Thursday, December 21, 2006

poem - John Stammers

The Day Flies Off Without Me

The planes bound for all points everywhere
etch lines on my office window. From the top floor
London recedes in all directions, and beyond:
the world with its teeming hearts.

I am still, you move, I am a point of reference on a map;
I am at zero meridian as you consume the longitudes.
The pact we made to read our farewells exactly
at two in the afternoon with you in the air
holds me like a heavy winter coat.

Your unopened letter is in my pocket, beating.

-- John Stammers

Another one from the minstrels. This is a very poignant poem. I like poems like this that offer you a single moment of a much larger implied narrative and this particular poem resonates with love and loss. I also am very interested in the symbolic value of a plane (especially as someone who grew up on an island) - traversing the air: a separating, yet mediating space - in airspace there are no islands, everything is joined but everything is also apart. I'm not familiar with John Stammers but I think he is just my kind of poet and I will have to get to know him better. If you click the link above, there are some more of his poems online that you can read.


  1. Anonymous8:23 PM

    I'd just like to know how come you are reading poetry when the rest of the world is going bonkers with Christmas-and-end-of-year-mad-panic-rushing-about-stuff??? xx

  2. It's my brief moment of sanity in an otherwise crazed and mildly alarming world. It's like an antidote to K-Mart.

  3. Anonymous8:40 AM

    Yes, I can see how that would work.

    I went to his site - his poetry is terrific stuff. I especially liked the poem about organic food, very amusing!

    Have you ever read any Kevin Ireland poetry? I've set quite a few of his pieces to music, they are beautiful and quirky. He is a NZ poet. You might enjoy "A Serious Literary Slip."

    Merry Christmas to you and the beautiful family xxx

  4. thanks Maria, I'm always on the lookout for a new poet. Reading more poetry might be my new year's resolution.

    Merry Christmas to you too and your boys. Kiss clever Alexander for me.