“I must go down to the seas again….
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a
Whetted knife….” Sea Fever, John Masefield.
There are no ghosts in this house,
those that lived here have all left
the house in peace.
Even the hungered souls that built it
died and let it go to ruin once
but it survived, remains,
waiting on something yet.
There were others here,
One hard to the garden fork
beneath the thin lawn.
The others lost in Hazel scrub
and nettled earth.
But this sits tight,
No there are no ghosts
but there is a kind of presence.
I’ve felt a pull, an undertow
affecting those that dwell within.
At times a deep silence,
Even bird-song doesn’t break.
Hewn from out the skeletal rock,
that this place is,
one sometimes feels beneath
the call of ancient sea,
of tentacle and claw.
No it has no ghosts you could discern
but I would wonder,
wonder when the wind’s “a whetted knife”
if it will countenance
“An acre of stony ground,
Where the symbolic rose can break in flower…” (W. B. Yeats, from The Tower.)
Walls have ears,
especially thick stone walls like these
I entered long ago
making the space swell with life and longing
coming to belong together
in this unification that is dwelling
And so I keep my need to leave her secret,
hoping I do not talk
when her dark and listening quiet
guards my stormy winter sleep
or fighting at first light about the future.
The packaging of books,
so many books now,
in shelves we almost made together
as she fit her snug uneven lines to hold them.
The equinoctial fire
in the stone circle down the garden
to burn the dross of envelope and card
bearing her name so they may find me.
Her openness in high summer now
when she pulls in the air and fills me,
fills me with smell and taste and
can I leave her now
in this ecstasy of touch?
Not least her welcome of surprise to others
she holds awhile in her embrace,
for my endearment and delight
and all the talk she’s witnessed.
How would I bear the slow drive
down the uneven road
with all I‘ve taken from her
packed in some hired van.
How could I leave her
with some legal deal of separation?
Unless with pennies on my eyes,
bound for the Ferry,
unable to look back.
2 thoughts on “Two new poems about The Anchorhold”
Two beautifully evocative and emotional poems about the Anchorhold, which question the whole archetypal energy of what home means to us, both its protective comfort and seductive power… Rather like when you are a young person and cannot leave home.. Get thee to a publisher.
Tony, I love these poems, “My House” in particular. They transport me directly into the Anchorhold’s study, the wall backing the fireplace warmed by the embers of wine-soaked talks, with the wind a’howlin’ out beyond, as it was the last time I slept against that wall. Well done, well sung. Bravo! and thanks.