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.