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  • By John H. B. Martin

Les Sylphides & Other Poetry

from a Photograph

Flesh longed, at last, to be so impregnated and so inseminated, like a flower is pollinated by the breeze … (Or bees).

So, too, the heart called out for deeper comfort and then man’s soul called out for something more after the body had been violated and then the mind left easy on that score.

We are all flowers the sunlight cherishes, our styles made sensitive to every stigma along the towpath, and beneath the trees.

Beside the willows, and upon the shore, we gasp for shade and animal fulfillment in every way, on every outraged floor, yet never shall we know such perfect ease.

Featured in Issue Two of New Lyre Magazine


In everything one sees some trace of evil

and almost nothing is that innocent:

a flower, maybe, a wounded birdsong, death …

Death is more innocent than anything.

The innocence of children is already

as tainted as their parents' love must prove

and innocence is like a flower that wilts

and then is torn to pieces by the maelstrom

or drowns in tears of incandescent sorrow

since each such yesterday exacts tomorrow.

I passed from innocence to something worse

who sought the upper slopes of perfect goodness

but found instead a tangled thicket, where

I could not even breathe for lack of air.

John H.B. Martin is a poet who lives in London, England. He is a graduate of London University and Australia National University and has been writing for many decades. He has written four novels and is working on a fifth. His magnum opus is a six-volume epic poem. Most of his work is yet to be published.


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