Danse Macabre

Danse Macabre

cherry blossoms bloom

robins sing and ferns unfurl

the old moon returns

but who is this dark stranger casting shadows over the daffodils, lurking unseen in the April air, stalking us as we move uncertain through an astonished world?


Poem and art by clinock.

Danse Macabre, 14×17 in. 36×43 cm. Acrylic and mixed media on paper

Instagram: @johnclinock

Portfolio: johnclinockart.com


fāz/Back Issue


Back Issues


like an ancient comic book,

or carved rock face,

centuries forgotten,

but valuable, inside.

still available from the publisher,

at a price.

like the burning heart that reaches

and twists the lower spine,

hurt upon hurt.

like the never resolved

and never forgiven issues

from the past.

this face, i see,


by a smell,

a colour,

a dream.

when the black and white

back issues rise again,

so surprised to be woken

from early hibernation,

longing, reaching out, swollen…

it’s a stretch…

I thought I understood

this backbone of connection.

But Obviously

i was wrong,

all the way along the line,

I was wrong.

It is an issue of each past

of us all

and the future of illusion.


as I thought,


Back then of her and him.

And this face,

‘Sand Worms from Dune’

she said, emerging.

Me? It was always Alice,

searching for an entrance

to the beautiful garden.

Looking down at her feet

a lifetime distance away…

Connection lost.

Back Issue. 18×14. Acrylic on paper on panel. By clinock.

Full Moon


Not all full moons are filled with romance, some radiate madness and partings…


Poem by George Gordon Byron – Lord Byron. 1788–1824. Interpreted by Leonard Cohen.

Drawing: Full Moon by clinock. 18″ x 24″. Pastel and conte on Paper.

A Case of You (6)

focus 2


move the eye or heart a fraction of an inch

and the whole universe changes

within this gleaming arc.



in moments of inattention brides are stolen,

the careful line smudged

and the pencil broken.



and enchanted by these graphite trails

hopelessly lost

in this curve of dreams.



in rivers of light and sanguine seas

I breathe you deeply

as I swim the night.



the warped familiarity of the room

folds your body into

intricate arabesques.



my arm, hand, fingers and thoughts

curl away into infinity

stretching imagination.



you are trapped in mirrored labyrinths,

not recognizing me

as I search for you.


/ art and poem by clinock /

A Case of You (5)


Sunday Haiku – Between:

everyday magic

she opens between flowers

enchanting this man.


you on a blue raft

between blue sky and sea

dressed in blue silence.


smushing strawberries

between stained lips and tongue

taste my sweet juices.


sweetest summer wine

passed between your mouth and mine

inhaling your eyes.


between us tonight

only a sighing of stars

the scent of lilac.


embraced between lights

shimmering on waves of sun

exciting the moon.


/ art and haiku by clinock /

A Case of You (4)


it is not so long since

you fell away

into unexpected distance

and fragmented silence,

and yet, as in knowing you,

it fills a lifetime.


this summer night

wraps me in your absence,

warm and stitched

by wired crows

blackly drawn

on electric staves

scratching empty sky

with torrid blues.


dusked and lost

I walk in circles as

you crystallize in me,

a rose between my ribs,

wild surf in my eyes,

brambles penetrating bone,

hot winds across my thighs

and a dislocation

in my reaching hands.


I wonder how it is for you

to have me rolling

in your highway head

like a loose marble

in a roaring train;

rattling, tickling, falling

between bare legs

under your clutch,

sounding a different beat

to the radio’s song.


this is a space of consequence,

a chant of meditation,

a cello in an empty church,

the long cry of a loon,

howling of ragged wolves

in moonlight

and all the choirs of my heart

calling you home.


/ art and poem by clinock /