Another Halloween Poem.

Halloween just seems to bring out the poet in me. Here’s another one that was inspired by a program I watched one night about haunted hotels. An owner of a B&B claimed there was a ghost named Ed that she’d see walking up and down the halls and sometimes she’d say “Good night Ed!” and he’d turn and look at her. I wondered what he was thinking.

Ghost Of The Watertown Bed & Breakfast

Touch sparks to wet bones. Watch them dance. That’s how this feels.

All night Ed walks up and down the hall. In recent years

He’s become an anomaly, an attraction, a circle of cold.

For hours he concentrates on the frozen candles that hold the night

Away. There’s a place he’s supposed to be, but both ends of the hall

Are blocked. Not even his feet sound the floor. The well-fed guests

Sleep in their rooms, except for one who, unaware of the presence

Outside the door, watches a star move across the sky.

Ed is in his shirtsleeves always now. It was evening when

He closed his book and came up here. He wasn’t going to bed

Just yet. It was a quiet evening in the spring. The house

Had guests in it then too. He’s forgotten which room was his,

And thinks that’s what’s wrong, but can’t remember. The rooms

All seem occupied now, and no one speaks to him in a way

That makes him think he knows them. The ones who come through

Drag trails of themselves along, and are so fast

They slip away when he tries to speak. Their voices too

Are murky, but sometimes when the air is thick and he moves

Through it less easily he can hear them. A woman screamed

One night that someone was in her room standing over

Her. It’s said now that Ed enters the rooms. He’s heard

This, and it baffles him. All the doors are locked

To him, and he never stands still, not until the sun

Rolls in through the East window and fills the hall

With blood and fire. What’s after that he can’t remember.

Here’s a crude video version I made. I wish I could draw better. Also animation is hard.

 

10 Comments

  1. Gilly Maddison

    An enigmatic piece of work here. Enjoyed it more when I listened to it and then appreciated the written version much more. The animation is fine – arty – adds a atmosphere. Really enjoyed this – a good discussion piece for a group.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I hadn’t thought of it as a good discussion piece for a group, although when I read it in coffee shops people always seemed to respond well to it. And thank you for liking the animation.

      Reply
  2. Margot

    Poor Ed.

    What an interesting concept—imagining how a ghost, who is confused enough as it is, feels knowing others are saying strange things about him. The trapped, repetitive meandering that gets him nowhere closer to where he thinks he should be reminds me of how being depressed feels. Yikes!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I hadn’t thought of it being like depression, but, wow, I can really see that now. After I wrote it I felt I was at least partly influenced by that scene in Hamlet where the ghost of Hamlet’s father says he walks the castle by night but spends the day in “sulph’rous and tormenting flames”. At least Ed gets a respite and simply fades away during daylight.

      Reply
  3. kdcol

    Like Margot, I feel sorry for Ed. And like Gilly, I really enjoyed this as well. I think I may actually be getting into the Halloween spirit (with what, only a few days left of October?). 🙂

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      There’s no better time to get into the Halloween spirit since it’s really only the last day of the month! And while I spend eleven months of the year getting ready for a month-long orgy of madness and the macabre I really keep it pent up. Once November rolls in I put away the Halloween stuff.

      Reply
  4. Gina W.

    My comment was going to be, “Now I feel sorry for Ed” but I see that others have beaten me to it. Thanks for making me sad for a ghost Christopher! I’m at work so I can’t even have a glass of wine or anything to take the edge off the sadness.

    (Actually I’m fine, but it really is a sad poem).

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Here–this will take an edge of the sadness. Ed gets his revenge on the living.

      Reply
  5. Ann Koplow

    Anything I say here will be a mere ghost of my admiration of your work.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Ghosts are greatly underappreciated.

      Reply

Leave a Reply to Christopher Waldrop Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: