Old Year’s Night

(inspired by the folk traditions of Tristan da Cunha, the world’s most isolated inhabited island)

The Okalolies are out tonight —
Romp-a-stomp, chomp-a-glomp!
Seeking stray waifs to marmalise,
as the Old Year dies they stir & rise.

Women they yearn to flush with fright —
Howl-a-growl, foul-a-scowl!
At twilight they prowl the village lanes —
peering in windows, scratching at panes.

Daemonic visages of wightish might —
Glare-a-ware, tooth-a-bare!
They stalk the night with burning stares,
horns up-thrust from goatish hair.

Beware brutish knockings at the door —
Thump-a-glump, rump-a-wump!
Answer not, lest your supper’s repast
go to glut the gut of each eager ghast.

The Okalolies are out tonight —
Crack-a-whack, hack-a-thwack!
They relish each poppet’s puny scream,
topple the cattle & curdle the cream.

Your potato patch they’ll strike with blight —
Hob-a-nob, mob-a-bob!
They’ll flay your thatch, bite your boarder:
mischief the evening’s infernal order.

Only at midnight may it be put right:
Bell-a-knell, fell-a-spell!
The fishing gong is madly rung —
again & again the hammer swung.

Cries are raised to New Years bright —
Ring-a-ding, sing-a-ling!
The savor of braais floods the air
as kegs are broached & bonfires flare.

The Okalolies are out tonight —
Haunt-a-flaunt, chaunt-a-gaunt!
Having wrought their wicked wrack
on midnight’s blast they cackle back
to deep sea-graves, abyssal black —

Old Year, put out the light!

[Scott J. Couturier is a writer of the grotesque, pagan, & darkly fantastic. His poetry & prose began appearing in literary journals & anthologies in 2017 – venues he has contributed to include The Audient Void, Spectral Realms, Eternal Haunted Summer, Hinnom Magazine, & Weirdbook (forthcoming). His fiction has been repeatedly featured in the Test Patterns & Pulps anthologies from Planet X Publications.]