Poem ‘Underground’

Underground

By night the town paints clandestine shapes,
broach spires pierce a black arras
and decorated naves of Barnack rag
drape like sepia backcloths for ghosts
and revellers who may pass unaware
on equal terms, merely inches
yet centuries above charcoal rivers
channelled underground,
flushing silently till the night
draws out heat
and chatter of day

Streets swarm with strangers now,
unspeaking shadows in recesses
cupping whispers of gamy tongues,
smoking pipes like brittle bones
with fresh memories of tides
and the deep keeled boats
dragged up onto gravel headlands
by gangs of gruff rovers
and rippling Thracian soldiers
from legions awake to chance,
their unwrested sin

poem and image Β© copyright dfbarker 2012

Advertisements

38 comments

  1. turukai · March 8, 2012

    Such a picture!!! WOW!!!

    Like

  2. turukai · March 8, 2012

    Just a beautiful picture and scape of emotion….thank you

    Like

  3. Ina · March 8, 2012

    Hi David
    This is so beautiful! I read it several times now. Another very impressive poem. The ghosts really come to life!

    The image has the colours of the underground and the speed!

    Like

  4. Millie Ho · March 8, 2012

    Exquisite.

    Like

  5. dfb · March 8, 2012

    thank you Ina!

    Like

  6. dfb · March 8, 2012

    Thank you so much!

    Like

  7. New View From Here · March 8, 2012

    Excellent write…love the imagery and the history. I’ll have to bring this one to my wife’s attention—she would absolutely love this poem!

    Here are my fave lines:

    “broach spires pierce a black arras”

    &

    “revellers who may pass unaware
    on equal terms, merely inches
    yet centuries above charcoal rivers”

    Also, thanks for your comments…you’ve been extremely encouraging.

    Like

  8. dfb · March 8, 2012

    Thank you so much! Yes, this was inspired partly by the town of Stamford near to where I live and by my home town of Spalding, in which an old river actually still exists in a pipe with a road over the top!

    Like

  9. claudia · March 8, 2012

    wow..a lot is going on underground…i like that you take something existing but then spin it in a way that goes much deeper and pulls us in…love the pic as well…kept staring at it for a while before i read your poem…and they’re just perfect together..

    Like

  10. dfb · March 8, 2012

    Thank you very much Claudia – I’m always looking to do deep!

    Like

  11. Russell Smith · March 8, 2012

    Very subterranean!

    Like

  12. New View From Here · March 8, 2012

    “this was inspired partly by the town of Stamford near to where I live and by my home town of Spalding, in which an old river actually still exists in a pipe with a road over the top!”

    Thanks for the explanation…I love when the poet gives us some insight as to what inspired the work.

    My wife has really opened my eyes to the “fun” poetry can be. I only ever saw it before as people expressing feelings of angst and depression. πŸ™‚ But then she started doing all kinds of word prompts, picture prompts, and “other” prompts, to have fun with her art.

    It was so much fun for her, I had to give it a go myself πŸ™‚

    Like

  13. dfb · March 8, 2012

    Yes, thank you! If we didn’t enjoy it I don’t think we’d do it… πŸ™‚

    Like

  14. granbee · March 8, 2012

    How movingly you tie together so many centuries of human activity beside these waters. A very different type of illustration for you here, DF! I think it perfectly matches and expands on the messages in your poem!

    Like

  15. dfb · March 8, 2012

    Thank you once again! I try, or like to give a sense of time.

    Like

  16. magsx2 · March 8, 2012

    Hi,
    A lovely poem.

    Like

  17. reflectionsinapuddle · March 9, 2012

    Wonderful poem! just to let you know, I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger award. I am not sure whether yours is a no-award blog, but I thought I would. Anyway, it’s yours and you can do with it as you please. πŸ™‚

    Like

  18. Betty Hayes Albright · March 9, 2012

    Great night time imagery in this city – of the characters afoot – and the historical references (of charcoal rivers underground – I love that!) Wonderful work, David!

    Like

  19. lscotthoughts · March 9, 2012

    Wow, David, another amazing poem, painting a picture, making us feel like we’re part of the activity…and your image is absolutely perfect, as always~

    Like

  20. dfb · March 9, 2012

    Hi, thank you so much!

    Like

  21. dfb · March 9, 2012

    Hi, thank you so much! I am a ‘no-award’ blog but, don’t get me wrong, I do very much appreciate your kindness in this regards – I am very grateful.

    Like

  22. dfb · March 9, 2012

    Hi, thank you very much, Betty!

    Like

  23. dfb · March 9, 2012

    Thank you so much again, Lauren.

    Like

  24. Eclipse · March 9, 2012

    ….brought out by such a talented artistic soul…even an usual everyday – (or night) scene becomes way beautiful. Gorgeous poem and a fantastic pic (a painting?)

    Like

  25. dfb · March 9, 2012

    Thank you very much! It’s a digital painting.

    Like

  26. Eclipse · March 9, 2012

    …and still amazing πŸ™‚
    Have a wonderful weekend David

    Like

  27. dfb · March 9, 2012

    Thank you! You too!

    Like

  28. susangeckle · March 9, 2012

    Terrific poem! I can relate to the idea of ancient humans living in the same place and time goes by and strangers appear.
    I live in the Chesapeake Bay area of the US and we found out that ancient Basque lived here as much as 20,000 years ago. I swear I’ve always been able to feel their presence. I can feel them now. I just didn’t have a name for them before.

    Like

  29. Christy Birmingham · March 9, 2012

    What a creative expression with which you paint the town. Well done!

    Like

  30. dfb · March 9, 2012

    That’s absolutely fascinating, Susan! Yes, I like the idea of continuity. Thank you so much for your comments.

    Like

  31. dfb · March 9, 2012

    Thank you very much, Christy!

    Like

  32. stuartart · March 10, 2012

    Really love that piece of art. Very evocative!

    Like

  33. dfb · March 11, 2012

    Thank you!

    Like

  34. Thomas Davis · March 11, 2012

    Because of my surgery and just trying to get through days at the college I have not been here for awhile, David, but looking at these latest poems leaves me with a sense that your poetry has deepened. This is exciting! I hope I am right.
    Lines like
    smoking pipes like brittle bones
    have a fire of seeing in a different perspective that really strikes home into the reader’s guts. The images of this entire poem:
    revellers who may pass unaware
    on equal terms, merely inches
    yet centuries above charcoal rivers
    channelled underground,
    flushing silently till the night
    draws out heat
    and chatter of day
    This is really, really superior work.

    Like

  35. Thomas Davis · March 11, 2012

    I forgot to comment on the abstract that seems to suck the universe into funneling clouds of smoke and light that disappear into three dimensional infinity.

    Like

  36. dfb · March 12, 2012

    Hi, I hope you are recovering well. Thank you very much for your kind comments.

    Like

  37. bardessdmdenton · March 15, 2012

    Something of a modern mythology about this for me, especially as the picture pulls one in and towards an unknown fate.

    Like

  38. dfb · March 16, 2012

    Thank you very much!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s