This poem is written for a University of Glasgow competition, the theme of which is 'Homecoming'. It struck a cord with me, as I constantly feel my relationship and sense of place in Pickering or Glasgow changing with age and experience, which is hard to pin down as life in the two locations operate at very different speeds. The contrast between the two couldn't really be much greater. I wrote the poem in pentameter and it's the first I've written for a very long time... I just hope that next time it won't take a competition to entice one.
Ang-el-ic-al-ly and men-ac-ing-ly
my train crawls be-tween a house in the fields
and a flat in the street, sea-son-al-ly
I have prob-lems know-ing which to call Home.
Home-com-ing or home-go-ing, matt-ers not
the di-rec-tion, a di-lem-ma per-sists:
long-ing for ex-clu-sive com-mun-it-y
re-mains per-pet-ual-ly out of reach.
Here chal-len-ges, re-coils from, and ig-nores
There, which tea-ses, mocks, and is blind to Here.
Their grow-ing con-trast makes it diff-i-cult
to know my-self: I’m ei-ther Us or Them.
Or is mul-ti-pli-ci-ty health-i-er
than ex-ist-ing in a sing-u-lar nest;
the poss-ib-il-it-y for se-lect-tion
is a si-tu-a-tion u-nique-ly mine.
Home-com-ing or home-go-ing, I’m not sure
I be-long to Here AND be-long to There,
as to one I’m too old and to one too new.
Or in fact am I att-ached to the two?