Thursday 16 March 2023

Five Poems by John Drudge


At a Café in St. Mark’s Square


The vitality of Venice

Is a mysterious


An opium dream

Of the senses

Of woven cultures

Down a silk road

Along the Grand Canal

Ideas and gunpowder

On gondolas

And Chinese junks

Traders in passions

And possibilities

Beneath the Muslim


Of St. Mark’s square

Under another hopeful

Veneto sun

New Machines



To be conquered

On far off peaks

With Buddhist patience

And a Zen for sitting still


For the whispers

From across the ridge

Through the deep pines

Down where Kerouac


In the surge

Of a sudden need to move

Toward new discoveries

In the sunshine

Of cracked minds

And old ghosts

In new machines

Summer Skies



Restless activity

A detailed wandering

In strips of consciousness


And pontifications


On every street corner

And in the empty lot

By the convenience store

With the tattered awning

Where we always

Ran for cover

From the slate grey skies

Of summer storms

Cracking bright light

Across the horizon

The Edge of Town



Reduced to the essentials

Tension and stress


At the back meat

A high wire act

Without a net

Dragged under by beasts

Over wild cries

In the wilderness

As church bells ring

In the square

On Sundays

As a requiem for sanctity

And deliverance

From sin

In the small apartment

By the river

In the springtime

On the edge of town

Walking Through Walls


A new type of secret


Salome at the nativity

Altering reality

And how we see the world

The blasphemy

Of Joseph’s first wife

Extended families

And the judgement

Of exclusion or inclusion

Depending on the tracks

And which side of the wall

Has the most cracks

Or the gospel

According to Mark

With deep rhythmic


And the faith

Of the Holy Ghost

On a path

Of pure resistance

John Drudge is a social worker working in the field of disability management and holds degrees in social work, rehabilitation services, and psychology.  He is the author of four books of poetry: “March” (2019), “The Seasons of Us” (2019), New Days (2020), and Fragments (2021). His work has appeared widely in numerous literary journals, magazines, and anthologies internationally. John is also a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee and lives in Caledon Ontario, Canada with his wife and two children. 

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