Last Year’s Ghosts – National Poetry Month day 7 with J.D. Brink

Welcome to National Poetry Month day seven.  This is World Health Day.  Check out WHOs website to find out about it. 

Today I have fellow Goodreads author and poet J.D. Brink.  I met J.D. when he asked for critique on a short story he was working on.  J.D. definitely has a creative imagination.  Check out his website for more of his creative writing.  Enjoy!

Sonya, thanks for having me! It’s an honor to be invited to share my meager poetry skills on your blog.

For those you don’t know me, I’m J. D. Brink and if you’ve read any of my stuff, you’ll have a hard time accepting that this poem came out of my head. 😉 Most of my work has a darker edge to it, and I tend toward genres like noir, fantasy, and science fiction. And while I’ll never claim to be a poet, I do value poetry. My first preference is epic poetry, like The Iliad and The Odyssey. Fortunately, being a writing major in college, I was required to take a few poetry classes so that I could build an appreciation for verse. It’s a more difficult medium to work in, one where every word has to have weight and all the comfy laws of grammar and structure that you might normally lean on don’t necessarily apply. Poetry breaks all the rules and, when done well, blows your mind while it’s at it.

I have only one poem to share, one I wrote years ago when I made yet another move, this time to start nursing school (because a writing degree doesn’t have much practical value in the real world). Hopefully the subject matter is obvious, because I’m too embarrassed to spell it out…\

Last Year’s Ghosts
The apartment is cold, as if abandoned
for more than this chill, grey holiday.
I bring the furnace back to life
and unpack my clothes in dull silence.

But I’m not alone here. The air and light
still carry you, this apartment feels
your presence, and the lack of it. That emptiness
occupies the kitchen and window sill, what would have been
your side of the couch, a seat at the breakfast table.
Since I started this new life in this new town
you have been on my mind. My quiet nights alone
were filled with dreams of you, how to bring
you with me on this journey. Your shadow crouches
now in the corners, your whispers echo
from the other room. This place remembers you
from my dreams and is haunted
by your lovely phantom.

I unwrap and hang the new calendar near my bed,
twelve months of serene Japanese paintings:
A quiet pond of reeds and orchids;
A powerful mountain strong and still;
A garden and bridge blanketed by snow.

Our holiday together was brief,
as were our words. Through the shallow
white valley, past the frozen mirror pond,
our footfalls left sign of our passing.
As we spoke our fire together was depleting,
expelled as vapor through our lips.
I held you for a long moment, the snow drifting down,
and gave you one final kiss. Parting,
our tracks wound their own ways.

But these quiet, empty rooms didn’t hear us,
they don’t yet know you’ll never
laugh here, never dance here, or make love.
It may take several restless nights
to draw those dreams away, to convince
these ghosts that the time of their passing
has come. Perhaps convincing
them to depart for the next world
will comfort me as well.


tiny gumshoe

J. D. Brink was not a private detective in the 1940s, but he’d liked to have been. Instead he was born in the 1970s, was a kid at the best time ever to be a kid (the ‘80s), and went to college in the ‘90s. Since then he’s become a sailor, spy, nurse, and officer in the U.S. Navy, as well as a gravedigger, insurance adjuster, and school teacher. Today (fall of 2013) he and his family live in Texas, where there aren’t enough cheating husbands, missing persons, practicing witches, or hard-boiled mysteries to keep him occupied. In his writing, as in life, Mr. Brink enjoys dabbling in multiple genres. His written work has appeared online on and Ascent Aspirations, and in Tales of the Talisman and Cemetery Moon magazines. In 2012, his SF novelette The Thorne Legacy was a quarter finalist in the Writer’s of the Future Contest.

Website: “Fugitives of Purgatory” —




2 responses to this post.

  1. Thanks again, Sonya, for having me over and for highlighting poetry this month! I, for one, needed to be reminded of all it has to offer.


  2. You’re welcome. Thank you for contributing! 🙂


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