Poem ‘Unforgotten’


(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


“All I see is fire — this room
and that wall of books.
The whole building, all on fire.”

I could see that she meant it,
there was a frightening certainty
in her eyes. A conviction

But there was more

She spoke in a way
that would make me remember

Fast forward three years
and a new location:
a radio was blaring.
The name on a news bulletin
made me flinch, go cold
with the dreadful details,
yet somehow half suspected,
in shocking anticipation.
I could see her, so clear,
the way she was looking.
And now, how could I forget?

poem © copyright df barker 2012



  1. journeyintopoetry · April 17, 2012

    Wow! David, this is powerful and quite frightening. A bit like a psychological thriller all in a few words, I really like this.



  2. dfb · April 17, 2012

    Thank you very much Christine – partly based on true story, but clearly I have to keep the parties concerned anonymous.


  3. journeyintopoetry · April 17, 2012

    Totally understood, we must always do that. Knowing it’s true makes it a very sad read.


  4. Eve Redwater · April 17, 2012

    Frightening indeed… I really felt that, phew.


  5. dfb · April 17, 2012

    Hi, thank you so much and I’m also sorry! It’s partly based on ‘fact’, would you believe, although I have used some licence.
    My son’s in his last year at Hull – are you finishing at Sheffield this year?


  6. Eve Redwater · April 17, 2012

    Hi David, it’s fine, it’s fine, that just means it’s an excellent poem. 🙂

    Yes, I do finish this year, in June in fact. Applying for a Masters in my home town, hopefully to start this September! Exciting and scary at the same time! Thank you for asking~


  7. zeebradesigns · April 17, 2012

    Anyone who has had precognition or knows someone with those intuitive powers will be affected by this poem.
    As always, thanks for sharing.


  8. dfb · April 17, 2012

    That’s a great idea, Eve. Dare I ask, what about the fees? I told my son (Matthew) that a masters might be a good idea… as long as he went to Holland! A lot cheaper there (Utrecht etc) and nearly every course is in English. 🙂 Either way, all the very best, take care and keep blogging! 🙂


  9. dfb · April 17, 2012

    Thank you very much – yes, although this poem isn’t entirely accurate, it’s based on ‘events’, if you like, and it still bugs me.


  10. Eve Redwater · April 17, 2012

    Fees indeed! It’s something that I’m going to have to secure a small job to support, plus additional loans… not ideal, but I don’t want to lose hope, or give up on my ideas for the future.

    As they say in Okinawa: “Nankurunaisa!” – “It’ll all work out somehow!” 😛

    All the best to your son, too!


  11. As I was reading i thought i was in a movie, like “Play Misty for ME, or something! It was like reading a novel and in the main characters shoes for 5 minutes


  12. abichica · April 17, 2012

    OOH my Gosh!!!! your poem digs deep with in me.. it is amazing!!


  13. Christy Birmingham · April 17, 2012

    I found myself a little frightened but also memorized by the words… !


  14. Elyse · April 17, 2012

    Quite spooky. Especially as I’m living in the east where there has been no rain for the longest time, and the threat of wildfires is pretty significant.


  15. Soma Mukherjee · April 17, 2012

    Brilliant! has that haunting aftertaste which stays in mind long after you have finished reading it


  16. Russell Smith · April 17, 2012

    Eerie poem. I really like it!


  17. dfb · April 17, 2012

    Thank you once again Wendell!


  18. dfb · April 17, 2012

    Thank you very much!!!


  19. dfb · April 17, 2012

    Christy, thanks very much once again! 🙂


  20. dfb · April 17, 2012

    Thank you very much Elyse!


  21. dfb · April 17, 2012

    Soma, thank you so much once again!!! 🙂


  22. dfb · April 17, 2012

    Thank you very much Russell!!!


  23. claudia · April 17, 2012

    heck…leaves me with an uncomfortable feeling…quite a frightening story david


  24. magsx2 · April 17, 2012

    A very powerful poem, and frightening as well, spooky in an unusual way.


  25. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words · April 18, 2012

    hind site is 20/20…
    and we don;t want to believe we know someone capable of anything bad…
    this …I held on…wasn;t sure how it would end…usully I do…
    really captivating Dave…
    thank you for being you …
    Take Care…


  26. Just A Smidgen · April 18, 2012

    Hmm, based on events. It would be cool to read the actual story behind the poem.. I loved this, gave me the shivers!


  27. dfb · April 18, 2012

    Thank you very much Claudia!


  28. dfb · April 18, 2012

    Thanks very much Mags, once again!


  29. dfb · April 18, 2012

    Thank you so much MR!


  30. dfb · April 18, 2012

    Thank you so much!


  31. Sharmishtha Basu · April 18, 2012

    eerie and well written. it will make a good ballad.


  32. Ina · April 18, 2012

    Hi David, this poem is disturbing and intruiging, frightning and more. Loved it!


  33. dfb · April 18, 2012

    Thank you very much!


  34. dfb · April 18, 2012

    Thank you very much Ina!


  35. Victoria C. Slotto · April 18, 2012

    Fire, perhaps, but a chilling read, David. Tinged with fear and regret.


  36. dfb · April 18, 2012

    Thank you very much Victoria.


  37. granbee · April 19, 2012

    Second sight she had, it would seem! To look at the wall of books and see them all burning up–a gift or a curse?


  38. rangewriter · April 19, 2012

    I had to keep rereading this poem, trying to understand it. Then I realized, I already understood it. It made me shiver. Soemtimes I think I try too hard.


  39. dfb · April 20, 2012

    Thank you Granbee! Yes, this is partly based on fact, although it is personal too, so I’ve used a fair bit of licence but the general story about premonition etc, is, I think, fact.


  40. dfb · April 20, 2012

    Hi Linda! And thank you so much, don’t worry about trying to understand it, I have used a bit of licence here!


  41. rangewriter · April 21, 2012

    Which, I’m sure, is why it is such a good poem.


  42. Thomas Davis · April 21, 2012

    This is brilliant narrative poet, David. It reminds me of some of the work of Scriptor Obscura (I do not know her real name) who can tell a tale in so few words with such power that it amazes me. What makes the poem, of course, is what is not said. You draw a portrait, say you saw something in the woman of the portrait, whiz forward to an incident not described, then give us the idea that your original fears were realized. All we know is that the incident is a culmination of the statement she made about seeing a room on fire at the beginning of the poem.
    What this technique does is force the reader to blaze the details of the story from their own minds, forcing them to participate with the poet in the creation of the poem.
    And what you should be justly proud of is that this is done as effectively as in any poem that uses this technique that I’ve ever read. I love your art, as I love my wife Ethel’s art, but I think your both more accomplished as poets even though your art achieves an exceptionally high standard.
    Another thing I want to note in this poem is that it is tight. The economy and staccato nature of the words helps build the tension and the fire in the poem. Without that economy and staccato nature of the language the poem would not work nearly as well.
    This is both good craft, probably my highest level of praise, and good art.


  43. dfb · April 22, 2012

    Hi, I am very grateful to you and completely flattered! You are very kind indeed and I appreciate, very much appreciate, your comments.


  44. bardessdmdenton · April 24, 2012

    Hypnotizing…like the flames that pull one in to send one reeling back.


  45. dfb · April 25, 2012

    Thanks very much – you are very kind and I’m so grateful.


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