Cottages in the Myddle

Inspired by a trip to Myddle, home to my paternal ancestors. Composed, accompanied by a pot of tea, in a Prado Lounge Café Bar.

‘Cottages in Myddle’, photographed by Jay Cool

Neglected cottages.
A terrace of three,
hidden from road’s view
by guarded bushes.
Avoiding camera’s view.

My mind travels in
between brickwork
cracked and sliding –
seeing within, its own view.

A broken hearth with

rusty pot intact,
still waiting to
share its brew

of ice-cold darkness,
of spade and broom,
of props for a splintered
table – legs for a
family strewn.

Three boys, three girls,
and an infant’s cries –
just three years lived
‘fore the life ran dry.
A young child buried
by sandstone wall.
Brick upon brick
raised up by a
father’s toil.

My grandfather, great,
a stonemason’s son.
Seven born and one, now gone,
refreshes solace with
rusty brew.

A wife’s face falls –
her pain too much
to carry on
through; her thoughts drift out to be stroked away,
as a young hand, not
yet four,

He tends his garden,
not yet middle-aged,
as one by one, three
sons take leave.

Three girls left, all
keen to follow, all keen to step
inside and beyond the prints of brothers.

A young lad  winks,
taking his girl away.

Not yet middle-aged,
a father tends his garden.

Sweet voice, a song, calls
him in: A rusty brew?
    The last I can offer
    ‘fore joining my beau.
    A transport man – I’m
    keen to travel,
says she.

He tends his garden –
one more to go.
She loves her father –
perhaps, she’ll stay?

He tends his garden,
not yet middle-aged.
But old, tired, lonely and
to a blood-red radish.

    I’m moving out –
    just up the hill.
The house he owns –
    no rent to pay!
    Come father, come!
    Come live with us!

He tends his garden,
not yet middle-aged.
A strong hand pulls
him, takes the


He still sits there
by the rusty pot.
Old bones cracked,
burnt, fragile.



My thoughts drift on      out.

Holding camera high,
I take a shot,
and snap them.

Copyright owned by Jay Cool, September 2018

Published by The Silly-Savvy Salopian

Freelance writer and descendant of the cave dweller and outlaw, Humphrey Kynaston. Banished from Shropshire for my eccentricity, I have made my home in Suffolk. I write poetry, short stories, travel journals, comedy gig reviews and non-fiction articles. My wish is to write my way back into the heart of my birth land. All writing commissions (and free holidays in Shropshire!) considered.

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