The following poems are taken from
John’s pamphlet, The Nail Forge (Tall
To purchase this pamphlet direct from
Tall Lighthouse, click here.
That picture, Degas dancers,
you never noticed or removed.
Or spiders’ webs in a high corner
of the kitchen, a woodlouse carcase.
The low, steady fluorescence
of the steelworks in January darkness,
an amber snow-reflected glow
above the low line of the moors.
These fairground smells:
rainy October, spores,
deep fried doughnut and candyfloss
jammed in to the lining of the nose.
A dribble of urine
down the inside of a thigh.
In a clouded interior
the last, damp-stained seat on the bus.
The movement of thought:
an off tune radio station plays
that old, murderous ballad of love
in the head again and again.
A beautiful silence:
breathing, the hum of the heart,
the blood safely vaulted,
the quietness of eating.
A ripple through leaves in the plum tree,
heard from the Zen garden,
the unattached swish
of the wind’s tail, singing.