Today's poem is by Mark Granier

How to Ask for a House in Poetry
        I ask for a thatched and sheltered house,
        truly clean and cleared
        —Old Irish legal tract

I ask for a house that keeps
its distance, though not too far
to shout goodnight at a neighbour;
a house with a smile on its face,
well-placed in the townland
while remaining on speaking terms
with trees, rooks and a badger — local colour.

I ask for a house keen-eyed
as a lookout, one that has climbed
beyond its topmost branches and listens
for the sake of listening, hears the tick
of branches on roof-tiles, the phoeff!
of the boiler coming on, sees the wink
of headlights rounding a hill, can tell
the tread of a friend from that of the walking dead.

I ask for a house at home
with itself, so whether it's tucked
in the lee of a hill, overlooking
a road skirting the valley,
or a breeze-blocked yard jewelled
with smashed glass, it will rival
those gated drives and high kingdoms
whose passive windows rule the horizon.

I ask for a house wakeful
as the cat that also sleeps tight;
whose opening windows and doors
breathe like gills, easily exhaling the hard
feelings, a house that is ready
as any house can be for catastrophe and delight.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Granier All rights reserved
from Ghostlight
Salmon Poetry
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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