Hinemoana suggested I use architectural terminology in the poems, since the house is the starting point (increasingly not, but that's another story).
I liked the idea because it might lead to something fresh, at the same time wanting to avoid using different words for the sake of the change alone. It should give a deeper meaning.
Thinking about it helped me realise that I see the house as a being, with a heart. I would like to use words related to human beings - the face of the house, its heart, its eyes - that's just the physical body - and its ability to welcome, to protect.
As I am writing this I think about the Maori concept of the wharenui...the wharenui representing the physical body of the ancestor.
I did not think this fitted at first- but now I realise maybe it is more so than I thought: my mother exclaimed when she first came in - It's like my parents' house.
A house in New Zealand is a whare.
I think of my sisters' house overseas: walking through the door is always a home-coming.