Lace and Ghosts

We went from etherness
to otherness
the instant when a single
careless word dis-
rupted our feeble truce,
a single word to open chasms
to let the secrets out;

and promises
were torn apart, the gifts
we burned for feuds
and later staring, smiling
in our egg-nog silence
excusing, starlorn,
startorn in a room of strangers.

and in the aftergloom
on Boxing Day
I thought about the plans we made

“Blood is thicker than water”,
I had said, suppressing
my anaphasia of every single
Christmas past;
Is this our doom, together,
torn apart to lace and ghosts?

Lace and Ghosts
Victor Hugo

Today Linda hosts at dVerse giving us 10 words to choose from the book The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrow by John Koenig.

Our family is not this dysfunctional.

December 14, 2021

27 responses to “Lace and Ghosts

  1. THIS is the kind of stuff I really like, absolutely brilliant start, first stanza, it brought the Balkans to me, and also the Caucasus region. Really good poetry.

  2. Fantastic Bjorn. I can relate to the otherness and strangeness of christmas past and egg nog silence. I also love how you formed new words.

  3. This is exquisitely drawn, Bjorn! I resonate with “egg-nog silence
    excusing, starlorn, startorn in a room of strangers.”💝💝

  4. The last few lines feel very intoxicating in a type of loneliness and yet oddly seductive in a narrative push-pull of the past. Christmas, for many, can feel so depressing.

  5. This hits hard, and it sticks with you. Human nature and circumstance often trump the Hallmark out of the holidays.

  6. ‘We went from etherness
    to otherness
    the instant when a single
    careless word dis-
    rupted our feeble truce,
    a single word to open chasms
    to let the secrets out;’
    A single word can do that unfortunately! Great read!

  7. This is flipping incredible. So many favorite phrases and sections.

    “Lace & Ghosts” would be an excellent poetry-book title.

  8. You describe so well here what is for some a forced charade of celebration. I love the second stanza especially, and these lines:

    “smiling in our egg-nog silence
    excusing, starlorn,
    startorn in a room of strangers.” 🙂

  9. “and in the aftergloom
    on Boxing Day
    I thought about the plans we made”
    Such a layered verse. My favourite

    Much💟love

  10. Your poem suits that Hugo image perfectly, Bjorn. I felt the alienation seeping from the beautiful exposition in this of the frailties the holiday season exposes, creating chasms even as it pretends to heal them–“a single word to open chasms/to let the secrets out;’ can explode a million conceits. Lace and ghosts, indeed.

  11. A sad reality for many I fear. Those last two lines and the Victor Hugo drawing symbolise it so well.

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