Breathing Space

For years I felt that a cupboard, a room
Was all of the space I could need
I’d sit there surrounded by books in the gloom
And scribble my thoughts by the light of the moon
Fill my head with the words I would read

I’d not have to worry at all for the neighbours
Or find time to re-paint the bath
For comfortable was just a duvet and PJs
With nothing more needed, no disco or DJs
A candle gave light from the hearth

But somehow we found that with two of us there
It was no longer quite the same palace
The world had grown bigger and started to stare
With the castle we built out of no more than air
At the couple that lived from a suitcase

We struggled, resistant to others’ attempts
To provoke us to find a new shelter
We shivered through winter, and mended the fence,
And in summer we suffered in panting offence
Rigged a fan to the bookshelf to swelter

Then finally when we had reached boiling point
All our options had dribbled away
We agreed it was time that we looked to the rent
To decide our intentions by firm government
We examined our options to stay

Though it took us ten years to find one we’d afford
Now a house we have suddenly bought
Yet still reeling in shock at the sight of the floors
Finding furniture shops and new knobs for old doors
What incredible chaos we’ve wrought

For such jealousy now seems to stem from the tide
Of those others who’d scorn, scowl and scoff
I am tempted to find a new cupboard to hide
Quite confused at the poison that seeps from outside
From their tedious, terminal cough

Though it seems we gave in to their constant demand
It was hardly to match with the Joneses
And though cupboard and room has expanded in ground
We have worked to repair what we needed and found
We have never yet tilted our noses

For at heart I’ve a cupboard I can call my own
With a book and a candle inside it
I vacuum the floors and I dust every tome
For the library walls I can now term my home
Though my friends may but scarcely abide it

For a home is a place that we find in ourselves
With no need for the trappings of glory
To be quite at peace with my own book-filled shelves
While I scribble my thoughts on our heavenly hells
Is but one chapter of my own story