Thursday, September 6, 2018

A Woman Ghost Appears from a Well (Hokusai), Sonnet #421

My book of the first 200 of these sonnets is now available for purchase. Click here:
My Human Disguise.

I once spent nights in a hospital bed
In a building now long empty — thought 
To be haunted with a long-dead war’s dead.
Many have been encountered and some caught
On camera — hazy light, outstretched “arms.”
The locals can’t be hired to tear it down —
A gutted frame beyond the edge of town
Patrolled by one old guard no ghost alarms.

Every well needs some kind of dipper.
Hokusai’s snake woman is a sipper
Of the foggy remains of the dead dead,
That dim residue of flesh, bone and head
She draws from below and blows into air,
Spirits all us disbelievers will scare.

Note: The hospital described was at Clark
Airbase in the Philippines. My Dad, an Air
Force Colonel, was the hospital commander
from 1959 to 1961. The ghosts are said
to be Vietnam casualties. I spent several
nights there because of a hip ailment. Clark
was buried by the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo
in the 90's and abandoned. It has since been
turned into a commercial air hub. The hospital, 
completely gutted, remains.

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