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2 Poems by John RC Potter

Updated: Nov 26, 2023

Habeas Corpus

You told me you wanted to be remembered, but here I now lay emotionally dismembered. You wanted it all, you wanted a thrill, and now I’m a victim of love overkill.

You found it so easy to walk away, only you believed what you had to say. Don’t forget: a corpse can leave a clue; I am the evidence of what you do.

In this body you left a beating heart. What we had was over before the start. Did you really have a great time? Does the punishment fit the crime?

I am a discarded corpse that can still talk. You’re an emotional cripple who can still talk. From the Latin we’re told “habeas corpus”; but what comes first: death or rigor mortis?

My Most Grievous Fault

My fault, my fault, my most grievous fault...

Fractured, broken, split asunder: first a red sky in the morning, a flash of lightning after thunder.

First a crack, then a chasm: our lives began to move apart, finally, a shudder, then a spasm.

The divide became too great: jump? fall? turn? remain? but too soon became too late.

I don’t know where I am going I just want to be on my way there...

My Love, my love, my most wondrous love...

A stranger in my bed: I believed you loved me in what was left unsaid.

You were winter by more than name: but you came to me in early summer, now both spring and fall are the same.

And for me, you were such solid ground upon which I could rest my restless soul; then the earth moved without a sound.

Lies others tell us cast smaller shadows Then those, we tend to tell ourselves...

My Fault, My Fault, My Most Grievous...


John RC Potter is an international educator and gay man from Canada, living in Istanbul. He has experienced a revolution (Indonesia), air strikes (Israel), earthquakes (Turkey), boredom (UAE), and blinding snow blizzards (Canada), the last being the subject of his story, “Snowbound in the House of God” (Memoirist, May 2023). His writing has appeared in a range of magazines, most recently The Serulian (“The Memory Box”, September 2023) & The Montreal Review (“Letter from Istanbul”, November 2023). His story, “Ruth’s World” (Fiction on the Web, March 2023) has recently been nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize. His first full-length publication will be the gay-themed children's picture book, The First Adventures of Walli and Magoo (Pegasus Publishers, UK, summer 2024). Follow on Twitter @JohnRCPotter and Instagram @jp_ist. Visit

EDITOR'S SONG PAIRING: Phoenix — Winter Solstice

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Barb Potter
Barb Potter
Nov 27, 2023

Such hard hitting emotional poems, John Potter! Keep the writing going.

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