Scarborough Gypsy

Rookie - 3 Points (2nd October / London)

Windows - Poem by Scarborough Gypsy

We were in a house, my father and I
A large old house upstairs
Narrow hallways, high ceilings,
Windows

In a row of empty chairs, we sat down side by side
Before us stood carefully arranged music stands
And beyond the stands a single window

Though musicians were absent a concert would commence
Seated we waited as the water crept about our feet
I looked down to see dark liquid rising rapidly
Panic filled my heart
We had to get out quick

Moving to the window I peered through the glass
And saw a sea of rooftops like pyramids in a desert
Over my shoulder I looked back at my father
In slow motion I mouthed the words
“Dad, we have to get out quick”.

The confusion of here and now flooded my mind
A foreign bed and the dawn
Of another Australian morning
My England abandoned six months before
Sydney sunlight sneaked through a gap in the curtain
Befuddled thoughts swam around inside my head
Then gradual realisation sank in

It WAS just a dream

I slipped back into reality and lay there
Trying to piece it all together.

One year later
Remote Queensland country town
One pub, one shop
One heritage listed historic home

Gold coin donation at the door I enter
Landscapes by local artists
Trance like I ignore them
Focus fixed on stairs
I start the climb above sea level

Like wading through water,
Legs feel heavy
Alone I stand in bare empty room
Hair prickles, Goosebumps
A shiver runs down my spine

Moving to a window I peer through the glass
And see a sea of rooftops like pyramids in a desert
Over my shoulder I look back at the stairs
Panic fills my heart
I have to get out quick

Pale as a ghost I return to the lobby
Woman is seated behind small desk
Though my voice is just a whisper
Still I manage to make myself heard

“That room at the top, what was it used for”?
The answer of course, I already know

“That was the music room,
the father taught the children there”

With one step back my jaw falls open
I gasp for air
But start to speak

“Has this house ever been flooded”?

Woman smiles

In slow motion she appears to move
Pointing, she turns to the wall behind her
Framed newspaper cuttings hang above her head
I watch her mouth as it moves
But her words sound like someone talking under water
I cannot understand what she is saying

What is she saying

I can only make out some words

……………..1902………….
flood…………………………… ………
……………………father……………..
daughter…………………….

Suddenly I can hear her clearly
I catch the tail end of what she says
And her words trickle into my ears

“……………………………sadly they both drowned”


Comments about Windows by Scarborough Gypsy

  • (2/26/2006 9:42:00 AM)

    Fascinating! If I have strange dreams today, I'll put them down to your poem. Julia (Report)Reply

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  • (6/28/2005 5:05:00 PM)

    Surreal, exciting, a bit scary, and extremely well written. I had an e-mail from Alfred Hitchcock, he wants the film script rights. Well done Gyps, great to see your work again. And as the actress said to the bishop, keep it up! Fondly, Jerry (Report)Reply

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  • (6/26/2005 7:55:00 AM)

    Strange and surreal, it gave me goose pimples. Very good. (Report)Reply

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, June 26, 2005



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