Banished Ghosts



Banished Ghosts

What is a winter’s tale told in the spring?
A story of ghosts, adrift in the green.

xxxxA story of ghosts—there on the river
xxxxa sparkle, where a naiad swims and shivers.

A naiad swims, sparkling a glow,
silver on the surface, though dark below.

xxxxThe dark below crawls through our dreams
xxxxwith monster claws and demonic screams.

The monsters and demons of nightmares—your ghost--
all banished by the light of day--or almost--

xxxxthe light banishes ghosts, and so, hope grows
xxxxlike a smile, like a daffodil in snow.

A daffodil, a smile in melted snow, hope sings
 for the winter’s tale re-told each spring.






This is for today’s NaPoWriMo prompt, a type of poem called a duplex, a form invented by poet Jericho Brown. I think mine still needs work. This is also a response to Ingrid’s dVerse prompt to use one of Shakespeare's play titles she selected. I chose A Winter’s Tale.

Sparkling Delaware River

34 thoughts on “Banished Ghosts

  1. We have the same photo! Different rivers, but close! And we both wrote about river’s silver glitter. The poem does have a flow, but I think my original gripe with this form still stands. It would be an even better poem if you’d just let your own words flow without having to backtrack and reuse words from the previous line. It’s not something you’d do normally, and I feel you’re champing against it here. Maybe it’s just me.

    • Isn’t that weird about the photo?!
      I think you’re probably right about the form. But I suspect I would also be stilted writing a sonnet. I like the couplets. . .perhaps I’ll come back to this at some point and revise it.

      • I know what you mean about sonnets. We forget that they’re more than just 14 lines too, that there’s supposed to be the question the exposition and the resolution, then the coda or whatever it’s called. It’s very constraining and I always feel that I’m going off the point to get a rhyme. Yes, the couplets idea is a good one, but I don’t like there being no rules at all except to repeat.

  2. This is just so lovely, Merril! The Winter’s cold seems to never end here 🥶

    I had to read this on my laptop because the formatting on the phone version was crazy – must be a WP bug as you are probably aware!

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