The Ghosts

John Waller

Daylight is a hoverer and diamond
A poor jewel for you.  The brightness of eyes
Is what we remember, and the gay laugh
With which you left. The careless passionate glances
Over the shoulder, bravery for girls.
Magic made mazes where you walked
And it was Sunday and the weather fine
Walking that hill.  And you said:
"Thoughts will last for ever".  And I replied:
"Like ghosts these moments will haunt."
But nightfall came and wrapped us close
In each other's arms.  On the soft couch
It was two children playing at love
On the first bright evening of the world.
Remembering that, I often embrace a ghost.
The moonlight shone across the room
As you left; and as you passed
The beam caught your face and held your hair
In a kind of fire.  Then with a smile
The door closed.  I heard your step on the stairs.
And next day the armies sailed;
I watched from a window the banners waving
And felt inside me the noise and the cheering
I could not hear.  From that moment I was left
With memories of ghosts and ghosts of memories.
John Waller

John Waller (Sir John Stanier Waller - 7th Baronet) was born 27 July 1917. Educated at Weymouth College and Worcester College, Oxford. Author, poet and journalist. Founder-Editor of magazine, Kingdom Come; first new literary magazine of war (1939-1941). Served with RASC in the Middle East (1941-1946) A founder-member of the Salamander Oasis Trust. Lecturer and tutor in English. Information Officer in various places abroad. Editor of anthologies and the autobiography of Keith Douglas.