This Old House


Last legs (stilts tilt)

needs paint

possums in the roof


gets in sometimes but

the landlord leaves us alone.


Gutters gone

cobwebs in the corner

I don’t mind

the spiders eat the flies.

Garden’s overgrown

cats sleep in the shade,

bush-turkeys take refuge

from the neighbours.


Vines cover the verandah

you can

sit there unseen

and watch the world go by.

I drowse

in the sun

to the sound

of chickens foraging.


At night the possums

come in by the cat-door

and I feed them in the kitchen.

One tiny hand

clutches my leg,

the other delicately reaches

for the piece of banana I offer,

on its back

a solemn big eyed baby

watches the transaction.


One day I guess Development

and Progress will end this

little urban Dream-time

in a riot of bulldozers,

something ugly

will arise in brick

block by brutal block

where once were trees

and I will have to seek

another refuge for myself

in the cold, uncaring world.


But not today, my friends,


I sit beneath my trees

in this brief, ephemeral ease

and for this respite at least

I am grateful.




The Reverend Hellfire is a practising Performance Poet and an ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanists AND the Church of the Universe.

There’s no fool like an old fool



~ by reverendhellfire on July 29, 2012.

2 Responses to “THIS OLD HOUSE”

  1. Delightful delineation of a rural retreat.

    • Actually, my rural retreat is an inner city feral oasis.There used to be lots of old houses like this in my suburb, but sadly we are one of the last hold-outs-the yuppies have discovered the delights of our little enclave, and are buying it up accordingly.
      In the process they bulldoze most of what they liked about the area in the first place, and ugly, elcheapo unit blocks (the slums of tomorrow) are spreading like a fungal infection.
      So it goes.

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