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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
One of four linked poems about my father's madness. The other three are: 20 Years in Hell, The Great Escape, and Witchery. Witchery is the best, but hardest to understand of the four.

Submitted: January 18, 2011

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Submitted: January 18, 2011



I never thought we’d get away alive
From Hell House and all its horrors,
After eight years under a monster’s thumb
Our lives knew only mounting sorrows.

In ‘68 a Western Gate set upon us
To sweep the sanity from our lives,
Forcing us to Hell House in Williamstown
Where for more’n eight years we did reside.

An evil place down by the sea
Hannan Street was that awful place,
A place where only sorrow flourished
Where ‘gainst our will we had to stay.

Under Muggsly’s insane iron thumb
We children too afraid to pray,
And too cowered down to try to leave
This empty, soulless, evil place.

A brutal tyrant gave us orders
And in terror we’d blindly obey,
The mandates of a blackened soul
So deeply were we all afraid.

The skies were gloomy, ever gray
In Williamstown the sun never shines,
It’s perpetually in a twilight state
Or so it seemed in those evil times.

No sunshine fell upon our lives
In those dark and dirty days,
When Muggsly had us in his grip
And all of us were naught but slaves.

Around the living room we would seek
Finding alcohol in bottles or cans,
Hidden from our youthful eyes
By an evil, bloated, monstrous man.

A secret drinker; a blatant fiend
Muggsly kept us terrorised,
Denise, Cheryl, John and Mum
Their will to flee was paralysed.

He had us carrying bricks and tools
Mixing mortar from sand and cement,
From when we were only little ones
Until our backs were scarred and bent.

Pushing barrows full of bricks
Digging ditches, then laying mortar,
seven AM to nearly midnight
Till our flesh was black as tar.

John and I would go out walking
Just after lunch on some Sundays,
Then we would returned long after dinner
To have to hear Muggsly’s endless raves.

Till the night in 1976
When Denise, John and I made a break,
Almost carrying Mum out with us
As we made the great escape.

Through the streets down to Yarraville
We fled the horror with our belongs,
Hoping all the while Muggsly would stay out
Until our caravan was safely gone.

Regent Street we stayed to live
Escaped the horrors of Hell House,
Still afraid Muggsly might find us
For two years we still were cowered.

But in time our mem’ries faded
And the horrors seemed lesser then,
And we hoped we would never see
The day we’d meet Muggsly again.

© Copyright 2011
Philip Roberts

© Copyright 2017 Philip Roberts. All rights reserved.