Would you believe it wasn’t possible to buy a pumpkin anywhere today?! Completely sold out. Just as well it’s actually traditional to use turnips for Jack O’Lanterns in Ireland. Here’s my attempt…
“Wild, ugly faces we carved in its skin,
Glaring out through the dark with a candle within!” John Greenleaf Whittier
The story of how carved turnips came to be used as lanterns varies throughout Europe. According to a spooky old Irish tale, a measly farmer called Stingy Jack tricked the Devil into climbing a tree. Once the Devil was high up in the moonlit branches, Stingy Jack carved a cross into the bark so he couldn’t get down again.
Jack only agreed to let the Devil down when he promised never to take the farmer’s soul. When Stingy Jack eventually died, he was too sinful to pass through Heaven’s gates, and as the Devil had promised never to take his soul, he was damned to always wander the earth in search of a resting place. He carved out a turnip, and inside placed a glowing ember the Devil gave him to light his lonely way… He became known as “Jack of the Lantern.”
1 day to Halloween!
“You don’t need eyes for where we’re going…”
4 days to Halloween…
This post is a little late. I’m staying in Dublin for a couple of nights, and there were issues with the internet connection in the hotel.
5 days to Halloween…
‘A shudder through the silence crept
And death athwart the noonlight swept…
Graves closed round my path of life,
The beautiful had fled;
Pale shadows wandered by my side,
And whispered of the dead.’
Sarah Helen Whitman
6 days to Halloween…
“Not a word of goodbye not even a note
She’s gone with the man in the long black coat.”
7 days to Halloween…
“Whatever you do, don’t blink.”
8 days to Halloween…
“What’s he building in there?
What the hell is he building in there?
He has subscriptions to those magazines…
He never waves when he goes by
He’s hiding something from the rest of us…
He’s all to himself…
I think I know why…
He took down the tire swing from the Peppertree
He has no children of his own you see…
He has no dog
And he has no friends and his lawn is dying…
And what about all those packages he sends.
What’s he building in there?
I’ll tell you one thing
He’s not building a playhouse for the children.
What’s he building
What’s He Building – Tom Waits
9 Days to Halloween…
“WEBSTER was much possessed by death
And saw the skull beneath the skin;
And breastless creatures under ground
Leaned backward with a lipless grin…
He knew the anguish of the marrow
The ague of the skeleton;
No contact possible to flesh
Allayed the fever of the bone.”
Excerpt from Whispers of Immortality by T.S. Eliot