A wise fool




Bewildered, at the things he left unsaid,

Serendipity, chances offered, all cut dead:

Wise enough to play the fool.

I guess.

A vicious wind slices through me,

Here on this January night:

Put out the light and then put out the light

Memory cuts through the cold remains of the day

Parcels it up, so the day wont drift away.

Signs hidden by an iron fog beckon longingly to me:

A life lived in vain: guilty memories and shame

Arrive back across a black hole in time.

Listen to the be-jewelled spider-webbed

Frost-filled graveyard echo,

Yew trees shadowed against the moon.

No trembling now from half-remembered tunes.

Eviscerated by all that time can do to

Human hearts and lips and eyes

Trapped in earth-infected graves

Kissed by the tears of remembrance:

Flayed by an ancient consciousness of what is.


I stand alone in this freezing unghosted space,

My insides squirming like a snake,

As I try to make out the palimpsest of names and dates:

Unspeaking frost-whitened eyes.

Free will or fate — too early or too late?

Turned away from hearth and home

From the ends of empire,

We return down these unfriendly urban miles

We, who were born between Belsen and Napalm,

We choose to seize the beauty of the day

Hold it fast, then, give it clean away.





◄ Tipping point

Alan Turing 1912-1954 ►


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John Marks

Wed 28th Aug 2019 21:15

Thank you kindly Devon, Jason, A Fish, Amanda. Our job, as poets, is find a way to capture the moment as it passes, We sit on the cusp of past, present and future, trying to give voice to the 'airy nothings' of infinity.

“Music, When Soft Voices Die'

Music, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory;
Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.

Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,
Are heap'd for the belovèd's bed;
And so thy thoughts, when thou art gone,
Love itself shall slumber on.”


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Jason Bayliss

Wed 28th Aug 2019 15:02

I can only echo the comments of everyone else. It is so touching. Also, the line, "I stand alone in this freezing unghosted place," for me, was inspired. Just beautiful.

J. x

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Amanda Ann; ❤

Wed 28th Aug 2019 14:52

This is the most beautiful poem I have ever taken the time to read. its so deep. raw emotion. well written my friend.

Devon Brock

Tue 27th Aug 2019 23:24


I love your work. Some of the most thought provoking and dense I've ever read. "Between Belsen and Napalm" reads like an address, as I am certain you intended. Wonderful. Oftentimes your work reads as if you are a spectator to a grand charade.


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Tue 27th Aug 2019 21:31

Ah John - I too was born between Belsen and Napalm and have sat in that chair. King Solomon was the wisest of men and a mighty fool (as he himself confessed). As he says, 'All is vanity' but life itself is -not- in vain.

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