Author: giovanna jo

to my father

At my father’s funeral I read a poem

one he’d written

it was not a villanelle

he did not rage against a dying light

it was a dream

of no pollution

treading softly in green fields

branches swaying



At my father’s funeral I read a poem

in his hand

writing straight from the page

he woke up 

sorry for existence 

a year before

I found it

when he died


At my father’s funeral I did not cry 

I was on show

his daughter 

sister to some men

like mother or the listening

for his surfacing women 


of  lost love 

At my father’s funeral I did not cry

howling as I had on hearing 

of his death

wailing at the sea 

fierce wild it heard me


my father

who was never fully there


At my father’s funeral I read a poem

I knew then

he left us willing

to be free from any suffering 

in his words

where I found them

in his house 

I read his poems

cleared his sock drawer 

heard his whispering


heard the answer

to my father






he says

walks to where I’m standing

hood up

people look

to where he’s speaking

no one’s there

doors close

train moves

hood  yanked up harder

sits down

angry flare

“You’re an embarrassment”

he says to the air

psychotic dreamer

invisible friend

a spit-firing speaker


to you

there you are

you’re a mutt




ears curve away

from your head

to the fur

on your back

you blend

to the carriage floor

your master jiggling his knee.

you pant

lying low

long tongue


body heavy


he says

cheeks hollow

lips tight pucker

“Move to there.”

he points

people stare

you move

eyes cataract sheen

no question


man’s best friend





Another Poem. This was after a radio news item I heard and it’s called : One Sunday

One Sunday

On a clear autumn day in Texas a drone pilot sits before a screen of virtual reality

looking forward to the end of his shift and driving home along wide open roads

beneath the stillness of a late afternoon sky.

He will have a beer on his porch after working all day at targeting play,

droning on the Taliban when, by collateral default, he perhaps annihilated a workingman, woman, child or wedding plan.

“Ah but,” said the sergeant in charge, “their despicable ways of writing graffiti with the blood of a severed limb taken from the victim.”

Later, at home, the drone pilot sleeps in his corner before going to work again tomorrow and

those who will be droned tomorrow also sleep, in another corner, as do the people

who said that drones were a good idea 

This is one of my poems – I Saw Bill


I saw Bill yesterday when I got off the train

Bill who played the piano for our pantos

He didn’t see me there, at the foot of the steps

It was rush hour and I said ‘Bill,’

‘Yes, hello, how’s your husband? and your daughter?’ he said, without turning

He was folding his stick down to the size of a ruler, tucking it into a pouch attached to his belt,

‘I bought this pouch after the last time,’ he said.

He meant a year ago, when I saw Bill

sitting on the bench in the station, stuck waiting

someone had nicked his stick so I walked him home.

‘You’re holding everyone up,’ said a woman.

We were standing there, at the foot of the steps, but

Bill stayed cool, he’s from the Bronx, he plays the piano