Two Poems by John Stock
One day you will rise and know
How beautiful you are,
Why heads turn when you walk in the room
And other eyes gaze, entranced.
Or, if not blessed with beauty,
You may still be blessed,
By wonder or kindness,
Wit and intelligence.
Discovering as you grow
How your soul can glow,
Bloom with mystery;
Then draw from a well of wishes
A dazzle of ecstatic bliss.
One day you will yearn for something
Scarcely known or understood,
Then ache with torment; transient sorrows,
Feel the first ice of terrible regret
Of losing joy; too beautiful to own.
One day you will learn
That all good things must end,
And now a soft rain falls
Over the Tiergarten,
The new glass palaces
Shimmer in weak sunshine.
My father came here too
Sat and gazed in awe
At the faceless children
Stumbling through the ruins.
We sit and share our wine
Between smiling faces,
Light blossoming laughter
Ekes out the afternoon,
Calmly we wait on dreams.
Later we think only how
The evening twilight falls
Too soon, gaze at the moon
Knowing no human fears
Or souls, can graze the stars.
Tonight it seems absurd
To speak of war, or grief,
Your ghosts are nebulous;
Your wine as warm as blood.
I took my imagination for a walk
Unwisely from the port, the teeming streets
Were like my head, a restless cacophony.
Poverty screamed like a coyote
Trash gathered flies where babies crawled
To play in gutters, does anybody care
For children, in this wreckage of a city?
Torn awnings flapped for five minutes of repair.
I struggled to make a connection.
The first city of civilization
Where the Pharos dipped its light to show
All the wonders of the age, its library
A golden beacon of enlightenment?
An Arab guy was tugging at my sleeve
Urgently, clearly frustrated with me
‘This is Alex’ he said, ‘you need a taxi’
His writings have been widely included in anthologies and journals, the Soul Feathers—An Anthology (February 2011), BURNER – A magazine (March 2011). He has two nominations for the Pushcart prize and, in January 2011, he received the Mariner award for, ‘best of the best’ work in BwS magazine 2010.
Other writings are coming up in many journals in the ‘Ink-Writers Guild’, The Montreal Review, The Dublin Literary Review, Candelabrum, The Coffee House magazine, The Journal, Burner, the Dawntreader, Coffee House, Pennine Platform, Littoral, Other Poetry, Manifold. Poetry Monthly, Harlequin, Tadeeb International ( translated into Urdu), Taj Mahal Review, Avacado, Involution and Interlude, The Cinnamon Press anthology, ‘Shape Shifting’, The Northern writers anthology, Type 51, and ‘This Island City’, Portsmouth in Poetry, on sale in Waterstones.
To download these poems by John Stock in PDF, click CLRI March 2012
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