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.





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Tue 15th Oct 2019 23:42

Thank you Ray. Yes poignant times and places often written about by the dwindling numbers of us who still recall those pads where God only knows what really went on behind those yester scenes. Some even being shipped to Oz I seem to remember reading about. P.

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Tue 15th Oct 2019 21:57

I think this poem exerts a strong influence on us - making a case for sensitivity. It seems to hover between an unpalatable truth and the modern conception of community living, which often is a very pale version with individual cells called homes. That's how I see it. A very worthwhile read, Phiipos.


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