Sunday 16 August 2015


The laughter’s gone from this heart.
the lamplight’s gone from this home;
the threshold, the corners are dark,
the ones who’d lit it up depart
for cities from where no letters come;
for cities that no one returns from.

The water’s as tall as the crops -
the river’s too full of herself,
ear by ear the grain starts to rot,
the young scatter in search of jobs,
the old watch unable to help;
the lamp stands unlit on its shelf.

The fathers can keep their eyes dry
and keep their words clipped and brief;
but they pause far too much, they sigh,
and their lips suddenly pull awry;
the mothers are too bowed to weep
gone to places even beyond grief.

The water stands as high as the rice
the harvest has stopped in its tracks;
the lamp flickers once before it dies -
the light lays its head on the thighs
of the dark and the young men pack
for cities, and they don’t come back.

We’re become the shell of a house.
We’re become the shell of a loving.
See how our garments fall loose.
See how our proud heads are bowed.
Once here the bulbul used to sing,
she’s now fallen quiet, there’s nothing.


  1. Very sad. They are a pair of empty nesters, aren't they?

  2. All life moves on
    Old gives way to new
    Things die, things are born
    We ask why yet we know

    Sad for ones left behind
    Hope for those going
    Few look back wondering
    As the lamp light flickers

  3. reminds me of the shrinking villages, nature and expansion of urban life.