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.

33 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.’

  2. Speaking of ambiguity, that was the prompt on one of the Medium pubs this month! Anyway, I liked the poem, it felt hauntingly beautiful to me.

    • 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.

  3. Hi Dermott. I have always, and continue to enjoy your poetry. Those writings feel more personal, which I happen to enjoy the most. Healing wishes to you. : )

    • 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Thanks for sharing this obviously personal experience through your poetry. It rang all the right bells for me. It also transported me back through the veils of my lifetime. I found many similarities and that is somehow comforting. The knowing that we all have feelings, trepidation, angst and fear of the weird or unknown. How the dark can frighten us when we’re little. I’m going to read this poem of yours to my wee grandson in two years time. He’s only three now and some of your imagery may be beyond him. Thanks again, Pete

    • Always glad to help, Pete, and I really appreciate your comments about my poetry. Although new to the format – my first poem was written at the height of the water marches and it’s called True Cost. You can find it in WordPress. I take this art form very seriously, my late father was an avid fan of poetry and surprised me, a year before he died at 93, when he told me he thought I was a ‘true’ poet. Feedback is essential and the lifeblood of any writer, otherwise they’re taking a shower in the desert by pissing in the wind.

    • Also, regarding the ‘personal’ aspect of the poem, this is something I’m learning, poetry, in its truest form, leaves no room for dissemination. You can’t hide and to be a poet, you must be prepared to strip yourself bare, inside and out.

      • I must add, too, the best poems provide a setting where you can identify or empathize with the setting, the circumstance or the emotion expressed. The photo in the blog, incidentally, was where my mother grew up on a farm, on a tiny island in Lough Swilly, with her parents and 13 siblings. It is to her I refer in the beginning of the story and to myself and my own life experiences since.

      • I do indeed. Poetry is art and art is the viewers’ or readers’ interpretation of what the painter or author/poet created. The fear in me is driven by the instinct for survival. I’m fearful of making myself vulnerable. And I know that I shouldn’t be. Life is full of paradox 😉

      • Lose the fear. It’s all about vulnerability. Consider: almost everything you read these days has been written for a purpose, political propaganda or for a commercial purpose, to sell you something, change your opinion etc. People do relate to writing they deem to be honest and personal. They can trust it.

      • Thanks for the reminder. My writing partner died suddenly in September and I’ve been skiving off since before that due to being bedridden for 4 weeks and unable to sit for 6 more. I needed spinal surgery. And then my mate, Mario upped and died on me. I’ve been frightened ever since. And more than a little lazy. Tonight, I write and post to my blog here.

      • Writing – poetry, prose or fiction – is a solitary pursuit, Pete. I live alone and would have it no other way, more room to think. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for your blog. I think Aristotle nailed it when he wrote ‘fear is the pain arising from the anticipation of evil.’ When you write, fear is all there is to fear, so get over it, the pleasure of writing will soon overcome the fear.

      • You are spot on. I’m busy making excuses as there are no real reasons. Just slothfulness and inertia. I fear not evil for I am the evilest bastard on the planet! Not even Satan wants me for fear that I’ll ruin his reputation (giggle)

  7. P.S. I must confess that poetry is not something that I can conjure at will. It brews inside of me and yells to be let out. I’m glad that I’m not alone in this. 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s