Thursday, 25 July 2013


Airmyn Hall, ballroom, Tolly, copyright Paul Houston

I’ve just been pointlessly browsing the antiques on ebayagain, which reminded me of this poem I wrote last year.  After buying a little table I discovered was cobbled together from a square piano.

In answer to a question no-one’s asked me,
Namely what’s that table doing under there?
Then here’s the answer, truly stated,
That I know it’s odd but I don’t care!
Though only cellarettes go under sideboards,
On occasion one just has to break the rules,
The space beneath is really too inviting,
Just made for log baskets and little stools,
And the fluting goes so well with the gadrooning,
And it fits so very nicely underneath,
And the rosewood frieze contrasts with the brass beading,
And the sunswirl paterae (or are they floral?)
Both such archetypal regency motifs,
And I know deep in my heart that it’s immoral,
Spending money I myself have never earned,
On a thing I must confess was once a piano,
And I wouldn’t really want to start a quarrel,
But that concave drawer, so typical of Gillows,
The eb’ny knobs, concentric rings so nicely turned,
They just called to me through cyberspace on ebay,
One day when my resistance was quite low,
And though I turned and hid my face within the pillows,
I just wanted it I could not let it go!

So here it sits, so prettily ‘neath the sideboard,
A mahogany pedestal to either side,
Serving as reminder lest I need it,
Things aren’t always what they seem when first espied,
But the fluting goes so well with the gadrooning,
And the brass bead lends a military air,
And one shouldn’t miss the chance to rhyme dragooning,
When it’s handed to one fair and square.

Sunday, 21 July 2013


All Saints, Holme-upon-Spalding Moor, Yorkshire, copyright Paul Houston

Sunday morning in the high church yard,
At Holme on Spalding Moor above the wold,
The organ sounding out, not too impaired,
By sealed in years of damp, decay and mould,
A spreading cedar tree guarding the graves,
Its blue-grey-green contrasting with the yews,
The hymns resound in warm contralto waves,
From farmers wives on regimented pews,
And I am here refreshed by summer’s breeze,
Moved by ancient forces and impelled,
To stop and wait and listen to the trees,
And know that here all human time is held,
As nothing next to this resistless calm,
Immune to hours, elder scented balm.