Sometimes I dream of Siberia

and reindeer herds invading wilderness

invisible on paper maps or Google.


From nowhere a tiny village:

a post office, gas station, two hotels

an outdoor pool for masochists;


mountains wear a cloak of ice

the Moscow cook's on strike again

as executioner climate change


advances drunk with forest songs

sink-holes, universal negligence;

tundra worms freeze solid underground.


Shamanic laments echo across a lake

where brittle waterfalls stand

frozen at oblivion's farthest edge


and fat-wrapped grandmothers

light midnight candles to the saint

of trembling concertinas.


Lamplit Underground, October 2019. Editor Janna Liggin















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Paul Sayer

Mon 20th Jan 2020 17:16

..."Shamanic laments echo across a lake

where brittle waterfalls stand

frozen at oblivion's farthest edge..."

This is one of those lines you wish you had written!

Imagination at its best!

Loved this poem John, I had to put a jumper on to finish it!

Chilling in the truest sense of the word.


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john short

Wed 20th Nov 2019 12:22

Thanks for all your appreciative comments. It took a few drafts (and rejections) to get this right. But the value of rejection is it makes you go back and think again. How can it be improved?

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Tue 19th Nov 2019 16:37


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Tue 19th Nov 2019 15:26

I loved the way you've captured an unyielding environment so well, with the bonus of brittle humour John. The last stanza almost warms it all up, the dry wheezing sound so redolent of folk music in different countries.



Tue 19th Nov 2019 10:43

Much to learn from you.....m following your poems👍

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