In Jane Austen’s House: by John Looker

This was her writing table, this her chair
(‘Please Do Not Sit’): two bijou items placed
here by the window where the light fell square
on her page from the horse-drawn world she faced.
In a cramped corner the public (that’s me
and you) peer through glass at her neat handwriting;
or we squeeze into the bedroom which she
and her sister shared – until she was dying.
We visitors are whispering, withdrawing
from each other. We feel too tall, too loud,
navigating all this china, imploring
children to be careful. We’re quite a crowd.
……We open a door (she would have opened it too,
……her skirts brushing the frame) and we pass through.

 

John Looker’s poetry collection, The Human Hive, was selected by the Poetry Library for the UK’s national collection. His poems have appeared in print and in online journals and will be included in three anthologies for publication in 2017. A selection of John’s poetry can also be found HERE.

Mercury: by John Looker

This conference – by videophones –
would stop Marco Polo in his tracks,
take the wind out of Columbus’ sails,
and has messed up meal times
in five separate time zones.

Dinner in Shanghai
but breakfast on Wall Street.
Luncheon in London’s City
and in Frankfurt am Main.
Tea in Mumbai.

Listen! … so what do you think?
There it is again:
the delicate sound of a glass
on a glass – a clink,
a disembodied clink!

(first published in The Human Hive, by John Looker,
Bennison Books, 2015)
John Looker’s poetry collection, The Human Hive, was selected by the Poetry Library for the UK’s national collection. His poems have appeared in print and in online journals and will be included in three anthologies for publication in 2017. A selection of John’s poetry can also be found HERE.

IPM 2015: Where do we go from here?

Before the Simplon pass at the Italian-Swiss border, is a Roman bridge over the Diveria River. It's called the "new" bridge, because it was built in 1300 c.e. to replace the previous bridge built in the reign of Emperor Augustus that was destroyed by a flood.
Before the Simplon pass at the Italian-Swiss border, is a Roman bridge over the Diveria River. It’s called the “new” bridge, because it was built in 1300 c.e. to replace the previous bridge built in the reign of Emperor Augustus that was destroyed by a flood.

 

“Poetry gives us the opportunity to offer our observations to present and future readers, be they from the perspective of one standing on the bridge watching events or of one standing below and taking on the current. I’m looking forward to a month of editing and I know that my IPM readers are standing on the bridge waiting for the flow of poems to begin…”

So began International Poetry Month 2015 and the flow of poems was fascinating for me to edit and I hope that both Readers and Poets enjoyed getting their feet wet. I offer my most sincere thanks to the participating poets and to the more than 1000 readers who came from the United States, England, Australia, Brazil, Italy, Pakistan, Canada, Denmark, France, India, Luxembourg, Singapore, the UAE, New Zealand, Trinidad & Tobago, Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Switzerland, Israel, Ghana, the Philippines, Belgium, Peru, Romania, Serbia and Portugal to read their work.

Today is the fourth of March and Spring seems only a few days away here in Northern Italy while I know those in other places are still slogging through the snow. Regardless of the temperature, here the snows have begun to melt and these poems will begin to erode away, disappearing a few at a time and leaving only the voices behind. Some you will still be able to find on the web, or in a book. Some will be gone for good. Where do we go from here? Why across the bridge and in search of new images, new experiences and new poetry. Following is an alphabetical list of the participating poets; each name is also a link to the poet’s work posted at IPM where you will find additional links to individual blogs or published works:

Au Cimetière du Père-Lachaise: by John Looker

It’s not for the grave of Oscar Wilde we’ve come,

nor Chopin or Marcel Proust, though many do –

as if a photo of oneself against the tomb,

grinning, would give their works the honour due.

Turning our backs on this we have a view

right across Paris from up here on this ridge:

morning shines on the Seine and on the roofs

and life rushes on, just water under a bridge.

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Enjoy more poetry by John Looker on his blog HERE

John has also recently published an excellent collection of poetry entitled: “The Human Hive” with Bennison Books