Posted by: John Looker | 16 March, 2014

Wings Over The Silk Road


the deck beneath us like a living thing
¿te acuerdas, te acuerdas?

or pushing up river for week after week
oui, je me souviens

the wind on the steppes, always the wind –
that and concern for the horses
quella è vita; è molto bella

and now
we have the clouds
below us


© John Stevens 2014

These lines are an afterthought to the poem sequence “The Silk Road”, recently completed and which began with “Frequent Flyers” at: 

They appeared last month, courtesy of Bonnie McClellan, as part of this year’s International Poetry Month hosted on her blog at:


  1. Lovely sequel. To have the clouds below you… a wonderful thought John.


  2. I wish I could have included some Dutch, Ina!


  3. Oh I like this – it made me smile.

    I know you have relatives in New Zealand John.
    I have just been introduced to the poetry of Hone Tuwhare – a New Zealand poet who also reflects gently on life and the natural world. I recommend him to you



  4. Thanks David. I don’t know that name and will look out for his books on our next trip.


  5. Those last lines are the striking ones for me in this poem. The clouds below, what do they do? Do they block out our memory, the beauty of life? Where do we look? To the clouds and to the phantom earth? or above to the blue sky and the sun? The ending for me is very open and suggestive of many things. I have just been to New York and took a plane, so I, too, have written a poem which features clouds and memory (time). I thought of your poems as I wrote and as I sat in the plane looking down at the clouds!


    • It’s very nice to think my poems came into your mind Anna. I’m looking forward to reading yours when you post it.


  6. Yes, this is a nice summing up—but, but it takes flight also. This would be a nice time to reread Yeats’s ‘An Irish airman foresees his Death’.


    • The mood is different of course, but Yeats’s poem is outstanding, isn’t it?


  7. hey Ina .. fancy meeting you here, at johnno’s place, I hope you are well. You too JS.
    “that and concern for the horses”


  8. “The Road goes ever on and on
    Down from the door where it began”
    to quote Tolkien, and sometimes, after the river, after riding across wind-blown steppes, the clouds are below us, and the silk road shimmers into horizons that lead to more horizons forever and ever into sunrise, sunset, and sunrise again.
    A beautiful poem and a fitting summation, John.


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