Nobody’s Home Right Now

by Geoffrey Clarfield (August 2019)

Stairway, Edward Hopper, 1949




Nobody’s home right now

So why don’t you

Go into the dining room . . .

Sit down, have a drink . . .

Just don’t use the sink


If you do,

We can’t make the place look like new

Again . . .

You knew that, didn’t you?


Hold that!

No, do not throw that

Put it down, down, where there is no sound

No sound, nor sun

Down now,

Put it on the eider down


There’s a good boy

And you were a good boy,

Weren’t you?

Please stop singing,

No, not that song

“Gee up little pony

Take me around the town.”


You were behaving like a clown

A red nose with a frown

Big feet

Wrapped in a big sheet

A circus clown who just can’t climb down

Instead, you have all been going 

Round and round

Was there really any one around?

I can’t hear a sound


He  once walked into to a hat-maker’s shop

There was nobody home

Not even a mouse

All was quiet, Ah hah!

It was not the quite the right house


Was there anything left there or right?

I mean around the house . . .

It all seemed once so nice . . .

Like sweet and sour pork with rice . . .


Hey kid, “You ordered number 27 or was it 42?”

No, I said, “Give me 38 and something new.”

Does that  come with a coke?

It does not, and for your information

Here you cannot smoke


But If there’s fire there is smoke

And who said anything about hope

The heart is always filled with hope

Hope is where the heart was

His heart just could not cope


He is not home right now

And by the way, kid . . .

You can’t go home now

Not even somehow . . .

Nobody’s home right now




«Previous Article Home Page Next Article»



Geoffrey Clarfield is an anthropologist at large. For twenty years he lived in, worked among and explored the cultures and societies of Africa, the Middle East and Asia. As a development anthropologist he has worked for the following clients: the UN, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Norwegian, Canadian, Italian, Swiss and Kenyan governments as well international NGOs. His essays largely focus on the translation of cultures.

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New English Review Press is a priceless cultural institution.
                              — Bruce Bawer

Order here or wherever books are sold.

The perfect gift for the history lover in your life. Order on Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Order on Amazon, Amazon UK, or wherever books are sold.

Order on Amazon, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Order on Amazon or Amazon UK or wherever books are sold

Order at Amazon, Amazon UK, or wherever books are sold. 

Order at Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Available at Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Send this to a friend