Friday, October 31, 2014

Ghosts of All Hallows

Ghosts of All Hallows

This night puts two specters
always beside me: the
white wavering hand
of an ectoplasmic man
reaching up its rebirth
from the past's still river

and the red-trimmed ghost flint
of knife sharp December.
First one will cut me
then the other dismember,
making their wailing
promises for breaking, insisting

to midnight how real, how strong
how mine their congealing,
my self-propelled hex-helix
to annex the fetch of a feeling
or the sterile slipping steel
of each coward surrender.

How I remember--you didn't mind the knife
if it was in your hand.
I didn't mind the blood
so long as it was mine;
now it shines, the pale smile of the drowned
as if murder makes a healer not a butcher.

Oh it may; still it's time
to switch off the sound,
kill the moon,
cut to black this double feature
so both erase except for what
is left behind them in the mirror---

no lie is ever dearer
than the one you tell yourself.

~October 2014

posted for    real toads

Challenge: FireblossomFriday
 from Shay at the Word Garden:  Hallowe'en.

Three Hands, Two With Knives, Study, 1884,Vincent Van Gogh
Public domain via


  1. It's good to summon one's ghosts at All Hallows, and give them voice as much as our pens allow can afford. There's a conversation here as in "Myrdaling" though it's not familial but relational. Or is it that one's past and one future can only personify that way, both remaining a mystery to us? Not sure I got the whole drift but the reading sure was fun -- so many pocket whammies in such tidy confines. There seems to be a making between two great tensions or opposites. The two ghosts do change over time -- or our vision of them -- and in the end, they are kept alive only by our own memory. A fine All Hallows brew, Hedge, opening so many doors down below.

    1. Yes, had to open the crypt up for this one, B. You catch the drift just fine, and your reading is spot on. The changing of the ghosts is perhaps the most disturbing thing of all, since after all, isn't it all supposed to end with death/ yet, somehow, no--or maybe not for the living.Thanks for the company during this October's widdershins free-for-all

  2. A gripping read, so well done, I especially like "now it shines, the pale smile of the drowned
    as if murder makes a healer not a butcher.". Wow!

  3. Agh--I call this being between a rock and a hard place. A lot of great word play--the hex-helix probably my favorite as I can picture this twining curse and the fetch of a feeling. I feel a lot of self- excuse here--of everyone! The devil made me do it as it were, only not the devil--it sort of reminds me of an abuser blaming the victim that if the victim hadn't upset him, or made him mad, etc. he wouldn't have had to hit her--and here the victim does seem to play a bit of a role, in that it does let one off the hook (as it were) if the blood is hers. An interesting switch at the end, I think, where you cut to black--lights' out show's over--(though of course it isn't) and the "you" becomes the earlier "I" --at least that's how I read it--so she really is the one lying (that is, the I) to say that this was a syndrome/cycle/story of the past. Great images throughout and sound. k.

  4. That last line made my heart jump... high. I was glad for it, after the blood and the knife and the detachment... and the thought of lunar murder.


  5. Ah, delightfully dark. I love it. I feel hints of Poe in it. Then and now do show up uninvited. Each has its own weaponry to bleed and dismember. Amazing as always!

  6. WHAM, that ending, made of impact and squirmy unvarnished truth. This makes me want to make sure all the wire hangers are out of my closets before the ghost of MD shows up, screeching and trying her usual impromptu amateur surgery. You saw that movie, too? Sucks, doesn't it, but oh how it lingers in the mind and everywhere else, like a dead monkey on one's back. Or "minkey" if you're in Paris. The language you choose is always top shelf, and no less so here, but i just have to single out "the pale smile of the drowned". Wow, Hedge.

  7. Such a deeply psychological write, Hedge. There are so many ways that the living may be haunted, especially when the wind blows cold.

    I am ever grateful to have had the opportunity to read your work.

  8. as if murder makes a healer not a killer....great line...
    also the not minding the cutting, on either wide....

    the two to nip the other to dismember...
    for me this was more of history...of something that happened
    at least it read that way to me...

    maybe one that is lost, making the holidays heavy...

  9. I'm still turning this one over on my tongue, admiring the close, of course, but also that open, and trying to pin where you turned it, where you slipped behind me and slipped in the blade, a whisper, while I was still focusing on red and white ~

  10. After all the work of cutting and "editing" it seems the end result still is satisfactory - that the lies continue … or something like that. Really, really cool (as always).

  11. i had to read this twice! you are such a talent. :) the bit about killing the moon....i can't get over that! :)

  12. oh yeah. me too. love kill the moon.


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

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