Nov 12

Responding to the Restaurant Questionnaire

by john richardson

Overall Experience

Swans are mirrored on the river.
And when the money runs out, he leaves the rest unsaid.
Two tables away her gaze sweeps the room, imperious,
the waiter hovers.


And it will soon, he concludes.
In navy and lace, she’s looking without looking.
Their wings are all a-fluff, gliding,
we pause to consider.

Value for money

Of course she can’t know.
Like the swans on the river below I see her reflection.
She can’t know. The waiter is still,
swans are mirrored on the river.

General comments

And you know, by the way he tells it, she does.
Make of it what you will: in the mirror
her reflection, the waiter,
the swans on the river.





John Richardson lives in the county of Wiltshire in the UK and has written poetry for the last fifty years. Richardson is a founding member of the local Poetry Swindon (previously BlueGate Poets) and since retirement has organized and MC’d poetry events at Marlbrough and Bath literature festivals, given many workshops and readings. Four years ago Richardson set up a one man publishing company, IMPpress that produced quarterly editions of a free, online, poetry e-zine. In addition he have published several pamphlets and has had modest successes in national and local poetry competitions. Over the last two years he has developed a free a poetry support application (see and writes the occasional poem inspired by travels to the far East, family, friends and everyday events.

Art by Allen Forrest

Born in Canada and bred in the U.S., Allen Forrest has worked in many mediums: computer graphics, theater, digital music, film, video, drawing and painting. Allen studied acting in the Columbia Pictures Talent Program in Los Angeles and digital media in art and design at Bellevue College (receiving degrees in Web Multimedia Authoring and Digital Video Production.) He currently works in the Vancouver, Canada, as a graphic artist and painter. He is the winner of the Leslie Jacoby Honor for Art at San Jose State University’s Reed Magazine and his Bel Red painting series is part of the Bellevue College Foundation’s permanent art collection. Forrest’s expressive drawing and painting style is a mix of avant-garde expressionism and post-Impressionist elements reminiscent of van Gogh, creating emotion on canvas.