When we took on this depleted place
We bought from a family of gypsies.
Something had brought a glow to our face
Not thinking of ghouls and ghosties.

The builders took their time to remedy,
Repair, replace, and fix the ceiling,
While we travelled down an hour each day
To take stock of the paint a-peeling.

But then one day we heard an enormous crash
The biggest ceiling fresh with smooth plaster
Fell on the fireplace scattering soot and ash,
Covered red faces black and white with anger.

No one smoked inside the house and hall
But often we caught a hint of cigar
We had thirteen doors replaced in all,
And a shadow disappeared up the stair.

When all the work was done and dusted
With every room decorated and curtained,
All pictures hung and furniture disported
A strange and chilling feeling was reported.

We felt the presence of the grandfather!
A strong man who did not want to leave,
Enjoyed his smoke, decided he would rather
Stay. His need to leave he did not believe!

Despite the cleansing with sacred sage
He would hide for a while in his secret dance,
Then reappear like some thespian on a stage
We’re now so used to his sudden performance!

When we depart we hope to lead by our example
But knowing him he will remain in his own castle.
So we must leave him to enjoy the new people
And trust they will accept his smoky, ghostly gamble!
© David Tenneson 2013.


About David

Devonian writer
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6 Responses to THE GRANDFATHER

  1. eugene1492 says:

    Hi Cat .. David has explained correctly what the Spanish “Gipsies” are called .. they are “Gitanos” and have been in Spain for centuries.
    They usually prefer to live among themselves rather than among the “Payos” ( the non gypsies ). and that’s why we were so surprised to find them here in a small hamlet surrounded by local farmers who did not appreciated their way of life at all.
    Now reading about the fact that you didn’t know your grand’parents , reminds me of my own father, aunt and grand’mother .. who were sent to the extermination camps before I was born.
    As you feel very Gipsy, I feel very Jewish … and I noted that our roots are in the East.. yours in Russia, mine in poland. It’s a strange thing how roots can be so strong but so it is and I would certainly not want it otherwise.
    What the Gipsy Grand’Father is concerned,, let me tell you that we have spoken to him and he promised to leave the house but did not keep his promise for long, while he came back..I am sure he must enjoy our presence..
    David think that he has elected domicile for good in this house .. but I know he will go as soon as we leave. He knows we believe in him and that’s what he likes. So.. we should make him feel welcome, as long as he behaves.
    That’s all folks…

    David I loved you poem as I do all your writings, Thank you for the ability you have to put feelings into words.
    Love and blessings to you, David,and to all those who will read this blog.



  2. Loved your poem on your haunting by Grandfather… Some choose to hang around,… While I do not wish to take the next journey just yet! 🙂 I am looking forward to seeing my new home, and will not give a second thought this one, only the people in it.. 🙂
    Wonderful David… and its that time of year again…. as we delve into the ghostly tales 🙂
    I hope you are well my friend and good to catch up with you 🙂


    • David says:

      There were others at our first house here I Spain and we have since learned that one of the reasons for bringing us here was for their benefit as we understand where they are coming from! Love, David


  3. cat says:

    Th word “gypsy” caught my eye right away … naturally, since I am one … what do you mean by gypsy … Roma … Sinti … ? I never met my grandfather … he died young … tackling a bull in 1933 … I never met my grand mother either … she died young … being” tackled” by some Russians in 1945 …


    • David says:

      Gypsy covers them all I guess from Ireland to Asia but the local term of Gitano is for the Romani though no longer nomadic. To find them in our isolated villa was unusual and sadly they could not afford to stay and are now back with their brothers and sisters in the Elda area. Various members of their family come round about every 6 months or so to see what we have done to the place still retaining the link, maybe through grandfather. Love, David


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