Pumpkin Blues by Pratibha Castle



Inspired by her mother’s death, and a life-long dream of writing, Pratibha Castle completed a BA in English and Creative Writing in 2011 at the University of Chichester. Graduating with a first class honours degree, she continued exploring on their MA in Creative Writing. Winner of the NADFAS short story competition 2009, age range 13 – 17, long listed for the Pighog Poetry Competition 2010, her work has been published in Eunoia Revue, Poetry and All That Jazz, Wales Arts Review, Thresholds Short Story Forum, a Hedgehog Press Anthology, Postcards from the Edge, and Fly on the Wall magazine Chaos. Further to her love of words, Pratibha, a former singer and holistic therapist, loves to garden, walk in nature, swim in the ocean, and experiment with food. She is currently working on a poetry collection, and a novel set in 1960s Notting Hill and India.























Pumpkin Blues








We collide at a pumpkin stall down Portobello Market.


You caress the silverblue

lustre of a Crown Prince,

I investigate the green mottle

of Kabucha, skin  craggy, crumpled 

as an old crone’s hopes 

or rocky crevices about Olympus.


Yellow peel Turk’s Turbans glower in a pile. 


We twirl, we swirl 

beneath a hunter moon

into a dew glazed gloam,

tranced by the keen of a penny

whistle, banshee yowl

of a turf-fire fiddle.                                                                                           


Mammy cautions me not 

to flaunt my heart upon my sleeve, 

so I sit till after midnight,

illumined in her third degree 

and first love’s fluster, 

embroider right across my tit, 


which you and later I will feel, 

a plump crimson pumper, 

brethren to the thorn snarled 

muscle of the plaster Christ 

enshrined beside the sapphire 

Mary on the parlour mantle.


You wild eyed Ulysses. The twang 


of your finger-lickin’ Gibson

plucks from me a young girl’s fancy

as the plight of your jeans, frayed

as nerves, suggests a stitch-up. I oblige

with bird track tack of rainbow hues infused 

with moon-curse fantasies, disenchanted 


come the morning 

when I find you gone.


Pratibha Castle


First published in Eunoia Review