Poems

The Old House

cypres 001

 

The Old House

This tumble-down old house spoke to me
In the dark,
As I lay sleepless in my bed,
Listening to the silence.
Through the cracks in the windows and doors
Whistled the weeping of ghosts
Of generations of great-grandparents
And aunts and uncles
Who died in the bed where I lay.
Across the floor-boards
And up and down the stairs
The phantoms of white children played,
Their footsteps rattling the shattered panes.

Outside, a dog barked through the night
As a coach drew up beside the iron gate,
And the leaves whispered nervously,
Messengers to those that cannot see.

I shivered in my pale night-gown
As yellow photos and faded portraits of ancestors
Smiled thinly at me from the walls.
A door banged in the hall below
And the old grandfather clock struck midnight,
And something cold ran down my spine
As I tried to think of sunlight
And laughing faces of friends.
The silence ran around the room,
Shattering like broken glass
Each time my ears heard a noise
That didn’t exist.

Day dawned grey and wet,
As I looked round the purple room,
The pictures of deceased people,
The old house seemed quite ordinary.
I opened the heavy curtains,
And the nip in the air was friendly
And quiet.
But
When I went to bed again that night
I could feel all around me
The spirits,
The ghosts and phantoms of beings
Who died long ago..

(1975)

Catherine Broughton is a novelist, artist and a poet.  Her books are on Amazon and Kindle or can be ordered from most leading bookstores and libraries.  More about Catherine Broughton on www.turquoisemoon.co.uk

Click here for “The Lover”   (poem)

Posted by Catherine Broughton on 21 June 2012
Catherine is a novelist, a poet and an artist. Her books are available from this site as e-books or can be ordered from any leading book store or library.

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