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Jon Stocks


The Montreal Review, October 2010




Seven Acts of Mercy


First he would salvage the old photographs 

The half lit Edwardian drawing room 

Glimpse of another dimension 

Faces gaze furtively wary of change. 

The Shibboleth of all desires, here 

Distilled in letters, old documents 

Residuals and marginalia 

The shards of benign fragmentation. 

He will protect the tiny girl that died 

With her daughter, haemorrhaged after birth 

And the soldier on the Somme, alluding 

To the consequences of indiscretions. 

He will keep the prayer books from the library 

Boxes full of tissued medals, trophies 

Won on distant sun kissed playing fields 

Evocative of languid, post war ease. 

And this long lost, blurred, half focused world 

The loose plasticity of flowing time 

He will store in a corner of his mind 

The heart beats, the tear stained miseries. 


Mozart's Requiem-Domme Salzburg  


The audience seem lost, hushed 

Faces closed by silent payer 

Or entranced in fixed thought 

Private litany, images 

Distilled fragments of beauty 

Dark fractals of decanted grief 

The moment when you could have said 

"I love you. Please stay with me." 

We each have our own requiems 

The still born dreams of distant days 

Tonight, cleaved from our own souls 

Our heaving hearts, the rising swell 

Of choral voices, we will fight 

To keep the tiny flame alive. 




Electric exhilaration 

in the old hermit's cave, beside the lake 

at Bretton, waiting for the rain to pass 

they gazed in silence, spoke in whispers. 


a softening veil of misted light 

soul clouds ripe with fractious energies 

an elusive, purple black montage. 

Years later he would remember 

the persistence of her perfume 

her clarity and charisma 

a flash of lightening on coal black eyes 

and how 

drenched with joy for days 

he had dared to dream of paradise.




And now a soft rain falls 

Over the Tiergarten 

The new glass palaces 

Shimmer in weak sunshine. 

My father came here too 

In recrimination 

Sat and gazed in awe 

At the faceless children 

Stumbling through the ruins. 

We sit and share our wine 

Between smiling faces 

Light blossoming laughter 

Ekes out the afternoon 

Calmly we wait on dreams. 

Now we think only how 

The evening twilight falls 

Too soon, gaze at the moon 

Knowing no human fears 

Or souls can graze the stars. 
Tonight it seems absurd 

To speak of war, or grief 

Your ghosts are nebulous 

Your wine as warm as blood. 


Imagined You


Sunday morning, and you dawn

After too much Chianti you wake up late

To a crush of vibrant birdsong

In a violent light of city daybreak. 

The languid bourgeoisie are still loafing

Smugly over orange juice and 'Daily Mails'

Your eyes sting, face smeared with mascara

The face in the mirror blotched and pale. 

A flood of images; Saturday night

Your thoughts drop like pebbles into water

Each with a splash of avowed escape

The ravenous dreams of an only daughter. 

The iPod opens a drowsy subtext

Of other lives and Sunday stirrings

Sweet bathos of the loved and lost

You doss around for hours, long past caring. 

If I could show your future now I would

The claustrophobic web of vague deceits

And the little spurts of assertiveness

Before your sullen, brooding late retreats. 

I would find a city to fit your soul

Then pack your bags and check the times

I would book your wing and say a prayer

And find you space to say your last goodbyes. 

Platform 8 for Camden or Bloomsbury?

With your books, your secret looks and violin

All packed and ready for a long sojourn

To save your dreams; but how could I begin? 



Jon Stocks  is a UK based poet. His recent poetry has appeared in a wide variety of magazines in the United Kingdom including magazines featured in the 'Ink-Writers Guild' as being in the top ten most innovative and inspirational magazines in the UK, magazines include: Candelabrum, The Coffee House magazine, The Journal, the Dawntreader, Coffee House, Pennine Platform, Littoral, Other Poetry, Manifold, Poetry Monthly, Harlequin, Tadeeb International, Taj Mahal Review, Avacado, Involution and Interlude.  Jon Stocks has twice been nominated for the Pushcart prize and he has work held under copy write at the English national poetry library.  


llustration: Stuart Luke Gatherer "Putney Bridge II" (Oil on Canvas, 2007).

"Gatherer is doing what gifted artists have always done. He does not imitate the past; he searches the past for ways of expressing his own sense of the present. It is as valid to compare his work with videos by Sam Taylor-Wood, often showing young urban professionals of the same sort, as it is to compare it to that of the great painters of the past whom he evokes in some of his compositions. We need both points of reference to understand what he is trying to achieve. Neither comparison detracts from the impressive nature of his achievement." --

Edward Lucie Smith, Art Historian and Critic

Gatherer's works can be purchased at Albemarle Gallery, 49 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4JR

Gatherer's website:


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