The Ghost in the Glass – a first draft

The Ghost in the Glass

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language.
And next year’s words await another voice.”

– T.S. Eliot

He took two photographs of himself
as if he were a ghost trapped in glass.
Shirtless, the sun striking him
directly from above, he could feel
ultraviolet rays penetrating his skin.

A fool foolishly marking the last day
of another year in a country where he remains
alien, though not on paper. He Skyped
with his family back home the day before
with his webcam turned off.

A glimpse of his mother on her birthday
was all he asked for, her sight
having left her years ago. He saw everyone
there peering through the tiny lens
of his sister’s tablet. No one saw him.



About matangmanok

Jim Pascual Agustin writes and translates poetry. Sometimes he tries his hand at essays and stories. His latest book is BLOODRED DRAGONFLIES, published by Deep South in South Africa. Check out the official blog page for Bloodred Dragonflies. In 2011 the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House in Manila released BAHA-BAHAGDANG KARUPUKAN (poems in Filipino) and ALIEN TO ANY SKIN (poems in English). The same publisher released his most recent poetry collections SOUND BEFORE WATER and KALMOT NG PUSA SA TAGILIRAN. In 2015 a new poetry collection in English, A THOUSAND EYES was released. His first collection of short stories in Filipino, SANGA SA BASANG LUPA, was released in 2016. UK publisher The Onslaught Press launches his poetry collection, WINGS OF SMOKE, worldwide in February 2017. San Anselmo Publications released HOW TO MAKE A SALAGUBANG HELICOPTER & OTHER POEMS in 2019 followed by CROCODILES IN BELFAST & OTHER POEMS in 2020 - both books can be purchased through their Facebook page. View all posts by matangmanok

7 responses to “The Ghost in the Glass – a first draft

  • Ryan Stone

    Beautiful, Jim. Happy new year, my friend 🙂

    • matangmanok

      Happy New Year, Ryan!!!! Hope this year’s even better for you, your writing, and for everyone you love!

      ps… worried I’m being self-indulgent in this “projected” way of writing

  • thesouthafricanpoet aka SalamanDer

    Pleased to make your acquintance Jim! I like what I’ve read so far and can definately relate to this! Just gutted that you are now living under the shadow of Table Mountain and my mother city! Take care

    • matangmanok

      Always great to expand one’s circle of friends, Don. Thank you!

      • thesouthafricanpoet aka SalamanDer

        I will have to ask for advice in how to find SA’n poetry journals/blogs/ magazines to submit to. For some reason I have not been able to find the right paths! I’ve been successful in mostly USA poetry journals/reviews/blogs since August last year but would love to publish my South African based poems in the country of my birth!

      • matangmanok

        I’m still finding out for myself. 🙂 So far a number of them are on Facebook as well.

      • thesouthafricanpoet aka SalamanDer

        Great to hear that! I’ve submitted to New Contrast with a ‘Quadrilogy’ in Afrikaans still waiting for acceptance! That will be my debut publication in SA! Although my first success came with a collaborative art meets poetry exhibition with Casper De Vries Art in Roodepoort last May (near Johannesburg) but only one publication reported about my involvement but hey, at least it showcased my talent!

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