When Houses Cry

     Is anyone as interested as I am, as to the history of old tumble-down and deserted houses, long-ago boarded up and left to deteriorate, that we see only through the eyes of the stranger, the passer-by?  Do you ever think about the people who once lived there?  Or, who built them? Young newlyweds perhaps, as a dream house, perfect for raising children. Or, as a “place of their own” for a couple tired of paying rent, pursuing a dream of their own. And what happened? Where did everybody go, and why? Why, and when did it cease to exist as a home, or for that matter a house  and then be reduced to the bare-boned skeleton that we see today? Did the dream die, or did the burden of life just become too much to bear? How much happiness enjoyed, or sadness endured? Tragedy, circumstance, apathy? And, have their ghosts left yet?… I was just wondering!!

 Mondays are the penance for the weekends,


When Houses Cry

Abandoned and derelict houses,

remnants of happier times,

decaying, both outside and in,

and of the dreams that they held,

there’s no sign.

No glass remains in the windows,

chimneys, no longer tall,

and the rafters, with the years,

now sagging,

are supported, by wearisome walls.

The paint, once bright and inviting,

is now bled of its color, and dry.

For that is the way, that old houses,

shed, the tears that they cry.

Yes, houses like people, can perish,

when inside, the hearth fades to cold,

and when the dream has lost,

all its meaning,

and there’s nothing left of its soul.


 Jack Downing

Mar. 2012

 Copyright© Jack Downing, aka Jake @poemsandponderings.wordpress.com. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted or disseminated in any manner without the expressed written consent of the author. JRD.3/5/12


About poemsandponderings

Hearth and Health are wonderful things and if you're without either such sorrow that brings So I cannot express enough thanks to my Lord and to my family and friends for the support you afford! ~Jack Downing~
This entry was posted in children, Family, heart and soul, history, husbands and wives, joy and sorrow, lodges, old days, stranger, tragedy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to When Houses Cry

  1. So profound! Thanks for another masterpiece, Jake = ) kudos, and aloha!

  2. Amazing… Amazing post. I love these old houses.. I drive past lots of them and I always stop and think about the life that these buildings used to live. Also makes me think about the houses we live in now and will they one day look like that. Fascinating stuff.

    • You know,, I never thought about that aspect (our current houses) I wish I had.. But it is good to know that someone thinks along the same lines as I do. Thanks for the your words Tracie..

  3. Katie says:

    I grew up in the mountains of Colorado and used to explore many of the ghost towns and those broken dreams. It’s wonderful to discover some lost relic and think about the lives that filled a place. I’m always sad when I see a poor, sad house finally ‘give up the ghost’ and lie down in the grass — to return to the earth and possibly to be reborn as another dream for someone else.

    • I know,, what made the folks move on? That is always on my mind when I see them..Somehow I always think that the “bank” was behind it, but I don’t know, there could be a multitude of reasons for it…Thanks for your comment though please feel free to do so anytime.

  4. The cries are screams in vast sections of our largest cities. The once laughter filled playground is now the market place for the dope holes.

    • Do you know what is amazing to me? Is that, I think fondly of the old houses, anywhere and everywhere and yet, I find I have no similar feeling of attachment to the concrete buildings.. Maybe because I spent some time in a veteran’s project growing up (about 6 years) and the good sense of my parents to move us to the “burbs” left me without any deep feelings of attachment to the apartment building… But it is truly sad, how the inner cities have become drug-infested and lawless. “What you know..Is what you are!!” Thanks again for your comments and perspective, right on point, as always.

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