Complementary (Tentative Diagnosis of Synesthesia)

Photo by David Bartus on

Dragon on vert
poppy resonance dancing
Tuesday shimmering, bleeding
blood-high on grass smoking
in Cambrian mountains
or Vietnam
through Afghanistan’s
fields’ perfumery
stains on reverse strata
of Snowdon’s peak, or Cambodia
covered in skulls
stacked dens of white hopium
masquerading as lines of snow
conquerors’ castles
morsels of stone
demolishing molars
of the starving
in unbearable agony
— Boudica still scowling, raging,
deafening blue woad on faces
bearing banners
golden torque cast
crushed under studded caligae
mass burials’ deep turf
dredging bone from mud

Sixties’ grass, love child
in fifty shades
acid ancestors calling
thudding on our spine “wake up!”
their history burned —
your future denied
Stand firm in dissolution
on Sunday’s black evening

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

dVerse: Meeting The Bar: Synesthesia

34 thoughts on “Complementary (Tentative Diagnosis of Synesthesia)

  1. This is deeply poignant! You portray the harsh realities attached with war so eloquently .. with colour as your armor. Especially touched by; “Boudica still scowling, raging, deafening blue woad on faces bearing banners golden torque cast.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A psychedelic trip among the killing fields, Francis, that is both stimulating and made me devastatingly sad. I love the way you’ve threaded the colours with the places. I was drawn to the lines:
    ‘…Boudica still scowling, raging,
    deafening blue woad on faces’
    a Norfolk heroine.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This vast canvas is blood and bones beneath the earth to me, ancient battled reduced to mud and the poppy carpet both symbolic of war dead the opium wars and the darkness of Afghanistan. Wild colours, psychedelic and good old woad.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you Jane, I went off on one but with November 11 coming up I always get morose thinking about the sheer waste and evil wanton slaughter.


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