Thursday, March 10, 2011

Dream Houses to Ponder . . . Over Yonder . . .

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One or two of you, perhaps three or four
Said you had enjoyed the dream house in the post before
That you had admired the broken down door
The failing shutters crumbling stones peeling paint galore
So I thought if this is what you like
Then perhaps you should have some more
That you may know this is no passing fling
This love for houses in various states of abandoning
This is not puppy love this is a serious thing
The flame burns deep in my heart smolders in my bones
I think of them late at night while sitting up alone
These houses in every degree of disrepair
Once full of warmth now feel only despair
As water and wind and frost colder than they can bear
Perform the slow work of demolition without care
Stone by stone, frame by frame
Once you fall in love with such a place
Then who is to blame
That you will never, ever again be the same
So I dream that one day I will find one for sale
Where I can live out my days
Quietly sitting down to finish this tale
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(Maison à Vendre = House for Sale)
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Maybe it will have shutters like these
All boarded up against the cold breeze
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The back yard may be a bottlefield where piles of glass have grown
Perhaps I'll manage to add a few of my own
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Some people call an empty bottle a dead soldier
If such was the case then this was a massacre
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Nevertheless I would put out pots of flowers in a crumbling alcove
To proclaim loud and clear a message of love
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I think such places must be inhabited by men
Who go out each day to feed birds again and again
For what else is left in life when one is sixty plus ten ?
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Lace curtains allow the light to come in
But hide the room within from passing glances
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Yes, I'd like to come home to an auld place like this
Throw open the shutters, give the missus a kiss
Sit by the window for a while with a drink and reminisce
About all the dream houses there are in the world to miss
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30 comments:

Pat Tillett said...

Great photos and words!!!

"Some people call an empty bottle a dead soldier. If such was the case then this was a massacre." A classic line if i ever heard one...

Gary said...

Superb poetry and images!!!

Steve said...

Looking ay all those bottles I'd say this was a house for partying in! That's got to be a recommendation!

Le Journal de Chrys said...

C'est ta dernière photo que je trouves vraiment magnifique!!!!!!!

Alistair said...

Now that - THAT - is a great post.

Thanks Owen.

Every word, every image.

Perfect.

The Sagittarian said...

I swear I didn't leave all those bottles out there....great photos here. I have taken some recently in a nearby cemetery where most of the headstones etc had toppled in the earthquake. Will post them when I get time. Sorry I haven't visited before now, been up to elbows in silt, and dirt and emptying the chemical loo!!

Marginalia said...

I think the second image is great. It has the feel of a pencil drawing.

mythopolis said...

So much charm in such images. They become, I think, symbolic of an imagined, simpler, and more pastoral past we seem to have abandoned, but wish we could return to.

Pastelle said...

Tes photos sont très belles, la dernière en particulier, très émouvante.
Moi aussi j'aime les vieilles maisons, elles nous racontent plein d'histoires.
J'espère que tu trouveras la maison de tes rêves. ♥
Par contre je proteste sur ce que tu dis des gens de plus de 70 ans. C'est l'âge de ma mère, et elle jardine, elle nage, elle conduit, et elle a internet ! :)

Stickup Artist said...

Another book in the making! These are wonderful. The interweaving of the original rhyming text and the inclusion of the old man feeding the little bird is fabulous! The whole post has a great rhythm. Love the black and white. We can surely take the best from those days, combine them with the best of today, to make a better tomorrow!

The Poet Laura-eate said...

An excellent poem. I wouldn't be in a hurry to move into any of those abodes though!

Peter said...

Yes, great photos and words, but I sincerely hope there will be something else than birdfeeding to do after 70 (I'm not far away)! :-)

Margaret Pangert said...

Hi Owen~ I love your fabulous dry, droll poetry!
Interesting how some of these places are decorated with geranium pots, lace curtains, climbing ivy! Can you imagine the masons and artisans needed to return these homes to their original stature! Amazing how you were able to snap that bird eating out of the man's hand! These monochromatic photos have the feel of turn-of-the-century Europe... Great post.

Artscapes said...

And I would love to invite myself to visit you and the missus at the auld place. :)

Owen these photos are beautiful. I had to look twice because I thought they were paintings or drawings. I'd love permission to use the photos as a source for a painting. I don't know if I can do them justice but I'd love to try.

Every time I visit your blog I want to return to France to see the countryside. But for now you are my window and I thank you.

Cheers from southwest coast of Canada, Elizabeth

Le Journal de Chrys said...

Personne ne le sait mais j'ai signé un contrat avec Chanel!!!!!! Bon, je n'ai pas encore reçu mon chèque mais cela ne saurait tarder!!!!


Héhé

Lena said...

Were you inspired or what...
Your shots made me smile... will get me to work now... I need the money to go buy that house!!

Céline said...

Des pots de fleurs comme messagers : j'en aurais plein dans la maison de mes rêves... ainsi qu'une grande cave pour héberger les bonnes bouteilles avant qu'elles ne deviennent cadavres... et une immense cuisine remplies de bonnes odeurs et de rires...
Merci d'avoir partager ce rêve !

