The Scene Within – a poem

I passed a house the other day and the inside of the front window was covered with flies; hundreds of them. The place looked like it had been abandoned and yet there were so many flies that I wondered where they had come from. I didn’t know the street and I walked on without doing anything, even though I had a worry that someone might have died inside. Why didn’t I do anything? Did I think it was too late already? Did I not care enough? Was it someone else’s problem? It could have been a cat or a dog, or a person could be lying dead inside. Who am I to get involved? Why are the neighbours not noticing this? Really, despite my concerns, I just passed by. What kind of person does that make me?

The fact that I’m still thinking about this makes me want to go back and check. All the flies make me think that whatever happened in that house has been over for a while but is there someone out there who is waiting to hear something?

Update: I’m contacting the Safer Neighbourhood Team to make a report and assuage my weird feelings of guilt over the matter.

For the structure of the poem, I used a dwindling syllable count for each line, starting at nine and working down to one. This gave some organisation to what I was thinking.  Hope you enjoy it.

 The Scene Within

Letter box gagging on so much junk,

The yawning rectangle, choking,

Weeks of pointless entreaties,

Special offers stuffed tight,

Win this, money off,

Nobody cares.

No one checks.

Each day,


Tobacco-stained roller blinds pulled down,

Faded pattern bleached by the sun,

Admit no curious look,

Beyond their frayed edges,

To the scene within,

Only questions,




Inside glass, pulsing layer of flies,

Climbing upward and falling down,

No sound escapes the window,

To betray that within;

The cacophany,

Fly upon fly,

Angry mob.



What grisly scene lies hidden inside,

Accompanied by foetid stench?

Phone vibrates with a sales call.

Amongst the buzzing sound

A bloated corpse lies,


No one knows,

Or cares,


They live in boxes packed together,

Those around them never knowing,

Until some bill is past due,

To what end they have come.

Then we feel guilty.

For a moment,

Really glad,

It’s not,



Thanks for reading. You can check out more of my poetry by following the links below:


The Ovens are Cold – a poem

What the Haiku! – The Complete Collection

Grass Between the Floorboards – a poem

Light Gathers Around a Low Place – a poem

Reversals of Fortune – two poems

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