Poetry Blog by John E Marks
Poems that do not rhyme often
Do not help themselves - considering -
Poems that deal with obscure sibjects
Such as by-gone times and dead people fail
To engage the attention of those who'd.
Choose to focus on supermarkets, special deals
Buying stuff online and being a very BIG part
Of a WhatsApp group that crosses generations
And sexual orientations. .
If you think you'r...
Saturday 20th October 2018 12:34 am
He is but what he is, nobody cares;
Friends forget easily what he might
Have been. And all thought falls into
Tears. Dreams I had, come and go,
Leaving nothing but the faintest
Impress of my hair upon a pillow.
Shadows flit across the static air
And leave me resting here in mid-air.
My dreams remain the same from night
To day, scorning the nothingness of day-to-day...
Friday 19th October 2018 11:06 pm
At the pomana - the death feast - I missed him
Some call us Gypsy, people without a home,
But I am Romani and I live with a chavi, a chel,
A girl and we carry our home in our hearts
And we will never-ever part. My familia is my
World. The gorgers love greed, like pigs,
But without the dignity of a whole pig.
Dear heart I speak Polari to you. Gorgers
Love money and por...
Friday 19th October 2018 9:57 pm
The red-gold glow
of stormy autumn
leafy-mist lights this late
October dawn recalling him,
to the design hidden in words,
which swirl like smoke
rising from a fire, from a pipe,
tended by an old man in a black suit
the front of which is bedecked with medals
time-ridden, he is missing, gone missing in 1913;
this fleeting meeting with the present
Friday 19th October 2018 1:10 am
More than five rugby teams' worth, of men, every week, dead by their own hands,
Young men mostly, three times as many men as women,
Nearly 6000 a year, 60,000 over a decade and....
Using the traditional routes to oblivion - hanging from a tree, opening the arteries, being free with the pills
A closed garage and exhaust fumes, jumping off high-rise flats, bridges, cheap thr...
Sunday 14th October 2018 11:52 pm
Don’t let the fat white males into this land
They have no concept of stewardship
They think they can own the air and the land.
Watch them massacre the holy bison:
The white buffalo is dead
Their bodies rot under the sun.
These men have no respect for themselves:
They are rapists and child-killers. They spoil
All the Great Spirit has bequeathed us.
They are a scourge to t...
Sunday 14th October 2018 12:07 am
A bride's beauty surpasses all
The love farmer can say
I said she was a human person
And that destiny is the fruit of love.
When the crowd gathered and saw her,
They cheered and sang songs.
When love is a glory and men
All bodes well.
There is no war.
We all have a country
And a heart beat of dreams
Music makes us cry out loud
And love is curtailed
Friday 12th October 2018 11:45 pm
We have eaten rats during this seige
The Goths want us acquiesce to Christian suzerainty.
They never tell us why we should do so
We have our music, poetry, wine, gardens and our beautiful women.
And beauty gives light like lamps to one travelling in the dark.
Makes one wake up, notice a sparkling jewel
A pearl from the deeps of a distant ocean
A rarity of dreams:
Friday 12th October 2018 10:34 pm
Κύριε, ἡ ἐν πολλαῖς ἁμαρτίαις περιπεσοῦσα γυνή,
τὴν σὴν αἰσθομένη θεότητα,
Oh Lord, my God, I fell asleep
No longer in a state of grace
No longer a beautiful woman
Beloved by the Emperor,
But a harlot, like Mary Magdalene,
A sister of the Christ
Dazzled by the myrrh,
By an acre of sorcery, by a terrible moon
By a time of the month.
Nothing is too soon.
Give me your t...
Friday 12th October 2018 9:51 pm
The snow and ice have melted long ago, already the grass returns to fields of
gold. So why am I still shivering?
The seas and rivers change their courses, and flow awry. So why am I turned to stone?
Faeries and elves stir up their sisters into
dance. So why cannot I move my legs today?
Immortality seizes man's imagination. So can I live another day?
And why do I c...
Friday 12th October 2018 1:42 am
Endurance is a flower
A bulb in winter’s depth
A rare-repeated wonder:
A sin we must forget.
In this world-of-make-believe:
Cancer, the death of children,
Are falling autumn leaves.
I see a road before me
A road I walk in vain
A road through Trawden, Lancashire
A road that's not the same.
All roads lead to heaven
Tuesday 9th October 2018 8:11 pm
Curlews cry, an Aegean sky: a boat
lifts and falls.
The heat of noon, a lethargic
gloom, she's tracked with light this star-struck night.
Moon-shadows cast, it's cool at last, this sweep
and swell, this road to hell.
