The Problem with the Bottling of Troublesome Spirits
by Juleigh Howard-Hobson
Blue bottles hanging from a tree won’t hold
a ghost forever. Trees will die, branches
will break, blue bottles will fall. I’ve been told
that after a bottle shatters, what was
inside it is unrecognizable
as a ghost anymore, having been turned
into a cold mass of hate over all
that time stuck in that blue prison, concerned
with one thing and only one: revenge on
whoever hung those bottles. Ghosts can take
as long as they need to find a person,
and they always do, living or dead, makes
no difference. A ghost, once freed from its glass
will ruthlessly avenge its bottled past.
Juleigh’s poem has been nominated for the Rhysling Award, which is given out annually by the Science Fiction Poetry Association, which publishes and promotes genre-oriented verse. A big, well-deserved congratulations go out to Juleigh and all of the other nominees.
As far as I can tell, the only ones not happy about it are the ghosts, who are tired of looking at the world through cerulean-colored glass, perhaps.
“The Problem with the Bottling of Troublesome Spirits” first appeared in The Lost Librarian’s Grave anthology this year (2021) along with verse by two other poets and almost 400 pages of lovely, dark short stories on subjects ranging from grave robbing to gargoyles, from the leech-people apocalypse to leprechauns … and so much more.
“The Problem with the Bottling of Troublesome Spirits” © 2021 Juleigh Howard-Hobson. Used with permission of the author.