Poem ‘Horizon Line’

 

There is no love on those horizon lines,
nor in the sight of ships
tacking their finite courses to
oblivion, spilling me
outside.

So who is it waiting
in the rain, feels its spots
cool on their skin, can smell
its sweet aroma
off the hard hot road, stretching away
around the lonely coast?

poem and picture © copyright David F. Barker 2012

 

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Poem ‘A Tale of Love’

I first fell in love with you in a map,
a sort of pentagon, sacré, teased out
a touch like a stretched piece of dough. Then
it was the names, the easy non-phonetics
conjuring visions and colour through
Fontainebleau and Versailles. But then,
of course, it’s the history that defines me
and you, those first tragic lines etched
large, bold and bloody by le Bâtard, a family
dispute of a single culture cleaved
by hatred and greed, melded by chivalry.
For so long la Manche was not a divide
(and never la différence), more a conduit
of ideas flowing north, longbows sailing
south. Oh, we have divided since; your gift
for re-invention, dispensing with kings, that’s
something I cannot conceive, even though
we did have a go. But I only have to
look at Claude and Edouard, Paul
and Vincent, to get it, to understand— there’s
a love neither can openly express, though
look more closely, you will find it in our eyes

© copyright David F. Barker 2012

Poem ‘October 15’

Electric soldering iron

Electric soldering iron (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

October 15

Lingering smells of vinegar and fish,
red and green smears on an empty plate,
a solitary bone in a serving dish.

The constable pours tea
in a room drenched in sunlight;
an incongruous joke becomes light relief.

At his age a simple case of lights out, it’s said,
something you have to believe.
Only an hour before he stood at the door

complaining of chest pains that
Alka Seltzer would not relieve.
The neighbour walks in wiping her eyes,

tells of a conversation by the fence.
She cups her drink, shakes her head,
unable to make much sense.

Light another round of cigarettes,
though wherever the eyes fall
there are many reasons for regret.

So stand, walk around,
peep through the net curtains where
the ambulance casts its shadow – no sound.

You’re numb with facts that won’t ingest;
a still hot soldering iron, pliers, cut wire,
like something from the Marie Celeste.

poem © copyright David F. Barker 2012
* first published in poetry collection ‘Anonymous Lines’, available at amazon.com

Poem ‘City Nights’

London

City Nights

Though your faces
change these same streets
remain. Same high
sights in floodlit stone,
city nights abased
by brawls and chilli fights
in queues

Where were you when
I was this green
and victim?
Your fashion is the masque
of fools, disguises nothing;
your life like mine is
still waste

But somehow you’re
preoccupied.
Laugh in my face and deride
my reticence— won’t you!
So it always
was, for soon the dreaming
is done

© copyright df barker 2012

Haiku ‘Trinity’

Trinity

Scent of sweet woodsmoke
Beauty in indignation
Fresh ascetic breeze

Haiku and image © copyright df barker

Poem ‘Little Anne’

Ruins of York Castle / Clifford's Tower. Franç...

Ruins of York Castle / Clifford's Tower. Français : Ruines du château d'York. Tour de Clifford. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Little Anne

How could it have a name,
this skeleton dug up in York?
I asked myself many times,
sitting there transfixed by the image –
a face with no flesh

in the open newspaper on the floor.
In the background
the Righteous Brothers sang,
requiem voices reverberating.
A lone, leaden bass

dripping in a sad, grey pool.
I stared at those empty sockets
as if I had known her,
unsure if I was mortal, too.
On the black and white T.V.

they were burying Churchill.
From the kitchen mother’s
caveats decried the great man,
how she’d marched into
the polling booth back

in forty five dressed all in red!
But when I asked her what
a Jewess was, she wouldn’t say.
All I wanted to know was how
Anne had ended up like this,

disturbed in her rest
while Churchill went to his.

poem © copyright df barker 2012

*first published in poetry collection ‘Anonymous Lines’, available at amazon

* PLEASE ALSO SEE http://mikemalonemysteries.wordpress.com/

Poem ‘Rain’

Rain

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