...louciao... said...

Abandonned houses? They have so much soul. Their hearts are worn on their doorsteps. The history of their love life is written in their fissured walls; their failing reason scripted in the crumbling facades. Their memories coil like invisible smoke from the cold and tumbling chimneys. The green moss growing damply like missed patches of beard on the ill-shaven face of an old man tell of the life still glowing within. They say, "See me, venture in, reclaim me, love me; fill me with warmth and flowers, with laughter and the sound of one lone voice talking to himself, or to a cat or a bird or even a dog," though the clicking of the dog's nails on the worn wooden floorboards may echo a little too loudly in this dusty peace. Yes, yes, bring in the red geraniums to place on the windowsills in front of the yellowed lace curtains. Empty another bottle to contribute to the bottlefield, and write out the rest of your days in dreams, poems and pictures...but only when you are much much older than a man of sixty plus ten years because, I feel certain dear BrOwen, that you have many more days of exploring and adventure ahead of you before discovering and claiming that illusive dream house to call your own.

Elisa said...

You painted me a story, beautiful one. I think this man is happy. He feeds birds and for me it's very interesting. House is old but it sure have lots of stories to tell us. Beautiful Owen, thank you for this. Have a nice weekend ;)

James said...

I've been dreaming of house jus like these recently. I doubt my dream will come true but it's nice to have them. Great shots and words Owen!

Looking for Siddhartha said...

a beautiful dream of an old house and an amazing old man of birds!

Have a nice evening and a wonderful week-end, dear Owen!

Renée

The Sagittarian said...

Oh and best you check all your abandoned houses and garden sheds for Kiwi's escaping the shaking (or a few that may have simply fallen thru the earth-cracks and found themselves topsy turvy-like in France...)

Dee Newman said...

Good verse. Great photos. I especially like the last one.

Roxana said...

wonderful wonderful
(and at the tv now there are damaged houses from Japan, as if your post mirrored that other kind of abandonment, the forced one). my heart is heavy looking at these images, yet there is a strange peace exuded as well, and slowly i find myself entering a state of quiet contemplation and peace with time and loss. the second one left me breathless, it looks like the charcoal sketch of a delicate architect...

the watercats said...

we live in such a weird and wonderful world.. your blog always reminds me of this fact. It's been an extreme pleasure wandering round the laneways and woods.. I'm off to think about things and have a cup of tea now :-)
cheers!

FrancescPhoto said...

Fantastic shots and blog, these pictures are so beatiful!!!

Salut, Francesc, Barcelona

http://balapertotarreu.blogspot.com

Nevine said...

I loved every single photo, Owen... every single one. These are beautiful in the haunting way only you know how to do doors and windows. Enchanting and transporting... and what a lovely rest of my Sunday it's going to be... having seen these delights. No passing fling for me, either, are these doors and windows into... and out of... this ethereal world in which we live.

Thank you for sharing these treasures, Owen. :-)

Nevine

Owen said...

To one and all, all you good people, thanks from bottom of heart for these kind, compassionate, and encouraging words !!!

I had to work this weekend, and have been watching probably a few too many of the simply awe inspiring coverage of the devastation in Japan. It's been a bad year or so for earthquakes, since Haiti, twice in New Zealand, Chile, now Japan. Speechless at the destruction.

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Artscapes/Elizabeth, it would be a great honor for me if you'd like to paint any or all of these images.

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For those who picked up on the line about what else is left in life but feeding birds when one gets on in years, of course there is much much more, and many people lead very rich and active lives well beyond the age of sixty plus ten... I was speaking purely in a poetic voice, painting things perhaps a bit grimmer than they really are...
:-)

But honestly, thanks a million, you all never cease to amaze me !

Mille fois mille merci pour les lecteurs et lectrices francophones, vous êtes plus que gentille, et bien sûr il y a une vie au delà de soixante dix, je l'espère en tout cas... merci...

jeff said...

Waow ! Tu me scotches sur place avec ce post et ces photographies magnifiques ! J'adore ton noir et blanc, à tel point que tu me donnes envie d'en faire aussi...
Je suis fan de ces portes, des ces bois, de ces pierres, de ces... bouteilles...:) Ce ne sont pas les miennes ! ! !...:)
Vraiment Owen, ces photos à elles seules sont une véritable poésie ! Cet homme qui regarde cet oiseau est un texte de poésie à lui tout seul ! Tu n'avais pas montré ce genre d'images sur ton blog depuis...!
Mais j'en dis trop... Il n'y a qu'à admirer et se laisser transporter par ton regard et tes magnifiques photos...

Owen said...

Jeff, Salut pixmania man... mais non, tu ne dis jamais trop. Tu as un tel don pour débiter des phrases, des tournures, des compositions verbales en univers d'imagination et de verbes, peu de monde que j'ai vu jusqu'ici ont un tel talent... Brassens peut-être... oui, Brassens était fort pour créer des véritables poèmes, il ne brassait pas du vent, toi non plus. Dis donc, maintenant c'est moi qui parle trop. Peut-être c'est juste que je suis content de te voir...
:-)