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Showcase: Looking For Home + Where Is Home + Back Home + Milkshake Of The Mind + Isolation

By Diya Padiyar

Last week, we explored the theme of ‘Home’ and how it means different things to people, especially teenagers like me, who not only conceive things differently but whose ideas and notions keep evolving.

I believe this is very apt for our theme. The definition of ‘Home’ not only changes from person to person but also through time.  If there’s one idea I wish to put forward in my  series of these showcases, it’s that home is transient. 

Even when we leave home, we carry a part of it with us. We rediscover it in places we settle and, even if we don’t, we long for it. When we feel homesick, it’s the idea of belonging we miss the most. 

The subject of finding home or finding where we belong is closely linked to mental health. Often the peace and solace we long for can be found at home. Finally, ‘Home’ is also found in places we’re truly happy, or with people we’re truly happy with. 

In the course of today’s Showcase, I hope I can evoke some happy memories for you. The first piece I wish to share with you explores the idea of finding home.  

Looking For Home

In those four walls, time stopped. There was no before, no after. There was just that moment, that second, that breath, that heartbeat. The world reduced to those few thousand square feet of space cluttered with memories, trauma, laughter and tears. Those four walls were the entire universe.

Those four walls are no more, and the universe is as endless as they say it is.

Home was a word that was hard for them to understand, as they sat on the sandy shores of a beach, the golden sand sticking to their salt-soaked skin, uncomfortable but familiar in the way they clung on. The sound of crashing waves was somehow calming and haunting at once, each new wave unpredictable in which emotion they would bring about.

Hills felt different, the thinner air made them feel lightheaded, liberated. There were no walls but lots of earth, and it felt comforting for a few moments, till they looked down, and saw the abyss they always feared. If the universe never ended, they would never know all of it, and that scared them. If four walls held their universe, then it was knowable, it was comfortable, it was home.

In the city, there were plenty of walls; concoctions of wood, steel and concrete. They tried to find home in them, but they felt just as lifeless as the people that walked by them in the streets. The walls were finite, but felt suffocating instead of welcoming and it confused them. Home was four walls to them. Four walls where they knew every centimetre, but somehow that wasn’t enough.

It would long for them to find home. Funnily enough, it would come in the same brick walls of the city they thought foreign. Knowing the space wasn’t enough; it would have never been. The trinkets that populated every free surface, the messy kitchen, the messier bedroom, they would become home. The tears and laughter would embellish the doorjamb like height markings. The trauma would barge in and make itself home in the corners where dust settles adamantly, too hard to sweep away. The memories would pile up in albums and film, holding within them the universe they built for themselves.

Their world ended where they wanted it to. Home was not a place for them to find, but one for them to make.

© Nadia Sadiq, 2022


Anything we consider home becomes an intangible part of ourselves. Often, we carry a part of home with us wherever we go, in the form of culture or habits. When we feel estranged, we are reminded of home by the simple things in life that are dear to us. Here’s a poem written by me, which explores this idea. I hope you enjoy it. 

Where Is Home? 

Mother’s  lap
Lover’s  arm
Father’s shoulder
             is home?
             can I rest?
             can I come back to       after a weary


            I came back
                                 as promised
            I came back
                                “home”    And I can smell
the butter of cookies
                                                 Like the ones
my grandmother made
But        the jars               are empty
I can hear the water             being pulled
from the well                that has been dry
for years              Thirsty by the absence
of mouths                  that both she and I
                long for

I can feel my mother’s dupatta
Swirl on my face                    as the wind blows
but where is
the song
the rhythm
the rhyme
that the wind here
was known for?
the song of this land my land
taught me to sing 

What have I come back to?
 I haven’t reached home
                                               I think
I am close enough close enough
to hear the waves on its shores 

                  But the water lacks salt
                  And the sand lacks strength
                                               I think
I am miles and miles              and miles away 

                 But my feet is soiled with sand
                 That glitters the reflection of stars
                                               I think   
I walked                ahead
I left it                   behind
I walked miles and miles        and miles
           in search of something
I’ve always known to be         so transient 

I left
          home         in search of
          home         Then where do I go
back?          Where is

I carry home along                       I carry home
on the shores
                              Where the sand
                                                    glitters my feet
                              Where I hear
                                                    the waves
descending from my land            as if coming along with me
                              wherever       I go
or                           wherever       the sea goes
or                           wherever       the water goes
In the well                   where my thirst is fulfilled
or              in the jars                of butter cookies
          and in the             embroidery of dupattas 

I carry            home          along
Wherever I go        home
is not where I settle          home
is where I fly                                home
is where I am                   resting 

© Diya Padiyar, 2021

You can connect with me on Instagram: @teenagerwritings


The idea of coming back home has always fascinated me. The news of cousins or family returning home has always brought joy.  So, next, I’d like to present another poem by Mary Walsh, a regular contributor to Write On! Any place you call home, even for a brief time, becomes deeply associated with your idea of home. This idea is beautifully put forth by Mary in her poem. 

Back Home

Home is a country you left
Many years have passed
It is still home
“Going home for the holidays”
A saying for you
Home is where your parents are
Your roots are
Your beginning is
Your memories are
Memories of leaving
One bag packed
A teddy
A photo
A long bus ride
An uncertain future
Foreign languages
Then settling
New home
But part of you remains
Back Home

© Mary Walsh, 2022

Connect with Mary on Instagram: @marelwa60


Changing gears a little, it was World Mental Health Day on Monday, 10th October. The idea of home and family is closely linked with mental health. This is because home symbolises positivity, love and care; what the heart longs for, in fact. 

On days we feel low, we long to go back to places we feel loved and cared for. However, it’s necessary to care for yourself the same way you’d want others to care for you. Remember, our body is our first home and we need to cherish it. 

In these next two pieces, Pen to Print family member, Eithne Cullen, uses poetry to create awareness around mental health issues. In the first poem, she shares an interesting recipe for a milkshake of the mind. 

Milkshake Of The Mind

Keep to your bubble
and stretch your
imagination in all
directions, mix
the ingredients
of the milkshake
of the mind
and follow the
central themes
the threads
that bind us
like the flow
of moving water
and its beautiful
innocent ways

© Eithne Cullen, 2021

The next poem is a piece from the pandemic, when we missed home and human interaction the most. It goes without saying, people’s mental health was severely affected. 


We know ourselves
through community
and in isolation we
are cut off from
who we are. The
doors are locked
and conversation
moves to screens
and there are no
hugs or handshakes –
air between us –
social distance
and distrust, don’t
cough or sneeze on me –
and when you have
to wear a mask
don’t waste a smile,
it won’t be seen.

© Eithne Cullen, 2021

Connect with Eithne on Instagram: @eithnecullen57 and Twitter: @eithne_cullen


Lastly, I wish to share a sketch by Rhyv, exploring the idea of home. This image features a person with a telescope overlooking the earth below him, while being curious about the space above. The image makes me wonder whether he finds home among the stars, or on the land below?

© Rhyv Cota, 2019

Connect with Rhyv on Instagram: @rhyv_cota_art


If you’d like to see your writing appear in the Write On! Showcase, please submit your short stories, poetry or novel extracts to:

You can read the latest issue (14) of Write On! here.

Hear extracts from Showcase in our podcast. Write On! Audio. Find us on all major podcast platforms, including Apple and Google Podcasts and Spotify. Type Pen to Print into your browser and look for our logo or find us on Anchor FM.


If you or someone you know has been affected by issues covered in our pages, please see the relevant link below for ​information, advice and support​:

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