Emblems of autumn and of harvest time,
Symbols of bounty on the verge of dearth,
No greater gift has risen from the earth
Than humble pumpkins in their ripened prime.

With colors matching dead, decaying leaves,
And withered stems that twist like barren boughs,
Their carven faces whisper hallowed vows
The ancient Celts once took on certain eves ….

They bring to mind the lurid, orange flames
That burned on Samhain ‘gainst the black of night;
Their rinds remind us of the dying light
Of Summer’s End, the day of many names.

They represent, at last, the fallen sun,
And are the lanterns that will keep its spark,
To guide our footsteps through the pathless dark
That at October’s end has now begun.

[K. A. Opperman is a poet of horror and dark fantasy hailing from Southern California. His work has appeared in a number of contemporary magazines, anthologies, and journals, including Black Wings of Cthulhu VI, Weirdbook, Vastarien, The Audient Void, Weird Fiction Review, Spectral Realms, Eternal Haunted Summer, Eye to the Telescope, and elsewhere. His debut book-length collection, The Crimson Tome, came out from Hippocampus Press (2015), and his next collection, Past the Glad and Sunlit Season: Poems for Halloween, is due out this October from Gehenna and Hinnom Books. When not writing weird poems, he can be found tending to his pumpkin patch, or running the Realm of the Pumpkin King page on Facebook.]