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‘The Empty House’

Open to the windswept world,
Home of lost leaves
And forgotten feathers.

Faint whisperings of sound,
Which may be mice,
Or maybe smaller life,
Or may be just the walls,
Settling down to dust.

Stagnant, still air,
Turns the grime of years
Into insipid icing,
Distilling scents of solitude
To assail the senses.

Wood is worm worn,
A trail of time hollowed
Traces, thread their way
Throughout the wainscot.

Sunlight sparks across the floor,
Inprismed in the broken glass.

Paper, long in the sun,
Peels black, to show
Melanomas of mold,
Across the plaster skin.

Decay has delved deep into
This place of damp and shadows;

Gathered up the drifting dissolution,
To make a tomb of all the passing years.



Martin Pallot is a poet and short fiction author who lives on the London/Essex border.

This poem was inspired by a Victorian house which remained in a deserted and half demolished state for several weeks … and by a hole in the security fence (shhh !)

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Image credit: Paul Lockhart