Thursday, 14 April 2016


“Home is where the heart is.” - Pliny the Elder

This week, PoetsUnited has its theme the concept of “Home”.

Over 100,000 Australians will be homeless tonight Half of them are under 24 years old and 10,000 are children. That 1 in 40 children under five use a homeless service each year is quite astounding for a first world country like Australia. The largest single cause of homelessness in Australia is domestic and family violence, which overwhelmingly affects women and children. Most preventable homelessness is caused when people exit from institutions into unstable housing situations. The waiting list for public housing is 16 years, while for people at extreme risk the waiting time is 12 – 18 months.

I often think how lucky I am not to have experienced this tragic state of affairs first hand. Having a home to go to every night and to be able to enjoy the creature comforts that we all take for granted is quite an immense gift. When the weather is bad, when the wind howls, the rain pelts down, when the cold reaches zero degrees, which of us safe in our warm homes thinks of those without a home to go to?

Please help by donating what you can so that some relief can be provided to the homeless.

Here is my poem of gratitude for having a home to come to every night and even more gratitude that it is a place that is full of love…

Happy at Home

The simple joy of winter sunshine,
Drying the rain-soaked earth.
The warmth of freshly-laundered clothes,
The dryness of shoes without holes in their soles.

The knowledge that a light will be on at home
When I return there after work.
A greeting, a kiss, the smile when I get back,
And the glow of being loved and loving in return.

The satisfaction of knowing that a sprain
Is the extent of my ill-health.
The smell of a simple tasty meal on my table,
Its appetising sauce the fact that it was cooked with love.

That I turn on the tap and have running water,
That I have warmth in my home in winter.
The knowledge that when I listen to the news
All bad news will be from far away.

The simple contentment of the ripe oranges
Hanging golden on the tree in my winter garden.
The fresh flowers in the vase,
The music that I can play when I want to.

My job, my friends, my colleagues, my associates,
All of my life, so gratefully being lived.
The tears that might flow now and then,
Being tears of joy, compassion, sympathy, not of sadness…


  1. Thank you for this Nicholas - it really puts 'our' position in perspective..sometimes it's easier to say what we don't have - not what we do and how easy it is to lose even more - or everything

  2. Nicholas, we definitely need to remind ourselves that we are so very fortunate in being able to sleep in a warm place, have running water, etc. Sometimes we take our homes for granted, and your poem is a reminder that we should not.

  3. the humbling note is very touching reminding us to be grateful for the blessing of a home which many have not....

  4. Thank you especially for the oranges. I love both your note about homelessness and this recounting of the blessings of home.

  5. A national disgrace..I am ashamed.
    I am ashamed when this situation of homelessness could be easily rectified in a wealthy country like ours.
    It makes me angry.We have no compassion and we will be punished.