The ship's becalmed
with false alarms, this attic night of bone-white light:
no palimpsest, no Grecian zest.
A sapphic wind balloons the moon, fans the fog's
Tuesday 9th October 2018 4:15 am
the sadness of sundays
reds, yellows, browns and golds
of stormy autumn
and as I walk
I have in mind
the fragility of a veined
and who am I to resist
Tuesday 9th October 2018 3:43 am
the high fells are clear
out of it today
as I glance
down to the valley floor
your dress waves a wind-blown
which itch of memory did the damage
the high fells, your dress
this hot afternoon
but I lean on the Regent's park
sleep and remember.
Friday 5th October 2018 10:59 pm
from earth to earth, from air to air,
never at home
scored by the passing blocks of ice
an earth, torn from the permafrost,
this is where the old sun can sting me back
as I hear children laugh
in the rich meadowland
and this is where I can hear
fear calling its long retreat
and this is where
the very gods of earth ...
Friday 5th October 2018 10:14 pm
The ghosts who buy memories settle on
The tones of the big bell settled in the dust
Of this small market town in County Meath
And, on the stained glass window, still
We see the sun-marked
Resonance of bell --
Circles of uninscribed sound
Through all the cerebral centuries
Chimes and chants for Christ the King
Chimes of crucifix, pyx and plate -
These bells ...
Friday 5th October 2018 9:28 pm
At the end of time I will rise
Like today, go about my business,
Talk to children, smile sometimes.
The sky - the real sky - shall shelter
And storm the earth still.
Black soil shall breed many satans still
Azure clouds, from which no rain falls,
Shall mass on far-horizons threateningly.
Large drops of rain shall fall, freezing into ice,
Angels will lie about their where...
Friday 5th October 2018 7:33 pm
A flick of her tail
Showed more uncluttered love
Than a lifetime's worth of empty 'Hellos'.
As Aeschylus implied so-long ago
There is no type or condition
Of suffering or pain
Which is not made worse
By re-calling the good times
Times languorous,meandering puppy-walks,
Times of plunging in wild abandon
Into the freezing Irish sea.
Walter Scott suspected
Thursday 4th October 2018 9:08 pm
None of us will survive,
But we must try again,
To seed some fallow earth with the mysteries of the Byzantines
Even, with their mirth, amidst the agony of birth, and death,
The accidental revelations,
Of our passing on the wing,
A voice that will always sing
Of the fall of Constantinople:
Of the mysteries of birth and death,
And of all the unalloyed impermanence...
Wednesday 3rd October 2018 7:17 pm
Suffering and desire
Twist the unbidden tears:
Pumping hearts, shaking hands
Human life conducted in the dark
The hidden fears
The inconsolable grief
Many fear-filled years.
Craving for permanence
For the enduring stillness
Of the Sea of Galilee.
But let's walk instead
To the tomb of Maimonides:
Oh! Why do the wicked prosper?
Why oh! why do the ...
Wednesday 3rd October 2018 6:46 pm
The majesty of dogs impresses us –
Their solitary solidarity -
And above their grey horizons
There is a promise, lingering….
These days an ending is assumed,
That glorifies the story of our lives:
Making children, seeing things, and listening,
Listening, to our hearts’ desires.
Yesterday the sky darkened at noon
Seas spewed forth
Clouds of mi...
Tuesday 2nd October 2018 2:02 pm
This flinger of Plurabilly Teas
Twice upon a time
And a jolly hockey-sticks good time it was two
There was a goblin a-coming downa road
This goblin that was a-coming downa road
Pet a Mice-alittle boy named Daddy Buckoo.
Her mother sneaked him that story.
Her rather clucked at him:
Sin, sin, Jesuit-sin
Through a grass darkly
Fat, thin, fat, thin
Sunday 30th September 2018 6:40 pm
The New York Dolls with their wicked innovation
Gender on a bender, so no more hesitation.
Galileo, Newton, the republic of the mind,
Seeing is believing, so tumble into line.
One dusky-dusty-time-consuming evening long ago
The empirical method was revealed by the melting of the snow:
Time’s fatal munificence, the old ebb and flow
There's a long gestation
Saturday 29th September 2018 9:15 pm
Our time in Erbil was short
We heard that in Mosul
The fascist’s love of power
Was enforced by knife and fist and gun.
Our time in Ninevah had begun,
Long, long beneath the sun.
With Dwekh Nawsha
It was a time for self-sacrifice
A time to break the deadly silence of fear and hate
And now church bells ring in Nineveh
WE have changed fate.
We the ancient As...
Saturday 29th September 2018 1:49 am
It is the vestiges that remain
Torn finger nails, scattered brain.
