stopping to sleep

at one of the many kilometre houses

here many years ago

a family lived

farmed the land all around

supported themselves

& now

left to the termites

wanderers to shit in corners

throw stones at the glass

burn any wood for fires

to sit around drink do drugs

maybe dance

there is no haunting here

the people moved into high rises

bought out by governments

for new roads bridges to go in

& they hold no regrets

now they have neighbours

shops entertainment electricity

water on tap

& I dream of this as I sleep

warmed by the high sun

to wake ready

to also move on

to be free

we were sitting around

long summer afternoon

& the talk was on cruise ships

holidays they’d had

all package tours & trips

& my vagabond stuff

was of little no interest

as they turned to houses

cash money in the bank

as my wish to be there

will to live slowly sank

& then I noticed her all sly

counting the level of his drinks

putting up a plate for him

what tidbits she slid by

& I brightened up some

getting some understanding

so this is what it means

to be living comfortable

to be free

these things you should never do

I went there

slowly back to where I was born

local cottage hospital

& that was no more

new houses planted on the spot

another place & time

the street I remember playing in

ragged homes now holding age

tired at the edges

& not a face I could put feelings on

the field I built my bonfires

had forts warfare battles


everything from there

now needs be held within

all external evidence vanished

sentiment holds time in place

places years & faces

& I know I wanted changes

yet I never knew

I needed something to hold onto


as one day

I never understood

when he stood

looking across the fields

fain tear there

corner of his eye

they’re taking this away boy

putting in houses shops stores

places I played when I was small

I never understood

when he sat in his chair

faint tears there

corner of his eyes

she’s gone son

left us to find fun

never coming back

no matter how hard I try

& now he’s gone by some years

they’re closing down the shops stores

all this turning into a ghost town

& when I look

there may be a faint tear here

corner of the eyes

too late to understand

offer empathy for the man gone

as one day so will the son

Ancient houses

Hold treasures

dithery ghosts

that hide

the things you need

to then

put them in plain sight

when you don’t

creaks in floorboards

mad holes in walls


could have been there?

a sighing

in certain winds

cold corners

even spiders ignore

memories under

over wallpapered walls

impressions of heads


messages from builders

now joined the long dead

to enter a room

that a presence

has just left

though you are


on your own today

and to not feel fear


but to know

that ancient houses

hold treasures

without a price