Too Many Faces

They call it intoxicating. Spices full
on humidity, shrinking circles of heat run
down the small of my back, diesel
drips in sweat, salt on my lips— so
why do lungs full of carcinogens
feel like a relief? In the end you tire
of the faces, always staring, smiling
all the time like marigold hearts
worn on loose sleeves. Not so much
an assault on senses as an attack
on my sanity; overindulgence
in samsara. No wonder, then, this
belief in rebirth, endless circles of pain
to match this growing pain in my head:
There are, after all, only so many faces
to go round

© copyright David F. Barker 2012

Peterborough, England, BST

Open Link Night ~ Week 54



  1. Betty Hayes Albright · July 24, 2012

    David, stunning and vivid imagery – (made me need to take a deep breath of fresh air) and I love the last line: “There are, after all, only so many faces
    to go round” !!


  2. brian miller · July 24, 2012

    this makes me think of a verse by niki giovanni….it is entitled sometimes…consider it good, she is one of my favs…


  3. claudia · July 24, 2012

    very cool capture… india must be fascinating but also a little overwhelming as well.. love the marigold hearts
    worn on loose sleeves…


  4. skyraftwanderer · July 24, 2012

    Excellent, vivid imagery.

    Favourite lines – Not so much
    an assault on senses as an attack
    on my sanity; overindulgence
    in samsara.

    Very nice write here.


  5. Pete Armetta · July 24, 2012

    Your mind dude. 🙂 “smiling all the time like marigold hearts”. So elegant. If I could ever be half the man you are.


  6. Really nice post David!


  7. ManicDdaily · July 25, 2012

    overindulgence in Samsara – a wonderful wonderful line. I have to say I did not get the India connection exactly until looking at the tags. You may wish to make that clearer as of course once I saw it everything clicked clicked clicked – the marigolds, the diesel, the exhaust, which I’d read but taken almost metaphorically before or about thepast. (Maybe adding something into the title/ or maybe not if you don’t want it to be so specific.) But it is especially good about India. (I’ve traveled there a fair amount.)

    Have you read Rilke’s The Notebooks of Malte Laurid Brigge – wonderful parts about faces?



  8. Soma Mukherjee · July 25, 2012

    ha there are only so many faces…true that 🙂


  9. Mohana · July 25, 2012

    marigold hearts ❤


  10. dfb · July 25, 2012

    Thank you! No, I haven’t read Rilke’s book but I will look out for it.


  11. dfb · July 25, 2012

    Oh, thanks Pete! Today I feel like half a man…;)


  12. dfb · July 25, 2012

    Thank you very much!


  13. dfb · July 25, 2012

    Thanks very much Betty!


  14. Pete Armetta · July 25, 2012

    right right haha understood. 🙂


  15. Emma · July 25, 2012

    David, this is tremendous- I mean, for me, it is relatable, and the way you’ve laid out these feelings and ideas is so true to life. I wish I’d written this line:

    like marigold hearts
    worn on loose sleeves

    just wonderful imagery.

    Hope you’re well.


  16. Gay Reiser Cannon · July 25, 2012

    If living there is anything like talking to “outsource techies” I would go raving mad I think. No doubt it is beautiful, fascinating, constantly changing (all of which I get from your poem) but congested, crazy, and being an “outsider” wow, I’m not sure I could do it; but everyone who goes seems more vibrant and happier for the experience. I’ll just keep reading your poems and experience the thrill vicariously, please. Loved the poem.


  17. Ayala · July 26, 2012

    A cool capture !


  18. Broken Sparkles · July 26, 2012

    Your poetry never seize to amaze me David, always a word or two to stay with me for a while, always food for thought, rich enough to inspire! I love the “marigold hearts” very much! Thank you!


  19. shewritesherenow · July 26, 2012

    Every now and then I stumble on a writer here. Yay! This is a beautiful.


  20. dfb · July 26, 2012

    Thank you so much, I appreciate it!


  21. dfb · July 26, 2012

    Thank you so much – and I appreciate your comments too, and your poetry… still thinking ‘moonlight sonata’ – will do it!


  22. dfb · July 26, 2012

    Thank you Gay – I do appreciate it!


  23. dfb · July 26, 2012

    Thank you so much Emma! I do appreciate it, your time and your talents. Yes, I’m ok and hope you’re doing fine too.


  24. lucychili · July 27, 2012

    our world needs more trees and fewer folks =)


  25. bardessdmdenton · August 2, 2012

    I actually love the subtleties of the connections in this poem … I love that I slowly ‘get it’ , feel the belief, the doubt, the weariness, the wondering what it is all about.


  26. lscotthoughts · August 9, 2012

    So many wonderful lines and images, David…wonderful writing!


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