John Thomas Clark


Ten miles west of the Jutland town, Arhoos,
the blunt, square-fronted peatspade, sliced and rasped
through the brown bog to the Pre-Christian Age,
thunking him up. Preserved by the tannic
acid, his leathered form in that Dane mose
raised many questions for the peatcutter,
others. Scientists would only utter
from their ignorance that God only knows
why. The beard-stubbled face twisted in panic,
the tree-limbed pinned body contorted in rage,
picture him, a sacrifice, as he gasped
against that knotted, triple-braided noose.
Picture my amino making me a bog man
sacrificed to the pace of the scientist slogman.

* * *


First, round her hand, his fingers wouldn’t furl
for they had frozen into a rigid curl,
allowing him, then, no tactile finesse -
preventing the simplest, facial caress
and to add to his advancing alarm,
he discovered he couldn't raise his arm
to hold her. Each attempt to cuddle meant
an increase to the growing befuddlement,
that left him, with each cold-claimed body part,
frozen out further. Impaled in his heart
is this icicle - he’ll never dandle
his children. His wintry wasteland’ll
spread and with each glacial memoryslice
of might-have-beens, his touch will rime with more dry ice.

A retired NYC teacher, John Thomas Clark’s poetry has appeared in The Recorder – Journal of the American-Irish Society when edited by Derek Mahon and again when edited by Eamonn Grennan. Clark has penned The Joy of Lex which he describes as an upbeat romp of seventy-five sonnets and a crown which tells the story of life with his black lab Lex,"the best service dog in the world." He has also written Othering – a manuscripts of 150 sonnets which recounts the journey of a person who others, who becomes “an other” facing a growing physical disability. Currently ninety of J. T. Clark's poems are appearing in OCEAN, Byline, Paradox, EFQ, Tiger's Eye, The Centrifugal Eye and twenty-five other journals.