here had been a garden once

now cats came to die invisibly

amongst the remnants of roses

the tumbled swathe of climbers

they lay in the dragging rave of weeds.


human needs had been here too

through the door now caved in

onto flagstones gashed by hobnails,

and a curtain still hung in a kind of grace

curseying at the nourishing light


life carried on by feel inside,

by oil and candle at the aching of night

on hearth and stair the ache of toil,

a water pump denied

still braced in its socket, a legacy unstirred.


A ceiling trodden through

a cage of laths unleashed

thatch holes visible to the sky.

Skin and bone hardly divisible,

the smell of decay

now gone those spirits, gone the day.





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Thu 22nd Dec 2016 19:30

Thanks for your thoughts Suki. That line about the pump was altered , and I think there is now a sense of it being like a person. So your observation is spot on. I quite like personalising objects; as in fact we tend to do with favourite things we own don't we ? Glad you liked it!

Cheers Ray

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suki spangles

Thu 22nd Dec 2016 04:34

..thatch holes visible to the sky. What a line; wonderful imagery.

a water pump denied
still braced in its socket, a legacy unstirred

That line gave me pause for thought; could be understood in a couple of ways - regret for something that should have happened..

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Wed 21st Dec 2016 12:17

Thank you all for your interest. LCPTB, It's very possible I would have a similar poem in this style but it doesn't come to mind with so much that I post! I feel that these days places like this are rare and usually just pulled down, putting the idea itself into the past.

Thanks, Col. Glad you liked that line, I hunt for the right words so often to maximise effect!.

David, to try to dignify your probing interest with a reasoned response, I believe you can see layers in stuff I do, and these may be just me dipping into the subconscious without really being controlling of it, more like a vessel for possibilities. Your views certainly make complete sense, and I couldn't contradict any of them.
I do like "slow release!" I suppose I wanted to depict something unreachable (a common theme) and a reason for sadness I feel. Regret may be there, but also a sense of age looking back on things gone past. Curiosity mixed with depression . I like to write with a sense of longing.
in 1980 I lived in a house with an overgrown garden - too busy to tend it, and I stumbled on an old cat bedded down. I took it indoors, and it died overnight . Gutted I was and felt sorry for myself too as I was lonely at the time. THat memory I drew on here.

Very kind of you to give so much thought and appreciation! Ray x

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Wolfgar Miere

Tue 20th Dec 2016 21:45


I have learnt to read your work at least a few times, and to think on it before commenting.

Previously and often, before I had recognised that many of your poems have a slow release capsule I commented only to then notice something else, that is not to say this no longer happens, because it does. Consequently I now take a little longer before any response.

To me there are theme's of decrepitude and dilapidation here, as if you are associating the decay of the building and the physical withering of the human body and mind.

The first verse relating how cats came to die in what had been a flourishing garden, to me reads as the fading of memory in a manner which seems almost inevitable, as if retracting until it disappears into strangulating undergrowth.

The second verse maybe relates to the loss of strength and activity.

Then the final verse seems almost anatomical, the fabric of the mind breaking down, exposing a cage of laths, an almost skeletal image to my thinking (a great line also)

The telling final lines, "skin and bone hardly divisible", suggesting only the frame of former structure and strength remaining, whilst the rest is hollowed out and gone.

So much good stuff here Ray.


<Deleted User> (13762)

Tue 20th Dec 2016 20:40

lovely Ray - nothing like exploring a tumbled down house, or mind.

favourite line? - a cage of laths unleashed.


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