are we ghosts?
transparent beings
disowned by
the limits
we place on our senses, the
visions we refuse?

land and sky
merge with horizon
in the gap
that opens
between beyond belief and
what we think we know

we impose on our
become lost–
we are neither thought nor form–
only illusion

matter has
its own time, not ours
to possess–
and spirit?
who can contain what is not
there, yet everywhere?

The NaPoWriMo prompt for the day was to “write a poem based on a book cover“, with a link to a very appealing group of old book covers posted at The Public Domain Review, which is always a great source of inspiration. There were many that appealed to me. I ended up writing a shadroma chain to the cover, above, Andrew Lang’s. The Book of Dreams and Ghosts. I am interested to know what is inside the book as well.

The Flames Burn Cold

The voice of the wind is harsh, unending, bringing news of winter.  Under dusky grey I watch the heavens close in as tree bones rattle with last leaves.  Night is everywhere, penetrating with howling visions the sanctity of sleep.

Solitude is impossible.  Chanting surrounds me, invisible hands, the edge of a nightmare hovering on the threshold.  Ghostlike it travels through the streets, knocking on each door, finding the cracks in each soul, rearranging the molecules of each defense.  No prayer or good luck charm repels the chosen path of this bleak pilgrim.  Its faceless form looms like a black hole.

A cacophony of silence tunnels into the center of my mind.  It asks me no questions, desires no answers–an insatiable voice in a vortex ancient, eternal, lost.

forsaken, stars hide–
sky fallen into stillness
swallowing the moon

For the Earthweal Weekly Challenge, A Hallowed Moondance.

Woman and Ghost

woman and ghost s

I have lost the barrier
between me and the world–
tangled in the web it weaves
to keep itself from falling apart

It holds my pieces tight
and yet the space between them
opens and shifts–
I have lost the barrier

What orbit holds my destiny?
edges come and go simultaneously
as the gaps grow wider
between me and the world

Bridges retreat and paths lead
farther away from any idea
of location—fragmented, off-center,
tangled in the web it weaves

Slowly threads expand on tides
of iridescence seen only in certain lights,
raveling random and untraceable connections
to keep itself from falling apart

woman and ghost close up s

An ekphrastic response to “Woman and Ghost”, which was gifted to me by the wonderful Claudia McGill, who has also gifted me with inspiration, support, and friendship.

You can follow her on her blogs:

For the NaPoWriMo day 20 prompt: “write a poem about a handmade or homemade gift that you have received”.


The poetic form I used is cascade.


repast 2s

The table is full of noisy ghosts–
they are woven through
the cloth that warms the bread–
simmering in the bowl of broth,
poured into the wine glasses,
reflected in the blade of the knife.

They gather in unrelated absence,
unknown to each other or themselves–
their years are few and many,
ages compressed into moments in time,
their stories fed by seasoning,
by the harvesting of lives.

Lingering beyond sustenance,
beyond hunger, an ache
that vibrates both blood and bones–
faces shadow the vacant chairs–
they whisper into the ceilings
and behind the dark walls.

Jade (hosted by Grace) at dVerse has us writing about food.  I first wrote this poem for an Ekphrastic Review challenge, but it was rejected.  I wanted to rework it a bit and do a collage, so this was the perfect opportunity.

repast close up s

If you want to see the artwork, by Anne Vallayer-Coster, that was the inspiration for my poem and art, and see the responses chosen, you can find them here.


the world will offer itself to you to be unmasked (after Kafka)

unmasked s

Out from the black
comes what you don’t know–
it creeps up your back
from far far below.

The path disappears,
surrounds you with sound
that gathers your fears
and swirls them around.

And what you can’t see
appears everywhere–
like skeleton trees
that rattle the air.

Spirits emerge
from under night’s mask–
currents that surge
and greet you unasked.

Nowhere to go
but further inside–
the dark starts to glow–
there’s nowhere to hide.

A little pre-Halloween fun via the dVerse prompt from Amaya for a children’s verse inspired by a quote from Franz Kafka (see title).

unmasked close up s

My older daughter’s favorite fairly tale was “Hansel and Gretel”.  I read her endless versions. Children have always been attracted to the dark.