Cormorants and Guillemots

Come with me to the Western waters

Where the waves lap a coarse kiss on the shore

And we can learn to love the silence

To give love and know the love of others.


For we are nothing, a scattering of dust

A fleeting spark of electricity;

And yet we feel the pull of the moon

Some sense of mystery, communion of souls

The subtle tugging of a distant star.


When sometimes our imagination leaps

To empathy, then we are unique

Embracing some other consciousness,

An elemental wildness deep within.


To some other alien heart betrothed,

Sensing the salt water on their beaks,

Their disingenuous curves of flight

The nuances of their transitory lives.


Then we are Cormorants and Guillemots

We are the brooding deep water whale

The swift to whom, the west wind whistles home

We are love, life indestructible,

Their grief is our grief, our souls are cleaved

As to the dreams of our sons, our daughters.


Here the soft flesh tone are tenderised

the assertive sprays, the gurgling spurts dry quickly

the haunches cook slowly on sun bleached stone;

see how the salty blood forms patterns, rivulets

from a warm, still wobbling heart?


At Masada the dying buried the dead

below circling vultures, eager to be known.

Resting on the high table of morality

the Hebrew God paused and blessed his own,

‘Blessed are the children slayers

the guardians of their sacred souls

securing death before dishonour.’


After the carnage only the sun gazed down

over the hillside, across the valley floor,

torpid in a summer heat wave to where,

the dead sea gazed back; unwavering.


Jon Stocks


Jon Stocks is a UK based poet who has had work published in magazines worldwide. Recent credits include two nominations for the Pushcart prize and, in January 2011, the Mariner award for, ‘best of the best’ work in BwS magazine 2010. Recent poetry has appeared, or is scheduled to appear, in The Montreal Review, The Dublin Literary Review, Candelabrum, The Coffee House magazine, The Journal, Burner, the Dawntreader, Coffee House, Pennine Platform, Littoral, Other Poetry, Manifold. Poetry Monthly, Harlequin, Tadeeb International (translated into Urdu), Taj Mahal review, Avacado, Involution, Interlude, and others.

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