Poem: ‘Winter Sun’

Winter Sun

The weaker sun burns low
over stilled marsh and scrape.

Straight-cut dykes glow like
hot metal fissures through indigo.

Heavy boots crunch on ghosted grass,
breaking threats of enveloping silence.

By a glistening gate I pause, to gaze,
the pristine kiss of rime stiffens my hand.

The lone motion is my breath, brief clouds
vanishing in vasty air, to which I am inured.

A bleeding horizon yields dwarfed
silhouettes feigning heat, random skeletal

trees and pylons merely punctuate
before a distant church stump.

A sudden snipe breaks his cover,
rasping furiously over my head,

where I catch fleet Mercury gleaming
bright through icy blue.

ยฉ copyright David Francis Barker 2011

* Taken from poetry collection ‘Anonymous Lines’, which can be found here: http://liten.be//nr7n9

** The illustration is from a current painting by the poet/artist, showing the marshland at winter sunset near Boston in Lincolnshire, England.

27 thoughts on “Poem: ‘Winter Sun’

  1. I love both the painting and the poem!

    I do so envy (in a good way!) your talent to write like this, such talent being clearly woven through your soul; it amazes me.

    I have friends who used to live for a while in Donnington near Spalding.. Do you know it? When I used to visit I was amazed at the “flatness” of everything and I have to be honest and say I found the landscape boring (How arrogant of me!!) This was many years ago and I was very young and “into” noise and “busy”. I know now that were I to visit it again I would be witness to great beauty.



  2. Thank you very much! I am just looking at your site for the first time – I like your ‘attitude’. I think I have gypsy blood somewhere but I don’t travel much, although like you, I enjoy the sight of the open road.


  3. Hi again! You’re very kind and I’m grateful.

    Yes, I know Donington well, it’s just a few miles up the road. Yes, I’m born and bred in these parts and even I find the landscape ‘boring’! So you’re not being arrogant at all, but truthful! The winter is particularly boring but spring and summer are generally much better. Donington is a very nice, little town, which as you may know, is the birthplace of Matthew Flinders of Australia fame. Thank you again.


  4. wow david this is very cool…both – painting and poem and being able to do both and “marry” them in such a beautiful way is just perfection


  5. So beautiful and full of life your words are. I like your more vibrant pictures. I know Donnington for the bike racing (sadly am a bit old for it now – it happens).


  6. Hi David,
    this is such lovely painting, and I also love the poem. You make a poem that is a painting and a painting that is a poem. Which one do you make first?
    The landsacpe you describe, reminds me a bit of most of the Netherlands (flat and, to me, rather boring until I watched it in mist ).




  7. I thank you, you’re so kind! Well, I guess one just inspires the other. This one was bit more difficult, in that most of my paintings are of the sea. I really appreciate your comments – all power to you, too…:)


  8. Thank you once again, I appreciate it. Actually, the Donington I was talking about only has one ‘m’ and is in Lincolnshire, but I also used to go to Donnington Park, which I think is the racing track you’re talking about. Yes, I used to love bike racing, still do, really. I occasionally go to Cadwell Park in the Lincolnshire Wolds, beautiful if very dangerous track. Thank you!


  9. Hi Ina, and many thanks again!
    To be truthful, I find that if I don’t have a picture in my mind when I try to write a poem, it doesn’t really work. I think mostly, the picture has to come first, therefore.
    And yes, the part of England where I live, the Fens, is very much like the Netherlands. In fact, the part of Lincolnshire where I live is called ‘Holland’!, which is one of the divisions of the historic county. I don’t think it was named after Holland in the Netherlands, I just think the earlier similarity in the language meant that the naming meant the same things… flatland, or flatland full of holes! Yes, even I find it boring at times, and I’m really local!
    Thank you so much for taking an interest in my work, I look forward to more posts from yourself and, if you want some more ‘sea poems’, I will have some more for you soon. ๐Ÿ™‚


  10. Thank you very much, that is terrific, I shall be looking forward to more poems of you for the Poetry from the Sea blog! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I find it very interesting to read that the image comes before the poem, I too “see” images when I write, but I do not paint, I think the images I see, come from thinking the words somehow. I will try and find out how it works for me. It must be great to be able to express your self both ways ๐Ÿ™‚


  11. Hi! It’s difficult to describe the creative process, isn’t it? Like you, it’s definitely ‘image’ first, but there is also a kind of searching, looking for the right approach, an inroad into creativity. Perhaps there should be another blog ‘How do You Write Poetry?’ Perhaps not.

    Thank you!

    Kind regards

    David Francis Barker Paintings in oil and mixed media. Painting commissions

    websites http://www.saatchionline.com/profile/284071 http://www.oneoffthewall.com/artists/artist/114 https://francisbarkerart.wordpress.com


  12. Your painting has a dream-like quality…you know how you sometimes try to see more than you can in a dream…then you wake and you want to remember it and as a writer your words imagine it yet again.

    I enjoyed the ‘discussion’ you and Ina had above. I too usually start with an image before I write poetry or prose. As a painter I need to feel a ‘story’ and as a writer I need to see it. Rather like the chicken and the egg.

    I agree that there it is a searching process to creativity…which makes it such a personal endeavor and so hard to define or teach. Certainly it begins with the compulsion to do it…and becomes as necessary as breathing.

    Lovely, excellent work all around! The last line could be a caption for the painting:
    ‘where I catch fleet Mercury gleaming
    bright through icy blue.’

    I’m very grateful to have found your blog!


  13. Hi again! I am very grateful for your kind comments, thank you! Yes, I agree about the chicken and egg, and about feeling. It’s funny how some poems (and paintings) just happen, create themselves with ease, and need hardly any work, it seems. Mostly though, at least as far as I’m concerned, I have to work at it over and over. I was interested to read you spent 16 years in England (Oxfordshire). That must’ve been some experience.

    Thank you again

    Kind regards

    David Francis Barker Paintings in oil and mixed media. Painting commissions

    websites http://www.saatchionline.com/profile/284071 http://www.oneoffthewall.com/artists/artist/114 https://francisbarkerart.wordpress.com

    Poetry collection, ‘Anonymous Lines’ available here: http://liten.be//j5nek


  14. The poem and the oil go together so well. I just love how well the poem is crafter and the beautiful use of meter and sound. Only thing that kept this from reaching 100% perfection for me was that the rhymes at the beginning set up my expectation for further rhyme later on. Outside of this one consideration this poem was really quite something. It was so real — the snipe breaking cover, catching the sight of the personna and leading that sight to Mercury is such a great touch!


  15. Your wording is beautiful and quite warming to the soul ๐Ÿ™‚ and I love your accompanying painting, the colours are so vivid and true to life

    Very stunning and moving


  16. “Ghosted grass” and “pristine kiss of rime” are my picks for this one–exquisite!! I confess to no small amount of envy that you can write AND paint–wow!


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