Our Ghost Film
Remember when we were haunted?
The house moved around us
in curious syncopation, the garden
grew animated at the slightest glance.
Rooms rattled through the dark hours,
and each morning’s latest ectoplasm
trashed all our attempts at tidying up.
Eventually, we explored the cellar,
travelling down through gloom and dust,
the shoes, carrier bags, photo albums,
the stagnant homebrew, which glowed
like light bulbs or laboratory effluents.
Our ancestors called to us through wood
and plasterwork, left their curses
smouldering in our gene pools, dreams.
We thought we acted independently
but our movements had been stalked
and you didn’t believe me about the voices
until I recorded you sleepwalking.
Walking dolls, evil clowns, television
flicking on throughout our plight:
the clichés achieved new malevolence
because they were inflicted on us.
You wondered what would happen
if someone simply had called time
on all of this, as with an irritable parent,
exhausted by children. Our family
had been stretched, plucked at, broken,
but throughout, no one said anything,
even now, no one says anything.
Copyright © Daniel Bennett 2017
I was born in Shropshire and live and work in London. My poems have appeared in a number of places, most recently in Structo, and The Literateur, and I have work forthcoming in The Best New British and Irish Poets 2017 from Eyewear Books. I’m also the author of the novel, All the Dogs.