No Homelike Place – A Poem

There is no homelike place
Only an empty space
Where once the toys were piled
A legend, etched in pencil on a wall
Growth of a child
Meticulously charted, inch by inch
And line by loving line
Too easily erased.

There is no homelike place:
All whitewashed now
The memories
Perhaps a paltry palimpsest survives
Beneath the pale magnolia emulsion
Records of past lives
Remain for years
Beneath the stains of nicotine and tears

There is no homelike place, only
Hotel rooms on the road
Nameless places
Homeless, faceless
Searching for a place to call one’s own:
A harbour, or a home
Or somewhere warm at least, at best
A homelike place.

There is no homelike place
For children of addiction and abuse
Whose carers breached the sanctity of dreams
And stole the sanctuary,
Of the playroom, of the nursery and school
Who for their selfish, careless use
Stole childhood, leaving them
No homelike place.

Praying we can find
A homelike place
We build our houses,
Sink squat castles in the sand, erect
Grand palaces and mansions:
And we say we are secure,
But we can never build without
The homelike place
Which we must seek, and find and build
Within ourselves; which nowhere else endures.

(c) 2020 All Rights Reserved.

If you liked this poem, please check out the other poems on my blog (select the heading ‘Poetry’ from the homepage in order to view the full collection.) I haven’t posted as many poems as usual recently as I am working on my first poetry collection, which I plan to publish later in the year. Watch this space for updates, and in the meantime why not buy a copy of Poetry in the Time of Coronavirus Volume Two? This collection features my first published poem, Earthrise, alongside many other poems inspired by the Coronavirus crisis. Proceeds from the sale of this book go towards Partners in Health and Doctors Without Borders.

12 thoughts on “No Homelike Place – A Poem

Add yours

  1. I love this poem,from the play on words, of the title, to the sad and sorry tale the poem shows, snippet by snippet. A tale that needs others to read, and think about.

  2. Ingrid
    Hope this finds you well.
    Just want to let you know how much I am enjoying this piece.

    The reconstructed idiom of the title alone would be smart enough in my book,
    but to sustain it and arrange it into this robust thought-poem of place is,
    dare I say…

    ‘We must be over the rainbow.’
    (PS: Thrilled at your endeavours toward your collection, also!)

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