restless art

art which is restless

Tag: children

Poem ‘Heat’

English: A map of the British Empire in 1921 w...

English: A map of the British Empire in 1921 when it was at its height with British Raj indicated when it too was at its height as well. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Heat

When stepping off the ship, heat
hit him,
something heavy and palpable, his duty drawn
out into an exile
stuffing the bank accounts
of far-off millionaires, stuffing
him and the natives from Melbourne
to Manitoba.
Such a relief to be on the train,
officers hankering in rigid
silence for the cool heights of Shimla,
Home Counties in miniature once bleeding
the big world dry, where spinsters
of Little England began to
watch their gingham fade

He favoured his mother’s
side, whose pale skin and eyes were
more fondly remembered
than appreciated, now more than
a world away,
spattered freckles on his face
where the sweat ran
free in that searing carriage;
sights of displaced women
wrapping up in their shawls, children
standing and sitting, staring
and sleeping, heading on to homes they’d
never seen (or ever see), leaving him
to watch the scorched earth slide
by like some weary sentence,
his mind hanging on
to the boney cattle half
hidden in mud, in the channels
of sometime rivers
gaping for monsoon

poem © copyright df barker 2012

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Poem ‘Hastings AM’

Hastings AM

We sit easy in a sun drenched cafe,
the morning sea off Hastings
sparkling like a million reasons for joy.

Egg on toast our basic fare,
still a source of amusement
for the rough fishermen throwing cards

and jibes in their accents, burred.
You just know these are tough, cunning men,
playing hard now, their work done

before we even blinked in our bed.
They shout something after us
and we smile and nod in return

while removing to cobbled streets,
and then towards the blinding beach,
passing sheds of weathered wood

that are speaking of the sea,
that they might fall in the next storm,
their fate as flotsam along the crashing coast.

But once on the beach we forget it all,
simply to follow the pointing children
and their joyful cries of ‘Dolphin! Dolphin!’

© copyright dfbarker 2012

*First published in poetry collection ‘Anonymous Lines’ in 2011, available for purchase here: http://liten.be//gHmf9

**illustration from old original, digitally enhanced, © copyright dfbarker 2012

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