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That Which Autumn Leaves (REPOST with Audio)

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something for Halloween and Autumn

That Which Autumn Leaves


The clowns were funny in the ring,

as they joked and tumbled and fell -

but in the camp, after the show,

they made our young lives hell.

Still in their masks of garish paint

and drunk on Vodka shots,

they cut and bruised and beat us,

hatching cruel, twisted plots.


I never saw the demons

lurking safe behind the masks

and who would have suspected them

as they went about their tasks?

We couldn’t tell our parents,

although so great was our need

to escape their vile clutches,

“Blaming clowns, indeed!”


So as they slept in caravans

painted in autumn shades,

some friends and I crept up on them,

our young hearts so afraid.

We lit a little fire

underneath the sleeping nest

and jammed tree branches in the doors.

Oh, what a jolly jest.


We banged nails in the window frames

and waited for the screams

when those inside rushed at the door.

I hear them in my dreams.

They cursed and swore unholy vengeance

in strange Romany tongues,

as flames and smoke lapped around them

and scorched into their lungs


The paint on every caravan

peeled and bubbled like hell

and we swore an oath between us

that we would never, ever, tell.

We stood at the far side of the field

as the garish wagons burned.

The shades of autumn lit the sky

as one by one we turned.


The shrieks in the night sounded like

frenzied jesters frying

in a three ring circus of the night.

The children stopped their crying.

The shades of autumn blurred

across an unforgiving sky.

We even raised the alarm ourselves

As we waited for them to die.


Our handiwork went undetected,

just more ash in the rubble.

None of us were suspected then

and no one got into trouble -

but now my friends have all passed on,

as age comes to us all,

every autumn I wait for them

to come around and call.


For every year since that fateful day,

as the night sky burns in season

of falling leaves and epitaphs,

they seem to have a reason

to return to that scorched cradle

and pitch their caravan

in the same spot in that killing field

where years ago we ran.


I fear them, not for our redemptive past

but, because  I see the eyes

of Paul, Peter, John and Mark

and hear their mournful cries

spilling from the cracked and crumbled greasepaint faces

of each and every ghost

that visits me upon that night

i dread and fear the most.


When autumn visits with the clowns

I come to realise,

that I stand in the twilight of my life

and winter, soon, will rise.

The flaming oranges will pass

and give way to the white,

smudged with the ashes of my guilt

and many years of lies.


The clowns will wait round corners

with their evil, coal-black stare

and I will smell them first,

the acrid scent of burning hair.

In livery of orange and gold

they will open the doors wide

on their caravan of collected souls -

and I will step inside.

claimed by deathevil clownsfolk talegrowing oldhalloweenhorror story

◄ A Sting In The Tale

A Poppy In Winter ►


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Ian Whiteley

Tue 6th Nov 2018 15:25

thanx for the likes folk - and remember - STAY AWAY FROM THE CLOWNS! :-)

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M.C. Newberry

Wed 31st Oct 2018 15:24

"Hammer" it home, Ian! A roller-coaster ride into horror,
revenge and dread. I'm uncomfortably reminded of that
US mass murderer who used clown performances at kids'
parties to achieve a respectable cover to lift him into the
"I would never have thought it" section of the unsuspected.

Big Sal

Wed 31st Oct 2018 13:57

A picture very well painted. Beyond a festive poem Ian, this is a poetic tour into terror - not horror. You could feel the creeping intensity building up until not only did it not blow over, but it kept its build-up until the end.

You are the master of storytelling in rhyme. Have yet to read a musician or a writer reach that type accuracy on each line. Many writers (myself included) often resort to more abstract lines to fill in a poem once all the emotion has been verbalized and put down. It can cause 'leakage' in which the meaning is often overlooked by the inconsistencies of what fills the lines. You have no such problem my friend, keep kicking ass and taking names with all these pieces! ?

<Deleted User> (9882)

Wed 31st Oct 2018 12:28

a somewhat Ted Bundy-like conclusion to what has been for me a great ( though teetering on the spooky ) up and down carousel ride of good memories and murky ones mooching in the shadows-ooer Ian!

now keep your Carolli arse in the ring matey
we need to be further entertained!


Rose ?

<Deleted User> (18980)

Wed 31st Oct 2018 11:02

Best Halowe'en poem so far Ian!

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