We all experience ‘hiraeth’ without knowing the word itself.

Often, from nowhere,

an unsettling nostalgia

takes me unawares

for a place I’ve never been

and ‘one’ that I might meet there.


Triggered by a scent

or a familiar song.

Or a smiling face

spotted in a photograph

or glimpsed from a passing bus.


On a twilight train

looking through shining windows

of passing houses

wanting just a taste of their

apparent prosperity.


I envy that life

free of pain and poverty –

just mum, dad, the kids.

Sharing placid contentment.

Safety. Opportunity.


Christmas time is worst.

The overflow of goodwill

never wets my shoes

as I walk a lonely path

eyes glancing covetously


through crisp lace curtains

at gifts heaped beneath the tree.

A telly playing

to an empty chesterfield,

I wonder who will sit there


after supper’s done.

Pots washed. Settling down to watch

Coronation Street.

Send the kids to bed because

they will ruin the Bond film.


My room needs warming.

Someone’s loving hand to squeeze.

A kiss on my neck

as you pass for no reason

other than pure love for me.


I’ll love you, sweetie.

I’ll make our lives magical.

I’ll change the nappies.

I’ll sleep in the wet patches.

I’ll let you hog the duvet.


Come soon, the waiting is crippling.



© coolhermit 2023
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critique and comments welcome.
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Wow, yes, it was a long time ago now but I certainly recognise having those feelings. Very well expressed and keenly observed poem.


Hello. The title of this poem got me interested. I live in Wales and it’s a very Welsh word. The imagery of the first three verses sent me straight to my love of Hopper paintings and I got the same ‘visions’ I get when I hear Willie Nelson sing Night Life. Loved the lines ‘The overflow of goodwill never wets my shoes’ Brilliant. ‘Corontaion Street’ and ‘the Bond film’ and ‘tele’ dated it a bit for me but I loved the penultimate verse: ‘My room needs warming. Someone’s loving hand to squeeze. A kiss on my neck as you pass… Read more »


So neatly perfected this poem of yours it is a pleasure to read. Well done. coolhermit.


I spent too long sleeping in the wet patches. Now it’s all in my dreams (cleaner that way).

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