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John E Marks

Updated: 11 days ago

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It was a Sunday in November, 2006 when 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 males. Poetry is words put to measure, emotion recollected in tranquillity, the best words in the best order or what you will but, I think, it must have something of music about it - music the greatest of the arts, because the most abstract. Disquisition endeth. WORDPRESS: RECENT BOOKS: 'A waste of time' 'Shadows and Dust'


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.

Audio entries by John E Marks

HEAVENLY (23/01/2018)

1453-911 NON SERVIAM (20/01/2018)

1453-911 NON SERVIAM (20/01/2018)

Gorffwysfa (13/01/2018)

Song for the old year (08/01/2018)

The Pharmacology of Shadow (23/12/2017)

Alf (17/12/2017)

Self-defence, class (17/12/2017)

The Unwritten (17/12/2017)

A shadow behind the sun. (10/12/2017)

More audio from John E Marks…

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Sun 15th Oct 2017 11:55

I appreciate your interest and your comments. I always consider very carefully suggestions from fellow writers. And I have benefitted hugely.

But, in the case of 'The Dreamfooter', I would not now make alterations. It has been twice published and three times presented in spoken poetry 'programmes'.

I often make changes years after first 'writing'. Just not this time.

Thanks much. And, please, never hesitate to challenge anything I write. That is real 'sharing'.

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Mon 10th Jul 2017 12:43

Interesting how 'history' is essentially 'story' as opposed to 'records'. The account itself, or at least the slant of it, depends on the person/s reporting of the happening/s, personal interests and the effective result/s. Records are then hugely influenced.

Point of view must always be a cautionary background to 'history'.

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Dominic James

Mon 13th Feb 2017 13:40

Hi John

Just come across your home page and blog, I hope the collection is going well, let me re-word comment on Byzantine - I retreat rapidly before your superior knowledge!

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Tue 14th Jun 2016 12:51

I'll make an effort to check more of your work. I like your ideas. Besides, my eyes work better now.

I live in Sale. You might like to try the WOL evening at Sale Waterside which meets next Tuesday; it's a widely varied group, and very friendly.

I'm going to be so embarrassed if you've already been out and I've not recognized your name.

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Patricia and Stefan Wilde

Thu 26th Aug 2010 22:05

Good evening John-'Fog at sea'..brilliant! your work is a 'must read' without doubt-and very much intend to do so-hope your health improves and quickly-thank you John-best regards-Stef

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Ann Foxglove

Tue 27th Apr 2010 00:31

I think your poem is really good. I esp like the last verse. To be able to write about this sort of subject in such a no-nonsense straight way makes it all the more touching. Hope your better health continues and hope to see more of your stuff on WOL.

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