Gutted

Put It Somewhere
Put It Somewhere

In Katja Warren Wild Posted

 

Gutted

They have removed the hearth

The ‘feature’ fireplace gapes

a hole where life could be

 

A gash in our autonomy;

These sanded lintels and stone tiles

dont fool me

This house is empty

Vacant.

 

Nowhere to kindle a fire

to feed a family

stew a poached hare

boil the nappies

heat the water for the tin bath

 

no place to sit and spin a yarn

spindle flying with the witches and woodcutters

shadows dancing on the walls

 

No stack of logs peppered with lichen

home to woodlice

who need chubby fingered help to return to the wild

 

No need for the woodcutter

and his seventh child

 

I wouldn’t have helped split old floorboards

to make kindling

clumsy with a hatchet

holding out my skinny arms

as my dad loaded them up with wood

No wooding on the pony and trap

or in the van at dusk

at the edge of an industrial estate

 

in the hedges and copses

 

teaching my daughter to recognise seasoned wood

 

the weight of a heavy ash bough

thumbnail to the grain

yes, this is going to keep us warm

 

the smell of sawn wood

rich, fresh, living and dead at the same time

 

we are not rich, but we are living.

we will revel

in the warmth, in the glow, in the knowledge

of the flames

 

We have sat pondering and talking shit

in the evening

listening to the spit and crackle

since we had to use a bow drill

to breathe fire into life

 

with songs

loud and bawdy, quiet and ancient

We are not machines

we are not warmed by LEDs

 

A house is not a home

without a heart that beats.

 

 


Poem and photography by Katya Warren Wild