Ghosts Rising

Ghosts are rising this Halloween;

Unrestful wraiths mourn us,

The veil is getting thin between

These whiles and the bygone,

Souls speak on the squall,

Hearts become funeral drums;

Ghosts are rising this Halloween,

The fallen of past conflicts warn

Of further turbulence to come,

They sing of the island of Ireland,

From the hunger of famine

To the Easter rising, 1916

When Irish were turned upon their own

By the brutal backlash of Britain,

These spectres intone revolution,

From the 1919 declaration

To partitioning in 1921,

The killing in-between,

While martial law was governing

The curfew deaths of shattered wings

Amid resolute uprisings,

The decades of division

Between unionist and republican

Blamed on origin or religion,

Spirits speak of those days gone

But not done, of the unspoken

Losses and injustices on all sides

Borne stoically for armistice,

As each sought amity defined,

A border etched in softest lines

To heal a thirty-year civil war

Fought neighbour against neighbour,

Inflamed by the Bogside Massacre

British belligerence and unequal favour,

Unspeakable violence on every side,

The ghost of time murmurs

On a biting late October wind

But does England remember,

So intent is she now on leaving

She ignores her sisters’ grieving,

What parting in November,

For now, the ghosts are rising.


Antonia Sara Zenkevitch

low angle view of man standing at night
Photo by Lennart Wittstock on

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