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Monday 28 May 2012

On White Horse Hill

Some of you may have noticed the jigsaw-like pieces littering the blog over the past few weeks. I can now unveil the jacket of a new Poetry book by local author, poet, cartoonist and all round character, John S Curtis. Not only is he all round, he has a beard.

Here's the complete image from his book jacket. What's more, here's an example of his work.

The Lizard

Clinging to the rock motionless.
Damascened chisel head, tenacious and austere.
Artichoke scales glinting in the sun
Like the waves of the Attic sea.

He has the air of a dragon;
Rooted and pithy beneath his saracen mail.
Socrates would have seen his like
Among the olive groves, on stony hills.

The shade of Plato brushed these quiet slopes;
While through millennia of stridulating days,
Untouched by philosophy,
He basked; feeding on sapphire flies.

Slave boys, herding their goats under
Ceramic skies, once caught his fragile flashing tail;
Snapping like asparagus,
A raw and bloody squirming prize.

Between his random darts across
The burning face of time, the fine-sieved golden light
Prints his dapper shadow on parched stone;
Neat, contained and sudden in the sun.

The touch of his cool and burnished skin
Is like a slender finger in a smooth silk glove,
A thing of tactile emerald grace;
Dreaming of dark ancestral swamps.

Isn't he good! 


  1. I had him in the back of my cab once. A lovely geezer.

  2. You had a Lizard in the back of your cab? Ah! Perhaps you mean John. Yes, he is, as you say, 'A lovely Geezer'.
    He's given me a new poem to put on the blog but is still unhappy with one line. WIP.

  3. Congratulations on your discovery of Jonh Curtis. "On White Hores Hill" Was such a pleasent supprise. I was expecting the usual amatuer doggerel but this book was a revelation. He has a mastery of language and metre and the soul of a poet.

  4. Tony,not me,for this person is that rare thing,a total illiterate with amazingly refined taste in literature.It's as if a blind man were to write a profound critique on the quattrocenti Italian School.We should cherish him.We may never see his like again. J.C.