Poetry doesn’t come easy to me. I can’t crack off a haiku as fast as I might a 50 word story. My poems aren’t mathematical and the only ‘metric’ I know is the beat and rhythm dictated by my thoughts and words. Yesterday was a hot day in Dublin. It was also the longest day of the year, the summer solstice, an important day for me. This poem woke me at dawn and by the time the day ended, so did the poem. Written, or scribbled, in a notebook, I waited until this morning to type it. I will post it once, for five days, then it’s gone. I ask my WordPress friends to help me out and comment. It’s called Home is Where.

Please note: the original poem has stanzas but WP, for reasons best know to itself and despite several edits and updates, excludes them. So, dear reader, please imagine there is a break and each verse begins with ‘Home is where’.



Home is Where

Home is where
your first and lost loves linger
the scent of Cusson’s Imperial Leather
and lavender, like a silken scarf
curls and twines around your head,
her marshmallow touch,
teasing your memory.
Home is where
fresh baked bread and apple pie,
 jams and jellies, all cooling
in the afternoon’s mellow light,
greet you coming there
when school is out
and saffron yellow butter melts
on a fresh cut welcome scone
Home is where
dreams are born
waking in the morning sun,
fresh and frisky,
brimming with light and hope,
unfettered by failure,
treachery or disappointment,
ripe and blooming with possibility.
Home is where
memories fragment,
like packing boxes,
broken, confused,
their contents lost
while you search for a thought,
a hook to hang a hat.
Home is where,
past follies, misdemeanours
and careless adventures
echo down the streets and lanes,
tip tap in your footsteps,
flit through the shadows,
in the corners, out of sight,
in your mind’s eye.
Home is where
brooding menace waits,
the bogeymen of childhood terror,
with menacing patience
until childhood play abates,
there, in the shadow under the bed
and behind the wardrobe door,
slightly ajar.
Home is where
the slap of tiny feet
on a kitchen floor,
telling you home is where you’re happy,
but there’s no notch on your compass
to point you there.

21 thoughts on “Home is Where, a poem

  1. I’m not a poet so I’m no expert but I thought it was good. It was warm and comforting and I could feel it. I liked the line following ‘searching for a thought’ – ”hook to hang a hat’. That was a great description of what I feel like when I’m searching for answers in my head.

    • Thank you and, to tell the truth, it doesn’t matter if you’re an expert or a poet so long as you’re honest. That line, I must say, I put in for two reasons, first, I always liked the Paul Young song, Wherever I Lay My Hat (that’s my home), https://youtu.be/ju_a2-Pve4g and second, I’ve worn a hat all my life and even had a newspaper column once called ‘The Hat.’

    • That’s high praise, Kim, that I hardly feel worthy of but I’ll take it, gladly. I feel very ‘ambiguous’ about my poetic efforts. I don’t write many and only one of them has ever been published. So thank you again.

    • As I’ve mentioned before, we never know how grief will affect us or, indeed, how long. Old customs regarding grief are dying, pardon the pun, but they made sense. I’m a grandfather now but my own father died just 18 months ago and occasionally, your mind will stir the ashes of memories. That poem woke me yesterday at 5am, so I got up, grabbed a pen and paper and started writing. Thank you for your observations and kind thoughts. My poems are emotional, I know that and that’s just how it is, truthful, too.

  2. Poetry, poetry, it’s an abject thing, to one it can be the rhythm that runs through each line, to others its the beat that pumps through its heart, my friend, you captured the essence, the rhythmic, flow, the smell, the fluttering of the heart with each worthy line. To tell a story, to connect, ah, that’s what I love about the written form, and this was a ride, thanks for sharing, and I say keep it up it! This poem on your blog, and your continued posting of more like this 👍

    • Wow, Matthew, I was hoping for a private and critical email but, hey, thank you. I do take poetry very seriously, probably diametrically opposite to how serious it takes me but thank you very much, because I know, of all people, you are the antithesis of sycophantic

      • It was a symphony of feelings, those blissful waves that leave at the end going, I know this, I know I need no arrow to tell me how to get home, no map, no photo, for home, is where I live inside with all these things, home, is me 👍 it was a great piece.

      • I see how it can be, there’s no notch pointing towards home so how do I get there? But, the journey the verses take us through, by the time we come to the end, we’re already home, because we’ve already made our way there throughout the poem.

      • I had a very weird experience writing this as I usually do when I write poetry. It becomes a very emotional experience for me. In this case I wrote three verses and stopped. Then I had a shower, cooked some breakfast, put on a soundtrack that, strangely, began with Grant McLennan’s Dark Side of Town. Through the day, I did a heap of other things, answered mail, bought some fruit and vegetables, read a book, wrote three pages – 750 words of a novel and then hit the poem again because it wouldn’t go away. I cracked open a beer, sat in the shade and thought, pen in hand. Then it was finished but I waited until the following morning to type it up and then realised the first three paragraphs were really the last.

  3. What a journey indeed! I forgot I was reading and found myself conjuring memories from my childhood home. Wonderful words, great work👏
    “…and saffron yellow butter melts” , I read this line so many times, it says so much with so little. I must agree with Matthew in keeping it available for others to enjoy. 😉

    • Kind words, Yazgar, I am humbled by your reaction. Butter rarely looks like it used to anymore and I wanted to capture that image from my own mind of how butter looked, melting on a scone, preferably one laded with raisins. Thank you, again.

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