Lincoln Jaques – A Promise

Jaques LE P&W February 2024

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing February 2024.

A Promise, poems by Lincoln Jaques.

A Promise

For these many years 
we have turned to one another
like origami cranes, gripping
into another life.

Today the rain refuses
to cease. It rained on the day
we promised one another
we would be together always.
Old photos of another us
lay hidden in plastic albums.

That night, I remember
us in the tram, gliding through
the streets of Zagreb. Snow outside
the lights from streetcorners marking
each turn along the cobbled tracks.
A couple sharing a cigarette in an
empty café. Our reflections in glass.

When we reached our stop
the tram drifted away silently
and we were alone, just the city
and us, crushing the snow.
Our footprints forged a new direction.

Arriving at the cold
apartment door I looked back
suddenly as if sensing something
terrible approaching.

For this happiness is a gift
surely taken too quickly.

The Magic Travellers

these are the places we travelled together

Rarotonga, where we fled along The Great
Road of Toi on a Yamaha scooter
New Delhi, where in the Red Fort we
sheltered from the heat under banyan trees
Zagreb, where you spoke about everything
without moving your lips
Morocco, where the Tin Man squeaked
through the souk to kiss the camel’s head
Singapore, where we caught a train to the
empty gardens where the pangolins hide
London, where I was silent this time,
walking out like Pound’s apparitions

these are the places we left ourselves
these are the memories that drop like fruit
from trees, only to rot in damp earth overnight.


I found you
digging around
the lettuce
the spring onions

in the planter
I made from
a pallet.

The afternoon sun
lifted you up
from the garden.

I pulled gumboots
on and walk
through damp

The blind parsley
quivers against

our silent

I held you
close, you
turned your lips
to mine.

© Lincoln Jaques

Lincoln Jaques is a Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) based writer. His poetry, fiction, travel essays and book reviews.have appeared in magazines and collections internationally.  He was shortlisted for the 2023 inaugural “At The Bay” hybrid manuscript awards, and was the Runner-Up in the 2022 International Writers’ Workshop Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems.

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