Poem: Kit

Famous posthumous portrait of Niccolò Machiave...

Famous posthumous portrait of Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Somebody stopped me
in the Canterbury street, like a hand
on my arm which took me
by surprise. Two dark eyes full of
verve, like air fanning fire, arresting
me with their stare,
a challenge written with an effulgent
quill; in my mind I saw it tripping
over pages with invention
in sweet candlelight.

So many years before, a Kentish king
knelt before the altar in solemn
genuflection, and now
you, your head brimming with catechism
and heady charm, speaking out like
Machiavelli, Paul becoming
Saul to declare another truth
in your eyes, in mottos and tatty trinkets
of shop windows, which only repeat
your daring pose in ignorance

poem © copyright David F. Barker 2013

Poem ‘October’

English: Pumpkins

English: Pumpkins (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

October comes and suddenly
there’s too much change.
Enough already with trees going bare,

without having to alter clocks
to appease the North
which might not even care.

While some see beauty in decay,
all I find is a reckoning, revenge
in Hallowe’en’s red-eyed stare,

where we fare no better than pigs
fattened and slaughtered,
sentenced for nothing

by callous clowns in wigs.
So I will kick through the leaves,
as is the custom

in my search for a soul,
or a silver-lining in death,
wrapped up like a sausage

against the first icy blast
which blows away all joy
and steals the breath.

© copyright David F. Barker 2012
*First published in poetry collection ‘Anonymous Lines’, Night Publishing, available at amazon.

Milly Reynolds’ new ebook: ‘Manifesto’

See Milly Reynolds’ work here:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Milly-Reynolds/e/B0056IY4OE/ref=s9_simh_gw_p351_d0_al3?_encoding=UTF8&refinementId=368165031&pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=09P41BQ8Y1KG91WBSJMJ&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=317828027&pf_rd_i=468294
available at amazon.com and amazon.co.uk

‘Manifesto’ is due out on amazon and kindle imminently!

Synopsis

Taking a break from crime fiction, Milly Reynolds’ new ebook is an imaginative and quirky take on the state of current affairs as well as the meandering course of history.
Eleanor Cross, a disaffected Tory MP, takes us with her as she rides on the waves of destiny towards the formation of a new political party which will challenge old ideas.
Written as a very loose prose poem, this book sets down the policies that some might put in place if given the chance to take over the country.

Review

Aiming where novella meets prose poem, Milly Reynolds has really pulled out the stops with this unusual new ebook. Both mysterious and funny, contemporary yet timeless, Milly’s head strong heroine, a disaffected MP, is challenged to ride the transformative waves of destiny towards a new future for herself and her country. An imaginative and quirky take on the state of current affairs and the long course of history.

Poem ‘Perpendicular’

I’ve been baffled by this talk of
perpendicular, amused by the students
drifting by
in lurid hats and long scarves. Some are arm-
in-arm, quite oblivious to me, their
languid strides taunting
my age.
It’s a peculiar English thing, this style
of architecture,
(I know it hurts you to say) but I pretend
not to care, because my
recall of art history class is minimal
at best, a choice
that perhaps I regret now in these
idle moments,
sitting hunched in this cafe on
the square, bleeding its pasts. Maybe I’m jealous of
these boys, their short-skirted girls
with dark tights going on forever. And that bell,
it has a continental ring; I see
other occupants here, the shadows
of angular men in martial grey, mingling
with the smiles and chat of stylish women. But
now I have to watch you eat, your
gannet-eyes sucking coffee, washing
down the sachertorte you wolf. The mere
thought of those cobbles out there just beyond
this warping glass— you know
they are as hard as the freeze
which grips this place, the tissue of
your frozen heart

© copyright David F. Barker 2012

Poem ‘Rear Gunner’

I come here most days
after school. Dad says it’s ok, so I
head straight away to my

friends, the chickens; I help them
dig for worms. Sometimes
a school friend drops by too

and we race up the stacked bags
of guano; they’re almost warehouse high, our
voices muffled like we’re in a cave. Later,

when it’s time to go, I sit and wait
for Dad, stare at old pictures
on the wall. A bomber

plane in camouflage, the rows of cheerful
men before it with little to smile
about, Dad said. I can

point to his friend, the rear
gunner who never gets out. I’m stuck in
there, spinning round

and round in the noise, the ground’s
approach quickening— then nothing—
until this awareness

and I am his son

© copyright David F. Barker 2012

*Notes: When I was seven or eight years old, my Dad used to work in a warehouse and I did play with the chickens, climb the bags of guano. There was an office, with a picture of an old British Blenheim bomber, with rows of RAF men lined up in front…

Poem ‘Keeping it Simple’

Uprising fist

Uprising fist (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was you who said that
it’s not what you earn but
how little you need. That
was the way to fly
in their face— living
within your means
is no good to them. They
want your soul, your very
soul, make it drown
in debt and fed
on all the salt
and fat
and lies you can swallow.

And they want you bound
to their state, you said,
their secret,
silent state. Well, I don’t
know about that, but
your answer was simple, a firm riposte
which said ‘no’. It meant
watching the pennies
and paying your dues. Keeping it
simple,
not listening
to the news

poem © copyright David F. Barker 2012

Poem: ‘August in Yesteryear’

English: Summer field in Belgium (Hamois). The...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Summer was once ices poles and living
on bikes; we were free like swifts
screaming circles in the air. Greens
were for football and teams twenty a side,
roads for playing cricket, where cars
were stalling aberrations. We lay
on lawns watching clouds, minds unfettered
in those zenith blues; guilt
and care belonged to
some other world and school
might well have been
beyond the moon.

Only later came guitars with boys’ awakenings;
serenading neighbours
sunbathing in the yard, or the shock
of full moons rising late in the day. We really
thought we had credence, like southern
Skynyrd boys, singing in that
sultry heat with school coming at us
like banks of cloud, the football season
begun and cricket nearing its end,
watching shadows gathering
where the sun once shone

poem © copyright David F. Barker 2012