Armour of God

Photo by Maria Pop on

Is it Mars, or Ares,
this armour of God?
Or maybe Woden
nailed to the ashtree,
reaching for runes falling
to the ground?
This present paradigm
emasculates me, turning
warriors in fugitives —
truth into myth

Copyright Francis 2020

VJ’s Weekly Challenge #123 Warrior

Poem ‘Until the End of the World’ (work in progress)

© copyright dfbarker2011

Until the End of the World

He walked with me
some of the way

Through the dark woods
he became a bright torch
to illuminate overgrown paths
where leaves of oak and ash
caressed my face like friends

On the high moorland
he was the warm fleece
which I wrapped around myself
to shelter from the cold and rain

And when we sat down
in the clearing by a stream
he produced this feast of food
which I shared with a host of birds
and others sitting tamely at my feet

But when he stood up to go
his skin turned a deathly white
I watched helpless
while he vanished silently
into a bank of willow and alder
swallowed by the rush
of the now turbulent stream
The animals all scampered away
to peer at me from somewhere
unseen in the shadows

I began to trudge home
shivering on the high moorland
drenched to the skin
with only hardy sheep for company
who eyed me warily
when I staggered by

Once back in the dark woods
I soon became lost
the stinging branches whipping me
and thorns piercing my flesh
while groping my way through

In my bag I found the old torch
with its flickering light
I hit it against a tree
trying to make it work –
my only recourse
in such a state of loss

*dedicated to all those who have found faith

© copyright David Francis Barker 2011

*image is a digital manipulation an original

‘Yggdrasil’ – a poem and a tribute to the ash tree.


When I see the ash I always pause
to admire its strong, primitive grace,
its carboniferous-like leaves,

those impressions I might find
in a piece of coal.
And when I stand underneath,

placing my palm on the grooved bark,
I think of Woden
who hung himself here in a tempest,

like a questioning proto-Christ,
intent on finding answers. The runes.
I rest my spine against the bole,

asking the energy to flow through
as I gaze up into the blue,
dappled through countless greens.

But I find no runes strewn hereabouts,
no answers at all,
merely a branch snapped off in a storm.

I will take it home to carve and to care,
before setting out once more
to taste this electric air.

© copyright David Francis Barker 2011