Muir Holburn - Selected Poems

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In the colossal and voidful shallows of an old house,

In the crumbling eccentricity of silence,

The ghost of Miss Beverley Hipperson

Floats and flutters majestically, listening for the living,

Just as when she was in the territories of the Quick,

She shrieked H!is!t, and held up a polished finger for the deed.


Stippling those lacquered, plastic, ectoplasmic, unemphatic

Fingers among the spindles of the stairway to the attic,

She and her heart are abraded by the gritty silence.


Move upwards upwards O Beverley Hipperson! You move O

As a great grand aunt on an escalator.

You wait for the sounds of movement on the drive

Or the crisis of nails and knuckles prizing the door.


(Alive she was feared and rejected by her phantoms.

Dead she is feared and rejected by the living.)


Hence she sits and sews and whimpers

With that darkling tubercular widow,

The crumbling house.







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