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Best Poems Written by John Watt

Below are the all-time best John Watt poems as chosen by PoetrySoup members

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That Starry Night

Like no one before, nor since
 you painted that starry night in oils
  superimposing your life story.

I feel I know this idyllic village
 blanketed by tranquil rolling hills
  embraced by calming olive trees
   their very branches a symbol of peace
    the steadfast church steeple
     a sacred echo of the stalwart cypress.

But never have I witnessed
 hills so inflamed - burning to tell the world their history
  a moon so agitated - suffering from an incurable insanity
   the night sky so frenzied - seeking answers to life's suffering
    such undulating indigo eddies of despondency and confusion
     or stars radiating with such feverish beauty - concentric circles of passion.

That starry night
 you painted stars that, like you, are light years away from anyone else
  looking on the serene village scene from an insurmountable distance
   for you saw things, Vincent,
    like no one before, nor since.


a free verse ekphrasis of the painting "The Starry Night" by Vincent Van Gogh

Copyright © John Watt | Year Posted 2020



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Chaplinesque

I am a silent movie,
a corny melodrama
played in black and white
with an observable flicker.
A little tramp
accompanied by ragtime piano.

You are pure A-list 
Technicolor, 
Dolby digital
THX, IMAX laser, 
Oscar winner
3D blockbuster.

And yet you love
me.

Copyright © John Watt | Year Posted 2020

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To You Alone

I cannot comprehend our great Creator’s mind -
How every galaxy He perfectly designed.
How every atom in the universe is His,
Ordered and known by Him, as all creation is; 
	No eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard,
	No mind ever conceived the secrets known     
	To Him alone.

No mind can fully grasp the myst'ry of your ways -
Joyful the heart that trusts and gladly renders praise
For such an awesome love that sent your Son to die.
How could that love extend to sinners such as I?
	I may not ever know why you would choose to show
	Your grace to sinful man – though once concealed, 
        Through Christ revealed.

Unworthy are my words your glory to express -
Loosen my tongue O Lord, your praises to profess.
Though we don’t know in full, we know enough to trust
That you are perfect, wise, all-loving, good, and just.
        No eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard,
	No mind ever conceived the secrets known 
	To You alone.

Copyright © John Watt | Year Posted 2020

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Winter's Antidote

Written the week my niece's 29-year-old fiance died in an auto accident, 2 months shy of their wedding day.
O Winter, why this desolation? Trees, once verdant now stand bare Flowers, long in hibernation; clouds that frown with ominous stare, Bleak winds chill the rain-soaked bones and blow the leaves from yard to yard Winter is for hardy souls whose skin is thick when life runs hard. Come quickly, Spring, just weeks away, fulfill your promise: life anew A ring to give, a vow to take, a oneness where there once was two A fleeting, tragic, rain-drenched moment; one is gone, just one is left Foul Winter, taking one too soon, and leaving one too soon bereft. Intrepid one; my dear, strong one - to face the future minus one Yet Spring is poised to come again, and with another rising sun I throw a penny of good wishes in your fountain of love lost What's this? Another penny there; another, and another tossed... By end of week a million pennies tossed by those whose love pours out A million small expressions of compassion for your winter drought You're not alone, O precious one, you live enveloped by so many Love is winter's antidote; this love is spring's eternal penny.

Copyright © John Watt | Year Posted 2016

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A Strange Galaxy

When I gaze into this realm, I see more than the dazzling array
  of golden starbursts floating in a sea of blue-green-gray,
    photoreceptors painting post-Impressionistic explosions of colors,
      fibers and dilator muscles servicing your ocular aperture.

I see the distinctive melanin patterns of a truly original individual -
 a retinal scan of exceptional singularity
  each nebula unique,
    every supernova peculiar,
      no quasar like any other.

I briefly hold in the palm of my hand
  an infinity of nuance,
    an eternity of historical archives,
      a heaven and earth of emotional journeys.

I am reading your autobiography, the encyclopedia of you.
 Yet I remain a starving student,
   a scholar of your sclera,
     a pupil of your pupils,
       a Vincent of your irises,

going half-mad with the dizzying vastness
  of the starry night within your eyes.

Copyright © John Watt | Year Posted 2020



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A Piece of Winter

Take away the frost of Winter, Rid the land of biting snow, Then who would praise the warmth of August, How could April rivers flow? Hush the deafening crash of thunder, Dull the flash of lightning's thorn, And who would feel the calm of silence, When the still of dawn is born? Sow your seeds of evergreens So that Spring’s soil year-round conceives, Then who could reap the multi-colored Glory of October leaves? Look beyond this thick façade, You'll find four seasons in my soul, But take away a piece of Winter And you'll leave me cut, unwhole.

