The Lonely Ghost Speaks Each night, upon the creaking stairs My footfalls make no sound As, sad and slow, I climb with no Connection to the ground. Each day, I walk incessantly through every room and hall, But like the air, my presence there Is noticed not at all. For no one living can perceive me As I make my way In silent gloom, from room to room, Alone from day to day. I can no more be seen by men, Nor ever more be heard, Nor handle hence the things of sense, Nor speak a single word. Nor can I, with loud, tortured cries Cause men to quake with fear, Nor make them flee or pity me Or shed a single tear. I only can, with longing eyes, Observe the world of men, As filled with pain, I yearn in vain To enter it again. For though I dwell within their midst, I'm really far away; Cut off I stand, though close at hand, Locked in a world of gray— A world of mist and memories, a twilight world of shade, Devoid of life and love and strife Where pallid phantoms fade. That's all I am, a phantom So look quickly, ere I leave And fade away, at break of day With the shadows of the eve. Winter's Evening I love to walk along the lane beneath the twilit skies In winter, when the earth's domain before me frozen lies; I love to feel the nipping air of evening bite my cheek, And smell the smoke that lingers there, as dying day grows weak. How sweetly glows the western rim with vibrant violet hue Whose final flames now lick the brim of heaven's pastel blue, I love this special time of year when, stripped of summer´s husk The bare earth seems more fresh, more dear—especially at dusk! Like fine wine chilled, the day, now pale, invites each waking sense To taste its sweetness and inhale its freshness so intense. The cup I drink leaves, as I sip, an aftertaste so pure, I'm loathe to take it from my lip and wish it could endure. Though born of gales and tempest drear which in the springtime blows How gently now the dying year comes to a peaceful close! Like some old man, full of life's pith, who, altering his pace, Moves slowly toward the churchyard with resolve and quiet grace. So does this year move toward its end to make way for the new, Thus may I, when my sun descends, bid my brief day "adieu." Martin Rizley grew up in Oklahoma and in Texas, and has served in pastoral ministry both in the United States and in Europe. He is currently serving as the pastor of a small evangelical church in the city of Málaga on the southern coast of Spain, where he lives with his wife and daughter. Martin has enjoyed writing and reading poetry as a hobby since his early youth.