Great Poetry Circle

Great Poetry Circle

About the Poetry Blog

Selection of Great Poetry and some from Tommy Stroller - choose your category - and see my other sites -

Croatian Scapes

TS InscapePosted by Tommystroller Thu, November 01, 2018 08:49:44

Rainy Sunday

I am so lazy

on this sodden Sunday

the city is empty

the cafes lie down in a bath

of salty water

the umbrellas drip

like lonely children

on a Scottish outing

someone has nicked

the white houses of Opatja

across the bay

but the casino

is still no doubt

open - I sit

no longer with coffee

toast or money

the world spins slowly

away from me

and my cigar

whispers smoke secrets

in the ear

of the ashtray

something has departed:

the last train to Ljubljana

sounds like a wall

I cannot climb

Tito’s Yacht

There is a place

in forested Croatia

a little port town

Where Tito kept

a little yacht

so similar to

An English queen’s

And in a cafe

overlooking the harbour

I once sat

for an hour

Waiting for

my love to come

and looked over

the Adriatic

But only fishing boats

back from their nightly soundings

came to greet me

Their fish

winking at me with sad eyes

and in the distance


Extraordinary Homecoming

Extraordinary homecoming

This journey to the heart

Of a foreign land

Croatia’s tears are merely smiles

To Europe’s hopeful peacemakers

I tread the tightrope of north to south

My silent fall is mystery

To all my watchers

Yet still the net quivers

When all the clowns have entered

The drum too trembles on

& reverberates with history

Spiral Thoughts

Rijeka is my inspiration

For so many spiral thoughts

Galaxies of lives

Interwoven into the coming of the night

Glittering stars and rose-red reflections

Cries of children

Refusing to come home

Rijeka Weather


In a cloudless evening sky

The mountains eat the sun

The sun drinks the sea

One last blue-red reflection

Before the world turns away from me


The clouds stroke the mountains

The mountains feed the streams

The streams bubble into the sea

The sea embraces the clouds

The clouds piss rain

And the rain? It falls on me

Istrian Twilight

Above the mountain

the cloud mountains of the sky

Above the sky mountains

the universe - too far to comprehend

for minds too-used to daylight

we only feel

its quivering rays

Below the mountains

the lithograph of orange light-lines

on deep blue Istrian paper

Below Istria’s shadow-plays

the squirm of Opatja’s painted charms

Below Opatja

the quayside lamps

delving deep shafts of gold

in the absolute black of the sea

Opposing Opatja

the moon slowly rises high:

a scimitar slices the hills

south of Rijeka


Tommy Strollers Poetry GeneralPosted by G. Thompson Tue, July 10, 2018 04:35:42

Some music makes you shake

Some music makes you rock and roll

Some music wakes up your soul

Some music makes you cry

Some music makes you wanna die

Only the music-master knows the tunes to play

When your'e either up or down

In love or relieved

To be broken hearted, free and outta town.

Music is for the highway, the church and the

Lonely apartment just down the block

It's always there when you need it

Radioed, stereoed, or spottified

Its always there when you unlock

Your head and get turned on or tuned out.

You can still get your glass of music

At every bar and passing cafe.

That time you hear your favourite singer

Blasting out from a passing car stereo

You know that heaven is literally

Just down the road.

Who Knows?

TS EcologyPosted by G. Thompson Tue, July 10, 2018 04:31:59

the name of the hounds of heaven

when they howl March's coming

& strip the last leaves of oak?

how the sea grows warmer

cleaned & transparent from winter's keep

when early suns tend further east?

what moves the caterpillar

from his wingless sleep & bids him

return to the blossoms & spreading buds?

how the cherry ripens

in the heart of the bud

& is put out for the wandering gazer?

where the lark springs from

to throw that sky-born voice

clear from its tall & lucid tower of air?

why the sparrows' twittering grows louder

as they clamour in gable ends

& every bush?

why men long seaward

when April shows its skirts & frolics

under the bows of newly launched skiffs?

who women long for

when sheets lie heavy on itching skin

& imagination runs further than husbandmen?

why sailors keep watch

on Orion's higher rising

in its spinning merry-go round of April nights?

who finally keeps the candles burning

in Rembrandt's dark study

on the far side of our tears?

