Desirable properties now

built on the former asylum

grounds where banged on

doors those patients then,

the men and girls whose world

view was a step or two away

from those who roamed the

streets they called normality.

Sometimes I sense their

presence hereabouts their

ghosts that mingled in the mist

and grew the produce on the

former nursery site unless they

were up tight, and then

confinement in a solitary room

where gloom had made them

demon like and glowering

And then they sold on the land

in common with the policy of

the later times. The grounds

were mostly used as prestige

homes in gated grounds, where

matron used to do the rounds

and nurses trembled at her

harsher tones as did the junior

staff in case they drew her wrath.

Some times, one could swear a

foggy figure, wraith like, and when

flitting by, in dark old nursing garb,

would catch in swivelled eye the shape

of something odd – as if a lost soul

looking for their former home – now

gone, and so they roam at night the

streets, abandoned by the wider world.

But in the gardens where they grew

their veg, and tended piggeries on

their farm – a fox may now be heard

to screech out for a vixen in startling

tones, chilling the listener to the bones

and have them gulping air with fright

And later still, monks in saffron coloured

robes appeared inside the older grounds

and chanted their Tibetan sounds as locals

and the passers-by, stared on with curiosity.

In winter times the sound of owls might ricochet

above the silent streets – where peace

sought ways to sooth tormented souls.




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