Poetry Blog by John E Marks (2016)

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With his close-cropped hair and his tatoos here and there

And his thin pale face and his commitment to the race

Christian James was well known for going it alone

He drove the multi-story and he died in a blaze of glory.


The owner of the Golf GT

A businessman from Daventry

Got a new one from the factory.


Christian James, youngest of seven

Lived & Died and went to H...

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the east is red

Lord Buddah

floats upon a lotus flower


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Janissary (1)


My parents were Christian, Serb,

I remember the icons in my mother’s house,

The smell of meat on feast days.

One orthodox Christmastide,

I think I was nine or ten,

My parents made me hide when the Turks

Came to our village in Kosovo again

Looking for boys and women.

My father was ashamed.

He hung his head.

I pretended I was dead.

Hiding under my sister’s bed.


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A Catholic priest crucified

On Good Friday

Children blown to bits

In Lahore.

Home to the Shalimar Gardens,

A piece of pink Heaven on the bloodyearth.


Built by the Mughals to celebrate God

In its marbled, mosaic mosques:

It celebrated the Hindus and the Buddhists

Who'd moved into the future

Keeping their close hold onto the past.

It celebrated the Christians an...

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Easter Sunday Blue

My father was not born an orphan

And now the state agrees

Absent. He is a holy mystery, to me.


The massacre of the Innocents

Children celebrating Easter blown into pink dust.

In the name of God.

The words of the prophet are perfect and deep

You sow as you reap

You sow as you reap.

The unholy priest

With the holy words

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an old oliveoil press rusting at the bottom of a sandy garden

in his occupied territory.

man lying prostrate,

on the soil.


about a weight, a burden, something.

we disciples could not hear clearly,

what with all the muffled explosions

and such.

 this man, this man, he screamed out ‘NOT AS I WILL BUT AS YOU WILL FATHER!’.

but there was no other man there, no ...

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In the Apple Market

Your south London twang

Accompanied the many undulations

Of time

Your wild androgyny

Mirroring the mirror

Of yourself

Skimming off the water

Of childhood,

Like a shaking dog,

You lit up, spot-lighted,

An iridescence of sound


Your songs were the water

We needed

Your terse verse

Spreading underground

Watering imaginations


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Near Water


Birdsong flung into fond recall

A dry-stone wall,

A dry-stone wall.

Fleecy clouds on this May-time day

Don’t fade away,

Don’t fade away.

Daffodils lean into a wind of change

Begin again,

Begin again.

Pale-blue eyes on a snow drop face

Seen-through lace,

Seen-through lace.

A grassy bank to invest my time

No bells' chime,

No bells' chime.

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