I would walk through those lanes,
Returning or going away.
And glance up at those windows,
Crumbling green and grey.
Not a solemn contemplation
Nor an anxious curiosity,
I would simply watch and wonder
At their weathered history.
What held they once?
What beheld that worried wood?
What was forgotten as they aged?
What had they understood?
And then I would pass them by,
And they would, too, from my thoughts;
As the open latch that lay unhinged,
Besmeared with iron frost.
It made for a stark image:
The gaunt whiteness of the wall,
And those two wooden eyes,
Their forsaken resolve.
I rose to wider cognisance,
By and by, it came to be.
Hung they as ever the same,
Immortal in their frailty.
Futility, I suppose, need not mature,
For so remained the corroding bars:
Ineffectual, bare of use,
Unashamed of their rusting scars.
And then it happens one day,
A day steeped in autumn breath,
Which wrecked the ruins to rubble,
And served a sightless death.
The house, the walls,
The windows of green and grey,
Were brought down as one,
Were disrupted of decay.
And so the coiling smoke
That rose from its debris,
Stole into my bosom,
Down a dwindling alley.
The truth that it laid bare
Was a revelation of iron and stone.
I had not seen to find it there,
Within walls I'd thought my own.
The time-worn empty abode
That was razed to the ground,
Had seized roots within me
And many dwellers found.
It had sowed seeds silent,
Unbeknownst to my conscious wit.
Wooden tendrils creeping soundless,
The mortar edifice growing swift.
There had travellers gathered,
Survivors of long-lost battles.
Bearing remnants as their garb,
Some unbound, some in fetters.
There I found them languishing,
Yet in a manner, were they content:
Defeated dreamers now serene,
Vanquished warriors quitting lament.
Thus it was, that the hovel
Unwanted in tangible form,
Was cherished by my demons,
Their shelter from the storm.
And thus it happens one day,
A day bathed in summer breeze,
Peace found me at its threshold,
Seeking restless ease.
It was decreed, I am certain,
There would calmness await me;
Not in lushly adorned mansions,
But in dust-furnished tranquility.
And there at last I find my truth,
I find reflections I can call my own.
For as I lie to freely breathe,
Why, it smells like home.