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Spirit House

by apsara 

Posted: 04 March 2006
Word Count: 83
Summary: In Thailand & Cambodia people have small spirit houses outside their home to encourage the spirits of the place to move there and not haunt the house.

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Vandalise the spirit house!
Upset the vase of flowers.
Topple the waxy phallus
and crush the incense sticks.

I am lonely in my mansion,
shorn of creaking doors,
misplaced shadows and random sounds.
Its perfect feng shui leaves no place
for cowering ghosts to hide.
Emptiness reigns, an obese emperor,
whose flesh oozes into every space,
breathing like a sumo wrestler.

Vandalise the spirit house!
And leave the door open,
a bowl of fruit on the table
to entice the spirits back in.

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Comments by other Members

Okkervil at 10:07 on 06 March 2006  Report this post
This is marvellous. I love the idea. Brilliant, poignant. Makes you so curious about the speaker, the images the poem touches upon seem to wish not to come into focus, avoiding giving a clear picture. Tantalising!

RS at 22:48 on 06 March 2006  Report this post
Hi aspara - Great almost "voluptuous" imagery - I especially like the rather humorous violence of "vandalise the spirit house" - "misplaced shadows" is my favorite line - but I find the "random sounds" a bit clunky - otherwise wonderful effort.

Best, Robert

Jekyll&Hyde at 09:59 on 07 March 2006  Report this post
Hi Apsara,

Beautiful in every stanza, line and word. It's just the right length, and you've captured this well, conveying just the right details for the reader.

Nice line:
Topple the waxy phallus

I want a spirit house. Simple as that ;)

Great piece of poetry!


apsara at 02:56 on 08 March 2006  Report this post
Thanks to everyone for comment - glad to hear that it can be understood even if you don't know the culture so well - re 'random sounds'- I have tried 'noises'& 'taps' too - none of them are quite right - it will come to me....
SM - you could always build your own spirit house....

Plagious at 15:07 on 04 April 2006  Report this post
Hi Tracey

Meant to comment on this a while ago.

A wonderful juxtaposition between the "traditional" and the current, clean and unclean, corporeal and incorporeal, but with the blasť observation that the "spirit world" just is.

There are those closer to these other entities than perhaps we in the West, but they just treat them as a functional nuisance, like keeping an active dog outside in a kennel!

Superb observation and a lovely touch to the writing!

Liked it!


DeadPoet at 00:03 on 22 April 2006  Report this post
I found the imagery very strong and compelling. Emptiness as a large emperor in a small space - haunting image. V

Account Closed at 09:17 on 09 June 2006  Report this post
Love this - the idea is wonderful, and I love the way you turn the cultural understanding on its head. Very modern, and also humane.


Beanie Baby at 07:35 on 18 July 2006  Report this post
I adore this. It has a really gothic feel to it and I especially like the way you open the first and final stanzas with the same line - very effective.

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