February 1, 2023


Writer's Showcase

A House Is Not A Home

2 min read


Pennar and Newbridge in the Rhondda, are in my mostly maternal family’s DNA, and elements descend down into the ‘bones’ of we the surviving family members. That is why the memories I describe hold so much meaning. These people are, were, very influential in my life.




Buckets of slag have ceased to fly.

Don doesn’t whistle as he passes by
Old TY Pennar at night –
His signal that all was well.
He’s a richer man with money,
But poorer for the loss of his Alice
Who lays old in an early grave.

Aunt Jess, too, no longer there,
Where, at a few months age,
Mother displayed me with pride
Atop a blanket on the front lawn
Twixt grandma, and the greater –
Four generations shuttered still.

Dear Miss Colebrook doesn’t smile
Nor give me a kiss from her bed.
Her windows have been changed,
Her roof renewed in slate,
Mod cons installed a’plenty,
But only now she’s gone!

Dear Aunt Marge doesn’t sit
On the wall out front, where
Gran and Grandad stood proud –
With a ginger Cat about their feet


When all was well in their world.
When Grandma’s arms could
Make me feel at home.

It’s all changed.
They’re all entombed.
Including mum,
Who was Ninety-Five,
Then marooned in a ground-floor flat
At nearby Pontllanfraith.

… but the green, green grass remains.


© Allen Ansell 2022



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6 thoughts on “A House Is Not A Home

  1. Brilliant Allen. A sad-sweet evocation of memory and family; and at its heart a remembrance of a time and place now lost. And yet, these folk still live in memory.

  2. You have revised this. But it is a really interesting poem to read again and again. This shows how much love you have for your family and how lovely you are. And it conveys that you are a family-oriented person. The more I read, the more I feel your emotions for your family members, and it seems that you have spent your childhood in the midst of intense love from your family members. Your loving family is the root of who you are today, in my opinion. We know that an individual’s personality is shaped by their family. So, to build a good personality like yours, everyone needs a home, not a house.

    1. Well, I really do agree that what has gone before has made us what we are now. Sometimes that events and people who helped mold us were not harmonious with our vibration at the time: The resulting discordance nevertheless need not necessarily have a permanent detrimental effect on us.

  3. You have such a unique way to express your feelongs and ypur love for your family and the loss you have experienced. Thank you for this poem and for all the great memories throughout the years.

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