Poem ‘Birmingham’

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

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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


  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!



  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!


  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!!)



  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.


  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


  6. dfb · March 29, 2012

    Oh thank you Christine, yes fingers crossed!


  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™‚


  8. dfb · March 29, 2012

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


  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!


  10. dfb · March 29, 2012

    Thank you Russell! πŸ™‚


  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.


  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/


  13. Louise Jaques · March 30, 2012

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


  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.


  15. dfb · March 30, 2012

    I thank you so much Granbee!


  16. dfb · March 30, 2012

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


  17. dfb · March 30, 2012

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


  18. dfb · March 30, 2012

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


  19. Christy Birmingham · March 30, 2012

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


  20. dfb · March 30, 2012

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


  21. contemplativemoorings · March 30, 2012

    Always things to be thankful…like art πŸ™‚


  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.


  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


  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!


  25. dfb · March 31, 2012

    Thank you so much!


  26. dfb · March 31, 2012

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


  27. dfb · March 31, 2012

    Thank you so much Debra!


  28. dfb · March 31, 2012

    Thank you very much Wendell!


  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!


  30. dfb · April 1, 2012

    Thank you very much!


  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.


  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


  33. dfb · April 2, 2012

    Once again thank you Betty!


  34. dfb · April 2, 2012

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


  35. lscotthoughts · April 3, 2012

    Another wonderful, magical work of art, David~


  36. dfb · April 3, 2012

    Thank you once again Lauren!


  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.’


  38. Broken Sparkles · April 5, 2012

    Little story engraved into the words of a talented soul!


  39. dfb · April 5, 2012

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


  40. dfb · April 5, 2012

    Thank you once again!


  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!


  42. dfb · April 5, 2012

    Thank you so much!!!


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