Siobhan Harvey as a ghost

BooksMarch 26, 2021

The Friday Poem: If Befriending Ghosts, by Siobhan Harvey

Siobhan Harvey as a ghost

A poem from Siobhan Harvey from her forthcoming book.

If Befriending Ghosts

If they are the legacy left in lost code
If they are the beginning of broken soul

If they are the bitter end of love
If they are the sour taste of rejection

If they are the other side of the story
If they are the curses cast into oblivion

If they are the chemical rendering of light
If they are the sky at the point of breaking

If they are a house troubled by occupants
If they are a dwelling upon difficult territory

If they are my crying out of pain
If they are my tearing open old wounds

If they are my looking deep inside
If they are my viscera, blood and bile

I will give them oxygen and time
I will give them fuel and flame

I will raise them to ruin, to wreck
I will raise them as lovers, as pets

I will wear them up like a leash
I will wear them down to a dust

I will be their armour, their second skin
I will be their padded cell, their asylum


The Friday Poem is edited by Chris Tse. Submissions are welcome and will be open until the end of April. Please send your poems to

The Spinoff Review of Books is proudly brought to you by Unity Books, recently named 2020 International Book Store of the Year, London Book Fair, and Creative New Zealand. Visit Unity Books Wellington or Unity Books Auckland online stores today. 

Mad Chapman, Editor
Aotearoa continues to adapt to a new reality and The Spinoff is right there, sorting fact from fiction to bring you the latest updates and biggest stories. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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