Late 2006, I was told that I had three years left to live. So, welcome to the ghost writer! I try to learn from the poets of the past: all those legions of dead white females: Sylvia Plath, Emily Bronte, Denise Levertoff, Elizabeth Bishop.... Poetry....can be many things: words put to measure, emotion recollected in tranquillity, the expression of the inexplicable. All poetry must have something of music about it - music the greatest of the arts, because the most abstract. A poem can bring an understanding that is impossible to convey by any other combination of words. Disquisition endeth. WORDPRESS: https://wordpress.com/post/johnemarks.wordpress.com/296 RECENT BOOKS: 'A waste of time' https://www.createspace.com/7484922 'Shadows and Dust' https://www.amazon.com/Shadows-dust-Poems-2015-2017/dp/1977848850/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1515791538&sr=1-1&keywords=Shadows+and+Dust+John+E+Marks
SONG FOR THE OLD YEAR Redemption comes at such a cost Freezing winds off the Irish sea Blow me away from hearth and home At such a cost - loss pressing on loss - Yet still the winter-birds sing, Seemingly so carelessly, And we know it costs them their whole life To fly this way and sing and eat and build and build Yet still this merely human, framed of earth, Cannot scrape away the curse of discontent: Sitting solid as a rock, squatting squarely On the chest where a bird would build a nest Then fly high high into the blue skies of summer So far, far away from this deep and dark complacency. A WASTE. OF TIME I do not drink, But I am living under this mountain That might crush the life out of me Any time, any day So, I drink anyway. Too much grandiosity Dims the soul Makes us old. I hear the wise ones pleading, pleading when on fire, So much screaming, as the flames they get higher: Hebane, belladonna, mandrake, datura All of these, like mescaline, see right through yer. A broom, a pitchfork, a basket, or a snake The old religion is love For love’s old sake The beautiful Cathars Heard the rumble far below Looked at the surface, Saw nothing, only snow. Hares' prints lead me, Lead me to folly Red berries on The christmas holly: Soon, I shall go into a hare, With sorrow and sych And meickle, meckle care; And I shall go in the Devil's name, Ay, while I go, I come home again. Sometimes phantasma Strip my wits away Sometimes for a minute Often for a day Glad to be rid of them Pfff they are gone. My wits, for a minute, My wits, for a song. DRINKING WHERE THE RIVER BED IS DRY Charlie and I have walked our post-cancer walks Down this narrow stretch of green in the city For a full decade now. We’ve aged together But not like malt, we’ve blended into each other, Man and Dog. He recognizes the smells, me the sights, And his life is shorter than mine. That afflicts me like A sentence. Very few minutes pass Without me thinking of that. He connects me to the Pack, little knowing that the human herd is what I find Most offensive, most absurd. I try to fly past those nets Of race, nationality and religion. A new Daedalus come To cry: “my medium is the heavens, my medium is the sky.” But we walk slower and slower each day, me clearing Up his shit, him watching the dreary Manchester sky. ............................................................................ THE STOLEN CHILD I remember falling as a child And being lifted by a fairy-wild She kissed my cheek and mussed my hair And then she wasn’t there. Some blind folk see the fairies clear For faeries are always close or near. Oh, better far than what we see Are fairy wings that brush our faces Like spiders’ webs or shimmering laces Such magical, lovely, lonely things. A rustle in the wind reminds us A fairy sprite is near. Shush! Do not scare her She is full of fear until her night is spent Her tears upon the pillow-scent… The crow she sings her lullaby as harsh as harsh can be But the golden fairy goddess makes it so lovely for me. ............................................................................ WINTER We wake to the rumbling thunder of blood, Pumping hearts, twisted hearts, this shadow and I Squeeze into the thick silences of trees. Now the dark lights of Christmastide afflict us Twilight memories drift, flux and flicker In this breeze of Time, Penumbra-beginning hologram-end, Such pungent affirmations, slip into the past: Generations of suffering: eyes lifted to a cross, a crescent, a menorah, Yearnings spilling onto the page of history: Promises made and never kept. Out of time’s descent; In the beginning was the word. The sacred apartness of the intelligible: Fragments of the blood, firings in the brain, The body, a holy place again. This tinder-box of meaning flares, Time ebbs and flows, Means To an end.
All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.
Salt made from tears (19/08/2018)
Last line missing (16/08/2018)
Orthodox Blues (16/08/2018)
At Risk (10/08/2018)
The Alpha and Omega (09/08/2018)
The cloths of heaven (06/08/2018)
To the crags, where eagles soar (06/08/2018)
Moon, Moon (04/08/2018)
The Incidentals (27/07/2018)
All these many ill-fated days (25/06/2018)
Roll away the stone (10/03/2018)
No man ever steps in the same river twice (10/03/2018)
Along the Unhallowed Way (09/03/2018)
Outfoxing the furies (03/03/2018)
from swerve of shaw to blend of bray (02/03/2018)
- 2016 (1)
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