THE NUT HATCH
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 humankind grew 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 nights, 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.
At night the sound of owls would ricochet
above the silent streets – where peace
sought ways to sooth tormented souls as
hooting owls and night jars twittered on.
Ah, if i could share with you those names
of yesterday famous folk who were here
to stay - and in their way enjoyed their time.