Aphelion Issue 275, Volume 26
August 2022
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Hardwick village. War memorial


by Jon Stocks

And they who lived in forests
Under clouds that seeded soft rains
With the strange erotic allure
Of moist autumnal dampness
And shared intimacy with mists.

They who lived such brief lives
Shared the summer ecstasies
Of swifts and swallows on the wing
And cut peat on summer evenings
Wood smoke curling to infinity
Watching fire-flies and pond-skaters
Skim the lakes of the great estates
Rufford, Welbeck and Clumber.

Just boys but brave when asked to wear
Their hearts on their khaki sleeves
For Notts and good old blighty
The collective unconscious of dreams
Forged in blacksmith’s sheds; on cricket fields
Still resonates in Flanders far from home
And you stride out eastwards all alone.

The first name on the memorial?
In bitter irony
Edward Allbones.

© 2007 Jon Stocks

Jon Stocks has had work published in magazines worldwide and have been nominated for the Pushcart prize 2007, an American poetry award. He has also received a citation of special merit from Bewildering stories magazine. Recent work has appeared, or is scheduled to appear, in magazines including The Coffee House magazine, Coffee House, Pennine Platform, Littoral, Other Poetry, Manifold, Poetry Monthly, Harlequin, Tadeeb International (translated into Urdu), Taj Mahal review, Avacado, Involution and Interlude.

He is currently working on a first novel and also writes short stories, winning the Carillon magazine short story competition.

A small number of poems are currently being transformed into short films as part of a film poetry project. His poem, "Alicia's Diary" was recently performed in Sheffield Cathedral as part of a Multi-media poetry presentation.

Find more by Jon Stocks in the Author Index.

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