Poetry by Mark Allinson


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Since Vicky invited me to post some of my own poems, here are a few.

I like working with Greek myths - in this one, Hades' rape of Persephone becomes an extended metaphor for a psychological depression, as discussed by James Hillman:


Who says the myths are only myths? No more
will I blaspheme the Gods as others do,
who laugh because they have not felt the awe
and shock of being dragged into the blue.

Persephone, I was a type of her,
so innocently gathering the flowers,
enjoying all the easy joys that were
as if forever in my fields and bowers.

I gathered up the violets of love,
weaving them with lilies of romance,
and there was not a hint of cloud above
to mar the idyll of my languid dance.

But then one afternoon the cool wind fell,
bringing down the silence on the trees,
and from the earth there rose a certain smell
of sulphur that evoked a strange dis-ease

which turned into a rising rumbled sound,
and then I felt the earth begin to beat
breaking up beneath me as the ground
revealed the empty space of my defeat.

And so I came to know the realm of death
where every thing and person was a shade,
while still my heart was beating and my breath
affirmed that I was living, and afraid.

Now I must describe my greatest shame,
to tell how I was held against my will
and I was forced and broken, stripped and shorn
and ravished on the filthy floor of hell.

But let me say that here I learned to love,
because I saw the truth that he loved me.
And with this love I let the world above
go on without me, and this set me free.

Returning to the motherland I knew,
of flowers and light, it is a different place;
a gem set in the velvet blackish blue
I carry in my eyes with Hades' grace.


Every spring, after a big storm, the beaches on this coast are often littered with the glassy-blue float sails of jellyfish.

Blue-Glass Cities

A spatter of blue-glass strewn on the beach;
spark-glitter mounds of vitreous rubble
of a thousand Venetian vases reach
the length of the sandy bay: the bubble-
float-sails of the sea-faring cities
of creatures called Portuguese Man-O-War
jelly fish. But the wild ocean pities
neither blessed nor cursed nor ship nor sailor;
and now these cities are grounded in doom,
blown by depressions and seasonal tides
to be hurled and shattered on the breakers' boom
and waste into sand while the sea derides.
In my own blue glass city I sometimes hear
a sound like the pulse of a surf quite near.


An autobiographical sonnet on a recent painful experience.


They speak today of pheromones and genes
when trying to account for such a state
most often seen in young folk, in their teens
or in their twenties, signaling a mate.
They would not think a man turned fifty-eight
should be a candidate for such a blast
of chemicals, or genes, or luck, or fate,
to blow him forty years back to his past.
His family and friends would be aghast
to hear their wrinkled sage bay at the moon
and warble that he’d found “the one” at last,
and call him “fool”, or worse, “romantic loon.”
But they don’t know because they were not there
to breathe the lethal darkness of your hair.


I do also write the occasional free verse piece.

Li Po’s Fire Poems

Some say Li Po burned
only his bad poems,

freed them like fire-flies,
to spark down the rivers
of night.

But that is all wrong:

I recall a night
of ice and frost,
high in a cave
in the Tai-hang Mountains.

Surely we would have died
that night, but Li Po
unrolled his best work,
read each poem softly,
then handed them
to the flames.

I remember one —
about a young girl he caught
praying to the moon —

the warmth from that poem
keeps the chill from my marrow
even now.


Thanks for reading.

« Last Edit: 19 Feb, 2007, 16:02:40 by spiros »


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I loved your poems, Parcelsus.
Thanks for sharing them with us.
Please, keep posting :-)


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  • Words ail me.


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  • Vicky Papaprodromou
I especially like "Initiation".:-)

Thank you, Mark, for sharing these poems with us.
Ο λόγος είναι μεγάλη ανάγκη της ψυχής. (Γιώργος Ιωάννου)


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