Haunted Houses by H.W. Longfellow

Haunted Houses

(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1807 – 1882)

All houses wherein men have lived and died
  Are haunted houses.  Through the open doors
The harmless phantoms on their errands glide,
  With feet that make no sound upon the floors. 

We meet them at the doorway, on the stair,
  Along the passages they come and go,
Impalpable impressions on the air,
  A sense of something moving to and fro. 

There are more guests at table, than the hosts
  Invited; the illuminated hall
Is thronged with quiet, inoffensive ghosts,
  As silent as the pictures on the wall. 

The stranger at my fireside cannot see
  The forms I see, nor hear the sounds I hear;
He but perceives what is; while unto me
  All that has been is visible and clear. 

We have no title-deeds to house or lands;
  Owners and occupants of earlier dates
From graves forgotten stretch their dusty hands,
  And hold in mortmain still their old estates. 

The spirit-world around this world of sense
  Floats like an atmosphere, and everywhere
Wafts through these earthly mists and vapors dense
  A vital breath of more ethereal air. 

Our little lives are kept in equipoise
  By opposite attractions and desires;
The struggle of the instinct that enjoys,
  And the more noble instinct that aspires. 

These perturbations, this perpetual jar
  Of earthly wants and aspirations high,
Come from the influence of an unseen star,
  An undiscovered planet in our sky. 

And as the moon from some dark gate of cloud
  Throws o’er the sea a floating bridge of light,
Across whose trembling planks our fancies crowd
  Into the realm of mystery and night,– 

So from the world of spirits there descends
  A bridge of light, connecting it with this,
O’er whose unsteady floor, that sways and bends,
  Wander our thoughts above the dark abyss.

Can you see them? Can you sense their presences? Are they just memories of those who have lived or are they more like impressions left in stone and mortar, plaster and lath board?

Another blog I follow of the more bookish kind did an analysis of Longfellow’s famous poem last year and my comments were: 

I thought this review was thoughtful and expressive. I’d never heard of the poem before The Wife ™ introduced me to it. The narrator, to me, is clairvoyant, among the living but able to see, hear and possibly even converse with those who have passed and still inhabit the home he now lives in.


Nice post insightful and encouraging. Would that we all learned to ‘commune’ with the departed in appreciation and reflection. We would learn much if we could only listen to the past and apply to the present and future what we glean. -KIA

What do you think? 

Is he really speaking of ghosts, Spectral Spirits who inhabit and share our habitations with us? Or is he just reminding us to be mindful and reflective of those who have lived before, yet whose memories and influence never truly leave us even after they’ve passed from this life to the next?

Are they really sitting table with us and attending our fireside chats with family and friends? Or is it just the thought of their presence in Holiday times like these in the Autumn that gives them life and breath again, ifor not for just All Hallows Eve? The focus of Family, Friends and Feasting certainly does seem to “thin the veil” a bit during this time of year, doesn’t it? 

Please tell me what you think in the Comments below and have a wonderful and safe Halloween and All Saints Day. 



Watch “A Super-Cool #amreading Update!” on YouTube

I love this guy!! I don’t know if it’s the ‘off his meds’ humor or that great beanie. 🙂  Believe it or not, the guy actually is very erudite and well read due to his professional reviewing, editing and writing. 

We found him a few months ago thru another bunch of videos on channels called Book Tube who were complaining about his Points of View on books, readers and ‘Some’ YouTube channels that Chronicle their reading habits in interesting ways. 

He’s like my mom was; Opinionated, unafraid and often unfiltered in his views on books and people. Only he’s not over 70 and he actually knows what he’s talking about from a professional, well read POV. Mom only thought she did. Sorry mom 😦

Enjoy the day. we’re going for a Kale Smoothie at Whole Foods. 


Xtian Poetry: Hypnagogic


I’m in my room. the room is dark.

all is silent and still. I really should be asleep.

-but I’m really not.


