Poets of the World: John I. Clarke, Great Britain

ClarkeJohn Clark has been a regular guest in Margutte since the beginning. Silvia Pio came across him in the net some years ago and they finally met in Mondovì in October 2013 for a Poetic Exchange organized by Margutte.
With his new poems we are starting a new column called Poets from the World, hosting the poets who have found Margutte in the net, or have been found by Margutte.
More about John Clarke here:
Each translation is a new creation
An Interview with John Irving Clarke
Fin-Negans Wakefield
I Figli di Mondovì
An Honourable Man


My life-long friend
my crazy goat
has stirred and climbed once more
to the top of the chart.

Here, two-faced
we glance
at the dull gleam of triumph
and horrors best forgotten.

Here too, peer into the abyss
of what lies ahead
and up to the heavens
for answers in the stars.


After the storm
After the storm
we potter,
random in our course
salvaging what we can
in silence.
Correcting, straightening, mending.
Building for the future
with minute careful tending.
And sadder, wiser, without hurry
we meet,
tentative, reluctant to accept
the night could hold such fury.


Every Time We Say Goodbye
How often has a bowline tied to the moon
pegged it down firmly, anchored the full sail
before a probe for a lyrical link.
Or a trail of petals traces the tale
of helpless passion in showers of pink.
Devotion is twittered in birdsong
chorused in a battery of sonnets:
the sea running dry, one star in the sky.
How often in waiting for the headlights’
horizontal arc to sweep the street,
for footfalls, and keys jiggled late at night
have I thought to salve this gaping wound
as troubadours and smooth-tongued lovers might
by hijacking the words that crooners croon.


While a sliver of pink slips
through frosted glass, a new blade,
advocated by hunks on tv, is selected,
he catches himself
standing toe to toe with ritual,
in a mirrored face to face.

Hooded beneath the storm porch, the annual visitor
first startles then silences dogs.
Flipping open a case he displays his wares:
a bundle of stars, a dozen crescent moons;
portents and promises in tied-tight velvet sacks
he’ll release on whim.

Resolve, plough on, take up the blade,
slide it neatly against the skin.


a Routemaster bus
the tower of Big Ben
and the Thames impossibly blue

every time in passing
a vigorous shake on whim
for a snow storm
a game, a game until it was no longer new

there are no Routemasters now
and the Thames was never so blue
nor can I look at that snow globe
without thinking of how you

shook up my life
then withdrew

© John I. Clarke