You own a house, I rent a council flat.
Mostly we stay together round at yours,
Cos you have a dog to walk and I do not.
(That bloody dog once got me in its jaws:
If I’d jaws like a dog’s I’d have had its throat:
That would’ve been an end of scooping spoors.)
So mostly we’re at yours. I prefer mine.
What you call oppressive I find rinky-dink:
The lounge convivial enough with a glass of wine,
The walls warm gold, the light shade a soft pink,
And bed close by for easing out your spine
After a hard day, once you’ve tipped off your drink.
No back doors, kitchen doors, to lock; no dog
To navigate battening down each room;
No stairs, each thin step croaking like a frog
So that you fear McCartney’s in the gloom
Brandishing an album or a log
To bash you with, either being doom.
No garden, swaying nettles, braying bramble,
Tugging at your hipsters when you venture
Out to finally take it on. You gamble –
Since your neighbours both think you’re a spinster –
They’ll not be out there waiting, or back you scramble,
Their heads on fences scaring you like censure.
No, any day give me the rest a flat provides,
All compact, and nothing falling apart.
Spaciousness deludes: tables wide
As doorways, clocks, bookcases, soon thwart
The journeyer – the dining-room espied,
He can’t back out of it without a chart.
Because of a commitment I made gladly
Before I knew your house, that to hike through
Daily, tripping, tramping, turning, would badly
Affect me, I stay more often than I’d like to.
To you, it’s paradise. It addles me.
I tried, and failed, to stuff all this in a haiku.
David McLintock currently lives in the Northwest of England in the attic of a very old house from where he can stare out the skylight at the clouds and stars. He has been published in various online and print magazines over the years, but only now is he trying to be more serious about getting things done in a more disciplined manner. He is a sucker for buying musical instruments, from melodica to kalimba, glockenspiel to ukelele to shruti box. He believes one day he will be a maestro on them all.