Tommy Stroller, April 2018

The Springs of Love

TS LovePosted by G. Thompson Tue, July 10, 2018 04:24:53

The springs of love are strange

some are pure but others

sullied, muddied and poisoned

by influences unbenign

but gold is found in dirty streams

crystals of amethyst and quartz

in base and granite rocks

the force of sin and degradation

can heat our tainted love

to moments of even greater perfection:

the man on the cross-

roads of so many lives

Front Lawn

Great PoetryPosted by G. Thompson Tue, March 27, 2018 12:17:10
The snow was falling
over my penknife
There was a movie
in the fireplace
The apples were wrapped
in 8 year-old blond hair
Starving and dirty
the janitor's daughter never
turned up in November
to pee from her sweet crack
on the gravel
I'll go back one day
when my cast is off
Elm leaves are falling
over my bow and arrow
Candy is going bad
and Boy Scout calendars
are on fire
My old mother
sits in her Cadillac
laughing in her Danube laugh
as I tell her that we own
all the worms in our lawn
Rust rust rust
in the engines of love and time

Leonard Cohen from Flowers for Hitler (1964)

Cohen needs no introduction, but it is his music he is more famous for than his poetry, but his early poems are absolutely brilliant, though extremely personal. Notice the way he casually captures the details of his old family home and childhood by just small hints and images. The end of this poem I take to be a classic 60s blast against materialism and capitalism - but judge for yourself.

More background can be found on Wikipædia:

There they quote his influences as being Whitman, Lorca, Yeats and Henry Miller. All important, but really he was a unique voice from the beginning. Like me he had a family festooned with religious preachers (in his case rabbis, in mine evangelical protestant sermonizers), and this shows in many of his poems - he is deeply concerned with the fading and near extinction (in truly spiritual terms) of major religions, and his poetry and songs are imbued with the influences of both his upbringing (as a strict Jewish boy) and the Catholic community that surrounded him. He searched all his life for a new religion but never found one to suit him. Zen-Buddhism came close but he could never give up coffee, cigarettes and women in order to seriously become a monk. In any case, his famous relationship with the abbot of the Californian zen monastery he attended for 3 years (1994-7) led to him becoming the master's first assistant, but I think the master saw Cohen as HIS master!

I recommend all the early poetry - best found in Selected Poetry - & his last collection - Book of Longing (2006), even if the latter are less crafted poems then his earlier. The best novel I feel is Beautiful Losers, a great portrayal of a very unMeToo male in the freedom loving 60's. But it is better than Miller's autobiographical self-glorification of his own penis, much, much better. Cohen not only loved women, he deeply respected them and always set them above himself. That is why 80% of his adoring fans WERE women! Leonard Cohen (1934 - 2016) RIP


TS Political PoetryPosted by G. Thompson Tue, March 27, 2018 11:04:05


I am the star which guides you, my ship, to harbour home.

I am the waves which kiss your bows and urge your timbers moan.

You are the sail which clasps my breath, my song, that makes you yearn.

You are the hull which holds my dreams yet shoots me through the dawn.

No, I am the star which guides the wise, and bids the end of day.

And I am the waves which cleanse your world and keeps your filth at bay.

You are the sale that clutches my breath, the patter that makes me buy.

You are the rack I stretch upon that pulls my dreams awry.

But I am the sun and sometimes the moon, depending on the dice.

And I will love whoever comes no matter which way they face.

If it is true, as you do say, that I have been your rack,

I must become the you I've made and suffer from that lack.

It is no lack to be without what you have always had.

And even now you cannot change the thinking of the stud.

You cannot know, you cannot feel, the centuries of my fear.

But what you must begin to will is LOVE, not power and war.

For the MeToo campaign


TS Death & LossPosted by G. Thompson Wed, March 30, 2016 21:34:34

On the Death of a Young Boy by Drowning


We sing our nightingale tunes
In the echoes of a darkness that eclipses all night
Each alone & yet identical in the song of our delivery
What defiant beauty in this seizing
Of lost chances & last hopes
What magnificent artifice
In our evasion of oblivion


We never know

Where we came from

Nor where we shall go

Sent in a body

We never chose

But then make our own

Like a house inherited

Built of moments and

And others' dreams

Or as a treasure found

Under an upturned stone


In the ring of mourners singing
In the voices that spiral upward
Like smoke into the gaping ears of heaven
In the eye of a small flame glistening
There is a prayer signalling silence
That outstares our long-starred fates


Our world is just a window in a jet plane

bound for heaven


Our day is a porthole on the ferry

crossing the Styx


Our true friends weave the spiders web

to catch our egos in search of self-love


Our lovers become the shadows

cast by ourselves onto them


Our life is a blip on the radar

of the navigator God


Haiku for Eleanor’s Soul

A leaf spins through the sun

Lands on the water

Slowly turns then flows away

Tommy Stroller