Tag Archives: Ghosts

Graveyard Shift

In old Malay, draped in forest
lies heat swamped George Town
along tree lined avenues
abandoned colonial mansions
forsaken, cracked, diminished
irrelevant to today
they rot in new technological haze
yet from shattered empty windows
evening jazz drifts across warm night air
inside, lights flicker
shadows dance over damp walls
slim couples flirt and smoke
your exploratory visit
brings silence
reveals vacant rooms
missing floors instead of lively dancers
they were the old tenants
hantu partying on the graveyard shift

Old hotel, four square and white
now with modern pool and spa
and the original private beach
golden, secluded, sunlit
it’s a long walk
but a short drive
a bus plies the mountain road
past green country and
decaying tombs behind
collapsing walls
the last ride of the day
is often full
today extra guests board
quiet individuals
some tall and lanky
a woman in a green qipao
halfway back, the bus empties
although the feverish driver
can’t remember stopping
his new passengers have
truly started their graveyard shift

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

‘Graveyard shift’ was first published at The Insignia Series: https://insigniastories.com/2019/11/21/instincts-2-graveyard-shift-by-kim-whysall-hammond/

In loving memory of Nesa who told me the stories in this poem. We miss you Nesa.

Dead of Winter

I have two poems (Lilbourne and Summer Queen) in this great Anthology from Milk and Cake Press. It examines the dark, the supernatural, and the uncanny of a long, cold winter. As we move from the depths of winter toward spring, and from pandemic isolation to a more normal life, these poems may be the perfect companion. Please buy a copy now!

Lilbourne is a poem about ghosts who linger in and near Milton Lilbourne in Wiltshire, while

Summer Queen retells Rumpelstiltskin in a prehistoric setting.

Too hot, too hot

Like tracks in the snow
Little lives go
In our melting

 

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Not the poem I thought I was going to write, but the one that came. Another is brewing, but this one is for all the small lives lost in forest fires everyhere…..

Written in reponse to Earthweals challenge ‘Ghosts’ at

https://earthweal.com/2020/01/13/weekly-challenge-ghosts/

Please go and see what else is there!

The Funeral

There is a ghost at your funeral today
a face so familiar, still loved
my friend, your wife
gone these twenty years
now you too have left us
we all stand stunned
grieving
missing your expansive
presence in our lives

Looking over the crowd
I see eyes, cheek bones, jawline
the image of her mother
your much loved step daughter
wiping away fond tears

Copyright © 2019 Kim Whysall-Hammond

This summer we lost Martin Hoare. A great presence and a good friend. We were standing-room only at the funeral, his coffin was a TARDIS and the committal music was the Dr Who theme tune — which turned out to be quite moving. At the end, we all sang ‘Always look on the bright side’ and we all had tears running down our cheeks.

….and then as we left, I saw the ghost…..

She came to see me

She came to see me
Resplendent in red
Glittering with dust
Her elegant bone structure evident more than ever
Desiccated and dead
Spacesuit blown
Floating past the view screen
When I  know we retrieved her from orbit yesterday

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Originally published in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Associations print journal Star*Line 40.4  October 2017  http://www.sfpoetry.com/sl/issues/starline40.4.html

Burning

English summers, often damp, can invoke long stifling twilights
nothing landbound needlessly moves
contrails crayon across the sky
so many, this close to London’s hub.
Distantly, the buzz of a low plane, pleasure rider reaching up
into the realm of the starlings as they susurrate
a car comes past in the lane droning away round the curves
here the runway cross remains
the old tower still stands intact
as ponies munch and cattle chew
larks lurk in the grass where bombers once turned
occasional ironwork testament to hydrants and gun emplacements
war and weapons layered over by Nature and time.
But, as the dark deepens, the lost come home
tearing blazing incandescent screams rustle up drowsy birds
look up and the dazzling burning blurs past
metal screeches as it tears apart, each time the same
one last attempt at landing whole, at bringing the crate home
so wanting to see sweethearts and Blighty again
then gone, back to oblivion.
The burning pilot saluted you as he passed.

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

This poem first appeared in Peacock Journal earlier this year.