The house that Jane built

(100-word poem)

I smile and laugh and pretend
I am a welcoming house but lest
you knock be warned, the door
is tightly shut. The windows too are

barred, the fence extra-high. I believe
the curtains keep the light safely
outside. Where the world shimmers
and flashes in and out of chimeras,

a charming but false lover. At least the
darkness inside is unwavering,
a companion constant. Where truths
emerge and shine. A steadfast lover,

just like the razor, always beckoning,
flashing at me the allure, tantalising,
of the release to be found in steel cutting
through skin and vein and sinew.


I am one of the lucky ones to have escaped depression but people in my family do suffer and every once in a while, I try to get into their heads. Overall, it has been a hard week, with NZ back to having Covid cases and I guess we are all getting a bit tired of struggling with the news. So, thank you Rochelle for this lovely interlude of Friday Fictioneering. It does bring a lot of cheer. 🙂

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48 comments on “The house that Jane built

  1. A perfect metaphor. Hope you are feeling better, and you should be thankful the way NZ has dealt with this crisis – an example to the rest of the world. Stay safe.

  2. Love your use of the word “chimera”–I don’t see it often. I got the metaphor very clearly. I hoped you weren’t writing about yourself, but it’s just as sad that you have family members who struggle with depression. Good writing!

  3. This is so sad. The worst part of depression is the sense of isolation, that locked in feeling, that you bring out so vividly and is wonderfully communicated!

  4. A very nice touch, wanting to keep the light out of the house because it would glint against the blade, Jolly. Sorry to hear NZ is getting new cases. They are ramping up again here in MI also. The pandemic is pandepressive also from what I’ve seen 😦

  5. Your poem evokes deep emotion and describes for me depression so well. It is a dark and lonely affliction for many. I’m sorry about your family members who struggle with it. I’m also sorry it has been a hard week for you there in NZ. Stay safe, stay well!

  6. You gave a terrific assessment of a house, its personality and a super metaphor of the human condition. I’m also happy you escaped depression, too.
    Wonderful story, Joy!

  7. Hauntingly beautiful. Depression runs in my family, too. Stay up. It’s like addiction. You can escape it, but it’s always following, trying to get back in.

    I heard NZ had new COVID cases. That’s why we can’t have nice things. “Let’s go to New Zealand. It’s clean there.” “Don’t forget to pack the COVID.” Was it James Cameron?

    • Thanks Nobbin 🙂 I have always wondered why my family members are not able to rid themselves of the black dog. Yours is an insight I never considered, it’s an addiction. Hmmmm…. I guess the body gets used to that state of mind.

      I don’t think it was the Avatar crew, but it could be Americold 😦

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