Poem ‘Birmingham’

A38 Rubery by-Pass from Whettybridge Road brid...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Birmingham

In the morning we cooked eggs,
wrapped the blanket around ourselves,
tucking in and staring like zombies
at a dead TV. There was little reason to speak,
to say that food seldom tasted so good.
Birmingham, that first time,
seemed like the bleakest place;
November had fallen cold and hard
and Rubery, the name you couldn’t say,
was depressed and downbeat,
so many shops boarded up
it was like a battle zone.
But there was enough to be grateful for
in that nest of warmth,
watching Saturday’s light rise
and bleach your bedsit walls

poem Β© copyright df barker 2012

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42 comments

  1. journeyintopoetry · March 29, 2012

    Oh I love this David, such atmosphere in it!

    It reminds me of the time I went to visit my best friend and her boyfriend in his second year of University, only this was in Hull. He decided to come out of Halls and be independent – independent, penniless and frozen, that is!

    I stayed for the weekend and came home with what was bordering on bronchitis. They were hardened to it by then and emerged from the weekend unscathed!

    Christine

    Like

  2. dfb · March 29, 2012

    Thank you Christine, you are very kind. My son’s at Hull in his last year at Uni – we’ll be up for his degree ceremony on July 9!

    Like

  3. journeyintopoetry · March 29, 2012

    Oh, it will be a wonderful and tearful moment, believe me, I know! Take lots of pictures and revel in every minute of it!!!!:):)

    What has he been studying? (I am very nosy!!)

    Christine

    Like

  4. dfb · March 29, 2012

    Christine, I don’t mind you being nosy! πŸ™‚ English with creative writing – getting a job will be the problem.

    Like

  5. journeyintopoetry · March 29, 2012

    Fabulous, gifted like his dad!!!:)

    But yes, jobs are the problem and that is such a shame after so much hard work. But he has the gift and that can’t be taken away from him.

    Christine x

    Like

  6. dfb · March 29, 2012

    Oh thank you Christine, yes fingers crossed!

    Like

  7. Ina · March 29, 2012

    Hi David
    This is a beautiful poem, and I can relate to cold attic rooms in my past lol. My youngest is having a hard time in one of those rooms as well πŸ™‚ Studying and strugling for money with a not too good heater in Winter… I suppose he will be a strong person in the end? πŸ™‚

    Like

  8. dfb · March 29, 2012

    Thank you Ina – yes, I’m sure he’ll be fine!

    Like

  9. Russell Smith · March 29, 2012

    I could tell this poem was about the original Birmingham because Birmingham, Alabama, USA is about as hot as a waffle iron!

    Like

  10. dfb · March 29, 2012

    Thank you Russell! πŸ™‚

    Like

  11. granbee · March 29, 2012

    This lovely poem commemorating that visit to the certain person’s bedsit reminds me of visiting my great-grandmother when she still living in her own home–up until the age of 99,you understand. Post-Thanksgiving day in Mississippi in the 50s could be cold and bleak, with all the lovely leaves already wet and brown on the ground. Her bedit walls, however, would always light up after lunchtime with the afternoons slanted rays and make everything all at once warm and inviting. Thanks for the memories.

    Like

  12. Janet · March 29, 2012

    LOVE your poetry and so have nominated you for an Awesome Blog Content award. Here’s the info: http://postcardfiction.com/2012/03/29/people-are-actually-reading-my-blog/
    Cheers.

    Like

  13. Louise Jaques · March 30, 2012

    Such an atmospheric poem David! I am continually envious of your magic with words.

    Like

  14. sevilleestatesflyer · March 30, 2012

    Your poem brought me back to a time when I was in college and the dorm room on a cold winter day.Thank You from Nancy in Fort Worth,Texas aka Cowtown.

    Like

  15. dfb · March 30, 2012

    I thank you so much Granbee!

    Like

  16. dfb · March 30, 2012

    Janet, you are so very kind – I am grateful to you!

    Like

  17. dfb · March 30, 2012

    Thank you very much Louise! And I am always grateful for you comments!

    Like

  18. dfb · March 30, 2012

    Thank you so much Nancy! I’m glad I have rekindled some memories for you! πŸ™‚

    Like

  19. Christy Birmingham · March 30, 2012

    Well of course I had to read this poem considering my last name! Well done, another fine poem.

    Like

  20. dfb · March 30, 2012

    Ah, I hadn’t thought of that! Thank you so much! πŸ™‚

    Like

  21. contemplativemoorings · March 30, 2012

    Always things to be thankful…like art πŸ™‚

    Like

  22. Victoria C. Slotto · March 30, 2012

    It seems that whenever I read your poetry I want to rush out and book a trip to the UK. Very nicely detailed sense of place.

    Like

  23. Three Well Beings · March 30, 2012

    My husband and I had moments like this when we were very young. A little sparse and cold…but I still seem to fondly place myself back in those days and think of the union of two people working it out together. I’m sure I’ve romanticized what it was really like…your poem brought some of that back, and I do have a nice warm feeling thinking of it. Debra

    Like

  24. The beauty of the places we love never disappears no matter the way it appears to others eyes after being ravaged by passing time…it always remains in a perfect disclosure of its beauty never to ever fade from our hearts and minds. Beautifully done!

    Like

  25. dfb · March 31, 2012

    Thank you so much!

    Like

  26. dfb · March 31, 2012

    Ah, thank you Victoria! Maybe I should work for ‘Visit England’!!!:)

    Like

  27. dfb · March 31, 2012

    Thank you so much Debra!

    Like

  28. dfb · March 31, 2012

    Thank you very much Wendell!

    Like

  29. emiliosaraga · April 1, 2012

    In the midst of drab and boarded up shops there is always something to be grateful for. I like that message. Well done!

    Like

  30. dfb · April 1, 2012

    Thank you very much!

    Like

  31. Betty Hayes Albright · April 2, 2012

    You create such a vivid, intimate scene here, David – and in spite of the cold and dreariness of the place, there is still “that nest of warmth”! And that can be a great place to be, no matter the surroundings.

    Like

  32. davidlandgrebe · April 2, 2012

    Hi David, great poem, I loved it, so human and simple.
    It reminds me of “Gerald Sterns” poetry. Thanks, David. L

    Like

  33. dfb · April 2, 2012

    Once again thank you Betty!

    Like

  34. dfb · April 2, 2012

    David, thank you so much. You are so kind and to compare me with GS! Thank you!

    Like

  35. lscotthoughts · April 3, 2012

    Another wonderful, magical work of art, David~

    Like

  36. dfb · April 3, 2012

    Thank you once again Lauren!

    Like

  37. bardessdmdenton · April 4, 2012

    Really captured the bleak look, mood and character of this city!

    But as you were in good company, I love how you expressed that it hardly mattered…
    ‘there was enough to be grateful for
    in that nest of warmth,
    watching Saturday’s light rise
    and bleach your bedsit walls.’

    Like

  38. Broken Sparkles · April 5, 2012

    Little story engraved into the words of a talented soul!

    Like

  39. dfb · April 5, 2012

    Thank you very much once again – I am grateful for your comments.

    Like

  40. dfb · April 5, 2012

    Thank you once again!

    Like

  41. New View From Here · April 5, 2012

    Wait! This ISN’T Birmingham, AL?!? …We do get snow in Bama—every now and then! πŸ™‚

    Love what you did here…I have a real sense of what breakfast was like that day and can see the sunlight shine through your windows….great job!

    Like

  42. dfb · April 5, 2012

    Thank you so much!!!

    Like

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