Ghosts of Christmas Past by G.O. Clark


The Christmas tree lights,
hanging from the cross beam,
are covered in dust and cobwebs,
Mrs. Havisham’s ghost reclining
upon the couch below.

What is she doing here,
this fictional escapee from
my Victorian/Edwardian lit class,
professor of which, a fervent
Steampunk aficionado.

There’s thousands of books
on my many bookshelves, full
of ghosts both real and fictional,
silently waiting for a good dusting
and cracking of spines.

Who needs Scrooge to
remind me about Christmas spirit,
or Mrs. Havisham about empty chairs,
the follies of love, and the
silence of tears.

I gaze into the mirror,
and see my own ghost trapped
in reflections of uncertainty, victim
of a dark deed as yet to be discovered;
greeting card discarded.

My existence is caught in limbo,
past stored out of sight and mind,
future stalled between multiple realms.
A ghost without a clue, final chapter
hanging by a comma.


G. O. Clark’s, (b. 1945) writing has been published in Asimov’s, Analog, Space & Time, Midnight Under The Big Top, Daily SF, HWA Poetry Showcase VII, Speculatief (BE) and many other publications over the last 30 plus years. He’s the author of 15 poetry collections, the most recent, Tombstones: Selected Horror Poems, 2022. His 3rd fiction collection, Aliens & Others, came out in 2021. He won the Asimov’s Readers Award for poetry in 2001, and was a Stoker Award Poetry finalist in 2011. He’s retired, and lives in Davis, CA. surrounded by books, soothed by music, and enjoyable bike ride excursions around town.

Published 10/27/22

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