I feel haunted

By the house

You left vacant.

The large bay window

Facing the street.

No longer the small

Curious faces of dogs

To watch me as I pass by.

Or the dark car

With the tinted windows

Parked in your driveway.

And the skeleton hanging off your mirror,

Your amulet.

I don’t know why it seems

So much more lonely

As summer fades

Fall arrives

For only a short time

To be quickly replaced by winter .

I remember the dream I had of you

Many winters ago.

In my dream

My daughter danced ahead of me on a narrow bridge by the lake.

The snow fell

And covered everything under it

In a heavy, bright white blanket.

Somehow in the snow drift

I saw you

And your dogs by your feet.

peering out from soft snow.

You greeted me in your usual way

Then you faded away

Into the blinding white

Blowing snow.

Maybe I am a ghost.


I never knew

How much missing you would hurt.

I knew the day would come

For you to leave

To find your own way.

But there is a fear of losing you

And only having the fragile pieces of the childhood

You left behind

To hold on to ,

Those glimpses of summer time,

Eyes filling up with the endless blue of sky

And the sun

Looking back at me

Inside them.

By j. Hamilton

To Ross

Today you moved away.

I watched your boxes

Overflowing with clothes

And your favourite books leave.

I have not been up to your room since you left.

I am not ready to see the empty space where your dresser stood

Or the bookcase

Sitting empty

And your closet

Just as bare.

I can’t help but remember

Your toys

And lego towers

And Good night


Sitting proudly on your shelves

When you were little.

For me

It feels like only yesterday

That you were small

Your sister even smaller

And our beloved dog

Still young.

Somehow bedtime stories would make us all sleep better

And I would curl up next to the three of you in that little bed.

I felt like I had found heaven.

You were all safe

Tucked in flannel sheets and dreaming.

This was heaven.

I found it here beside you

When you were little.

Seeing you leave today

Reminded me that you

Were ready to leave

And I was not.

I thought of the young bird I found

In a park

Just the other day.

I found him sitting on a yellow patch of   grass and

I didn’t think he knew how to fly

When  suddenly after some hesitation

All at once

He flew

As if he knew this was the right time.

So today

You too left

Because it was your time.

You walked across your childhood room

Glanced behind one last time

Then closed the door.

By J..Hamilton

This place

I have missed this place

Where we once cottaged with our children

And our beloved dog,

When they were small.

What a relief it is to be here once more

Even though we are all older.

Our last summer before my son

Moves away and turns over a new chapter.

Two more summers to go until

My daughter


Leaves the nest.

This is probably

Our last trip with our beloved dog

Whose old heart feels as though it will give out

Every time she tries to keep up with us.

Right now,

I have an open door

With a lush green view of tree tops.

It is almost quiet except

For the sound of birds

Singing to another

In an intimate language of their own.

I often dream of our place

With its quaint little shops,

Blue mountain peaks


The sparkling bay

Which stretches out for miles like a water colour brush stroke.

We will always be connected to this place

Because it will remain part of our inner landscape.

By J. Hamilton

For my father

This thing called grief

Never loosens its grip.

I was scared I would forget your face,

Your voice

Your smell.

I have not forgotten those things that made you unique

But I have almost forgotten what it is to be loved

Without conditions

To be reminded that I was special.

Now she is gone too.

Is there anything beyond the physical world?

If there is

I hope it is a kind place,

A Place for you to be finally free of all those things that made you hurt.

And I hope that she is there with you.

And you are taking care of her,

Loving her

And keeping her safe.

I have not seen your gaze in years

Nor hers.

There is a heaviness to this grief.

A longing

And a fear of forgetting.

I was waiting for a kind of light to take the place of its darkness

But here it is.

This place of nights.

By J. Hamilton


I found him waiting

In my garden,

Watching as animals curled inside the

Earth to sleep.

Even the leaves of trees turned inward

Beginning to dream..

I waited for night to swallow me in its belly

Letting me sleep

In its certain darkness.


He simply stood

As everything around me

fell under his spell

And i begged to not be left behind.

By J. Hamilton

The visit

She drifted among us today,

And weaved between us

As if we too were butterflies.

A warm greeting,

As if a long time had come between us

And now atlast

We could see her

And this was her gift,

To be among us

On borrowed time

With sunshine on her wings.

By J Hamilton

Path of light

On summer nights

I share the forest path

With fireflies.

They light up the woods

With a flicker of their mysterious flame.

Their quiet courtship

On display.

Birds sing to

Find their mates.

Fireflies leave a path of light

So they can be found.

Every summer I walk in blackness and wait for that spark to

To illuminate the path

Even if only for an instant.

There is still some magic left.

By J. Hamilton


My recurring dream:

My 10 year self seated across from you

At an expensive restaurant

For my birthday.

You can pick any place

And I will take you.

This place is very expensive

Rustic and dark.

Heavy wood beams along the ceiling like those

In an old

Big cottage

And the smell of a fireplace

And wax candles


At the centre of each

White starched linen covered table.

I am mesmerized by the dance of flames in the fireplace behind you.

And a beautiful crimson parrot

On its perch

Above it.

It paces excitedly across its perch

Then ruffles its blood red feathers.

It looks down below at the flames growing longer in the fireplace.

They leap and hiss

And throw hot sparks into the air around us.

I watch the bird

With its coral wings

And curious eyes.

At this point

In all my dreams

The fire blazes

Angrily..embers burn red.

With a startling suddenness the McCaw flies into the flames.

Catches on fire and screeches helplessly

Until he is completely devoured by flames.

Then there is


He does not rise from the ashes

Like the Phoenix.

All tbat remains is silence

And smell of death.

By J. Hamilton


A charcoal sky

Waiting for rain.

Part of me

Sinks deeper into this blank slate sky.

My stomach

The mother of my emotions


Like a fish that has been

Cut open.

J. Hamilton