Imagine to be able to give
a sign to those left behind
after you are dead,
a shiver, a whisper,
a signal from the afterlife you say.
That must be magnificent.
But would it not be better
to call on others
whilst you are alive? I say.

I do not understand this craving
for ruling from the grave,
to be a ghost behind wallpaper
and live on, unseen, but noticed
by the sensitive quiet third cousin
who was scared of you when you were alive;
I would rather be decently dead
than haunting people in darkness,
than denying my departure,

than watching how others
go through my belongings, now theirs,
try on my clothes, my rings,
walk over my floors,
read my private letters,
as they move on to the light
without care, not knowing yet,
as I would do by then,
what it is they have to find out.


Comments on: "Ghost" (20)

  1. Another wonderful one, Ina. I’m shaking my head at the audacity of people who think they can put off communicating with folks, till after they’re dead–now that is arrogance!

    • Hi Mirada, thank you very much! I agree 🙂 But some people think they need to keep an eye on things I suppose?

      • Well, maybe so–I’ve been a fretter all my life, so I’m hoping I’ll be released from that neurotic obligation when I leave this world!

  2. Youre doing a very good job trying out “different”! This one is great; its a mixture of “shivery” with a subtle hint of humour, I love it.

    L&H xx

  3. Lol! Therein lies anorher poem! 😄 Xx

  4. Great fun, Ina. I’ve always liked that “twice removed” expression…it fits a couple of my wayward brothers…where do we go when we die? Why do we have to GO anywhere?

  5. eric keys said:

    I see your point, I think, but maybe there is something perverse in me that finds the question of what people would make out of the relics of my life fascinating. Would they ever decipher my quickly jotted notes? Would those emails i stashed deep in that folder ever come to light? Would they care? Would they burn it all?

    Is that terribly egotistical of me? Perhaps…

  6. Always love your poems, but not all that interested in coming back as a ghost and seeing someone else playing with my train set.

  7. Hi Ina,

    The first stanza of this poem would stand alone as a very good and very thought provoking poem.

    Just a thought. 🙂


  8. It is reputed that Oscar Wilde said, on his deathbed, “Either that wallpaper goes, or I do”. I don’t want to be a “ghost behind wallpaper” either, or see what happens to what I have left behind. I think that ghosts are such because they can’t let go…time to start practicing letting go. Your poem is haunting…

    • I don’t believe in ghosts, I think when you are dead, you are dead alltogether. It would be nice to be born again, but why would nature make the effort… All we are is dust in the wind!

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