By Karen Robiscoe


First Week
It’s autumn—
a big Harvest Moon.
The leaves,
from the trees,
upon the ground strewn.
Carpeting porches,
Sidewalks and streets,
Filled with masked children
Soliciting sweets.

Provided by neighbors
—unless they are foolish,
since unsweetened children
Can often be
Opting to trick
in absence of treat,
of twisting
the Charmin’ in trees.

Or egging
a doorway,
darkened and quiet,
venting frustration,
in albumin riot—
yes, the ways
one can pay
–for skipping tradition,
are bad for resale
and border sedition.

So don’t
be a hero—
on next trip to store,
buy oodles of candy
to keep by your door,
and hand out to kiddies,
attended by Mommy
—who can’t be
‘cause Mommy’s a Zombie.

Second Week
Moving along—
to what happens after,
the tricking & treating,
and G-rated laughter–
since when kids,
shut eyelids,
& start sawing logs,
the oldsters,
in Halloween togs.

The female among them
will no doubt choose slutty–
—witch clothes
with striped hose,
or maybe a bunny…
‘Made famous by Playboy
decades ago,
She might come
as Nurse!
(dressed as a ho’)

The disguises—
of most guys is
—generally spartan
(I don’t mean the Greeks)
I’m talking the garment,
which might be
the same as—
he wears when at work,
topped with a seasonal
hat and a smirk.

However, we do it—
we do like to play…
differing roles,
than those lived each day,
so ponder
the person,
you’d most like to be…
Your close up
is scheduled—
for this Halloween.

Week Three
The next
several weeks
pass in a haze,
a sweet-induced coma,
brought on by days,
of nibbling treats
culled Halloween,
a loosening
of belts on most jeans.

Hinging on timing,
you might also see,
a partisan race—
to run our country,
a process where candidates
stump & promote,
relevant issues
rockin’ the vote,
—smiling the while
by predescribed rote.

It’s also
quite likely,
you’ll entertain guests,
that come with the season
and must be impressed,
with doo-dads and china,
dragged out each year,
in bubble wrap
amounting to cheer.

And as time
to end of November,
families prepare
a feast to remember—
the instance of stealing
this land
from its natives,
unfair to those there,
but still legislated.

4th Down
This fact doesn’t hamper
—the party at all!
Which features
* a creature *
we call Butterball.
A staph-ridden turkey
its carcass: a misery—
–of factory-farmed meat
befouled and be’gristly,
(despite hours spinning in oven rotisserie)

The incumbent host
is stressed, but pretending,
she’s not in the least
by way of attending,
to every last detail
right down to
the platter,
on which bird
—is served—
as if such things matter.

As history shows
that will·ful relations,
will full·y decide—
to guzzle libations,
ostensibly hefted
to those they hold dear,
giving their thanks
with two-barreled beer,
though bro’ likes nouveaux,
at this time of year.

If you can’t
beat ‘em–—join ‘em!
And grab you a Bloody’
through Macy’s parade
you’ll be buddy-buddy,
a state that degrades
when footballs are kicked,
since pigskins
can stand in,
for symbolic dicks.

5th Golden Week
No matter what level
of build-up and fuss,
the advent of Yule,
is there to remind us—
the meaning behind
the yearly to-do,
that insists
on a list
of to-do
for you, too.

Saint Nick’s not the fellow
prompting the pomp,
he’s busy enough
with his own global romp,
landing on rooftops
and dropping down chimneys
—A cause—
worth applause,
since Santa’s not nimbly.
(Besides which, the roof pitch, is totally wintry)

It comes down to love,
of which there’s too little,
the seasonal reason—
for joy in this riddle,
(that’s highly obscured)
by a hodgepodge of rites—
involving gift-giving,
and pine trees with lights,
and extra-hard logs—
that burn extra-bright.

Yes, the swell in Noel,
transcends its wrappings,
its trimmings & pinnings—
its ribbons & trappings.
It venerates Christ,
on day of His birth,
whose tender
made peace
here on earth.

6% Sales Tax Week
The day’s centered ‘round
the noblest ideal,
that starts at late mass
upon midnight clear…
When sleepy-eyed families
hit church to redress—
a year of wrongdoing
in 2 hours or less,
(a hella good deal)
for losing some rest.

This doesn’t account for—
the late Christmas shopper,
who’s still at the mall
becoming a pauper,
trading his dough
for overpriced stuff,
in hopes to avoid
the pending rebuff,
the gifts meant to show,
he’s thoughtful enough.

Since praise without largess
is simply suspicious,
for all that the day
is seen as auspicious,
a message that’s louder
than thanks or good wishes,
a custom we trust in
as being propitious,
a presenting penance
to remit the pernicious.

The Walmarts,
—and K-Marts—
and Marts of all kind,
are the real alters here
with one thing in mind—
their margin increases
with each sale tallied,
—not Jesus–
He’s specious—
and lives in Death Valley.

7 (Deadly Sins) Week
You’re bloated
—and bankrupt
Yule Tide’s washed your tanker,
into islands of debt,
peopled by bankers–
–likely to raise
your APR soon,
since plastic’s
and rarely a boon.

And though Noel’s past
and Boxing Day’s done,
you’re not
off the hook yet
for ritual fun,
as pending New Year
dictates a freezing–
–of habits—
—and vices–
and other things pleasing.

Yes, gluttons
will diet,
and lazy men toil,
the proud find new lows,
the envious foiled,
smokers will quit,
and drinkers abstain,
of helpful champagne.

Live life
to the fullest,
these next seven days,
dubious ways.
Indulge in your cravings
your crutches and sins—
at least until midnight
when New Year’s begins.

The countdown’s been counted,
and kisses exchanged,
‘lang syne has been yodeled,
in high-octave range.
The Waterford Ball
in Times Square has dropped,
the New Year’s begun—
the old one has stopped.
According to recording
GMT clocks.

Time now to honor,
extravagant claims,
of what you will do
that isn’t the same…
And how these adjustments
are sure to effect,
an overdue tune-up
on things you have wrecked
—and by you–I mean me,
because I project.

The quitting of drinking—
will help you grow healthy.
The quitting of gambling—
will help you be wealthy.
The halting of
while wearing
in private–
will set an example,
both pompous & pious.

This year will be different.
—If ancients weren’t lying—
the Aztecs…the Hopis,
the Toltecs, & Mayans
as planets aligning
will shift, too, our focus,
swing north pole to south,
& screw up the locus.
(unless it’s all been
so much hocus-pocus)

About Karen Robiscoe

Karen Robiscoe’s stories, essays, & poetry have appeared in numerous literary journals, including Spectrum at UCSB, Steam Ticket, Lunch Ticket at Antioch, and many others. A resident of California, her byline: Fitness Front appears in several papers nationally. Keep up with the author on Twitter, LinkedIn, and her website https://charronschatter.com. 

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