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Bewildering Stories

When Poets Meet

by Oonah V. Joslin

We met at The Junction somewhere between CyberSpace and SynchroniCity, a bit surprised really to find ourselves face to face at last.

Oonah V Joslin and John Stocks
Oonah V. Joslin and John Stocks
February 18, 2011
Well not face to face – because as I walked into the bar John stood up from the giant bar stool by the window and waved and it was immediately clear we’d never see eye to eye in any literal sense.

John, you see, is dramatically tall — a Gandalf to my Hobbit — but in benevolent Wizzaaardly fashion he stooped to give me a hug — and a book of poems: Soul Feathers for MacMillan Cancer Support, which includes work by Carol Ann Duffy, John Clare, Maya Angelou and John Stocks of course.

I struggled to get onto one of the impossibly sized chairs while my husband and he exchanged greetings.

So... What do two poets talk about?

Well it seems we’re never lost for words, especially when the two are also teachers. So we found common ground, different experiences, shared acquaintances and we exchanged some bewildering stories of our own, talked about horror, Rasputin and his role in John’s life... Napoleon and Oonah’s love of the pivotal moments of warfare... Editing... E-zines... Why we write poetry... When we began... How we came to be together in this place at this time. Synchronicity.

John’s explanation of this particular phenomenon is that the universe is so vast and diverse that such paradigms are certain to occur within the realms of probability and even at the quantum level we are bound to see patterns in the chaos.

I agreed. After all that is what we humans do – we make patterns happen, we taxonomise, sift and filter our perceptions to give reason to our own being. If we didn’t recognise and differentiate between patterns, we wouldn’t have survived; so we make pictures of the stars and see faces in everything around us and sometimes it scares us into being creative.

And when random patterns come together anywhere we say, ‘Ooooh, look what I found,’ in our egocentric way: ‘There must be a reason, there must be a reason,’ and we chant it like a mantra as if to make it so, and we make up tales and poems about Napoleon and Rasputin and their part in our downfall.

‘There must be a reason — why I am here now and you are here now and we are here, together, now.’ There isn’t. We agreed, John and I. There isn’t a reason. It is coincidence. It was rather a benevolent coincidence though. In fact I have found that with all the people I have met through writing. Spooky! Or is that just a coincidence?

Copyright © 2011 by Oonah V. Joslin
and John Stocks

The municipal council of Synchroni City sends fond salutations to two pillars of the community and our hopes of coincidences to come!

Don Webb, city manager
Jerry Wright, mayor

To Challenge 421...

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