Monday, August 31, 2009

John Marks: Singularities Part II

image © 2003 nick lown.

I've just had an email from John Marks whose collection Lifting the Veil I published some years ago.

He hoped I might find a place for this. Now, whilst I don't usually consider submissions any longer, in this case I'm prepared to make an exception and use it here.

Near is very far
space, time,

there's a vastness that appals
white walls

scurrying through
the corridors
of the christie this monday morning
meeting emile, yes, named after Jean Jacque's eponymous hero,
as if I didn't know,
married at the weekend, it has spread,
we fear we'll soon be dead.

his carribean lilt
echoes in my head.

we smile and laugh and joke with the nurses
as they try searching for a vein
in vain.

what else can you do
blues the colour of blue?

john marks


  1. The building looks so clinical. It's all so ... what's the word ... hopeless? final? I don't know.
    The stark white sign above the glass pyramid conservatory entrance whose doors doubtless open and close automatically like a supermarket entrance. No people to be seen. Not even a potted plant with some bright flowers.
    Ach, where's the humanity in hospital architecture? Is there any? Don't answer that one, Gerald.
    Functional - that's the word I was looking for. Functional.

  2. What a beautiful poem. So sad, like being lost in fog.

  3. Christie's is a lovely hospital dealing with a horrible disease. It's very unlike the industrial general hospitals that staff and patients are forced to endure. Didn't Larkin write a poem about them called 'The Building'?

    Thanks, Gerald, for making an exception and including my poem in your blog. You're a star!