Ghosts by Lauren Raine


Florence's Hands by Lauren Raine

Florence’s Hands by Lauren Raine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


GHOSTS

Where do the dead go?

The dead that are not corpses, cosmetically renewed

and boxed, their faces familiar and serene.

Or brought to an essence, pale ashes in elegant canisters.

 

I ask for the other dead

those ghosts that wander unshriven among our sleep,

haunting the borderlands of our lives.

 

The dead dreams, The failed loves.

The quests, undertaken with full courage

and paid for in blood

that never found a dragon, a Grail, a noble ordeal

and the Hero’s sacred journey home.

 

Instead, the wrong fork was somehow taken, or the road

wandered aimlessly, finally narrowing to a tangled gully

and the Hero was lost, in the gray and prosaic rain,

hungry, weary, to finally stop somewhere, anywhere

glad of bread, a fire, a little companionship.

 

Where is their graveyard?

Were they mourned? Did we hold a wake,

bear flowers, eulogize their bright efforts

their brave hopes

and commemorate their loss with honor?

A poem?

An imperishable stone to mark their passing?

 

Did we give them back to the Earth

to nourish saplings yet to flower, the unborn ones?

 

Or were they left to wander

in some unseen Bardo, unreleased, ungrieved.

Did we turn our backs on them unknowing,

their voices calling, whispering impotently

behind us

shadowing our steps?

 

lauren_RaineL05_webLauren Raine is an artist and occasional writer, best known for her Masks of the Goddess collection. She was resident artist at Henry Luce Center for the Arts at Wesley Theological in Washington, D.C. in 2009, and currently lives in Tucson, Arizona. Her work can be seen at: http://www.laurenraine.com.

Advertisements


Categories: Death, Halloween, Pagan Holidays, Poetry, Women's Voices

Tags: , , , , ,

13 replies

  1. “Were they mourned? Did we hold a wake,

    bear flowers, eulogize their bright efforts

    their brave hopes

    and commemorate their loss with honor?”

    What a beautiful poem. I find it difficult to forgive myself for my brave hopes that went unfulfilled. Maybe a wake is a good idea. Otherwise these spirits of the past continue to haunt us–bringing forth shame.

    Like

  2. What a strong picture and poem. Thank you Lauren.

    Like

  3. I have to spent a lot of energy tamping these ghosts down, but they always seem to revive. They are resilient and persistent.

    Thank you for sharing your poem and image of Florence’s Hands.Very powerful.

    Like

  4. Thank you, Lauren, for this poem. What does one do with one’s “regrets?”

    “The dead dreams, The failed loves.
    The quests, undertaken with full courage
    and paid for in blood
    that never found a dragon, a Grail, a noble ordeal
    and the Hero’s sacred journey home.”

    Seems to me that today in many circles of society, one’s regrets are not honored. How often do we hear, “It is what it is?” How can one argue with that? However, the subtext of the phrase disallows giving proper attention to our efforts that culminate in disaster–or even “mere” disappointment. Rituals (as the poem suggests) can be effective tools to create harmony among the disparate parts of ourselves.

    Like

    • I agree….rituals honor in a concrete way what has passed and was, and I think are especially important today, when everything is moving so very fast that we don’t take time to “listen to the impotent voices” of our ghosts……

      Like

  5. What a beautiful poem. It puts me in mind not only of my own “ghosts” but those of women past whose “ghosts” we still carry, whether our mothers and grandmothers, farther ancestors, or just women of the past in general whose lost dreams and tragedies we still carry with us, sometimes for better when they motivate us to make the most of our time here on earth or for worse when they get in the way, sometimes without our even knowing it. The photograph is also stunning.

    Like

  6. I just finished reading Dancing Goddesses about the willies,souls of girls who died too young. They live in pools of water and rivers and come out to fertilize the fields. It feels connected.

    Like

  7. beautiful !

    Like

Trackbacks

  1. Pagan Holidays | From guestwriters

Please familiarize yourself with our Comment Policy before posting.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: