haunted # 1, 2 & 3 – introduction & two poems

# 1

The NaBloPoMo theme for October is “haunted.” I love this theme and all of its connotations.

Of course I meant to post on Thursday and on Friday, but on Thursday I was working on grading papers for an online class that I TA and last night, well, last night, I took a night off from the computer. Han & I caught up on a bunch of the TV shows we recorded (“Parks and Recreation,” “The Office,” etc).

I love October. Last night, there were small drops of rain and the sky was a symphony of clouds. Overlapping swaths of grey and white, reaching to the ocean that was infused with light as the sun went down. While driving home from work, I saw a fat rainbow out one side while my arm perched on the open window of my truck, sweet cool air streaming in. These kinds of moments remind me of the possibilities of life. They make me think of one word: opportunity. It just seems like there’s so much out there just waiting to be done, taken, discovered. It’s hope.

October is a contradiction to me because there’s that feeling of hope, some strange recipe of changing weather and light, but there’s also a feeling of darkness. The presence of ghosts and spirits, the awareness of other worlds. It’s magical and sometimes spooky, but for me, there’s a kind of reverence. I don’t know if that quite sounds the way I mean it to, it’s just that I have always been fascinated by the idea of spirits and feeling the presence of something else, and especially at this time of year, there’s context for it.

For me, haunting is like a mystery. It’s not sinister or evil. It’s shadows and secrets, it’s discovery and understanding. It’s comfort and forgiveness.

~~~~

#2

Phantoms & Flights

my life is strikingly devoid of phantoms
there’s a ghost in the house across the street
but she doesn’t bother me
I say “she” because it seems to be a neighborhood of women
who live long
who outlive their lovers
who fold sheets by themselves in their living rooms
who sing softly to the shadows
and sit barefoot on their porches

she is a quiet ghost
picks up her paper in the mornings
turns off her light at night
she doesn’t care to share her ghostliness with any of us
the planes never stop coming down
in the distance they remind me of thunder
as they near, they change to long deep moaning,
a suffering like the last body-wracking sobs of a breakdown
the volume of approach consumes the sky
screams of deliverance
birth and crossing over
in flight

I wait & listen for any phantoms to echo
but none do
she, across the street, remains quiet
as if she has no obligation to answer
does not even notice it anymore

– Lizzie Wann (2001)

~~~~

#3

Dead Land

I stand between quiet & silence
listen to gentle after-rain songs through leaves
smell movement of October air
& innocent clouds
grey with their guilty rain
like my hair that blows down into my face
with more grey than ever before
I see it plainly now
in wisps that hang to left & right

there are no promises here
only tributes to circles

morning becomes night becomes morning
becomes my wish
to be in Wyoming near the fire
swimming still in the Milky Way
without a savior
and knowing souls

– Lizzie Wann (1998)

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