John Netting is a poet who lives in North Wales. He was educated at St Asaph Grammar School and Jesus College, Oxford, where he read English. He has spent most of his working life buying and selling paintings, finally returning to matters literary in December 2015. He believes that poetry should strive to reach the parts that prose can't. He feels no shame at showing the influence of earlier poets, and deplores the deliberate isolation from the past seen in much "establishment" verse today. He admires the work of William Blake, G M Hopkins, T S Eliot and (especially) Sylvia Plath. His other interests are horses; dogs; reading (mostly historical); painting and paintings (especially mid to late 20c abstracts and abstract-landscapes); Georgian and some modernist glass. He has been a widower since September 2015.
RIDING Still undawn distances, their sibilance. Soft clop through gloam of unshod hooves that muffle into mud. Faint blackberryers we pass back spectrally to black. They switch off their torches. For us no mad orgasmic gallop over plough exploding into wheat - we plod to the pale of a hidden thridding. We skirt deep puddles mirroring their firsts of red, cleave to the long left woodland - its rising carbon mist, riot of root-twist, fantasy of fungus. Shattering of sky. Pilgrims autonomic - we reach the shut reach, that of the isolate eye. John Netting 21 November 2016 THE FIRST YEAR'S TURNING You have now a year been gone - and I detained, a thrall to time's atrocity. I fear the brittling of leaf, leaf-vein, sap's rallentando - more, I fear oblivion of memories. My remaindering delays a possible another spring. I will hope, and try to keep you, try to hold you clear in mind - and on the random wildwind strain to hear old notes maintain the glory of your voice, your name. But I have a sick dread of a fading, of a live unravelling, of an arriving at the river decomplete, in holes, web-thin, disqualified and ticketless - my mirror imageless, my map to find you gone. John Netting 22 October 2016 A RIDING SCHOOL IN DEVON, AUTUMN 1962 Did you turn up one afternoon and did your brisk instructress say: "Quickly, tack old Posy up! Sylvia is on Ariel - you've learnt enough to go out on the road with her today!"? You did - and as you ambled with her on those horses safe and slow, did her greatness radiate, her genius show? Did you sense transcendence near? Likely not - she content to simply be - to breathe on Ariel a dilute, evanescent air - above, beyond, the blood, the sand: the grand, the savage circle of her mastery. (Worlds away the rhythm, and the different dreaming; worlds away the power, the telepathic mind, the kind surprising aura of a horse!) All unknowing you'll have spoken to her - as in a pub, perhaps, to a man called Arthur you didn't see leave, retrieve from where he'd propped it by the door the sword Excalibur. And what of Ariel? No Bucephalus he, old plod - there never was for him a celebrated grave. The meat-man will have come one day, stood, stared a second, shrugged and paid two shillings, led the horse away. As well ask the fate of the donkey, he that another unlikely, untoward and suicidal poet-prophet rode, into palm-sick Jerusalem. John Netting September 2016 ALL THE WAY BACK if you when window shopping touch the plateglass with the corner of your specs your head jerks back - oh snail horn sensitivity! half a billion years recoil react recall retract touch was the first it felt the light it felt the lack of sight need seeded it to differentiate to pucker up locate parts to start rudiments of tastebuds nostrils ears and eyes * but here and now your woman soundly sleeps - from a fraught five sense inventory you need to pick a perfect birthday wake up call clearly inappropriate - with a nice hot cup of tea or not - would be the shining of very bright lights or a small laser on her eyelids so too to utter loud uncouth noises shout "Fire!" or trickle water between two glasses by her ear to make her need to pee - unthinkable to introduce some drastic odour to her comatose nose or a tastebomb past her teeth quite so instead you must with patient fingers loving lips and subtle tongue arouse her - bend her body back all the way back to the ancient urgency to the primal sea from which she comes by touch John Netting 22 July 2016
All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.
A Legend of Mr and Mrs Tell (28/02/2017)
A Much Earlier Version of "Time Comes" (19/02/2017)
Time Comes (19/02/2017)
Epona's Roses (18/02/2017)
Fusion Power (14/02/2017)
Born Wild (12/02/2017)
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