To whom it may concern
Someone Else’s House
Outside of Stithians
End of November 2017
To whom it may concern,
What happened? All the leaves came off and it got cold. There was a churning up of mud on the sides of the road. The leaves fell off and turned into mud. Another year, another layer, covering up the old stuff. I seen bare bones, great, grey, granite bones. Giants bones. Why was my people put under the ground? Dark, in the day-night. Why have you poisoned my candles? Why am I hungry?
My old man, he’s four foot six. Her old man, he’s four foot six. All our men was four foot six: never grew an inch since they was eight year old. Size of the tunnels, like a fish grows to it’s pond, our men were stunted by a closing in of rock. Bal maiden, you were tall and strong, you swing your long hammer from morning till night.
How did you steal our land? I know it was an act, an act that let you sell our land. Our common land, our own land, that we shared with each other as we needed. Enclosures Act claimed common land and now we haven’t got the land and who does own land? We don’t own land. If we try to live on land, on great, grey, granite graveyard land. You act, react, you have the acts to move us from our land, our own land, our owned land. Land we paid for in buckets of blood, in ancestral sweat. We paid for in buckets of tears from children sent down in the dark who were scared.
This land you left, chewed to the bone, emptied of tin. Some of the poorest people in Europe, not in Europe, but still in Europe. Some of the poorest, down Tucking Mill Valley, down Camborne. Dark little houses, with stupid, high rents; dirty, little streets, where we can’t afford the rent. Rent me a world, I could sit in the garden. Rent me some fields, I would grow us some vegetables. Where are the leftovers? Who are the landlords?
I want to complain but I don’t know who to. I wanted to set a few things straight. Ask a few questions. But I don’t know who’s responsible. I told the council I needed a home, they told me to get in line, fill in a form and wait; there’s about three and a half million people in front of you: my name might get to the top of the list in about 2053. Great.
I saw a drawing of what it looks like under the houses; looks like a strange sort of platform game. Straight down for a mile and it’s one tunnel over another, like wormy wood. If one tunnel collapses, all the ones on top of it collapse too; all the way up till a house, in a road full of houses, falls into the hole. Usually leaving a few walls still standing, pictures still hanging, the rest of it dust. I just want to know, who left us this legacy? Where are you now? And how do you live? Do you struggle? Do you worry about the food bank? The gas-bill? Are your kids doing alright at school?