I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

13 November 2013

The House

I always wanted
a little house by the seashore —
a house with a red roof,
a house built up on stilts
to make a cellar underneath,
big windows in every wall
for me to look out 
at the billowing sea
and the grass on top of the cliff.

I always wanted
a house on top of a cliff,
overlooking the sea.
And somewhere back from the edge,
behind it, there must be
acres of thick rainforest.
Maybe this house
is somewhere in North Queensland,
in a space I haven’t found.

Poor house, 
is it waiting for me?
When I built it in dreams,
did it grow up fully formed?
How long has it waited
there on the edge of the cliff
with the ocean below
and the forest behind,
The Green Grass of Home underfoot?

Poor house,
it has waited too long; it has crumbled.
I never went and found it
and now I am old.
The roof has lost its paint.
The steps to the front door
are falling away,
and the door itself is gone.
The wind blows through.

Perhaps it is not too late.
Perhaps one night, 
in the middle of a dream, 
I may rise;
I may follow a path
through wilderness,
guided by clouds.
With love, the old waiting house
restored, will welcome me in.

Image by contemporary American photographer Robert Dawson.

In view of the recent poetry plagiarism scandals in Australia, let me point out that the reference to ‘The Green Grass of Home’ is an intentional allusion to the nostalgic song (although in that case, the word ‘green’ is repeated).

Poetic Asides November Poem A Day Chapbook Challenge, day 11: ekphrastic poetry

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