Poetry Blog by john short

TWILIGHT

TWILIGHT

 

I'd like to walk into that house

over the road where a lamp shines,

quench many whims in fact

but extra vibrant years and brief dotage

are nothing more than fantasy.

 

I took photographs every day in vain

but didn't spot the change.

Too old now to keep bulldogs

I recently acquired a Chihuahua,

last night dreamed a cloud of fragile birds

that sang o...

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AIR IN THE MORNING

AIR IN THE MORNING

 

The morning air speaks loss;

slides through a sunlit moment

as eyes open to her memory.

 

From across damp fields

shrill hammering signals

a disconsolate world

where trees stand huddled

under saturated clouds.

 

Sharp black wings

tear the sky with flight;

a feathered firework erupting

until the air would burst

from its heaviness.

...

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PORCHES OF SUBURBIA

PORCHES OF SUBURBIA

 

She's delivering leaflets again,

urging residents to oust their charlatans

who'll vote through a bad deal

then claim they had no choice.

 

The people here are house proud,

they all have pretty porches and loiter

in back rooms until they think she's gone

then emerge to examine the leaflet.

 

In her old country they'd be outside

at this ho...

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BARRIO SANTIAGO

BARRIO SANTIAGO

Jerez de la Frontera

 

In the catherdral shadow

a woman peels limes

then washes them

at the blue fountain

as an angry sun burns

shapes on stone.

 

From dark passages

a bright guitar

emerges into afternoon,

arpeggios glittering

across the water

like momentary fish.

 

It predicts your path

past broken balconies,

ragged skirts, ...

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LOVE AND LOBSTERS

LOVE AND LOBSTERS

 

I love you in the car park

of a popular supermarket chain,

 

then often in the Judo class

where you usually go to train.

 

I love you cracking lobsters

with a twentieth century hammer

 

and later in the wine bar

after twelve tequila slammers.

 

They say there is no future

as the seas are full of plastic

 

and all of us will per...

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RESISTANCE

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RESISTANCE

 

We used to raid the freezer

in that dirty garage but cement

and dust made him cough.

 

His mother was a puritan;

he'd sniff and splutter when upset,

dance defiant on the car roof

then run off to town

giving her two fingers.

 

Winter mornings across ice,

spitting steamy gobs

through a face-hole in wool

with pale knees shivering

out of coa...

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BURGER QUEEN

BURGER QUEEN

An old photo snapped

in front of that plastic bubble sign,

 

our first date being the last time

I ate flesh: no more traumatic gristle

 

and though you were perfection

in heels, a pale silver dress

 

my carniverous girlfriend

you persisted with the meat habit

 

so years later, still together

you criticise me for courgettes

 

said at the ...

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SALAMANDER

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SALAMANDER

From dripping dawn to milk churn

to sheep and village fountain.

From orchard and empty

mountain road to gurgling cherry town

I carried a yellow-black fire symbol

through deserted evenings in

hidden streets where men put away

their tools with an apprehensive glance

until at last we met and drove

the winding road to Olonzac

and sat next day in the bar

o...

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BEDROOM ROULETTE

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BEDROOM ROULETTE

Peering through old glass

into empty space and silence.

I used to love that accumulation

of ancient heirloom furniture;

Spain's history casting shadows

on a family by their open fire.

 

There was always shelter here

no matter how late the flight arrived

and with luck you could escape

the bugs - a kind of bedroom roulette.

Creaking passages snake...

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A NORTHERN WOMAN RECALLS HER YOUTH

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A NORTHERN WOMAN RECALLS HER YOUTH

How to explain the sad

appeal of 60 denier black?

No other colour kosher it's

the default drab so what's up

are they aiming to impersonate nuns

or just a conformist habit?

 

In shops round town I hum

a lost vocabulary of sheer

and shades no longer worn.

Seems opaque black was sent

as mind control like smart phones

and fast f...

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UNGUIDED TOUR

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UNGUIDED TOUR

Open meadow nightmare

brings me to my knees.

I'm dripping pyjamas 

in my sleep, hard to adhere

to those gradients.

 

The moon scuds perilous

as life, heads sagacious

to the creeping bracken land

where ferns turn faces up

 

throttle and entwine

in the silent forest domain

of sentient surfaces

 

and black dreams unfold

with some astral...

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BISCUIT FACTORY

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BISCUIT FACTORY

Here one learns a new vocabulary

tinwash, tray off, mobcap,

swiping in and stacking down.

 

Some of us arrived for a month

one spring and stayed forever

like jaded nomads finding pasture,

needs met, horizons ending here.

 

In ghost-infested rooms

the newcomer gets lost, disorientated

by the sprawling tangle and pulse

of peculiar machinery

 

...