The forensic examinations
Established she was thoroughly dead
The fragility of the body exposed
In the furtherance of the truth
Or, so, we supposed
The enamel on the tooth
Condemned at the root.
SAuch peculiar ways of thinking
Tomorrow’s Chinese smog...
Saturday 29th September 2018 12:36 am
In the cottage by the shore
A Californian girl with toothache
In 1969 was advised to drink
Fortified wine. Fortified by
C16H16N2O2 Lysergic acid
Which we duly did, sharing.
I took her to the emergency
Dentist who was a very nice
Anglolan. We talked about
The war against the Portuguese
As I saw the spiders from Mars
David Jones was later to notice
Too. Since then...
Saturday 29th September 2018 12:02 am
Shading monochrome - grey then black, never white,
This light is outta sight,
- the end of the beginning is near
Creep up – come, listen here.
On the street the white boys are sleeping it off
In sub-zero, cough, cough, fucking cough.
We, new Russians gather– no gulag this
Just alcohol, heroin, crack, piss:
Kosovans, Nigerians, Kenyans,
At the fence, pleading, ple...
Friday 28th September 2018 10:59 pm
Friday 28th September 2018 10:40 pm
We wake to the rumbling thunder of blood,
Pumping hearts, twisted hearts, this shadow and I
Squeeze into the thick silences of trees.
Now the dark lights of Christmastide afflict us
Twilight memories drift, flux and flicker
In this breeze of time,
Such pungent affirmations, s...
Friday 28th September 2018 10:21 pm
As the light fades ever faster,
And the temperature drops
– I am recalled
To this dialogue with the dead.
My grandfather, Jack, had his
Last pint of mild in this pub
I am sitting in before
Embarking for France in 1914...
And his first one back in September 1918:
2018 Jack - alive in my heart - always known, never seen -
Not a line of his writing have I , not a wisp of...
Tuesday 25th September 2018 8:38 pm
This rose for all the world
For you, for you, for you
These tears for all the dead,
Those empty words of morning tide
This ever-present dread.
Those cloying smells of perfume
On the dresses of the rich,
This workman stumbling homeward
His body in a ditch.
September's moon still shining
On this old planet's doom,
Her wind and tide conspiring,
A chill in...
Monday 24th September 2018 10:12 pm
In the middle of the greenwood,
In the centre of what is,
The wise women gather,
They’re lifting the lid
On the meagre remnants
Of the magic that once was:
Wicca, witch and wizard
In the whispering wood.
Now, in times of turbulence,
Of movements in the blood,
The devotees of the vacuous,
The frightened and appalled,
Watch silently as their children’s blood
Saturday 22nd September 2018 8:39 pm
Janissaries were the eldest sons of Christian families in the Ottoman Empire who were taken as infants from their families and brought up as strict Sunni Muslims who often became the cruellest soldiers in the Ottoman armies - but not always.
I'd love to wander far from this meagre time and place.
Back to the ashes and the dust of what I remember
A besmirched, a frightened, a human place: ...
Friday 21st September 2018 10:13 pm
Wild is the minute, clear is the sky
A world of smell and sight and sound
The portals of discovery all around,
To enter this world, this newfoundland:
The sheer vividness of colour,
The all round visibility of sound,
Flesh and blood and all the half-created
Epiphanies of cloud and sky and sun,
Enter the mind and fly from the eye -
See the kippering clouds come rush...
Friday 21st September 2018 8:58 pm
The simple vision of a child
Will make us see that time is really only borrowed
And that what we perceive is more than half intended
Wild obscurity blocks our view, until the curtain’s rent in two
And too many seconds become too few.
Persecution sets the heart on fire
Memories coagulate like blood,
Gather around the brain
Pass through the arteries of the heart
Wednesday 19th September 2018 8:35 pm
The bell jar of innocence
Will, heaven forfend,
Create a world
Look! Look! Just around the bend.
Such faery stories he'd believed.
Now in the cramped minds
Of these lean-faced men
With heavy stubble
Who shuffle down the road
No looks are exchanged.
Just mothers bending down to warn their children.
One old man falls down flat,
Wednesday 19th September 2018 12:04 am
Acid rain strips the trees - bare
Plastic fantastic – two billion tons of the indestructible shit –
Look at the chemical factories
Billowing out tons of pestilential fug
You’ll need more than a red wheel barrow to shift this
We need to live a simpler, better life with fewer things
To clutter up our minds and leave our souls
Bereft – like a soldier floundering in fire or l...
Tuesday 18th September 2018 11:33 am
The sting of the wind
On this cold black night
Reminds me of my
Ancestors who rode
This same wind
As they trudged to work
Down the mine
On early shift.
