To My Old House

Nothing to do one day,

Crouched on the ground

Watching the washing machine

And the tumble dryer.

I could feel the rumble,

Rumble on the concrete

Flecked with paint;

Cobwebs lingered overhead

In the outhouse

Of this old house;

A tall creaky house

Where I never felt alone,

Where meat hooks still hung

And basement steps led to nowhere.

I could hear through the walls

Of this old house,

I could feel through the windows

The cold wind

Blowing us through the halls.

It felt like sometimes

We were only blown around,

Tossed about like the clothes

In the washing machine,

In the tumble dryer.







I do not know how to waltz,

Yet I could learn;

Awed by the grace of the practised dancers

Swirling and twirling

With the ease of a swan,

In silver dresses and dark suits,

I could take to the floor with you,

Stumbling and laughing,

Becoming sure-footed in time.


Although we do not know this piece,

Played by the violins and cellos,

We can learn that too.

Humming to ourselves

The repeated strains;

Gentle dancing quavers

Which float and shiver

Until we memorise them.


I do not know what we will say

To one another

When we return home.

Like the music and the waltz though

The words will run through my mind,

In a comforting rhythm,

When I think of you.




Like the frost she is sharp

And it is winter when she comes.

We shiver through her howling

As the short days end,

Darkness bringing its own memories.


None can escape her cold embrace:

Hugging her feels like rain,

Stones, hail at your back.

Like a December storm

She is frightening.


Wrapped up in coats and scarves,

The frost a sheen on our cheeks,

She crosses our path,

Thorough and menacing,

And we feel it in our bones.


Like the snow she brings us silence.

We are muffled in her presence;

Unsure, watching our step.

It sounds like peace but underneath

Lies certain danger.





Like the ship of Theseus;

One day regenerated,

With each old piece cast off,

We too are made new over time.


The change is so slow

That it is often imperceptible:

Slipping by us,

As cells regenerate,

Opinions change,

We embrace parts of ourselves

And forget others.

What made us ‘us’

Becomes no longer.


When we look around,

We realise that we are new ships

Yet the same ships:

The same spirit inside of us,

But we sail a little faster

Or we are wound a little tighter.

We lean into this wind

Because we have seen these seas before.


We have become anew


We never noticed.

Now we are changed

And wise,

Our tastes different

Our lives different

But there is some essence of us

That will always remain within.




“It is so sweet that you care.

Thank you for trying to help me.”

Those are the words I want to say;

Trapped in my throat before they reach you,

They sputter and fall

In the air between us,

Heavy with regret.


Although my gratitude remains unspoken

I hope you know what I want to say,

Because I am thankful to you.

Everyday I have new reasons to be.

Yet how can I expect you to know,

As if you can read all my thoughts

In my eyes or on my lips?


I want to tell you that

Sometimes I need to fuck up,

To see the damage I cause.

Do not bring me back

From this chasm;

I do not want you

To fall in with me.



Through the Grove

Crushed leaves underfoot

From the orange trees above us

As we stomp through the grove,


To scare away any snakes

Who might be lurking,

Although we rarely see them.


Rotting skin of fallen oranges

Decaying in the dried grass;

Streams of ants

Rushing to and from the fruit

As you splash in the puddles

Made by the old green hose.


We stack small stones,

Rake the dry dirt together,

Draw with twigs along the ground,

Water the weeds.


So many questions

Which I had never thought about;

You help me see the world

Through new eyes,

With new wonder.

You make me realise

How little I know.


The scent is beautiful

From the orange leaves:

Inhaled and gone in an instant,

As these days will be,

When I look back on them.