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



  1. susanjanejones · January 11, 2012

    Great character to this poem.


  2. Ina · January 11, 2012

    Hi David
    What a delight! This seascape is such that it makes me want to be there, and the joy , in spite of the sheds that might fall into the sea (it has something exciting in that fate), in the poem adds to that. So glad Hastings is not just about a battle!


  3. df barker · January 11, 2012

    Thank you so much Ina! Yes, the famous battle – well, I could write countless laments about that one, England’s most tragic defeat, yet.

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


  4. Soma Mukherjee · January 11, 2012

    Oh Beauty the poem draws such beautiful picture of Hastings…..the ocean has such an enormous followers and to write such a beauty what a tribute …


  5. abichica · January 11, 2012

    OOh my gosh!! I absolutely love the art that comes with your writing.. It is mind blowing!! thank you so much for sharing with us.. 🙂


  6. magsx2 · January 11, 2012

    As I was reading I pictured these fishermen playing hard after a rough time out at sea. Beautifully written.
    Your painting of the beach is wonderful, I love how you have showed the people enjoying the beauty of it all.


  7. nikkiwheelerart · January 11, 2012

    I know Hastings well and recognise it from the beautiful painting, I love the way you write a poem about it as well!


  8. bardessdmdenton · January 11, 2012

    Brought back memories of a long ago holiday on the cheap in Hastings…your words and paintings softening some of the less happy times for me and my ex in the years after.


  9. lscotthoughts · January 12, 2012

    What a beautiful picture you paint with your words and your brush, David~Awesome!


  10. lscotthoughts · January 12, 2012

    Do you mind if I share this on my fb page? I’m not sure how to do it, but will figure it out through the little button~ 🙂


  11. kathryningrid · January 12, 2012

    I have to wonder whether that opalescent glow was so vivid in the original painting or you were able to intensify it with the digital processing. I’m finding that one of the great benefits of digital tools is a new possibility of rescuing recalcitrant old pieces that would otherwise have been relegated to my dust heap as unsalvageable. However you achieved it, the piece simply glows! It’s certainly well suited to the sunny disposition of the poem.


  12. Elyse · January 12, 2012

    Beautiful. Thank you.


  13. Betty Hayes Albright · January 12, 2012

    The detailed imagery of your poetry always has such atmosphere, makes me feel like I’m there in the poem. And I love the line: “sparkling like a million reasons for joy.” I have seen that sparkle!
    Just another wonderful poem, David.


  14. rangewriter · January 12, 2012

    Makes me want to be there. You describe what I may never experience.


  15. aussieian2011 · January 12, 2012

    The simplistic imagery in your words are a joy to behold
    A story you painted on the canvas of my mind
    Aussie Ian aka Emu


  16. Martin · January 12, 2012

    You are truly gifted, David. Painting and Poetry…poetry in painting.


  17. df barker · January 12, 2012

    Martin, I am flattered, thank you so much for your kind comments – I’m grateful.


  18. claudia · January 12, 2012

    i’m drenched in the mood you paint..in the sea..the eggs on toast..the raw and friendly fishermen…and there’s this longing for the sea… love when i can smell and feel a poem on my tongue…and both is true for yours david


  19. df barker · January 12, 2012

    Thank you Claudia – your kind words are very much appreciated! Vielen Dank


  20. Victoria C. Slotto · January 12, 2012

    Thought I was having a moment of deja-vu until I saw that this was in “Anonymous Lines.” One of the elements that makes your poetry so good is your attention to detail, and I think that’s why I remembered it.


  21. df barker · January 12, 2012

    Victoria – thank you so much.


  22. granbee · January 12, 2012

    D.F., you did such a great job with your painting and your poem that just felt a starfish on my toe and salt spray in my face. I really applaud the way you honor those fishermen! No doubt, some of those children will grown up to follow that line of work. And dolphins–just the most amazing water friends!


  23. df barker · January 12, 2012

    Granbee, thank you! Yes, unlike a lot of my work, this one follows ‘events’ pretty much verbatim on one sunny morning. We did have egg on toast, there were some odd fishermen with unsuspected accents, there were dolphins. If only every day was like this, I wouldn’t need a muse at all! I’m grateful for your comments.


  24. ed pilolla · January 13, 2012

    i really like the rough fishermen throwing cards.


  25. df barker · January 13, 2012

    Thank you, your comments are very much appreciated.


  26. Louise Jaques · January 13, 2012

    This is an enchanting piece. Your imagery, specifically, “before we blinked in our beds” evokes some strong memories for me of similar thoughts I have had about the world. You notice the unnoticed and bring it to life for us in your words – thank you!


  27. df barker · January 13, 2012

    Louise, once again, I am so grateful for you comments.


  28. reading-stars · January 16, 2012

    The painting is beautiful David – particularly the feeling of the motion of the people on the sands. I love those cobbled streets in your poem.


  29. Thomas Davis · January 19, 2012

    This makes me smile, and I could use a good smile today. Both the painting and the poem, as usual, work together to make a song of light and sound upon a beach where dolphins can be seen playing.


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