• Richard James Allen


My Mother’s House


I don’t know if my mother can see them,

but this house is full of spiders.

I counted at least eight active webs

tucked into the corners of the bathroom.

Perhaps she doesn’t see them.

Or perhaps she enjoys their company,

busy little workers, keeping house like her.

They don’t ask questions either,

hanging on to what seems like nothing.




The Neighbour


Death has started visiting me of late,

lingering in the corners, and sometimes

butting obtrusively into conversations,

like an angry neighbour you had forgotten about

whose moods never change.


Suddenly I am not too young

to have such drop-ins unannounced,

though I won't let him stay long,

not for now at least, not while I still

have the strength to tell him to go home.