The House Breathes its Last …
The intermingling loud breathing of life has stopped.
Within the silence the dust particles are invisible.
All window shutters are engulfed in deafening stillness.
The babies have stopped crying, the cradles:
one remains tilting on three legs, the other,
rotting, eaten by woodworm and time.
The mid-wives are old, now no longer in fashion
retired in some forgotten residential home,
or buried in unknown churchyards showing only
their dates of birth and those of their demise.
Today women deliver in hospitals or in pools.
Blood then stained bed sheets, umbilical cords were cut neatly
with scissors, excitement, celebrations clinking of glasses.
Marbles no longer rolled nosily down the stairs
coloured rainbows trapped in transparent glass.
Only one remains resting at the foot of the steps
embedded in grey filth accumulated over years.
People’s ghosts are now sightless gazing sadly
on all these memories captured in time capsules.
Now its end is near, the velvet red curtains drawn,
once the owners’ pride, this house is now
a mass of creviced walls and humid cracked paint,
a discoloured time-consumed corpse.
They had carefully designed each child’s room:
fuchsia pink for girls and sky blue for boys:
now all is quiet except for the lamenting silence
shrieking in this uninhabited place with no light,
and a broken chandelier hanging on its rusty chain.
Foot prints only mark the grey marbled floors
Stained, the shine gone, its ghostly reflections dusty grey
like a sun setting after a rainstorm in the invisible light.
Then the deafening noise outside, the trembling explosion,
as the giant iron ball struck the barricading walls
protecting its privacy from the rest of the world outside.
Its lungs collapsed as it heaved a last long agonizing sigh
in a pile of gory debris where so many people lived and died:
the many life sagas, grief, joy, moments of glory, of strife
all gone in a wink of an eye like each human journey in this life.
© 2019 Raymond Fenech
Bio: Twice nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize by two different publishers in New York and Los Angeles respectively, between June and November 2017, Raymond Fenech was appointed associate editor of a New York based literary magazine.
Born in St. Julian’s Malta, Fenech embarked on his writing career at 17, freelancing for two major Maltese political newspapers, The Democrat and Il-Mument and consequently became a full time journalist with the leading English newspapers, The Times and Sunday Times of Malta.
Besides working as a freelance reporter and journalist for almost 10 years, the author left journalism in 1986 to look for pastures new and worked for the second largest advertising agency on the island.
Later he also founded The Globe Trotter Magazine which was financed by Mondial Travel Group, and was appointed editor and regular contributing writer. Ray was also an editorial consultant to Golden Gate Ltd’s magazine, Lifestyle and editor of the nation-wide distributed magazine, Living 2000.