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

42 thoughts on “Poem ‘Birmingham’

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


  5. 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. 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™‚


  7. 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.


  8. 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


  9. 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.


  10. 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.’


  11. 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!


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