Sunday, 4 April 2010

state house

A recent photo of what was my Nana and Grandad's house until the late 1970s.


And a poem about the same house as I remember it.

state house

This house should burst
like a pod spent with life, spill
all its remembered smells
of freshly-laundered sheets,
the mystery of the wobbly ins-
and-outs of the weather-house

man with umbrella, woman
with watering-can. The tin of Tang
above the sink. The macrame
-and-bead necklace draped across
the dressing-table mirror.
Grandad's Golden Kiwi ticket

pinned to the pin-cushion.
Nana's girdle scones with golden syrup.
The 2-in-1 oil-can and 'Show me the Way
To Go Home' ashtray.
But the house does not remember
the Postie on her bike delivering letters

through the window, the girl walking
her pet goat. Silly house. We are stopped
before you and you do not know
why. Do not even so much as wink
your windows as blank
as the eyes of a ghost's.

Kay McKenzie Cooke

6 comments:

McDinzie said...

wasnt in nana and grandad that had that money box of the man who would flip a coin into his body??? just a vague memory....

Nice poem :-)

Catherine said...

I enjoyed reading this as always :)

Becky Willis Motew said...

Oh, that is beautiful and sad. I feel that way about my parents' house too, but could never say it as well.

Kay McKenzie Cooke. said...

McD - I seem to remember something like that too ...

Catherine - Thanks!

Becky - I shouldn't re-visit these places! ;)

Carole said...

Smells are so potent when it comes to memories. I'm intrigued by your take on this house which doesn't remember the things that went on outside.

Kay McKenzie Cooke. said...

- Thanks - yes the sense of smell is apparently the strongest for bringing back memories.

Harbour

Harbour
'how this all harbours light'