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ROMANCE IN A SANDSTONE TOWN

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ROMANCE IN A SANDSTONE TOWN

 

I woke to a vision of Mexico

now I see it's more like the Orient

but they keep the prices low

and didn't change a thing

 

so after coffee we can shelter

from the sun in China City,

buy pencils or cheap underwear,

an electric fan with a week's guarantee

 

or browse in that enormous bookshop

with the noisy drinks machine

at the ...

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PART OF THE COURSE

PART OF THE COURSE

I guess he was

just no good at it:

stood on every board

that creaked,

banged his knee

on the coffee table,

collided with silver;

he might as well have

worn a striped T-shirt

and carried a sack

marked swag.

So when they caught

him, sprawled

in the rose bush

and led him away

he still hung on

to his dream

and vowed to try

and...

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ADIPOSE HARRY

ADIPOSE HARRY

At an early age he learned

the folly of swimming in wrong circles

and how some languages

have no word for webbed feet.

 

I'm going to leave you

Adipose Harry, his wife says.

You are morbidly obese.

Look past appearances, he protests.

I have a heart, pure and good.

Yes, but it's enveloped in fatty tissue

and you'll most likely die.

 

He waddle...

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UNKNOWN TERRITORY

UNKNOWN TERRITORY

I wanted to walk

to the city's furthest edge

but found it escaping

up a mountain;

spilling houses into the distance

and once again

all senses ambushed by

another mighty perspective

as trees open

on the Parthenon so clear

you swear you smell

light bounce off marble

even from this hill

some miles away

then swing round to scan

a ship-...

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CHANCES TO LEAVE

CHANCES TO LEAVE

 

Hunched over his ouzo, unshaven

as the steamer pulled away on visible blue.

A guy who's going nowhere, you said,

meets every dawn with negativity.

 

Later we sat upstairs while Kumiko picked

through rubbish on the beach for fun.

Less of that scrap, you shouted down,

not everything is sculpture! Then turning to me:

At school back in Denmark we fou...

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THE GIRL FROM GALLIENI

THE GIRL FROM GALLIENI

 

The town looks run-down

this rainy weekday morning;

a single street climbing

to nowhere special,

an old boulangerie,

some sleepy Asian shops

but the church door

extends an invitation

so I step inside to breathe

the incensed silence

of wood and alcoves

 

then without a word

a vagrant poet appears

from behind the church,

his...

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AQUARIUM

AQUARIUM

 

I dreamt

I had an aquarium

fixed into my back,

small-scale

with tetras

and an angel fish;

a glass box sunk deep

instead of a tattoo

and had to ask each day

if they were still alive,

framed there 

in that wall of flesh.

It was necessary

to watch out for these

delicate creatures,

treading carefully

to avoid water spillage

as police ...

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THE SACRED ART

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THE SACRED ART

There's poverty meandering 

the streets of this town;

tired hands wrapped around sherry

in the Pre-Raphaelite graveyard

overgrown with summer and cutbacks.

 

The church is two-tower unique,

one ancient, one merely old

and here they come as punctual

as clockwork, the bell ringers

advancing up the path.

 

He's under the Gothic arch

a touch dru...

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Archive

  • 2016 - 2018 (20)

Recent Comments

john short on AIR IN THE MORNING (Wed, 9 May 2018 01:28 pm)

Frances Macaulay Forde on AIR IN THE MORNING (Wed, 9 May 2018 04:25 am)

john short on AIR IN THE MORNING (Tue, 8 May 2018 10:15 pm)

raypool on AIR IN THE MORNING (Tue, 8 May 2018 08:40 pm)

raypool on PORCHES OF SUBURBIA (Tue, 10 Apr 2018 12:55 pm)

Frances Macaulay Forde on PORCHES OF SUBURBIA (Tue, 10 Apr 2018 08:09 am)

john short on BARRIO SANTIAGO (Wed, 31 Jan 2018 10:31 am)

raypool on BARRIO SANTIAGO (Tue, 30 Jan 2018 11:03 pm)

Frances Macaulay Forde on LOVE AND LOBSTERS (Thu, 25 Jan 2018 02:43 am)

john short on LOVE AND LOBSTERS (Wed, 24 Jan 2018 08:47 pm)

Graham Sherwood on LOVE AND LOBSTERS (Wed, 24 Jan 2018 10:15 am)

john short on BURGER QUEEN (Sun, 17 Dec 2017 11:56 pm)

Rose Casserley on BURGER QUEEN (Sun, 17 Dec 2017 02:35 pm)

john short on SALAMANDER (Sun, 10 Dec 2017 09:50 am)

Stu Buck on SALAMANDER (Sat, 9 Dec 2017 01:04 pm)

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