All Hallows Eve of Old Spirits

As we enjoy the last of trick-o-treat, Greg Powell offers a poem of Hallows Eve

All Hallows Eve of Old Spirits

The old spirit’s loose in the land
Unrestrained, never contained
Like long ago but
Stretched into a hate like fire
In marrow of bone. Buried
Under blood nourished soil
For so long, forgotten, condemned
Thriving in the underground
Waiting for spark to flame vengeance
On pale face motherfuckers everywhere
Because no one is innocent no
No one is exempt from blood sacrifice
Must be shed for atonement
And healing in name of Black Jesus
So the ghost say
The disembodied lynched griot
The government executed jazzman
From lethal injections
The lynched boy eunuch to white
Face idolatry. The screams and blood
Nurturing soil to grow trees and old spirits
Trees and old spirits waters by backlash hate
To crawl from earth bowels and kill
Dainty ass trick or treating palefaces
In suburban gathering in streets free
From potholes and demon cops
And black blood they leave behind like
Trail of snails.

I am one of these
Old mad spirits spitting blood
Old mad spirits spitting blood
Like ancient to future blues man
I’m a howling wolf with dagger teeth
Say I’m a howling wolf with dagger teeth
Raised from underneath, knife unsheathed
The seventh son of generation seventeenth
Stirred to insurrection by backlash to slash
Throats of future slavers and mass gravers
Bureaucratic killer and opiate dealers
These dainty future demons must die tonight

We emerge from the soil from the root
From the trees
The trees ancient blood splotched trees
Strange fruit rising from trees and under
Cracked concrete under lamp posts strange
Burning Light Bulb lamp posts rising
Laughing in redemption rage rising
Whipped scared demons or demons rising
Praying for prey to lay unto porch altars
This dainty suburban hallows eve
Where are these privileged pale children
Who dare this night of awakenings
Get back riot of insurrection dagger ghosts
Conjuring commodified serene streets
Into burning sugar cane fields cotton fields
Tobacco fields and prison labor camps

All Hallow Eve of Old Spirits

Revelation Times Come

Seeking men women children throats to cut
New red flesh lips agape in shock
Of what they never thought would come
Because they didn’t believe God was just
Too late for them now: revelation times come
In ninja dagger laser scoped to ghost skulls
And throats and livers and testicles
We finally own the night
After renting it for American centuries
Come out come out privileged mommies
Daddies and children to your big suburban night
Build upon wealth stolen from ghetto blight
And Ghanaian slave forts and Liberian rubber fields
and diamond mines littered with severed black hands
That adorn you wedding rings come out come out
And commit tonight the thousand deaths we live
Everyday ghosts pray primed to prey and feast on flesh tonight
We rise from soil and roots and trees
Into night soupy with temperate night and fog
We have feasted on bright half moon
Gorged ourselves in anticipation
Of eternal famine when we return to the dead
And wounds and screams of burning flesh
But maybe this is our redemption
The blood sacrifice to elevate us to heaven
And release the peace centuries elusive
This here redemption time
This here redemption time
Redemption centuries whips bullets and blood
Boa constrictor nooses closing on broken necks
Of pregnant Queen strivers and soldiers
Returned from fight for America
Who Funkadelic say eats its young
We rise as the rains begin
Soon to cool to snowflakes in the night
Wind vertical Rains ripping leaves from branches
Before they can die beautiful rainbow deaths
Winds whipping angry earth rain migrated from Gulf storm
Where Congo Square drummers syncopated birth pangs
Wet leaves a carpet for us to stalk
Children of fork tongue demons
This hallows eve
Trick or treat we whisper
Into innocent ears for
The innocent must atone for the guilty
When they inherit stolen bounty of stolen
Lives and hope and dreams and souls and wealth

Cinderella undead queen

And the Wind Screams, Amen

The first throat cut
Is Becky the pretty little Cinderella
And her mamma Cinderallla
And the infant in fancy stroller
Because lynchers
And white blood lusting rioters
Did not spare babies
Or even embryos striving for birth
In lynched momma’s womb
And so blood liberated from veins
Washes onto wet leaves ground
A cocktail of rivulets running down street
Slurped into manhole covers
And then the pack of boys,
The vampire the Pokémon the ghost
Skeleton climbing steps singing
Their last trick or treat last candy
Before last dance of daggers descending
Death drizzling cold rain hot blood
Dripping unto plastic pumpkin on porch
To extinguish candle snuff smoke sliver
And you, happy witch lady of house
On stolen land, your face wiped
Of vacuous smile hand releasing candy
Onto dead little hands they soon
Join as souls drain together
into red sculpted bushes

Old spirits’ loose in the land
Spirits of lynched maimed soul crushed
Riot of throat slashing frenzy
Wet pale bodies prostrate on wet leaves
And the wind screams, amen
And the wind screams, amen
Over rivulets of rain and blood and souls
Wind screams in chorus with gurgled screams

Old drummer in white paint poem

Ride On King Jesus, Ride On

Old drummer opens door to the red house
The red house over yonder
Where spirits moan the blues
The red house over yonder
Where the spirits moan the blues
They moan from can’t see to can’t see
‘cause Lord they paid their dues
Old shaman gospel drummer
Face painted ancestral white
Of the never dead
Launches hands/ ritual dance on antelope skin
The beat seeps into spirit feets on street
Old spirits praise dance redemption time
Old spirits praise dance redemption time
As screams go silent and wind stills
Beat mingles in time to house hooves
Galloping from sky flung open
Black Jesus on white horse
Ride on King Jesus Ride on
Shaman gospel drummer chants
In ancestral ring shout tongue
Ride on King Jesus Ride on
Black Jesus unrolls scroll to Shaman
Drummer possessed in rhythm beyond himself
Rhythm ancient as Sphinx Kings
Timbuktu griots scholars Olmec
Head civilizing sojourners slave
Ship survivor moans death hollers
Plantation ring shouts of undead hopes
Rebellion calls of dagger and gun freedom fighters
And rebellions of feet running to North Star or death
Drum speaking from seven syncopated hands
Take and eat/ this is my body
Black Jesus say…

Shaman drummer tongue redemption by Greg Powell

The Dagger's Edge Lashes the Lyncher's Rope

Drummer eats scroll and speaks life
Drum tongue
Mojo tongue
Redemption tongue
Wake up and live tongue
Yeah wake up and live
Can’t stay dead forever
You got love to give
And flesh rejoins flesh
Speak life drummer, speak life
And blood retreats into little bodies
Wounds sewn to unblemished flesh
Breath drummer…breath into the dead
And murdered bodies writhe in wet leaves
Driven by spells of shaman drum
Prophesy to the flesh drummer
Prophesy to the flesh
And life ignites into flesh
Men women boys girls arise
Face to face with old spirits
They still feel the pain
The dagger's edge lashes the lyncher’s rope
Crushed skulls and souls
They feel the pain and face
To face with old spirits in the land
Hope is born.


If you enjoyed this poem, you may also enjoy 'Tales of the Funky Drummer.'