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Gary Stokes

Updated: Mon, 23 Nov 2009 10:42 am

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I am a member of Otley Poetry Group which meets the first tuesday in the month at eight O'clock at Korks wine bar, Otley. I am also a member of Otley Community Players, a small drama group with charitable status performing drama for the local and wider community. Go to to see some of our productions.


The Journey of a Journal He took the bus to Leeds and got the seat at the front upstairs to himself. The window would play a ten mile journey over forty minutes long. He wouldn’t notice. The book he’d started he continued reading. Two chapters left. he’d read the others in one sitting, sitting yesterday in the front room alone with the tv on. The passengers behind him spoke in a low hum. The streets of Leeds came to him ten short minutes before the trip was over. The final item on the news last night reported how the shops would struggle with recession rising. He thought about the pint he’d soon be supping in Whitelocks pub. And how the ending hadn’t lived up to the novel’s start. He tasted already the pint he’d soon lift up. The ‘Final Day Closing Down Sale’ sign across the bookshop window had him jumping up before his stop. All Hole Is Is Is Hole let in everything, free-fall memories, tied up with string, the days, the weeks, the tabular of time; it let in shards of tinder from the halfpace where the children sat and played, and the years that consumed them, and the Bishop with his gremial who told them of Grace. All hole is is is. And a horse's arse. Vers Libre iambic jogging by the city waters, a where small tree or three and thee, O fellow trotter, sonnetising kites high in the yonder, orange, red brighter than blue sky, ‘pretty’ for being, city dweller, how it ought to seem, carrot mugging gardens, thornless roses-- libre vers’s broken lines senseless architecture O, *Midnight Mechanic O, skill and nostril hair O, fords and forges O, strapping lad who sang of love-- some attenuated heir squats down now and reposes courting lilac memories in the yard tired old compass tired old stars tired cynic age *Midnight Mechanic was the term given in the old days to a person who shovelled horse shit from the streets and kept them clean, doing his job in the wee small hours of night when folks were asleep in their beds.

All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.

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Wed 23rd Apr 2008 17:37

very good Gary, pity you have not read them
at Otley Poets yet!! your style is colourfull &
has imagery & rythm:keep up the good work.
alan holdsworth.

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