I’m haunted by a ghost.

a dream of what once was

or what has never yet been.


I try to form the thoughts and outlines

of the now fading apparition.

which was vivid and colorful



for me just a few moments ago.

sketches of a lost imagination.


I’m in my room. the room is dark.

I should really be asleep.

And where are you?


Saturday dinner out

The Perfect Pear 

This Saturday night, the wife and I were looking for a place to go for a date night out. We’ve all hot our favorite places that we go all the time, but I wanted to try somewhere different and, if possible, have a nice vegetarian dinner experience. We found it in the Perfect Pear off of Ray and Priest. 

We’ve eaten here once before with a group of older singles from a UU church we visit from time to time, but this was our first ‘solo cruise’. We loved the atmosphere of a cozy, modern wine bar kind of place. The food was amazing and the service was prompt and attentive and very friendly. Loved it all around. 

For starters we had a nice plate of hummus nachos. Never had these or seen these anywhere else, but it was a great alternative to the beef or chicken Mexican style nachos that are ubiquitous here in the southwest.

For dinner, I had linguini with tomatoes, basil, and a light tomato sauce, perfect vegetarian option. The wife had butternut squash rigatoni with some sort of white sauce. It had arugula, walnuts (?) and onions. Also great, but she had to pick out the pieces of bacon. Who puts bacon and walnuts in with butternut squash?

Finished off with a nice, light white wine for her and a Kilt Lifter for me, this was a wonderful and enjoyable date night with the wife. If you are in the Phoenix area, The Perfect Pear is the Perfect Place for any Pair on a Saturday night.

Enjoy. -kia

For JZ this morning: “Patterns on The Tracks”

Agents in Hiding

Click clack go the tracks

As the 330 box cars come back to back

Where they’re going or where they’ve been

Just the thought brings stray grins

Cross silly faces with tiny eyes

Little people with growing minds

Children make the simplest things

Pegasus clouds and jelly roll rings

They hear the patterns, they see the signs

Rhythmic dancing down twin iron lines

Hardwired to see what might be there

If only for the longer one stares

It’s only age and tutors who 

Press that freedom into premade tubes

We’re set to look, perchance to find

It’s only Religions that finally confine.


Enjoy the day. Find purpose and meaning in every passing moment. 


For TJ’s Household HaiKu Challenge: Rainbows

((( Reposting 10/3/16 )))


A Voluntary Limitation
Red, blue. You decide?
Who said there are only two?
Rainbows are Freedom.

Visit TJ’s and play along

This was a rainbow captured back in May of last year at the celebratory party for my niece’s graduation from a nursing school in California. Her whole life in front of her, including an upcoming wedding to her beloved in November the same year.

Little did we all know that others would be freed to do the same with their beloveds just one month later in June.

You see, where I come from, Freedom is about being able to do what you want with whom you want as long as they also choose you to be their ‘with whom’ as well.

So, rainbows… Speak to me of a multiplicity of expressions of opinion and ‘flavor’. A diversity of opinion and understanding. A kaleidoscope of different agreements and associations.

Hue of You
A life of purpose
Colors searching for Canvass
We all Paint our own

There is never just Red or Blue. Not even just Red, Blue and a compromise Purple… Although we love Purple. To be truly free and free to express and Vote your Color in a Binary Political System, we must have a wider tent, a broader palate of Hues… Hues of Yous… to choose from, or there is only Limitation to Participation.

But what if there were more than just two colors… What if we were being coralled into just two stalls in order to facilitate a vision of reality where the Other guy is evil and you are all good… What if the powers that created and sustain this Matrix NEED it to keep us at each other’s throats, unable to listen, understand and possibly learn and grow from the differing  perspectives of those around us…

What if it’s all a Control Game to keep us from working Together and expressing all the beauty, wonder and brilliance that our Rainbows has to radiate?

What if whoever ‘they’ is… Is afraid of Rainbows? Let’s make them afraid. Be the Rainbow.