Jon Stocks is a widely published and anthologised writer based in Sheffield, UK. His work has appeared in the Cinnamon press anthology, Shape Shifting, Type 51, a northern writer’s anthology and in November his work will appear in, ‘This Island City’, a collection of poetry about Portsmouth. Johns’ poetry has appeared in magazines in the UK, USA, Canada, South Africa, Pakistan and India, some of his work being translated into Urdu. He has twice been nominated for the Pushcart prize.
In the day time John works as Head of Media and Specialism leader for the Communications faculty at The City School, Sheffield. He is currently working on a project with The National Portrait Gallery, producing song lyrics in response to the, Shakespeare and JK Rowling Exhibition. John doubts that he could live without writing poetry.
Sunday morning, and you dawn
After too much Chianti you wake up late
To a crush of vibrant birdsong
In a violent light of city daybreak.
The languid bourgeoisie are still loafing
Smugly over orange juice and ‘Daily Mails’
Your eyes sting, face smeared with mascara
The face in the mirror blotched and pale.
A flood of images; Saturday night
Your thoughts drop like pebbles into water
Each with a splash of avowed escape
The ravenous dreams of an only daughter.
The iPod opens a drowsy subtext
Of other lives and Sunday stirrings
Sweet bathos of the loved and lost
You doss around for hours, long past caring.
If I could show your future now I would
The claustrophobic web of vague deceits
And the little spurts of assertiveness
Before your sullen, brooding late retreats.
I would find a city to fit your soul
Then pack your bags and check the times
I would book your wing and say a prayer
And find you space to say your last goodbyes.
Platform 8 for Camden or Bloomsbury?
With your books, your secret looks and violin
All packed and ready for a long sojourn
To save your dreams; but how could I begin?
Three seasons in an hour today
As seen from the window of our train
That nudged its way from Chester.
Weak sunshine, light rain, then snow.
We stopped first at Delamere
At a field of stubble where fieldfares grazed
By birch trees broken by a storm
Or snapped clean by weight of ice.
You slept and missed Cuddington
And Greenbank where the blond girl left the train
Then teetered off on her high heels
To her distant suburban dreams;
As a flock of gulls left for the Dee
At Lockstock Graham where the sun appeared again.
You missed the peach cheeked girl at Plumley
By the sign for Birtwisles Pies.
The largest cemetery I have ever seen.
And, as we trundled across the plain
I doubted that I would ever see