The Evening Meditations

It’s the time when the ghosts come around,
and the memories prowl like hungry dogs in the alley.
My burning eye turns toward the window.
I pull out my cards and stare into the crystal.
I listen to all the shades – maybe I shouldn’t
but I can’t stop myself, can’t turn away.
I want to hear everything they have to say
even if my blood turns to ice in my veins,
even if I have to face the howling beast of my pain.

I feel a pricking in both my thumbs.
Something evil this way comes.
I knew this time would come someday.
I knew the ghosts would come out to play
and send the electric chill up my spine
with a sound, a rustling, a whisper, a whine until
I turned to look at them and saw they were nothing.
These days I don’t scare so easily and say,
“OK, so you’re here. So what? What’s the point?

I hear the world weeping, an infinite ocean of pain
and I think we could do better and lift the strain.
No one seems to want to, or give a tinker’s damn.
The angels whisper and sometimes they scream.
The night is both deadly poison and soothing balm.
The clock strikes midnight and here I am alone,
again, just like before, arguing with a legion of ghosts,
“I still miss you – after all this time I still feel it.
Nothing has changed except maybe me.”

I loved you the best way I could and I know that
sometimes I was poisonous, angry and cruel.
I’m sorry. I couldn’t help it, couldn’t see it.
There was that cold black river of pain that flowed
through everything – I was born into it, infected.
I would have shielded you from it had I known.
In that cold black river of pain, as wide as the sky,
I loved you the best way I could – that may be
the only thing I don’t feel guilty about.

How could you not know that I could never leave you?
How could you not know that you were the answer to my life?
But that is the blessing – the unconsciousness of us together,
the blind fury with which we attacked life,
the rage, the fury, the birth pangs. Regret nothing.
It must have been wild angels watching over us.
Ghosts – there must be a thousand of them milling around.
I burn sage before the Moon. I walk the rooms
of this empty house. I dream like a madman.

The ghosts are walking around tonight.
I catch them in the corner of my eye.
I can hear their clomping and whispering upstairs
and I’m sure that I’m completely alone.
They are in my head, my books, my phone.
They’re in my photo albums and the cool evening wind.
I say, “Tell me why you’re here. Where does this end?”
But they just smile and say nothing, nothing at all,
as if I were the ghost to be ignored.

Syd Weedon
Summer 2021

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