Haiku: Looking South

Ripples like wet skin

Midday spangles looking south

Waders distant calls

Haiku and copyright Francis Barker 2020

Haiku: ‘Elements’

Photography is a great hobby to encourage.

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

Poem: Pivoting

Photo by Herman. io on Pexels.com

We ran and ran
laughing headlong into the wind
which swept along the shore,
our arms held out like useless wings,
cheeks flushing with life and youth.

When we stopped
we could see where we’d been,
catching our breath
as the waves washed over our feet.
You held me and squeezed, your eyes
the colour of oceans
cool amid those blushing cheeks.

If moments are captured
and etched upon memory,
this was one such point in time
pivoting on eternity

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

Haiku: Holidays!

Untitled-1
Haiku copyright Francis Barker 2020  Photo by Sean O.

Poem ‘Between Lives’

Between Lives

“We are the sun,” you said,
that his light arose with us
playing on rainbows,
his myriad smiles the spangled waves.
In those days thoughts were endless,
vibrant pages which turned by themselves.
There were no limits to how far we’d run
or dream out onto the sea,
our hearts living free in a peerless sky.
But thoughts like books do have an end
and I have died a billion times,
holding on to every word you said,
like a child might ask a question
between the pages of his lives

poem and image © copyright Francis Barker 2012 & 2020

Haiku: Spangle

people on beach during sunset
Photo by Jessica Lewis on Pexels.com

Somebody stop me
I don’t need any green light
Spangles in the sea

copyright Francis Barker 2020

Haiku: Beach

2020-01-19 11-47-30
Bali, Indonesia

Life could be a beach
It’s an easy game to play
made hard by others

copyright Francis Barker 2020

Days of Innocence and Eternity

beach

Summer is not far away, fickle though it may be in England’s northerly reaches.

To us as children the good days were glorious; down at the beach the sun was our friend, the sea and sand our playmates through the days which would last forever. Eternity was within our reach – then.

In reality nothing much has changed, only our perception of reality.

cropped-beachheader1.jpg

paintings by Francis Barker

Poem ‘Bede’

Bede

It wasn’t at Jarrow where I sensed you
but on Bamburgh’s raging shore,
among the seaweed and razor shells
on gull peppered sands,
its castle brooding behind me
like a huge chiseled tomb.

North waves were scrambling,
spilling memories of guttural voices
disguised in flushing sound;
cries of songs, harps and old tales lost,
fragments I could almost hear
when I turned my head into the wind.

And who was the black figure
bent against the breeze,
absorbing sharp light
on that blinding beach?
I struggled through the dunes,
the little islands of sparse grass
and pygmy flowers —
but you were gone,
extant only in memory,
my boundless imagination,
and in your books
which carry me through centuries
on a primal wave,
each time I read your words

Poem and image © copyright df barker 2012

Poem ‘Beachcombing’

Beachcombing

We set out one morning
after the rain had cleared.
Not a breath of wind,
loose clothes sticking to my skin.
Our intention was to search
the shallow beach,
stretching so far ahead of us
towards lights on low, murky cliffs—
baleful beacons through the mist.
“Stop there!” you said
and took that picture of me,
my trousers rolled up;
never the most fetching sight.
“Walking on water,” that’s
what you called it right away:
Maybe this was the closest
we ever got to heaven

poem and image © copyright df barker 2012

Poem ‘Hastings AM’

Hastings AM

We sit easy in a sun drenched cafe,
the morning sea off Hastings
sparkling like a million reasons for joy.

Egg on toast our basic fare,
still a source of amusement
for the rough fishermen throwing cards

and jibes in their accents, burred.
You just know these are tough, cunning men,
playing hard now, their work done

before we even blinked in our bed.
They shout something after us
and we smile and nod in return

while removing to cobbled streets,
and then towards the blinding beach,
passing sheds of weathered wood

that are speaking of the sea,
that they might fall in the next storm,
their fate as flotsam along the crashing coast.

But once on the beach we forget it all,
simply to follow the pointing children
and their joyful cries of ‘Dolphin! Dolphin!’

© copyright dfbarker 2012

*First published in poetry collection ‘Anonymous Lines’ in 2011, available for purchase here: http://liten.be//gHmf9

**illustration from old original, digitally enhanced, © copyright dfbarker 2012