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  • Omar Najam

The Town of 13 Days by Omar Najam

I had been hoping to do 13 paintings this year, one for each theme, but October got a little bit away from me. So instead I decided to combine all of the themes into one.

Here is The Town of 13 Days by Omar Najam

Out there is a town, beyond the fog and the woods

A curious town, stranger seeming than it should

The paths leading to this town wind in many curious ways

But what’s most curious about this town is that it exists

But for only thirteen days

You will not find this town most months of the year

You can look in the thick berry brush, you can look in the clear

But this town only reveals itself when the breeze turns gold

And the leaves turn fire crimson, and the nights grow dark and cold

You will find this town then, just further than you’ve been

Where the earth feels eager, and the veil feels thin

It will be on the first night, and not a moment too soon

That this town will come upon you, lit by the full hunter moon

It will smell like apples, and cider and pie

As the embers of a campfire will carry sweet spiced scents into the sky

You’ll be greeted by witches, the weird sisters of three

That will sing and fly and dance and cast spells upon thee

You will lay a blanket by pumpkins, gourds of all shapes and forms

You’ll be nestled amongst them, by the fire, so cozy and warm

As terrifying tales send shivers down your spine

Stories of summer nights and the sweltering horrors they find

For this is a town where disguises reveal

Where wishes and desires are sewn and become real

Where creatures consort, vampires and wolves

Exchanging wings and fangs and scales and hooves

Where children are told accounts of talking puppets and hungry plants

In stories and tales that can’t be quite exactly traced back

A town where each year there’s chocolates and sweets

That go forgotten, lost to memory, becoming vengeful flavorless treats

A town where the night is filled with joy and surprise

As well as creeping and crawling and piercing red eyes

A town where if you stepped away from the music and dancing and trees

You’d hear an unsettling howl, carried by the autumn breeze

Where moving past your ankle you’ll meet a bewitching black cat

And flittering past your head you’ll see a cauldron of bewitching black bats

And all around you you’ll meet mischief and magic and mirth

Just past that thinned veil, upon this eager earth

But after thirteen nights, moments before dawn

All the apples and campfires

And witches will be gone

And you might feel sadness, a loss for the cheer

That this town was gone so soon

It’s now just thick berry brush or some low grassy clear

But worry not, for the thing about this town of thirteen curious days

Is that it is yours, it lives with you, built by your curious ways

It is with your words and your paints and your short horror scripts

Your eerie music films and collages with perfect paper rips

It is with your art and whimsy and memories and fear

That this town of just thirteen days will be again

For another thirteen days

Not but next year

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