I Don’t Buy Shoes


The other day I had cause

to open your wardrobe and shoes

fell out like maggots

from a corpse.


New shoes

old shoes

blue shoes

broken shoes.


A pair for every day of the year

it seemed.

Try as I might

I couldn’t get them all back, for


I don’t have your gift

for packing or hoarding. So I

put some in my wardrobe

because I don’t buy any shoes.

poem and image ©copyright rp 2016

Ecclesia 1


A light held aloft

nature’s path to liberty

treasure in a field


words and picture ©copyright rp 2016


Over the fence he leans, speaks of
his time working
the huge hedgeless farms, decades

spent stretched on brown landscapes,
scenes etched into his eyes, where
I see him smoking

in deafening tractor cabs, minding
ploughs behind him
while trawling the rich draining silts,

for all our sakes – the interminable
trails of gulls in his tow

© copyright David Barker 2014

Poem: Summer Coming In

spring summer

Spring finally comes, like your
warm breath on my
desiccate skin. So then
sing to me of careless summers,
your smile, where
love begins

© copyright David F. Barker 2013

Poem: ‘Dance of Life’

This was long thought to be the only portrait ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Don’t hold out a torch
for me, I am not free of blame. This

is the dance of life where all are
culpable, soon to be drowned in

washes, the mangling gears
of pain. But who knows, these maelstroms

might be wormholes, revealing other
worlds and tableaux of night; dressings

of props across cold stone walls, taken
and rebuilt from dishevelled remains.

And where bards once played on stages,
hidden behind arras stitchings

and nom de plumes, we are all still
mere punters in pits macabre, holding

torches for celebrity – look at them, drunk,
high up with their gods of gold

© poem copyright David F. Barker 2013

Poem: A Picture


Like a heavy Thirties’ vibrato, the early
talkie movie strings exquisite
yet tainting,

your restrained pose remains
steadfast before the storm, long shadows
of a vengeance which threatens

you, barely withheld. Still
your smiling eyes stare
back from Paris cafés through

mists of Gitanes, drenched
in sepia, like the relics of some
melancholy sun

© copyright David F. Barker 2013

Poem: April 2


No longer will I bore you with my
mother’s life, and how I wish I could change
the way of her death. Thirteen years

is a long time, abridged by events that
just happen down this road. Though more
and more, this life seems impersonal, like

watching a new born lamb, sweet
to touch and then later to taste. How does
this lover turn carnivorous at a stroke?

And the lamb, like its mother, is a mere
vessel – when you’ve seen one, we all
know how we’ll react. So don’t get me wrong,

but Mum, you were a function, a role you
played so well, and no matter how
I embellish your memory at this time – well,

there you go, I have done it once again