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Portrait of John D Robinson, by Henry G Stanton

John D Robinson, Hastings poet, writes about his world as it is

John D Robinson has five books out already this year, but here are two of his, as yet unpublished, poems on the effects of Coronavirus. These two poems are understandably stark, but love and its continuation stays strong, writes HOT’s Chandra Masoliver.

ONLY WHEN – Covid-19

It’s only when it’s taken away that
you realize the beauty, the wonder
of freedom,
to walk freely,
without fear
amongst brothers and sisters,
it’s only when it is no
longer there, the love, compassion,
the humanity,
the common sense
of intelligence,
it’s only when you find these
things taken for granted
taken away, that you begin
to know what a fucking
hellish time we can create
for one another:
there’s not much else to care
for in this brief life
Except for love and its


The entire globe in lock-down:
supermarket shelves empty of
bathroom/toilet goods, the
panic of not being able to
wipe your ass with tissue
paper, of hand cleansing
cream:shelves empty of
dried foods: pasta and
rice: tins of produce
growing thinner,
vegetable and fruit
becoming scarce but
along with clothing and
electrical goods, the
shelves of wine were
well stocked and thank-
fuck for that small
mercy of comfort
at the moment.

This is a good time for John’s poetry, the following books are all published this year:

The Sounds Of Samsara – Cyberwit Publishing (India), also available on Amazon.

Red DanceUncollected Press (USA)

Sharks and Butterflies  – Cajun Mutt Press (USA)

East London Press included five of his poems in ‘3 Poets 3‘ – a limited edition of fifty-five hand-made booklets

Smoking Herb and Other Stories  – Analog Submission Press (UK)

The Sounds Of Samsara Book Cover2

Painting by John D Robinson

All the covers are interesting, but The Sounds of Samsara, with a painting by John himself, is particularly beautiful.

Below is a poem from The Sounds of Samsara


At only 6 years old our twin girl
grandchildren are already very
accomplished readers,
they were on a sleep-over,
my book publications and my
writing notebook are on a
small side-table beside the
Grace picked up
Hang In There
‘What’s this book?’
she asked:
‘Grandpa writes poems’
Nanny said
‘What kind of poems?’
she asked,
my wife and I looked
at one another for an
answer to give her,
‘Well, poems for adults’
I offered,
‘Oh, that’ll be boring
then’ she said placing
the book down to my
and you know,
she may be right.

I like the whimsicality of that poem.

Click here for a previous HOT interview with John D Robinson

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Posted 15:37 Wednesday, Apr 15, 2020 In: Poetry

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