Tuesday, April 9, 2013

To Alexandria (Upon Reading 'Love in the Time of Dinosaurs')

I think I recognize you now, poet,
Sitting there amidst quotidian things;
A jar, a dish, a coffee cup with one
Crimson smear. I see that faraway
Look in eyes staring out, viewing also
The hinterland beyond. I hear the sigh
Of one tasting the honeyed bitterness
Of history, and hearing whispered words
From phantom children in abandoned rooms.
I watch the hand of you, cartographer,
Mapping out diligently the fault lines
Of emotion and thought; without recoil
Meticulously cataloguing all
Fractures between observer and observed.

I think I recognize you now, poet;
The possessor of a heart that rises up
Touching the wonder in the everyday;
That yet can find the joy of simple things
Despite repeated falls of toxic rain
Filling the pools of memory. I see
Penelope gazing through the window
Of an empty house to the sea outside
Yet sensing that larger ocean within.
And so, with practical resolution
And shrugging off a profound weariness,
She soldiers on. The floor is swept, the meal
Prepared. She smiles, arranging yellow flowers
Whose petals trap flames from the fading sun.


  1. Brushing away a tear, I sigh and say, 'Thank you, dear Juan, for joyously touching my soul.

  2. I am both surprised and impressed,
    Such skill with prose, you have possessed!

  3. What a beautiful piece, John. You made me read this twice, so intricate and gentle are your connections. The meter is subtle; the language practical. Just wonderful.

  4. I wonder which Romantic Brit Poet resides incarnate inside your body --- William Wordsworth, perhaps...

  5. Meredith and Billy Ray, I really appreciate your comments. And Wordsworth IS one of my favourites, as it happens ...

  6. Unspoken words deep from within build the most beautiful bridge to one another.

  7. Truly inspiring, John. That is beautiful!

  8. John,
    You showed me this once before, in a private email, but it's just as moving now as it was then.
    And you thought you could only write fine prose.
    Honored that my poetry inspired such a moving poem. And thank you.
    You did more than "recognize" me, my dear.

    1. Alexandria, I think the jury is still out on whether I can write fine prose, fine poetry, or indeed fine anything, but thank you for the sentiment. Your poetry collection was indeed what inspired this out-of-practice poet to wield his virtual pen once more. I'm just looking forward to reading your Holocaust poems when work gives me some time to savour them properly. xxx

  9. Beautiful, John. Thank you. A couple of books of my poems have been published, and I treasure meeting a real wordsmith!

    Glad to have found you through #TBSU. I subscribed to your blog and look forward to reading more.

  10. Great to meet you too, Carole and thank you for your kind comment. I have followed you on Twitter and G+ and hope to have many interactions with you in the future. Btw please point me at your poetry books. Best, John