Copyright © John Watt | Year Posted 2016

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Separated By A Common Language


"England and America are two countries separated by a common language." 
                                                                 - George Bernard Shaw
An American takes a respectful look at some of the many language variations across 'the pond'...
I write a poem for my 'mom', you write one for your 'mum', I sit down on my 'rear end' but you sit down on your 'bum'. I need to use the 'bathroom', that small room you call a 'loo', I may just need to stand 'in line', that thing you call a 'queue'. Now here's a fun one: 'Bob's your uncle' when I'd say, 'You're done'. You might attend a 'Stag do' for some 'bachelor party' fun. I always ride the 'elevator' up; you ride the 'lift'. That time that I called football 'soccer', you got jolly miffed! Your 'pitch' - my 'field'. Your 'match' - my 'game'. We never say 'Nil - nil', (I'm glad your lads in '66 took World Cup, not Brazil). I'd say, 'My team is looking strong' though you'd say, 'My team are...' For me, a 'trunk'; for you, a 'boot' holds luggage in the car. You'd say you need a 'holiday', well, I need a 'vacation': I'll hit the 'beach', you hit the 'seaside' - either way, elation! I'm 'very pleased' but you are 'chuffed' when things are going breezy. I might say, 'I don't really mind' where you would say, 'I'm easy'. When I give you some 'candy', you say "thank you for the 'sweets'!" You offer 'biscuits', I say "love your 'cookies'!" Speak of treats: I cool down with a 'popsicle'; for you, it's an 'ice lolly'. We put 'chips' in a 'shopping cart', you put 'crisps' in a 'trolley'. You mention 'trousers'; I look for a 'pair of pants' somewhere, But if I say 'a pair of pants' you'd look for 'underwear'. My baby wears a 'diaper', your baby wears a 'nappy', I may just call your chips 'french fries' (which could make you unhappy). In 'secondary school' you studied 'maths', and hated it, But I attended 'high school' where 'math' never was a hit. You fill your 'lorries' up with 'petrol', we fill 'trucks' with 'gas'. I'd say, 'the poor guy died', you'd say, 'he popped his clogs, alas' Now, "various small things" to me are "bits and bobs" to you. Let's hit the 'diner' or the 'pub' before our night is through, And raise a glass and quaff a pint of ale to this fine fact: Whilst I'm 'amazed' at all these sayings, you're downright 'gobsmacked'!

Copyright © John Watt | Year Posted 2020

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She Cannot Be Rushed

I stare at dusk-tinged mountains to the east,
Anticipating joyously the rise
Of an old friend not pressured in the least
To meet my frantic schedule, I surmise.

I cannot rush the moon, although I reckon 
That if I could, I would request she hurried. 
Though "miles to go before I sleep" do beckon,
The Empress of the night sky moves unworried.

Some obligations elsewhere do await
My undivided interest to be theirs.
But if I linger for her, I'll be late
Provoking shaking heads and unkind stares.

My heart of hearts desires to be unbound
From shackles of these deadlines and constraints, 
To bathe in yellow radiance full and round;
And gaze in peace at the still life she paints.

Debating thus, she crowns over yon mountains 
Entranced under her beauty, I stand hushed.
Her rays are elegant, florescent fountains -
I'm thankful that the moon cannot be rushed.

Copyright © John Watt | Year Posted 2016

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Sinuous Melody

Your face
is a love song 
of exquisite and matchless appeal

Your eyes 
a duet of violin and cello
sonorous, deep 

Your hair
an orchestra of euphonious instruments
playing in cohesive harmony

Your smile
a fantasia 
of unearthly delight

Your teeth 
a legato line of 32nd notes
in a concerto played to perfection

Your hands
a conductor’s baton
emoting wordlessly

Your voice 
a rhapsody
of supernal joy

Your heart
a sumptuous lyric
a poetic paragon

Your soul
a sacred oratorio 
set apart and holy

You are a sinuous melody 
I can’t get out of my head
…nor will I ever wish to


Copyright © John Watt | Year Posted 2020

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Forest Fortress

A forest - sunlight squeezing through the arms
uplifted by its countless ancient trees.
So fortress-like; her inner royal charms
even the time-worn traveler seldom sees.
What culture lies within? What foreign tongue
is chattered nervously by bird and beast?
What joyful hymns of revelry are sung
which, by my drawing near, in fear are ceased?

My love, those hidden parts I find unique
are those which I would most desire to know.
Dark corners which I least wish you to seek -
the very ones you need the light to show.
Though brighter are the colors from outside,
let's pledge to let no hues within us hide.

Copyright © John Watt | Year Posted 2016

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