This connection, now, is
Deep in my blood
Deep in what I mean
When I say words
In tones that rhyme.
Words that would’ve
Carried meaning in those
When this same old
Pleased the eye of
Those infected wi...
Sunday 16th September 2018 12:43 am
Now we’re on the Border:
Tranquillisers are no good for what is to come,
Nor are religious beliefs of any sort.
Divert your mind, the manuals say,
Space and the collected tranquillity of bees,
Appeal to me
Speed is now slowed to a drone; a quill,
A quintessence of thrill
For these bastards
Are only minutes from take-off
Nothing impresses like force,
Sunday 16th September 2018 12:16 am
Near is very far
there’s a vastness that appals
of the Christie this monday morning
meeting Emile, yes, named after Jean Jacques’ eponymous hero,
married at the weekend, it has spread,
he fears he’ll soon be dead
his caribbean lilt
echoes in my head.
we smile and laugh a...
Saturday 15th September 2018 11:24 pm
Nuristan, in eastern Afghanistan, was formerly known as Kafiristan (کافرستان, "land of the infidels") until the inhabitants were converted from an ancient Hinduism, to Islam in 1895, and thence the region has become known as Nuristan ("land of illumination")
The Hindu Kush
The mountains of the moon
And the valleys where we lived
With the faeries and the spirits of the wood.
Saturday 15th September 2018 11:01 pm
Strange fruit hanging
From the poplar trees
A shame on America
And a shame on me.
Sprung shadows surround me
As words fade like the harvest moon.
Today clouds cavort in the sky
Then sink into the flatness of an American horizon
A pallete of clattering silences
In the drift of Continental armies.
Mourning for the Union dead.
The drift towards liberty began before t...
Saturday 15th September 2018 3:58 pm
There are so few Jews in the world
The Unrighteous among the nations
See to that. Maybe 15 million.
Only 1000 in China. One in a million.
See who receives the nobel prizes.
Look at the contributions to scholarship
To learning. Jews employed by the Spanish
Crown during the Inquisition. Conversos.
But everyone knew not to call on Saturday.
Jews employed by the Ottomans to...
Saturday 15th September 2018 12:20 am
Old river Thames
And the Essex marshes
Fugues in free-fall
And the ending is starting
When two become one
On an ancient swansong
Sung in a minor key
Will it drag you along?
And all for your lover
And so-little for yourself.
Femininity in this bluesy mood
Leaves us on the shelf.
As the tide goes out
Like the dark stars in the sky
And the friendl...
Friday 14th September 2018 11:45 pm
Blessed icons of the Christian East
Fallen into the hands of charlatans and money-lenders
Assyrians, Greeks, Syriacs, Jacobites
Survivors of the Ottoman genocide of Christians
And the west confesses to nothing,
Nothing at all, as its sun sets,
Its meaning has leached away
Into mindless consumption.
Avoiding churches as unluc...
Sunday 9th September 2018 5:12 pm
Saturday 8th September 2018 11:51 pm
Dried up, shrivelled, exposed,
Warps and wefts waste away
My body afflicted with decay
The passing of the day.
No thirst-quenching insight....
What was is it that was rubbed away?
Like stains that dry in the sun...
A life, an inclination, a sense of fun?
We wither, languish, and decay.
Time and loved ones pine away.
Spilt water, wine? A life, in time.
Saturday 8th September 2018 10:04 pm
(dedicated to the all-women brigades of the Kurdish YPG ܚܕܝ̈ܘܬܐ ܕܣܘܬܪܐ ܕܥܡܐ)
Some say we can only play our part
(Most promise money, a very few art),
Nobody outlives the roles they play
Or so they say,
We must continue day-to-day.
Or so the complacent westerners say.
We? We choose another, older, harder way,
Cast our ashes along the crucified way,
Saturday 8th September 2018 9:23 pm
Everything fades in time
Memories, birds in the trees,
Even these dreadful expulcations
That old druid time plays the same deceptions
Plays havoc with the mind
As we reach out to touch each other's skin
And take that leap we hope
Will find us somewhere human.
Sardonic wit, the sceptical glance,
The silent prayer
Converge into this plea
To wear your learning light...
Thursday 6th September 2018 10:23 am
The days of stormy autumn come
Mother, child, brother, son,
Memories, like dust, infest my eyes,
Swirling, like a Turner sky,
Like water under wind,
Mixing greys and blacks and whites and blues,
Chiaroscuro, tussling these monochromes
Into the piebald heavens above.
Below, girls in mucky summer dresses,
Boys with unruly mothers,
Fathers absent, except in dreams,
Tuesday 4th September 2018 8:36 pm