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  • Allan Lake

Allan Lake: Nothing Withheld

Source: Unsplash, downloaded (14.2.2021.)

Nothing Withheld

My not-so-old neighbor found living

a burden so quietly dropped it last week.

Ordinary things in this 1950’s blonde brick

block of single bedroom flats annoyed

then tormented her. A nose blowing,

door closing in the wind. Her ceiling

was someone’s floor; listen them heels.

Her bedroom wall / someone else’s wall

and they sometimes scream at a screen

because family lives in another country.

It’s no convent so no vows of silence

or abstinence of any kind. I hear neighbours

occasionally doing things with occasional

guests but they also say, Hi! or Nice day

when we meet at mailboxes. Neighbourly.

If I awake feeling blue after disturbed sleep,

I go for a dazed walk after breakfast;

I’m not a prisoner but routine’s the same

if I awake feeling any other colour.

By the time I get round the park,

there’s generally change within.

One moves and moves on and there’s

a next coffee up ahead. I re-enter beehive,

renewed, knowing there’s a dab of honey.

Not so the frazzled empress of next door.

She has departed for a smaller, quieter

place with perfectly silent residents.

About the Author: Originally from Saskatchewan, Allan Lake has lived in Vancouver, Cape Breton, Ibiza, Tasmania & Melbourne. Poetry Collection: Sand in the Sole (Xlibris, 2014). Lake won Lost Tower Publications (UK) Comp 2017 & Melbourne Spoken Word Poetry Fest 2018 & publication in New Philosopher 2020. Chapbook (Ginninderra Press 2020) My Photos of Sicily.


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The image of Quasimodo is by French artist Louis Steinheil, which appeared in  the 1844 edition of Victor Hugo's "Notre-Dame de Paris" published by Perrotin of Paris.


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