From here I’ve seen
thousands of suns,
the days end with copper glints
through languorous trees. Summer’s
apogee is seed of summer’s end, sure
as swifts scream out the balm of night.
A fast-forward pipistrelle delays
the drawing curtains, ever
thankful for the light.
On the windowsill the sphinxing cat
the way to live
Poem and picture ©copyright rp 2016
Oil paint with a varnish can look fascinating close up, suggesting other things, like food or less palatable things…
… and sometimes it almost looks like geographic features from space. It is the imperfections that are most interesting, the unintentional strokes. Here the use of the underlying canvas adds to the interest.
images and words ©copyright rp 2016
Is there a point where the tide
a moment that I could see, or touch?
I’ve been looking
at tables giving times, exact
minutes of apogee, and it was
just here I’m sure,
where I pointed
and saw nothing, except
the foam stretch ahead of me
like phantom silk, all
along the buff triassic sand, as far
as I could see or walk.
“That’s where the waves
stop,” you said, “where the tide
turns back to the sea – and me.”
image and poem © copyright David F. Barker
Enkidu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Inspiration is a leech on the
creature of conflict. How much
better it would be if our lives were
merely plain and ordinary, transcending
this light and shade, our existence
reliant only on plucking fruit
from a tree, cupping clean
water from a stream; and that
all my words and lines,
such as they are,
derived solely from love and light.
But we’ve seen to it, you
and me, have decided
to find out and exaggerate
every little nuance we have, to look across
at each other from these
dubious divides with poison eyes, our fixed
minds like two scorpions in a bottle.
And what we can’t steal or bribe or starve
from each other, we will fight for
to the end, till every last
sap of strength and all our blood is gone –
for that sweet taste of victory.
We’ve all spoken these platitudes,
though only seldom act
or relent. Even in our shadowy beginnings
the weary Gilgamesh knew; primeval
battles between dark
and light still raging on inside.
His remorse and grief leap out
at us from figures in dried clay like
they were made today, a reflection
of ourselves, our tears,
the lessons never learned. So,
if you must – go ahead.
Do your worst! Though please
make it your best
and I will write, endlessly
poem © copyright David F. Barker 2013
I stood alone
like it was the end of our world, an
eerie glowing sky reflecting my heart, with
the solstice on its way. You
turned to look at me, that smile
I knew so well, your gracious nod
I’d never seen in real life. My hand
went through you – you were not
there anymore, just an echo like the
sonorous bells over pantiles, made
uniform by the morning rime. You said
I looked ‘frit!’ in the dialect
brought across to your city,
the voice of your
distinction. ‘Your life is not
your own,’ you said, ‘even the sun
never stands still, only seems to.’
So you told me not to worry, not
even care, to let it all go
now, that it’s better to die trying
than do nothing,
a short life
with meaning and all its
tortuous crosses borne, can become
a pilot light of inspiration. You
walked towards the sea, smiling
once more and unafraid, before vanishing
out of time into the
low glinting sun, a promise
of far off warmth
and the revelation to come
image and poem © copyright Dave Barker 2012
English: Map of World Literacy by UNHD (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The sun only slowly burns off the morning fog;
a mind is clearing.
I’ve been cursing the cold and remind
myself of the time of year.
‘Literacy has stalled’. The radio spits out
this throw-away phrase.
It gets stuck in my craw, as if
this country hadn’t already been thrown
to the dogs, its mangled corpse
not tossed around for years, plaything
of the Whitehall hounds
and their circling vultures, both
rather good at feigning that they care.
‘Literacy has stalled’. As if it ever really
got going, it’s been a hidden truth
for decades; those miraculous exam
successes where league table is king. Never
common sense, not discipline and
certainly never values. And here’s
carte blanche to dress it all up; new curriculums
and shining academies: Zero times zero
Literacy has stalled: so tell me something
new! Nearly everything learned I’ve taught
myself, it’s a case of needing to but
I’ve yet to train my eye to spot who’s
behind the tail that wags the
elephant in the room
poem © copyright Dave Barker 2012
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.