The Spooker

Spooker, (noun)
'A writer whose imagination concerns itself with supernatural phenomena, especially the doings of spooks.' 
From The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce, circa 1911


The Haunting


Misty breaths in spectral-puffs

Invade the crisp night air

Torchlight feeds the darkness -

- eerie shadows, flickers, then dies

Despite three, brand-new batteries


Cold-comfort is the icy form that melds

With mine, caressing by the empty cradle

When judged against the darkened force

Oppressive, aggressive, resistant

Nonexistent to all, by the tall cabinet


And who would cry upon the stairs

For the simple matter of climbing the stairs

To find upon reaching their peak

The deepest pit of despair

In thin air, nothing there, but the past


Then a door opens, silently, unexpectedly

Repeatedly, when gently coaxed

While all remnants of warmth ooze from the room

Degree by degree, ten in all

Inexplicable, but measurable


Walls whisper, gravel crunches underfoot


I go



I came to search for ghosts
Escape the kids
And sip tea
Under ancient timber and hefty stone
Leaded, diamond panes
Serenaded by pop
Protected from witches
By window-frame circles
In a draughty, ghoul-ridden
Creaking hall
With stairs that go nowhere
Perhaps for the spooks
To enter and leave
Their remnants of life

Closed to the paying public


A crow counts the dead
Loudly on Senlac Ridge
Is silenced
By an onslaught of children
Their pitch
More piercing than a battle cry
Unimpressed by the past
Histrionics over history
As soldiers clatter
Silently by
Companion horses clomp
Unsynchronized, wounded
Ignore the future
They cannot see

While a small dog yaps at thin air

Hippodrome Theatre Eastbourne


A formless outline

Of a former time

Lurks in the gods

At odds

With the scenes

And electric screens

Mourning the stage

Of her vaudeville age

Haunting the air

With heady despair

Constantly there

Ready to scare

Your wandering gaze

On performance days

The Harbinger of Glottenham


The coming of a speeding coach

A squid-ink-black soundless approach

Hidden hop-pickers bathed in sweat

Ignore the horror’s swift beset

The Castle’s future days approach


The Lady’s envoi braves to broach

So slogs his legs up Glott’nham’s slope

To tell his mistress he regrets

The coming of the speeding coach


As sliding planes of time encroach

The Lady paces round her moat

Her ghostly spectre paid her debt

And now another’s time is set

The harbinger who brings no hope

The coming of death’s speeding coach


[This poem is in octosyllabic rondeau form]

All poems copyright © Diny van Kleeff 2019
Not to be used or reproduced without written permission from the author

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