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

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


  1. excellent as usual, John.


  2. Inspired, John and lovely to read.


  3. This is a brilliant idea John and brilliantly executed as we’ve come to expect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m really pleased you like it Bruce. I wrote the Return from Troy suite while in Dunedin in early 2019. We were there six weeks visiting our daughters and their families. Most mornings I would take a two year old granddaughter out in the stroller or the car to give her (and mother, who had a new baby) a rest. I would sit overlooking the calm Otago harbour or the wild Pacific writing these Odyssea poems – there’s a lot of Aotearoa in this suite! Although in my usual way I spent many months reviewing and rewriting later.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dunedin, although I don’t know it that well, is my “ancestral home” – the place where the Goodman’s (from Cornwall) came for horse racing and stayed. I may have inherited the surname but horses have never been my thing!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hmm. Dunedin might have seemed familiar to the Cornish.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. John, I have just now ordered your book! Looking forward to receiving it — and I’ll try to get caught up with you (and others) here on WP soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Betty – thank you! I hope you enjoy it. And it’s always good to see you and Robert out and about on WordPress, Twitter etc!


      • Thank you, John, though I’ve never been on Twitter. Hopefully someone hasn’t been impersonating me….? (Alas, due to being ill I’ve been absent from WP for awhile too. It’s good to be back and reading poetry once again. So many wonderful poets here! When you mentioned Robert, do you mean Robert Okaji? He’s another poet that I need to catch up with.)
        Will let you know when your book arrives!


  6. Seeing you here Betty I went back today to reread your poems in the anthology ‘No More Can Fit Into the Evening’ and immersed myself in them with immense pleasure. They are compelling. I especially like The Journey with its mysterious sense of being drawn along inevitably in thought. And I loved To the Sea: ‘And so I have gone down/ to the salty, briny air/ where the surf tumbles the sand/ and the wind combs through my hair …’. It’s good to see you back on WordPress (no, not Twitter!) and I hope you have fully recovered.


  7. This is moving, the ancient tradition pattern weaving further in a never-ending stream of rhymes into the future. Great!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you – it’s good to see you here and I appreciate your comment!


  8. You are a master of your craft, John. I love that your work has real ambition, as well as beauty; inspiring. Nick

    Liked by 2 people

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