Author | John Stocks

We came to America and rolled
across the wheat-belt, the vast, seemingly endless plains,
over the rugged Rockies, the Sierra Nevada,
observing the heart lands of middle-America.
They whispered with shopping malls, automobiles,
In entropy, rusting to oblivion by prairie and desert.

In the evenings we watched the news.
America, you seemed to be bewildered,
policing an ever more complex world is tough
the intricacies, the nuances of madmen
and renegades, hell bent on spreading their terror.
The crazy jihadists of the new Caliphate.

Night after night, on prime-time television
The same parched innocent throats were slit;
And we recoiled over and over
Sated, overwhelmed by the horror of it,
Immersed in their insane visions of God.

America you seemed weary, lonely.
Like a tired old stag you bellowed
Your defiance across the world.

And being British, we understood.
You were not finished yet.
The last great super-power
just beginning to reconcile your awe
with your vulnerability;
with the constancy of change,
the inevitability,
of global uncertainty. 

About the Author | John Stocks ince 2010 has appeared in the UK ‘Soul Feathers’ anthology, alongside Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Seamus Heaney, Carol Ann Duffy, Maya Angelou, Sharon Olds and others. He has also had the honor of sharing a page with Maya Angelou in the anthology, ‘Heart Shoots.’
He has a poem in ‘This Island City’ the first poetry anthology of poems about Portsmouth and he is also featured in The Cinnamon Press anthology, ‘Shape Shifting’, The Northern writers anthology, ‘Type 51’, and in the Red Claw press anthology, ‘Seek it’. In May 2013, he had poetry in the international anthology, ‘For Rhino in a shrinking world’
In 2016, he has had poems in an International Anthology for Seamus Heaney, the annual literary review of The Long Island Poetry Collective, New York and, ‘Trainstorm’, an anthology of Railway Poetry, published in South Africa and London.
He is the poetry editor of Bewildering Stories magazine and has published a number of creative anthologies. He spends a considerable amount of time encouraging and working with young poets, many of whom have been published for the first time. He is currently working with Mappin Writers,  the creative writing group of the Sheffield Institute for the Blind.