Comments 35

The Year After Last – A Poem By Carol J Forrester #DVersePoets

Squirming at the pumpkin guts, your hands scooped into ladles, spooning palmfuls of seed and sludge. We took desert spoons to the wisp remains. Raked the slick walls smooth. Marked out the features with sharpies, a wide outline mouth, hollow eyes, skeleton nose. Sawed kitchen knives through thick sick, fingers squeaking tight on the handles.

This year, that kitchen is someone else’s, and the plants have not spat out anything other than flowers, their yellow blooms autumn mulched into the borders. There is no spilling through the doorway, hat and coats rain kissed into my open arms. No mud footprints on the tiles. Only seeds, sat on the shelf, kept dark and safe, for more hospitable times. My own roots deepening, on the promises pushed away till Spring.

Evening has a weight,
a sense of things settling down,
comfort in closing.

This entry was posted in: Poetry


Carol J Forrester is a writer and a history geek. Her debut collection 'It's All In The Blood' came out November 2019. She has a 2:1 BA degree in history from Bath Spa University, enjoys judo at least twice a week, and tries to attend poetry events around the Midlands when she can. Her flash fiction story ‘Glorious Silence’ was named as River Ram Press’ short story of the month for August 2014 and her short story ‘A Visit From The Fortune Teller’ has been showcased on the literary site Ink Pantry. Her poems ‘Sunsets’ and ‘Clear Out‘ were featured on Eyes Plus Words, and two of her poems were included in the DVerse Poets Pub Publication ‘Chiaroscuro’ which is available for purchase on amazon.Her poem ‘Until The Light Gets In‘ was accepted and published at The Drabble and her poem ‘Newborn’ was published by Ink Sweat & Tears. She has been lucky enough to write guest posts for sites such as Inky Tavern and Song of The Forlorn and has hosted a number of guest bloggers on her site Writing and Works.


  1. I really love how you describe the process of scooping out the pumpkin… it sounds almost sinister… and then that sadness with only the seeds. Let us hope for spring to bring something better.

  2. There is a solemness and sadness that is evocative in this piece of prose. I really enjoyed these lines:

    “Squirming at the pumpkin guts, your hands scooped into ladles, spooning palmfuls of seed and sludge. We took desert spoons to the wisp remains.”

    It reminded me when the other week or so, I helped moderate a Zoom meeting for elementary school aged children. The teachers were teaching the kids how to carve pumpkins. It looked like fun!

  3. Beverly Crawford says

    It does tend to bring memories of happy faces traipsing home with bags of candy, anxious to examine their booty. Nostalgic as the years have passed.

  4. Glenn A. Buttkus says

    The door bell rings. I open it to find a four year old dressed as a pirate, all alone. “How cute”, I said,” but where’s your buccaneers?” “Under my buckin’ hat” he replied.

  5. Ron. Lavalette says

    “…promises pushed away til Spring…,” What a great lead-in to that killer closing haiku. Well done, CF

  6. Love that visceral description of carving the pumpkin. It is pretty gross. The ending brings in the natural cycle of the seasons. Lovely haiku.

    • Thank you Sarah. It can be a bit icky, pumpkin guts don’t tend to bother me much though, unless it’s after they’ve got on clothes. Then they become an annoying stain to try and deal with.

  7. A perfect snapshot of Halloween preparations in the first paragraph, Carol. I especially love the horror of ‘Squirming at the pumpkin guts’, and the sound of ‘Raked the slick walls smooth’ and ‘fingers squeaking tight on the handles’. The contrast of the wistful second paragraph is stark and it made me sad. I felt a wrench at ‘There is no spilling through the doorway, hat and coats rain kissed into my open arms. No mud footprints on the tiles.’ I was, however, comforted by the haiku.

  8. I love the sensuousness of this haibun, Carol. You described the pumpkin-carving experience perfectly.

  9. I like that image of the seeds waiting in the dark for better times. So much about tradition is in the mere fact of its repetition. We do the same in our relationships.

  10. There is such a melancholy feel to this (as well as the visceral elements of the pumpkin). Traditions lost and perhaps regained in other forms. Lovely haiku.

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