Give me the spring,
its light and hope,
or just some freshness to the air
and your uplifting smile.
We shall laugh and dance
in an April shower,
watch the sunrise together
by the empty bracing shore
You can tell me when it’s gone,
this all consuming darkness,
as the burgeoning sun
circles north to bless us
copyright Francis Barker 2020
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
He was looking at the rivulets
stuttering down the glass,
ignoring the sodden cat on the windowsill
and the puddles in the grass.
Sitting down, I braced myself:
He’d say it wouldn’t do any harm.
I suppose it was his way of seeing things
when in the safe and warm.
Never mind that spring was passing,
never mind that I’d forked the grass over
for five darn days on end,
to drain away the numerous ponds.
Yet still there are some who insist
that we are the lucky ones!
So I put on my best April gear,
braving the cold and the wet.
I had to get out of his face, you see,
to hear some pessimism instead,
about the weather, the world,
or the state of this or that.
Sadly though, I have to say,
rain makes even the shy ones talk,
though they’d better watch out —
because I’ll be stabbing with my fork!
poem and image © copyright df barker 2012
I took a picture of you.
The one where you’re cupping a daffodil,
kneeling in the sacred space,
where you wear your sky blue coat
with the sun in exaltation,
as if shining from your April face,
so round and vibrant and pink,
leaving me to the sombre shadows,
out of sight on the nether side.
And I was some strange Narcissus,
making sure I saw myself when
passing shop windows, always critical,
so self-absorbed and vain –
though far from glorious.
But I still remember that image,
the delicate touch of your fingers
on the flower, all caring and giving.
So thanks for being you,
for making me see beyond
this paltry vision of myself.
image and poem © copyright dfbarker 2012
poem taken from collection ‘Anonymous Lines’ available at amazon.
image partly digitally altered from a larger original.
Full of April promise
so many times we’d disappear
to where the canal boats moored
make-believing one of them ours
a gypsy craft laden for a simpler life
We’d found our own place to dream
saw the naked sun step down to play
to dance on daisy-strewn fields
leaving us to lay by a twisting stream
cradled by heavy blossom trees
unable to face an unpalatable truth
The holes it burned in our maudlin minds
like never-healing wounds
more vulnerable than the blossom
which fell into torrents below
So it is that a few fine April days
are quickly gone
They never presage a fine summer to come
© copyright David Francis Barker 2011
Unseasonal, I know, but those of us entrenched in the northern hemisphere might want to think of spring.