littered with plates, half-empty glasses, and Liam's pipe. The coffin lid was a crooked fit leaving a crack into which spilt stout dripped. Liam's widow Margaret sat beside it, her pale hands crossed on her lap.
Outside the sea wind whistled over the shingle roof and tugged at the fishing nets drying on the stone walls.
The low door opened and night air stirred smoke from the fire. An old priest entered, removed his hat and scarf and sat down amongst the mourners.
Old Jimmy chinned his fiddle and played a lament. His brother, Michael pulled a tin whistle from his jacket pocket and played along, two voices dancing in the thick air.
When they finished Margaret asked the priest ifhe would sing "She moved through the Fair" for it had been Liam's favourite. Liam would sit on the seawall at sunset and whistle the tune, mournful as a gull. The priest smiled, stood amongst that rough company and sang, the fiddle and whistle accompanying him.
"Last night she came to me, my dead love came in So softly she came that her feet made no din
As she laid her hand on me and this she did say It will not be long, love, 'til our wedding day"
The priest put out a hand and leaned on Liam's coffin. The coffin lurched and crashed to the ground. Plates, glasses and the coffin lid slithered to the floor as one of the saw horses gave way. The mourners jumped up and crowded round.
Maybe Liam had awoken, drawn back from heaven to be with his beloved. But he was dead sure enough, his body wrapped in white muslin, his skin yellow as the scale on a cock's claw.
"Is it chemicals make him that colour?" someone asked.
"To be sure we're all Chinese in the eyes of the Lord," said a drunken voice.
"May you be in heaven a half hour before the Devil knows you're dead!" said Jimmy the Fiddler.
There was more laughter. The men folk kicked the remains of the worm-eaten saw horses into the fire. Flames sparkled in the fireplace, lightening the atmosphere. They leaned Liam's coffin against the wall while Jimmy and Michael struck up a jig.
Margaret unpinned her hair, stepped in front of the open coffin, and danced for Liam one last time.
2007 -Bill West
The Awakening by Jim Parks
Jess' Palace by Yvette Managan
Something's Wrong With Lennie by Nonnie Augustine
The hour is late and he is gone for good,
at last. I welcome the howling storm this night
as the furious wind is blowing past our safe cottage.
The shadow cast by the oil lamp holds no threat
as the rain's percussion is hard and fast.
Our home's the haven we craved at last.
Lightning's our trumpet; each strike proclaims
to all nature that we are saved.
My good dogs were restless, asked questions
with their round brown eyes. When I spoke,
they settled, stretched, laid down their heads.
From the hearth, the fire, far more generous
then he'd allow, warms our spirits.
My tabby cat, in thrall to the flames,
knows his work-boots will not kick tonight.
We four, two dogs, one cat, and I,
have had sweet comfort, ease,
since the moment I cried,
"The deed is done
and he is bound for hell at last,"
and still, the screaming wind
is blowing past.
My Lady Adair by A.J. Brown
Gothic by Nonnie Augustine
Poem Written While Delaying Suicide by Scurvy Bastard
The face in the frill of her bonnet
belies the femininity of her cap.
Her eyes look straight at you assessing -
her mouth a crack in the ice.
There is nothing soft in this woman now
who bathed her babes in the Ohio River
and salved the head of her daughter
scalped but alive among the corpses.
Gone now for almost a hundred and seventy years
she still looks down on us in stem appraisal
frightens our children when they are left with her alone -
she whose face grew hard protecting her own children
when they found their father his mouth stuffed with dirt
with the others of Mad Anthony Wayne's contingent -
Here is the land you are so greedy for - the message said.
2007 Jim Boring
The moon, a misty slither,
Turned her head,
The earth's a quiver
Beneath her orb of grey.
When Graves did heave
Upon the night
Called Hallows Eve.
Bones, with dirt
And moss adhered
Arose with click and clack
Meant to hold them back.
One night a year
In which to dance
And touch your shoulder
lf by chance
You happen by and disbelieve.
They'll poke your eyes
And pull your sleeve,
Lead you dancing,
to the grave.
Entrails from gut
They ripped and tore
are dripping now
From grinding maw
Then never more
Shall you be seen,
For a step too far, on Hallow E'n