field of pumpkins

Theme in Yellow

Carl Sandburg’s Theme in Yellow was first published in his collection ‘Chicago Poems’ under the title “Fogs and Fire” in 1916. It is written from the perspective of the pumpkin and what it experiences of Halloween.

I spot the hills
With yellow balls in autumn.
I light the prairie cornfields
Orange and tawny gold clusters
And I am called pumpkins.
On the last of October
When dusk is fallen
Children join hands
And circle round me
Singing ghost songs
And love to the harvest moon;
I am a jack-o’-lantern
With terrible teeth
And the children know
I am fooling.

Now it’s your turn. Very little writing takes the perspective of a non-human so the challenge this week is to do just that using something related to Halloween as your inspiration. If you are short on inspiration last week’s Halloween word square might offer up rich pickings, or at least encourage a sideways look at the topic.

Alternatively, you too could write as if you were the pumpkin, perhaps as pie, hollowed out and lit, or simply growing in the fields.

Why not use the comment area below to share your own non-human Halloween work?

(Image by Enrique from Pixabay)


  1. What we call Halloween is the modern incarnation of the older fire festival of Samhain. In the UK, aspects of Samhain have been splintered into Halloween and Bonfire Night. One of the ancient traditions of Samhain was to open the burial chambers at this time when the veils between the worlds was thin…. so here is one such Barrow thinking aloud…


    I have been closed for eons now,
    forgotten. The dead within me
    nameless and unremembered.

    Time was that when the fires
    were lit, the passages would be
    opened, and names recited.

    I was built so that the Samhain
    sunrise would light their way
    from this world onward.

    No longer. I am grassed over
    and unlamented, and I hold
    them quiet now in sleep.

    I wake and watch the fires lit
    below, even though the worship
    has slipped between time.

    Fireworks work no magic now,
    tamed into the winter sky and
    the fire-smoke is feeble.

    Everything that was has gone
    and it seems that no-one
    reaches back to me.

    They’ve overwritten time,
    with something as flimsy
    as history.

    1. What an evocative sentence Lesley “They’ve overwritten time, with something as flimsy as history.” it says it all about the times we live in!

  2. Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit

    They all try to best me
    but I’m better
    – a peach of a pumpkin.

    A mandarin among wannabes,
    who orange with envy,
    only get to be me
    in tangerine dreams.

    I’m a crown,
    a source of light
    for the world to worship,
    and my amber smile is Nobby Stiles,
    a God of the gaps.

    1. I also remember tangerine dreams with affection Iain and Lesley – so I guess we are all of ‘an age’ !

  3. Thanks Lesley – I couldn’t resist the tangerine dreams reference, even though I knew it would age me.

    I love your image of fireworks being tamed into the winter sky, and like Linda, I think the last line of your piece is superb. I have to confess I’d never heard of Samhain before seeing the prompt.

    1. Samhain is one of the major Celtic rituals of the year Iain – and I’ll be using more of them in my writing over time too, so I’m sure you’ll become very familiar with them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *