Poetry Blog by John E Marks
Serendipity came my way, on a blowy Lancaster day
Blown in all the way from Cal-i-forni-i-a, an idea of a girl
That I kept in my head, long after she was dead
Except in great extremity when I'd gamble all that I had
On her not being sad. But, maybe, I was wrong and Jenny
Had sung a bitter-bitter-song. A song of her declining days
Drifting into a frustration-opoid-filled Palo Alt...
Sunday 18th August 2019 1:32 am
Morning maniac music
Shakes me awake
The regular guys
Those who once brought hope
Now bring hate.
Over the mountain,
the clouds scud away
blood on the floor
it's all fading away.
Blood on the soul,
and blood over water
All those refugees
stick 'em in the camps
and camp'em on the shelf
of our conscience
Sunday 18th August 2019 12:13 am
Falling in love
Beats falling in line
What is our derivative today
In this curve of time
We need a degree of differentiation
To establish our rate of change
With respect to time.
There are a number of ways
To fix this derivative:
In the end they all amount to the same
In the fourth dimension
Saturday 17th August 2019 11:42 pm
Her train of thought enters a tunnel,
she's off the rails, at risk;
she sees that
the perfect day
for her to go away
will never arrive.
So she must loop back
link past, present and future
into a spherical loop:
a theory made of everything,
to guide her and to link her
into the self-contained mathematical model
Friday 16th August 2019 11:44 pm
Thursday 15th August 2019 9:03 pm
My hesitancy bothered me for a long time
It is not the cruelty of children that angered me,
But that my hesitation to commit the word to air
And, aye, maybe, to heart, was treated as an affliction
By those with the polished shoes
Starched aprons which set them apart.
Sometimes I was not even there when they mocked me but I kn...
Thursday 15th August 2019 11:41 am
We are all in a minority-of-one, of sorts,
Embedded in the randomness of thought,
The quirks we cultivate, or choose to ignore,
Is our first glance going to ceiling or floor?
Raising the intonation at the end of a statement
Problematizes even the most complacent thought;
Or, maybe, we look our interlocutor straight in the eye
Let him slowly work out the exact nature of ou...
Wednesday 14th August 2019 10:49 pm
A terrible thing happened to my friend and his family today.
He took his life on an ordinary Monday. Hung himself by the neck
From a tree. Left this life and just went away.
Leaving his loved ones to pick up the pieces.
His mum couldn’t stop shaking at his funeral
Paid for by us, his friends
Her rickety car matched her blonde hair....
Wednesday 14th August 2019 12:14 am
Moon came to an old Cheshire mere,
In all her shadowy finery.
This boy cannot stop looking
And looking and looking at pretty Missy Moon.
Thunder growls on this high summer eve,
Missy Moon shows off her talents,
Her rounded suppleness of form
Shows us all her shades and shadows and crevices.
Toing-and-froing the moon swings like an old nursery rhyme
Moonlight flows and flows and t...
Tuesday 13th August 2019 11:31 pm
The ideas of the beautiful Cathars of Languedoc spread across western Europe
Cathar comes from the Greek: καθαροί, katharoi, “the pure [ones]”
They built on the dualistic theology of Manichaenism
Which they blended with the eastern Christianity of Byzantium
They were ascetic: believing the matetial world was the evil realm of Satan
Whilst the world of the spirit w...
Monday 12th August 2019 9:13 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.
Large drops of rain shall fall, freezing into ice,
Falling into full sunshine.
Monday 12th August 2019 8:59 pm
The winter-sharp brains of children
Took a turn for the worse,
Suffered an inferiority complex
Caused by all the old men: quick to criticise, slow to help..
Dispersed, triumphant solely in their dreams.
Children running across raging seas danced on the waves.
Such a storm-blessed salty awakening.
They had nothing to regret.
They were children who coped with HIV, nursed t...
Sunday 11th August 2019 7:11 pm
Missing the wildness of the beautiful
We degenerate into words. Waiting, between
Sentences, for the Muse to catch up with us,
We fulminate, flash like lightning, explode so
Violently that I catch myself thinking this
Is an all an act to compensate for the time
My friend climbed that tree before disappearing
To Japan for all eter...
Sunday 11th August 2019 6:32 pm
One must recognize chaos in oneself
To be able to give birth to a dancing star.
Now, only the vestiges remain:
Go on, consumers, conduct a forensic examination,
And when complete, then you scatter the remains:
Finally, you will see the fragility of the body,
In the furtherance of the truth:
Note the devil’s-in-the-detail;
We are condemned at the root.
Here's a roof for ...
Friday 9th August 2019 11:43 pm
I prefer that you are not angry with me,
I am not a slacker or a malingerer
With you I can be honest, I have a problem with my DNA.
The genetic malformation makes my life a heavy globe
to carry. Do not walk under my feet. Give me space.
You can be very funny - with your cutting wit
Funny enough to dissolve most men — like...
Friday 9th August 2019 11:03 pm
"`He was courteous but very silent. He was good with children. His eyesight may have been impaired, but he had an ear open to the world." This is how Alex Leon recalls James Joyce, who, between 1928 and 1939 was an almost daily visitor to his family's flat on the rue Casimir-Perier in Paris. Joyce came to consult with Alex's father, Paul Leon..." 'The Irish Times', Thu, Oct 29, 1998
Wednesday 7th August 2019 11:30 pm
The other side of the bay we find
tramps' halls of resistance flashing by
where memory cascades into
availanches on request, tramp to tramp,
intelligence tests, read last week's news,
reading between the lines of this misty day;
most modern mobile minds are really quite unaware of significance
just click into life at 7am - with WiFi with work
providing ample assistance ...
Wednesday 7th August 2019 12:25 pm
If all the days of all the years were made of wine and gold
They’d be present in the light of intelligence in this one dog’s eyes.
This friendship across species — a Buddhist mantra –
Rocks me like a good old boy, befriends me like the rain.
He’ll be with me when the gates fly open — his love will never end.
Seek out the depths, the s...
Tuesday 6th August 2019 7:27 pm
moments of the past
memories do not last:
tumbling heaps, red, gold and brown
deep-set colours all around
echoing the silent dread
of the day of the dead.
A memory-lost, a memory-found,
but never said:
regrets of a life misled.
around my head,...
Tuesday 6th August 2019 2:53 pm
Passing these whiter shades of pale, these pretty traces of lace,
We reveal the opal-luminosity of these few remaining late Romans,
Their indigo-dreams red with the gore of resistance on this bloody
May Day, negating their absorption into the timeless air of antiquity,
Through the thousand year creation of Constantinople’s drift and swell,
Rising into Elysium’s perfumed garden ...
Monday 5th August 2019 12:34 pm
November brought to mind in August:
The lack of light, that all day twilight!
How can anybody live through such visual misery?
Without declining into snake, or toad?
Even the trees will have no leaves.
And the cold will rise to infect our eyes!
We are, unfortunately, not Italian, nor Etruscan,
Just woolly-backed mammoth barbarian sorcerers
Of a certain druidical d...
Sunday 4th August 2019 9:15 pm
Melancholy's lack of zest
Was written all over his palimpsest:
To die at twenty-five to some
Will hardly seem to have been alive.
But Johnny Keats lived and loved
for poetry, music, kisses, tears
He tried his best to stay alive
With medicine and Fanny's tears
No crossing of the river Lethe, as yet,
Undefeated by TB, at least ...
Sunday 4th August 2019 12:16 am
My friend is dead.
I met him here
He was wise,
But he was not clear
About anything - afar or near.
For which I was grateful.
I try to hold him clear in mind -
on the random wildwind strain
where we hear old notes playing -
I maintain the glory of his voice, his name,
But I have a sick dread of a fading
Time, unmaintained by love or rhyme.
Saturday 3rd August 2019 12:06 am
I went to see a dead man's wedding today.
I can sing again, some may say,
Even if the bridegroom cuts out his heart
And swears they'd never part
I'll plant a heart in the national park
But the NIMBYs would exclaim,
In addition flowers cannot bloom,
For the NIMBYs are in their 60s with no debts,
They think they'll live for ever
But between the layers of birdsong death i...
Friday 2nd August 2019 10:00 pm
You may want to be a rose,
You are beautiful enough,
and your perfume makes me faint
Heady it is in that one garden,
Where the best woman in the world
Works like a peasant, smiling, striving,
The trimming of the hedges,
If I was a sculptor there would be statues
To remember you as a young woman
But I am a dreamer and I only remember every inch of you
Just as the w...
Friday 2nd August 2019 9:26 pm
I have a dead weight inside me
Which I carry around all day,
It often tries to kill me
And it won’t go away.
I send this freight’s immensity
To the centre of a black hole;
Retracing the wandering journey
Of my wandering soul.
Mine is a grave singularity
That contains a huge mass,
In an infinitely small space:
Thursday 1st August 2019 7:21 pm
We wake to the rumbling thunder of blood,
Pumping hearts, twisted hearts, this shadow and I
Squeeze into these thick silences of trees.
Soon the dark lights of Christmastide afflict us
Twilight memories drift, flux and flicker
In this breeze of Time,
Penumbra-beginning hologram-end, my friend,
Such pungent affirmations, slip into the past:
Generations of suffering: eyes lifted to...
Wednesday 31st July 2019 10:11 pm
A reet rough diamond
This Broughton boy
And Salford fled.
Y're an Essex 'Erbert now me lad,
No dirty old town fer you, our kid,
London suburbia'll have to do
Fer likes o'you.
Wednesday 31st July 2019 9:43 pm
The times of wonder have gone
We hold on - the wise women drugged
Forensic psychology reveals traces
Of long-forgotten haunted faces
Which, like Munch's lurid, silent scream,
Degenerate into nightmaredream.
Or, so it seems.
Meanwhile, in population centres,
Desire, in all its lurid manifestations,
Falls into disuse,
All is as it was before:
Tuesday 30th July 2019 7:50 pm
Goodbye my Sufi friends and lovers
Nothing now exists to connect you to me
Tayyar is honourable and full of good intent
I will rise from the trap of the world
I will ask you to be my servant in paradise
You are my dancer, I am your poet, we can laugh
Together on days when I taste the rain-drift-clouds.
When you sew I can watch you and fall in love
Again I remember our ...
Monday 29th July 2019 10:24 pm
Hengist & Horsa's Humble Bequest
Is to just, please, give it a rest:
The plethora of techo-junk-gibberish
That purports to tell us who we are and who we must be.
Genetically, you canna convince me;
Sinister motives mebbe but sinister consequences, aye.
A sparkly world of the eternally new
'fwiended' with a lipth
Can you adam and heave it:
networking on ...
Sunday 28th July 2019 10:13 pm
Shout it out or whisper it secretly in my ear
Tell me all the things I will never want to hear:
Tell me how Sharia law liberates the maid:
Tell me how nationalism is patriotism writ large;
Tell me how exactly and who it is that Jesus saves.
Now I’ll tell you our lives are way too crammed with things
How we need to let go if we want to hear the s...
Saturday 27th July 2019 10:12 pm
Along by the dirty old river we walk and talk,
Talking of everything, of life, of what it takes,
And never gives back.
We resurrect the past.
Fifty years and more; we hoped for the best,
Prepared for anything, we got by, day-to-day.
Summertime, when the living was easy, and we were young,
We wanted so desperately to own a scooter, a motorbike.
But our families were poor....
Saturday 27th July 2019 9:44 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 Nineveh 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 terror
And now, again, church bells ring in Nineveh
WE have changed fate.
We the ancient Assyrian p...
Saturday 27th July 2019 12:27 am
I remember a man, not a young man either,
in the very respectable county of Buckinghamshire
near Iver, who swallowed his pain by swallowing his beer,
escaped from his fears by drinking more, 8%, I can't be sure,
And, once having swallowed the beer, became the most incredible bore.
One you'd most definitely avoid f'sure.
He balanced all, brought all to mind, decided art was the up...
Friday 26th July 2019 11:20 pm
john coltrane in my mind, a war companion in my head
miles davis not far behind, it's the kind of blue that rhymes
a mixing that's complex and true: a rippling of the genes,
a resurrection of memory, a breaking of the heart
a saxophone screeches us apart, a wail, a scream,
blue-lightening flashing, it's more than a blue-tinged dream,
billie holiday, lady day, tears out my soul...
Friday 26th July 2019 10:10 pm
Compose a verse that is hotter than a boil
Compose a poem that'll flare up in oils.
Compose a eulogy that outreaches the stars
Compose a symphony as an epiphany of bars
Compose the day as a hotter aspect of night
Compose a moody monochrome in sunlight.
Fit your creativity to working inside an oven
Freeze out the hotness of a witches' coven
Filter the air with extreme air ...
Thursday 25th July 2019 9:43 pm
black rain glistens on the window panes
as she looks out on unfenced existence,
at the the life that never was, outside
her eyes shine like stars beneath the lights
turned on by mom before she went off on one
these men hunched up, collars pulled tight,
detectives steaming under these high ceiling lights;
a woman in high heels clutches mummy's bag
unsteadily she shudd...
Thursday 25th July 2019 7:44 pm
Tender is the Night
And all her forgotten beauty
People pass away, out of sight
On this late July midnight
The serpent and the saviour sit
Somewhere in old-England
Where they drink and spit.
Turn a trick, laugh, disguise
Unhidden by their hooded eyes.
No truths given by our lady moon
No disguising this faint silvery tinkling of bells.
Wednesday 24th July 2019 6:27 pm
Shadows left to sink in the ashes and dust
The best of us fell on the Somme, Verdun,
Dunkirk, Burma, Malaya, North Africa
Our luckier cousins had long ago set off
Across the broad Atlantic: convicts moved
Straight to the Swan River of Western Australia
Convict scum of the East End born to live again.
The ragged Scots, after Culloden and the clearances;
So many Irish every...
Wednesday 24th July 2019 6:22 pm
Alf's garden were slightly uneven, slightly tiered
From early February’s putting on of scattered beauty –
Snowdrops and crocuses, daffodils and hyacinth –
Through a cascade of shade and colour
His garden bloomed throughout the growing year.
Wild primroses, crocus and aubrietia
Then larkspur, delphinium and the beautiful bluebells
Tuesday 23rd July 2019 10:01 pm
First light: a new beginning,
at the crack of dawn
feel the air against the skin
stop to listen to the dawn chorus.
Thrillingly, it is still summer.
Last year, madness brushed with death.
.Now, I'm thinking:
"The world is full of magic things,
Patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper."
My senses are sharp,
like a razor I cut through the trash
of man's decei...
Monday 22nd July 2019 7:51 pm
It is always better to depart
at the end of life
whilst windows are locked
and doors closed
but this is often impossible.
Now, when thousands of lakes have been removed
wars are fought over water
millions of cups of coffee no longer drunk,
your gaze explodes like petrol thrown on a bonfire.
and this time it really is my fault
some of us are good at dissembl...
Sunday 21st July 2019 10:05 pm
The words that he said,
in malice and spite,
lit a spark in her heart
flowed in her blood
then entered her brain,
and did her no good,
She was never the same.
As she glowered and festered
she rotted and knew
her cancer diagnosis
was most certainly true.
Sunday 21st July 2019 3:39 pm
Sometimes she speaks through gritted teeth
To herself, admonishingly. She, unforgiven,
Riven by frustration. So hard on herself:
A mother, a lover, a woman who writes poetry with
Her eyes. Disguises truth with flashes of beauty
Remembers the older the fiddler, the sweeter the tune
Closes her eyes as she suddenly mounts to a crescendo
Of temper, that leaves her sobbing, inhali...
Sunday 21st July 2019 3:20 pm
Egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, butterfly
This natural magic of transformation
Can happen to you too. Time makes you
More beautiful. Human metamorphosis
Liberates souls. Such a rare achievement
Requires an emptying of the mind
A deep (and often painful) compassion.
Defeat your expectations;
Free yourself from what is expected and you will see
The passing beauty of a butterf...
Sunday 21st July 2019 12:29 am
Missy Moon was sad as only Miss Moon can be. In tears she seeks to flee the nightmare of her life
We dream that moonbeams can pluck:
The calmness of flowers, the depth of moments,
The completeness of a live birth;
But white sobs slide into our ears
Telling us to forget her smile.
On the fortunate day of your first kiss,
Drunk with the all the heady scents of sadness,
Now ingrained into...
Friday 19th July 2019 11:59 pm
The swan's last waltz:
Lithe legs spread
A spectacular series
Of whirls on her toes
He circles her on the ball of his foot
Musical, muscular movements mingle and mix
With a shiver of white she jumps
A catching of the breath as she slumps
Into his arms;
Friday 19th July 2019 11:27 pm
Ah, the tip of the straw still gripped by your teeth
I move you gently. You are asleep.
Not jealous or envious or proud.
You have a little money but enormous dignity.
You live in a caravan and still poach
For the pot. You are remarkably silent about the past.
I think it is wise to let sleeping dogs lie.
You would have taken another birth into more fortunate circumstances
Wednesday 17th July 2019 9:19 pm
When you came to me, through an open window
All the cracked envelopes of me came into your hands,
There was nothing in them - just love that you could throw away -
If you chose, you threw it straight back to me, I caught it, we were away.
You gave me a lot of praise with your eyes
For being alive
I thought you are desiring reciprocation, but you weren't
You were just a girl,...
Tuesday 16th July 2019 11:29 pm