Poetry Blog by john short

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 lurid 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 snaked ...

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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 up thinking I was in 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

a...

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HOUSE SPIDER

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HOUSE SPIDER

Suspended in space,

a tense sensitivity poised

ready to attack

or scuttle back for cover

at the slightest tremor

 

you lurk in cobweb corners

and dark holes, silent

as an evil buddha

with plans to plant those furry

devil-coloured eggs.

 

I've dreamt I entered

the mouth of this horror,

woke with memories

tracing cold unsettled skin

and...

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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 limb...

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AQUARIUM

AQUARIUM

 

I dreamt

I had an aquarium

fixed into my back,

a tiny one

with tetras

and an angel fish;

a sunken box

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

exquisite creatures,

small examples

of what nature can make,

treading carefully

...

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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 - 2017 (14)

Recent Comments

john short on SALAMANDER (1 day ago)

Stu Buck on SALAMANDER (2 days ago)

john short on BISCUIT FACTORY (4 days ago)

suki spangles on BISCUIT FACTORY (4 days ago)

Wolfgar Miere on BISCUIT FACTORY (5 days ago)

raypool on BISCUIT FACTORY (5 days ago)

john short on HOUSE SPIDER (Sun, 12 Nov 2017 01:20 pm)

raypool on HOUSE SPIDER (Fri, 20 Oct 2017 12:07 pm)

Laura Taylor on HOUSE SPIDER (Fri, 20 Oct 2017 10:19 am)

raypool on THE GIRL FROM GALLIENI (Wed, 12 Apr 2017 10:19 pm)

Cynthia Buell Thomas on THE GIRL FROM GALLIENI (Wed, 12 Apr 2017 12:41 pm)

Colin Hill on THE GIRL FROM GALLIENI (Wed, 12 Apr 2017 09:09 am)

john short on THE SACRED ART (Mon, 12 Sep 2016 12:48 am)

john short on AQUARIUM (Mon, 12 Sep 2016 12:38 am)

Laura Taylor on THE SACRED ART (Wed, 7 Sep 2016 10:28 am)

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