In a Midland Town

Author | John Stocks

Where do I begin?
It was twilight when I said goodbye.
clouds had smothered
a cerulean sky,
and a mist was gathering.
It was, undoubtedly, the end of something,
a part of who I once was; abandoned.

This was once my home,
but now I roamed, unrecognised
like any passing stranger.
I could be the Pole, or Latvian
who sits,
quietly weeping on the town hall steps.

And there is nothing left of the mock-tudor cafe,
where you broke my heart over a milky coffee
and a thick buttered slice of dripping toast.
Only the lonely, holy ghosts
of half visceral memory.
the ever changing mind-scapes
of occasional troubled dreams.


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.