Poetry ~ The Haunting of Hampton House


This week I am sharing a personal haunting as part of my October dark poetry series. This poem is based on my experience as a child living in my great-grandparent’s house in the low country of South Carolina.

My great-grandparents home on Hampton Street, Walterboro, S.C. ~ 1910
Spanish moss twists in the wind

hanging like the beard of father time

from the old oaks in front of the

house on Hampton Street

outside my bedroom window

a murder of crows scatter moon light

over dark weathered wooden floors

shadows dance around the room

as a malevolent wind blows

and sheer cotton curtains take flight

father time's laughter echoes in the distance

like clockwork at the midnight hour

the house wakes!

walls and floors expand and contract

doors open and slam shut

footsteps pace on the veranda

and run down the wide hall

reality distorts and displaces

as dark forms manifest and dissolve

through the wallpaper in my room

and so begins another night

of hauntings in the house

on Hampton Street 

Poetry ~ Shine

as a child born to the low country 
of South Carolina,

it was a well known fact
that the swelter of summer
caused women to glow,
men to sweat,
and a scant few
we’re said to shine

efforts to ward off
glowing, sweating, or
shining we’re met in earnest 

seasoning was discouraged 

retreat into the cold 
conditioned air
was remedy enough

the cure conjured
~ brain freeze

now, as an elder of the
northern highlands, 
in the dry heat of late summer, 

i prefer to season
and conjure up
my shine

Longing for Home on Edisto Island, SC

Hurricane Matthew threatens my childhood home on Edisto Island.

Edisto Island
Edisto Island
Our family beach house
Our family beach house
I guess that’s not entirely true. My grandparent’s home has long been gone, replaced by a more modern home but the island itself holds all my best childhood memories and will forever be “home”.

My sisters and I spent our summers on Edisto Island with our grandparents. Growing up military brats we led a gypsy lifestyle during the school year but every summer our grandparents flew us home to the island.

When we were young..sistas!
Sweet tea, boiled peanuts, blue-bottle trees and trips in the Scout down the oak lined dirt road to Pink’s veggie stand and Botany Bay are all treasured memories from my summers in the south.

Road to Botany Bay
Road to Botany Bay
My southern accent vanished long ago, save the “y’all” but my southern blood runs deep even after 30 years as a transplant in the Pacific Northwest. I went from the land of the low-country hoodoo blue root to the land of vampires. LOL. It seems every region has its lore.  But that’s a blog for another day.

Our last visit to Edisto, 2010
Our last visit to Edisto, 2010
For now, as I watch the weather channel, I want to send love and prayers to all my kin on the Carolina coast. Be safe y’all.