Halloween Moon Over Huddle Knob Graveyard

Fred Chappell Click to

chappellFred Chappell is the author of thirty books of fiction, essays and poetry. His Midquest (LSU, 1981) received the Bollingen Prize for Poetry, and his other awards include the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry. He taught for 40 years at UNC-Greensboro and served as the N. C. Poet Laureate.  “Halloween Moon Over Huddle Knob Graveyard” originally appeared in Shenandoah 55/1.

Skinny McCaudle is called forth on Huddle
And in his bone hand his skedaddle fiddle
That used to put cloggers to their sweaty mettle
Cries out again

While the moon swoops out of the wind
And the wind swoons into the moon

Over Huddle Knob the Great Hunter straddles
And down the long westward a meteor hurtles
With a sound like red pokers plunged in a kettle
Of blackberry wine

While the moon floats royal alone
And the wind divides into forty minds

In our hamlet below we sleepers fuddle
And wallow in dreams of passionate riddle
As McCaudle’s hilltop diddle tweedle diddle
Thrills over the land

Deep in the moon thin wind
Skirls like a twisted violin

And calls us sleepers to scurry to the saddle
Of moon-fingered wind-worried Huddle
And dance until bony Skinny’s swift fiddle
Slides back in the ground

Till the beech leaves all heap in a restless mottle
And their bare branches thrash wit ha skeletal rattle
And we all stretch our limbs and yawn and settle
To sleep again

O yes there’s something beyond all this fiddle
That Time inches onward with it steady treadle
O lady there’s Something beyond all this fiddle –
We’ve seen its sign

Over huddle the moony wind
Shivers the silver Halloween