About ghosts, I said, it seems we’re at a bit of an impasse. It’s less about what I believe and more about what I claim to understand. STOP! For gods sakes, speak plainly. Honestly, i’m sick of the way you talk. Well, sure. I mean, yes, I am sure. Sure that you are. Truly, unremarkably, I am an unsure person. However, while you tediously, perpetually, seemingly inscrutably, constantly remind me of this fact, it has no bearing on our friendship. Much less our conversation about ghosts. Listen. Do you believe in ghosts or not? … Well first, I — NO! NO! SHUT UP. SHUT UP. NO. I don’t need your history. I know your history. Quit dancing around the question and answer it, do you believe in ghosts or don’t you! … I’m
sorry, he said. No. I understand. If it’s clarity you need then I will try my utmost. I breathed a deep sigh.
Such a simple word; ‘no’. But as it spilled out of my mouth i felt an array of history. Rich, true, and honest, history. Untenably my own. No, I continued, I cannot bring myself to believe in ghosts. I do however– please, allow me to entertain my own thoughts … I do however recognize a ghost’s existence as necessary. And it is because I see its existence as necessary that I choose to live in unity with the ghost that I may not see, may not know, and may not believe.
i hope i never stop writing. writing poetry for the past two years has been something i never thought i’d do but i’ve found some real enjoyment out of it. so here, now, are a few of the poems i’ve written that i consider to be my best.
1. -poems for Tanya two weeks before my wedding i wrote three poems for my wife. the first of the three i consider to be the best thing i’ve ever written. this is about the hidden beauty and peace i find being with my wife.
2. álas Blood, – an ekphrastic poem on Pieter Bruegel’s painting of Calvary. while most paintings of the subject focus on Christ, Bruegel’s painting highlights a scene that is comprised of individuals. i was, and always will be, fascinated with the human aspects of the gospel and ‘álas Blood’ reflects what i see from Bruegel’s painting as well my own experience with the gospel.
3. ATTA SOL i part two in a set of two poems; this poem acts as the beginning to the end of a semicolon which is part one. where part one, ‘MA FLORA i’, presents my relationship with God and nature as non-symbiotic, ‘ATTA SOL i’, ends the contrast with an ellipsis so as to say i am unsure of what to do from here.
4. -ANALOGOUS HYMNALS Pg. 03 another part in a set, this is the final part in a set of three. i started this set of poems with the first poem from the perspective of my current age (then 23). this, the final part, was from the youngest perspective of three years old where i imagine the bliss of Christmas with my family at an age where things were more clear.
5. The Lyric of a Shared Winter very simply, i wrote this about Tanya in May of 2017 while she and i were a world apart. a Winter separated us since we had last seen each other, metaphorically and literally.
i feel like i don’t need to explain this one as much as others so i’ll keep it short.
the thing about Winter is it’s predictable. predictable enough for nature to prepare for it’s coming and leaving in a way that even becomes predictable to us, the people who get to observe and reflect upon change. and the thing is, as great as humans are at adapting to change, we’re pretty near-sighted when it comes to dealing with it. at least i am. the beetle in my poem, however, can rely upon the change of the seasons. in some way he can set an alarm knowing he will in fact be woken up. and if Winter is the metaphor for hardship, i feel somewhat less prepared for Winter and Spring seems a long way off.
in a few months the beetles will wake up and the pines will relax their shoulders and, if Winter is the metaphor for hardship, i feel less prepared than the beetle or the pine for the foreboding cold. the warmth of Spring seems to await me now.
when you know for sure, without a doubt, that something will happen it’s easy to predict the future. sometimes when i’m on the bus and i’ve got another thirty minutes of sitting down and looking out a window ahead of me i’ll think to myself, ‘in thirty minutes i’ll be at at my front door and i wonder what i will be thinking about then’.
in 2017 i knew for sure, without a doubt, that i would marry Tanya. but she lived in Ukraine and i had to go back home. there was more than a thirty-minute gap and although i knew so certainly that i would marry her, i could not see how. so, on the second of May in 2017 i wrote about it. i wrote about the feelings we shared, the moments we held in our palms, and the things that made me so sure. i also wrote about the things that held me back, the things i would have to overcome, and the palpable distance between moments.
two years passed.
in 2018 i married her.
and on the second of May, in 2019, i wrote what i felt when i arrived at the moment i knew would one day come.