Occasionally poems lead to another’s echoing response. Recently Brendan (of Oran’s Well)’s comment on my poem rewilding asserted that yes, we must write.

I would add that we can, maybe must, read also, and find synergy and synchronicity.

As when his re-released poem The Hungry Ghosts emboldened me to add my own, written 4 years before his first version.


Hungry Ghosts

and there you were,
ranked up in yowling banks
on that Sunday afternoon,
chasing with anxious eyes the parade
of the October sunshine across
a cloudscape torn with gales.

Your bellies were swollen with the fruits
of harvest, but you were racked with dearth,
saw only what was cast away. You had eaten, but
that was bitter in your mouth, and yet
you longed for more.

Stepping out of time, just
in time I hear your voices, recognise that pain.
I call upon that blessed being who is all contentment
to bring you a nectar of sweet simplicity,
to feed you, sip by sip, from that thirst-assuaging cup,
to wipe your brow in the night, to tend your overburden,
to let you lighten and allow.

© Kathy McVittie 19 October 2014  from 'the route to grace' 2014

In the Buddhist ‘Wheel of Life’, the hungry ghosts, or preta, are one of six realms.