Posted by: John Looker | 9 September, 2021

Beyond Ithaca

Homer’s Odyssey tells the adventures of Odysseus returning home from the Trojan War. Imagine the story retold – with a woman – in the 21st century – and at the end, this:

This is the final poem in a suite of eight which I have called The Return of Odyssea. Together they form the closing section of Shimmering Horizons, my new book on the theme of the journey, the quest, the odyssey.

The book opens with a 21st century quest, based on the legend of Sir Galahad and the Holy Grail. Because it opens with a young man as the hero, this closing suite of poems features a woman: Odyssea. A complementarity; obvious really.

I have added this poem to a selection from the book. If you would like to see the others, they are on my website page at https://johnlooker.wordpress.com/extracts-from-shimmering-horizons/

Shimmering Horizons is published by Bennison Books through Amazon at £3.99 or $4.99

Posted by: John Looker | 1 September, 2021

Thoughts in Warsaw’s Old Market Square

Here I am again with a weekend post from my new book. This poem is not all it seems however: the form conceals a secret:

So what is the deception?

The poem has been reconstructed to hide its original Renaissance form of a sonnet. Check out the internal rhymes and iambic pentameter!

It’s one of the Songs of Later Life – from Part VI of my new collection which develops the theme of the journey, the quest, the odyssey. The poems vary in mood and some were bound to be more sombre.

Shimmering Horizons is published by Bennison Books, available through Amazon at £3.99 or $4.99. I’ve posted a selection from the book at https://johnlooker.wordpress.com/extracts-from-shimmering-horizons/

Posted by: John Looker | 29 August, 2021

Rounding the Cape

This poem celebrates the perilous voyage that James Cook made sailing round Cape Horn into the Pacific – or, if you prefer, the universal and timeless courage of the human spirit as it ventures into the unknown.

The full poem has a further stanza. It is taken from Shimmering Horizons, my new poetry collection from Bennison Books which tackles the theme of the journey, the quest, the odyssey.

The passage above is an extract from Part V:

Each weekend for a few weeks I am posting something from successive Parts of the book and this selection can be seen as a whole on a page of my blog at https://johnlooker.wordpress.com/extracts-from-shimmering-horizons/

(It’s published by Bennison Books and may be ordered through Amazon at £3.99 in the UK, $4.99 in the USA, €4.99 in the eurozone and comparable prices elsewhere.)

Posted by: John Looker | 21 August, 2021

A Taxonomy of Friendship

Each Sunday for a while I am posting a poem from my new book, Shimmering Horizons. I hope you quite like them. This one comes from Part IV, ‘Songs of Midlife’:

I am also adding this to the page on my website with extracts from Shimmering Horizons: seventy poems on the theme of the journey, the quest, the odyssey.

Week by week I am building up a selection from the book – a taster for anyone who might wish to sample them – see: https://johnlooker.wordpress.com/extracts-from-shimmering-horizons/

(It’s published by Bennison Books and may be ordered through Amazon at £3.99 in the UK, $4.99 in the USA, €4.99 in the eurozone and comparable prices elsewhere.)

Posted by: John Looker | 20 August, 2021

The Travellers

My new book, Shimmering Horizons, is shaped like a journey.

With the theme of the journey, the quest, the odyssey, it opens with a signpost pointing ahead:

and closes with another looking back:

Each week for a few weeks I am posting a selection of the poems, one from each Part of the book, on a page of my blog. If you are curious you can see them here at : https://johnlooker.wordpress.com/extracts-from-shimmering-horizons/

Shimmering Horizons is published by Bennison Books through Amazon at £3.99 in the UK, $4.99 in the USA and €4.99 or at comparable prices elsewhere.

Posted by: John Looker | 17 August, 2021

Out now: John Looker’s latest poetry collection

I’m so grateful to Bennison Books for publishing this latest collection of mine: Shimmering Horizons.

These are poems on the theme of the journey, the quest, the odyssey.

To quote from Bennison Books:

It opens with a quest and closes with a homecoming with highlights from Sir Galahad and the Holy Grail and from Homer’s Odyssey. Both are brought into the 21st century, with a young man at the centre of the former and a woman in the latter: a complementarity of gender. 

In-between are three groups of poems about childhood, mid-life and later years – tracing our metaphorical journey – and two fascinating sections that reflect on historic journeys.

Shimmering Horizons can be bought through Amazon, priced at £3.99 in the UK, $4.99 in the USA and matching prices elsewhere.

And for anyone who is curious, I am posting a selection of the poems, one from each Part of the book, on this website: please see the separate page.

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Posted by: John Looker | 10 August, 2021

First Landfall in Nova Scotia

I’m continuing with my weekly posts of poems from Shimmering Horizons which will be published shortly by Bennison Books. This week’s comes from Part III: ten poems celebrating historical or legendary travellers:

Other poems in Part III celebrate famous travellers from Polynesia, China, India, Judah, the Maghreb, West Africa, Greece, Venice and First Nations America.

First Landfall in Nova Scotia appeared in the Austin International Poetry Festival’s 25th Anniversary Anthology.

Selected poems from Shimmering Horizons are slowly building up on the dedicated page on my blog at https://johnlooker.wordpress.com/extracts-from-shimmering-horizons/

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Posted by: John Looker | 8 August, 2021

Newborn – from ‘Shimmering Horizons’

Each weekend at present I am posting a poem from my new collection, ‘Shimmering Horizons’, which is due to be published shortly by Bennison Books.

This week it’s the first of ten poems that portray early life, from birth through to coming of age:

I’ve added this to the Page that is steadily growing with a selection from ‘Shimmering Horizons’. This forthcoming book has the theme of the journey, the quest, the odyssey.

‘Newborn’ was first published in an anthology from Bennison Books: Indra’s Net (2017).

Posted by: John Looker | 31 July, 2021

A new publication …

Three big cheers for small Indy publishers!!!

Bennison Books have very kindly agreed to publish this new poetry collection for me – now at the proof-reading stage. There’s a lot of work in publishing – and the team at Bennison Books are some of the best!

I don’t expect my WordPress friends to order copies : there’s so much poetry published and however good it is we can’t all buy all of it. So my plan is to post a selection of the poems here over the coming weeks.

Shimmering Horizons has a theme: the journey, the quest, the odyssey. The book is in seven parts covering some historic journeys, an update of Sir Galahad’s quest for the holy grail, a similar update of Homer’s Odyssey (but with a woman as the central heroic figure) and poems about the metaphorical journey of childhood, midlife and old age.

I’ll post one poem from each section. Meanwhile, have a good weekend everyone.

Posted by: John Looker | 2 July, 2021

Summer is bee heaven

Summer is bee heaven

Their dark nursery forgotten

Horizon unknown

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