The Old Asylum

The Old Asylum

The last incumbents long departed,
Their tortured sounds quiet
but in these walls intered
fragments of lost conversation.

Cavernous rooms, devoid of comfort,
echo with each intruder’s footfall.
The lone chair broken
and musty paper peeling

None living will know
what horrors these walls witnessed.
Odin’s ravens circling the leaden skies
their only guardians now.

Highly Commended at Slough Arts, 2011.


  1. The pain and grief are still hovering over those rooms full of absences

  2. Hi Sue, this poem is wonderful. The rhythm is that of a person stalking empty hallways and empty rooms, not quite sure what horror they might find. My grandparents were born in Iceland. I am very familiar with Odin’s hrafninn (ravens) used as messengers. Beautifully written. I’m reminded of Edgar Allan Poe, one of my favorite poets and writers. ~ Dennis

    • Thanks Dennis…this poem was inspired by a brilliant photograph by an Urban explorer of a derelict former asylum. His moniker is Odin’s Raven, which inspired me to put ravens in my poem…

  3. this describes the Riverview Hospital we had that was shut down and will be reopen again for the displaced people that now living on the street. Excellent poetry.

  4. I still have yet to share this. I haven’t forgotten this. Just so powerful.

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