Posted in Casting Bricks Collaborative Poetry

Ghosts at My Table Still

Sarah Connor’s Challenge Poem for September’s Casting Bricks posed a beautiful dilemma as I felt her portion of the work had a most satisfying wholeness about it.  Here is my completion of her Ghosts at My Table, with her words in bold.

there are ghosts at my table tonight
I write, not mentioning that
my table is a pale rectangle
of wood, so that perhaps
you picture your own table,
round, white, plastic –
or a dark mahogany oval,
and your ghosts are
the dark ring left by
a wine bottle, the last time
you had dinner with
a long lost lover,
or the scorched place
where you set down a pan
too quickly, the day
you heard that news
about your sister, while mine
are the assorted stains
and scratches left by my
children as they leave their
childhood, not quite ghosts,
waiting to fade.

traces, corner-of-your
eye glimmers of that wistful
year when the youngest
fell through the ice
yet returned to sit
on the OED to reach
the pudding and meat;
flickers of damp lashes
at the giving-away altar,
wondering if it were joy
or sorrow;  apparitions
that slip into the chairs
round the smaller meals
each night and hover, seamless
visions lingering long after
dishes are clattered and wiped
from my vision and I, wavering
between longings.

© Connor / Lyman Collaboration

The September edition of Casting Bricks to Attract Jade, our collaborative writing challenge, is drawing to a close, but since the links don’t expire, all are welcome to take the writing plunge.  I roll out the October Challenge on Friday, the 6th!!!  Looking forward to fresh and zany collaborations once again.  Everyone is welcome and encouraged to contribute a half-poem challenge or pose a Renga challenge, finding something to spark your imagination. ~Cheers!  Jilly



A wild soul writing poetry.

11 thoughts on “Ghosts at My Table Still

  1. Just for interest sake, I went to my new poetry/songwriting group last week, and read a couple of things. One of them was a pantoum, and I carefully explained the structure. After I’d finished, one guy said (maybe slightly patronisingly???) “Of course, you didn’t stick strictly to the form, but it was fine”. I had the paper in my hand. I nearly waved it in his face. I ABSOLUTELY STUCK TO THAT WRETCHED FORM!!!!! Anyhow, this is the same guy as thought my ghost poem was “unfinished”. He’s obviously one of nature’s critics. It’s going to be interesting to see how our relationship pans out! I like a bit of challenge and constructive criticism, but not just pickiness for the sake of it….

    Phew. It’s good to share…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, oh! Fascinating story, Sarah! Firstly, as a lover of forms, the pantoum is horrific – nightmare stuff. I have 6 of them laying here, uncompleted and possibly tear-stained. Bravo for writing that wretched form! (Share it?) Regarding his thought that Ghost was unfinished, he should take a long walk on a short pier!!! It was the most challenging collaboration yet for the simple fact that it was remarkably complete. I felt like I was treading on sacred ground trying to add to it.
      It sounds like you have his number now, so just smile and ignore his ego; it will make him positively seethe.
      Glad you shared…


      1. …and I am trying to figure out how I was NOT following you. Fixed that just now. 🙂
        Go on – kill ’em with kindness, baby, ’cause you are a poet-extraordinaire!!


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