Dreamhome by Jonathon Penny

J.Penny image for Dreamhome

I wish I had a home—
No, not my own—
A place I’d shared with others
All the summers of my life
Or all the winters.

But, as it stands, the candidates
Are fallen into disrepair
(False friends!), or usurped by
Some false, pretending owner
(Who would, her eyes askance,
Refuse me ingress or relief),
Or scattered as the family bones.

I wish I had a home
(the one I wish I’d shared
for all those summer
or those winter years)
That would stand fallow in a field

Beside a copse,
Or on some mountain lee,
Some Innisfree, some beach,
And wait for them and me.
There would be water, somewhere:
A burbling well, a brook or river,
Lake or ocean swell.

There would be noise of Nature:
Warm, earthen voices wise and wild
And winsome as the day were long
(Or short, if it were winter).
And neighbours not too near.

But neighbours, yes
(though not too close),
Whose fruitfall memories
Would hold our pictures still:
Our names, our faces, and our deeds
As we were young, or would have been,
As once, in fact, we were.

A place with weeds, and haunted
By the dustshroud shades,
Funicular, we would have rigged
That long lost summer
(or that winter) when we last
Shut up the place (or would have)
With our longing, and with laughter.


Jonathon Penny and familyUntil recently, Jonathon lived and taught English literature in the United Arab Emirates. He is now home in Canada, where he works on transfer credit policy and college pathways for Wilfrid Laurier University, and dreams of the classroom, which he misses acutely. He serves as amanuensis to Percival P. Pennywhistle, PhD, as poetry editor at WIZ, as husband to a marvelous woman, and father to three sons. Several of his poems and short fictions have found homes around the web and in print. More are on the way: widows, orphans, urchins, and angels among them.


Photo at top of page by Frank Penny. An early arrangement, not long arrived in Canada: the poet’s mother and two eldest siblings.


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