Author: Paul House

Poetry: Gnome

So there he was,

In the square, smiling

His toothless, guilty grin,

White sweater and clean.

They said he was better off

In the Home, hot meals,

A shower every day.

But he hated vegetables.


So much life

Turned to this empty

Attempt at being nice.

All his friends grandfathers,

And he still alone in the night,

Sitting on the edge of the bed

And thinking about the millpond

And what he might do next.


So little to show

And so many years gone by.

Running backwards down the hill

Racing a French girl once

To get to the village first.

Showing you a photo taken

In an artist's studio when

He was young and had a moustache.


So now he's dead,

And there's no one left

To sweep the dry leaves

From underneath your table,

No one left to burn your trees,

To keep you company in the rain,

Insult you when the worse for wear,

Too many wines and memories to cope.


So there it is,

His boisterous life gone.

His cat still comes round

Looking for food and for him.

No one else does.

Absurd the way it happens:

Just a quick, anxious look behind,

One day walking in the park. 

Sample Chapters

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Poem for Anna •  Mandelstam and Mayakovsky •  The Lighted Window  •  Alone with the Years •  The Poet Tires •  Something there is •  La Madrugada •  Postcard of a Golden Retriever •  Shellfish •  Miguel Hernandez •  At the Edge of the Ebro •  Gone •  Playing Cards •  That's Where I Belong •  An Abstract Perfection •  Pearls in a Glass •  Poem for Susie •  Mornings in MalasaƱa •  Leo •  A Garbled Message •  Gnome •  Old Friends •  More About Penguins •  Ghosts •  Poem for Nelly •  Good Friday in Salamanca •  T.L.P. •  What It Is About •  The Blind Man And His Guide •  The Smell Of Winter •  For No Other Reason •  Poem for Linda