Aphelion Issue 275, Volume 26
August 2022
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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by Jon Stocks

A hospital in Hamburg has constructed a bus stop on its grounds
-to help find dementia patients who have wandered away.

They found him bewildered at the bus stop
His head filled with poetry
Waiting for a bus that would never arrive.

In a fog of dislocation
And a blow from the North that chilled his bones
Bound in a nutshell of sorrows
Scarcely conscious
A long way from home.

(Fragments falling into mind
Remnants from kindlier times)

Two hours he waited, or a hundred years
With all his memories locked
It was impossible to recapture her
All the dreams that they had shared
The delicate warmth of all-sustaining love.

Dimly he recalled how he had been cherished
A mother’s ebullient son
A distant glimpse of society within
And then of course a lover
Somewhere beyond the darkness, there had been a life.

Why am I here?
Will they come for me soon?
He saw the shelter light
Flicker and die
Felt the ghastly silence.
When will they come?

© 2009 Jon Stocks

Jon Stocks has had work published in magazines worldwide and have been nominated for the Pushcart prize, 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 Candelabrum, 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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