The Man with the Haunted Stare.


  • The Man With the Haunted Stare



In a hospital ward between Purgatory and Hell

Trapped in his body, like a prisoner in a cell

Those Haunted eyes in a frozen face  

His mind and body in a different place

The man in the bed across from me

Laid bare and stripped of all dignity

A mask which hides such fears and  terrors

Body wracked with seizures and tremors

His mind still active but can not share

The man with the haunted stare


By day,they put him in a chair

They wash his face and comb his hair

Fresh and clean from head to toe

All dressed up and nowhere to go

Like a rag doll, battered and broken

Lips move but no words are spoken

Fed by a stranger’s hand, he can not swallow

Those haunted eyes still flicker and follow

Movement and light he is still aware

But he can only sit and stare


Tubes and wires, tablets and pill

Get well card on the window sill

Family all gather around his bedside

Their pain and sorrow they try to hide

Their eyes avoid each other’s gaze

Trying to communicate through the haze

To touch his soul and understand

They gently  hold and squeeze  his hand

And softly whisper in his ear

But he can only sit and stare


Death stalks these lonely corridors tonight

Come to gather more souls to the light

But not for the man with the eyes that stare

Muscles clenched tightly, eyes filled with fear

His time has not come, he has to wait

He must linger a little longer, such is his fate

Caught between Death and this living Hell

He stares out from his prison cell

To view the world from his bedside chair

The man with the haunted stare

C Denis Murphy 02 April 2018.





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