poetry | 101 | rehab | roots

Home’s where you go when you run out of homes.
― John le Carré, The Honourable Schoolboy


Welcome to this week’s Poetry 1o1 Rehab Prompt.

My prompt is ROOTS.

This week, I have returned to my roots, or at least returned in a virtual sense through a collection of random memories of the place where I first became conscious.

I have been lucky, since then I have travelled far and wide. Yet, the echoes of long ago dreams, and nightmares, are never far away.

So, what do your roots mean to you?


of smoking chimney stacks
of green painted market stalls
of crumbly cheese, tripe, and onions
of foul smelling rivers

of windswept moors

of a red chair, that became too small
of ejector seats, deployed, in the surgery
of sweetie jars, all in a row
of sixpences, thre’penny bits, half crowns, and sovereigns

of windswept moors

of odds and sods, screws and nails
of rainy dark skies
of closed doors, closed hearts, closed minds
of spaceships, in closets

of windswept moors

of a marshal’s shiny star, they said it was real
of stone steps, push chair straps, and a broken nose
of water butts, deep, dark, repositories of long lost (toy) cars
of standing in the kitchen sink, to watch the steam train far below

of windswept moors

of coal fires, and coal sheds
of swings and slides
of snowflakes floating endlessly down from dark grey skies
of tiger and serpent, forever entwined

of windswept moors

of dank rhododendrons
of dreams and nightmares, wasps in curtains, statues in corridors
of incense and guilt, prayers and pain
of scuffed knees, thorny rose scratches

of windswept moors

of dandelion and burdock
of all things, bright and beautiful
of painted plastic caravelle, sausage, and chips
of salt and vinegar crisps

of windswept moors

of thunderbirds, captain scarlet, and rock snakes on mars
of trickling streams
of janet and john
of yetis and daleks, coal fired viewing

of windswept moors

of adventures climbing green wet walls, behind the shed
of walking by farms, hands held, one old, one young
of a big blue car with a bold white stripe
of biggles and (just) william

of windswept moors

of a (toy) cable car, exotic tales, faraway places
of bicycles and tricycles
of black and white
of library smells, pages (life) unfolding

of windswept moors (dark tales of what happened there)

of saying goodbye

of these,
i think, when remembering
my roots, and

the dreams, i had

poetry | 101 | rehab |  roots


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45 thoughts on “poetry | 101 | rehab | roots

  1. A powerful and daring põem, not least because of the decision to begin almost every line with the word ‘of’ with its echoes of provenance. And you got the ‘foul-smelling river’ in there too! Congratulations.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Roots: a prose poem – http://wp.me/p5BCD4-o8

    I was fortunate to grow up in a small, rural village with clean rivers, swimming lakes within walking distance, and pastures and fields where we could safely roam at any time of day or night. The time I spent wandering alone throughout my childhood was beautiful and idyllic. Reading your poem, Andy, I suspect that I have carried that sense of safety with me throughout my life, even though I left that village (now classified as a city) at age 17 for college and careers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I actually tapped most of this one out on my phone when I was taking photos for another post, then made some final edits sitting on the metro on the way home. I like to write that way so that I don’t lose the immediacy of the idea.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Brilliantly executed Andy! the force of the repetition always brings us back to the anchor point – and each stanza offers memories and insights in ambiance – both innocent and dazzling and dark and frightening. Truly well penned 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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