Guest Feature: On The Road To Samaria – Jonathan Humble


In these shoes,
I negotiate life in the third person;
toes swathed in top quality calfskin,
safe from random shit and shards,
where neither grass nor paved path
can sully these soft arches and soles.

I wear these suits;
an actor avoiding the fourth wall,
costumed and painted with lines learnt,
senses fenced off with silk and cashmere,
any truthful light blocked by scenery.

I drive these cars;
cosseted in high-end second skin caskets,
hermetically sealed and sheltered from rain,
all shocks absorbed and sins absolved,
reality suspended for the duration.

In front of these screens,
I casually exploit worlds lived separately,
salving conscience with painless gestures,
shifting small sums with gift aided texts,
untouched by the sweat of first person lives;

always remembering to give openly,
while keeping a record for tax purposes.

© Jonanthan Humble
First published by Ink Sweat & Tears (June 2018)

Jonathan Humble is a teacher in Cumbria. His poetry has appeared in IS&T, Obsessed With Pipework, Clear Poetry, Amaryllis, Riggwelter, Atrium, Three Drops Press, Burning House Press, Zoomorphic, Fairacre Press, EyeFlash and on BBC Radio.  You can read more from him here: Jonanthan Humble’s Stuff…a poetry blog


16 thoughts on “Guest Feature: On The Road To Samaria – Jonathan Humble

  1. Every time I read this, it takes my breath away and brings tears to my eyes. Your kind of writing is what makes me fall in love with poetry again and again. You are one of my very favorite contemporary poets and I look forward to reading everything you write! You teach me and make me want to be a better writer, to stretch my voice to new landscapes.Thank you!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I am embarrassed by my own reactions when the news features people in tremendous difficulty, in war zones, in poverty, struggling with disease, natural or man-made disasters … the desire to switch off and get back to my privileged existence is very strong. My daughter is much more pro-active in these situations; more vocal, more active and puts me to shame. The poem is, I hope people realise, more self-loathing than an indictment of others. If it comes over as preachy, I can only apologise.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. That is incredibly kind, Susan. I am pleased that you like my stuff and feel mightily flattered. I have read your work as well and, like the other guys who comment here or on the Flowering Ink site, I love the language and imagery in your poems. I don’t think you realise just how good you are and I doubt very much that I could teach you anything with regards the quality and depth of your poetry.

    Liked by 3 people

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