John Klark – Haunted

Writer, theatre maker and visual artist John Klark is the next to respond to October’s ‘Haunted‘ theme with a guest post – ahead of his performance at our event on Monday.

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Hi there – I’m John. I am not too sure about ghosts and being ‘haunted’, but for me I feel that there might be experiences sometimes that cannot yet always be explained scientifically, that there are still discoveries waiting to happen.

My response to the prompt for this month is as follows…


You visit me when I’m ill in the box room

waving a shoe with a smile,

bringing in your afghan hounds

who gnaw wet bones at the bottom of the bed.

Did you come to laugh at or hate me

for writing you proud here as what you were:

wife, mother, widow, prostitute,

a painter of sorts we saw through frosted glass?

You’re still waving the shoe

but is that frown a painterly one of concentration

hunched over the misshapen block of watercolour,

or is that for a history I can never see?

A dance of gull shadows circling

willed on your dreams aboard a broken armada

that brought the poorest of us to beach here

as the roughest kind of makers.

In Spain I’d call you abuelita, in Russia something more familiar,

wave over wave you were an outsider,

from port to port the paint flaked

from the handrails, set under your nails like stones.

And like a true warrior we’d bury you standing up

replete with gifts from the lonely men;

the violin and the fur

and your smile and frown your armour.

hag praying

Other bits

Read the other responses to our ‘Haunted’ theme so far on our blog

If you’d like to get involved, you can also submit your own throughout October

See John in action at our Haunted event on Monday night (19 October) at The Castle Hotel

Follow John and First Draft on Twitter


One response to “John Klark – Haunted

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