Near water

Ordinary life creates

These empty spaces

Inside of me

Composed of God-knows-what:

Certainly lacking in originality.

Pale-blue eyes

On a snow drop face

Seen-through lace,

Seen-through lace.

These empty waiting rooms of the heart,

Set to tear us apart,

These ventricles of the brain, never the same.

Birdsong flung

Into fond recall

A dry-stone wall,

A dry-stone wall.

The smokey-smell of coal and steam

an evening’s desultoriness

or, a girl’s slight distress

as she leaves an empty nest.

Fleecy clouds on a dreary day

Don’t fade away,

Don’t fade away

Her tears mingle

With the spine-tingling haunting of the imagination

That is a prelude to a waking death:

Echoes and shadows of those who walked before

Sitting on the floor of an  A&E trauma room.

Daffodils lean into a wind of change

Whisper: begin again,

Begin again.

An isolated cry punctures the sky

Disturbs the hush of illness

The ever present caw-caw-cawing of the brazen crows

Across the road, in another century,

When the heated glow of household fires welcomed

Tired soldiers home to share the beds of strangers.

And still the cries bounce from wall-to-wall

Echoing what precisely?

A grassy bank

To invest my time

No bells' chime,

No bells' chime.

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◄ Breath

A London view ►


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John Marks

Fri 22nd Nov 2019 11:32

Thank you Jon.

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Jon Stainsby

Thu 21st Nov 2019 22:15

Beautiful, John

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John Marks

Thu 21st Nov 2019 21:58

Thank you Ray. Your approval means a lot to me. I am often reduced/elevated to tears these days - a man shuffling down the road, a baby's cry, a memory, a wish, music, poetry, the sheltering sky:

“Into my heart an air that kills
From yon far country blows:
What are those blue remembered hills,
What spires, what farms are those?

That is the land of lost content,
I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again.

- Poem XL”
― A.E. Housman, A Shropshire Lad

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Thu 21st Nov 2019 16:45

This took me close to tears John. A poem to read like the long draught of a life looking back and pinned to the present. Scholarly and multi layered, exceptionally effective.


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