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.
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 hourthe 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
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
was remedy enoughthe cure conjured
~ brain freeze
now, as an elder of the
in the dry heat of late summer,
i prefer to season
and conjure up
Hurricane Matthew threatens my childhood home on Edisto Island.
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.
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.
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.
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.