Runaway (Poem)

Photo by Adrianna Calvo on Pexels.com

Footprints along the strand
stretching off to nowhere

A beach all my own
save for curious gulls

eyeing from Hesperides’ skies.
Kernow was never so lush

or windswept; are they bells
pealing on the breeze, like

lost Lyonesse beckoning
to this broken soul?

Maybe heartless time is melting,
melding; I run and run

into the gelid ocean, the two
once twain — now consumed

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

Poem ‘Perpendicular’

I’ve been baffled by this talk of
perpendicular, amused by the students
drifting by
in lurid hats and long scarves. Some are arm-
in-arm, quite oblivious to me, their
languid strides taunting
my age.
It’s a peculiar English thing, this style
of architecture,
(I know it hurts you to say) but I pretend
not to care, because my
recall of art history class is minimal
at best, a choice
that perhaps I regret now in these
idle moments,
sitting hunched in this cafe on
the square, bleeding its pasts. Maybe I’m jealous of
these boys, their short-skirted girls
with dark tights going on forever. And that bell,
it has a continental ring; I see
other occupants here, the shadows
of angular men in martial grey, mingling
with the smiles and chat of stylish women. But
now I have to watch you eat, your
gannet-eyes sucking coffee, washing
down the sachertorte you wolf. The mere
thought of those cobbles out there just beyond
this warping glass— you know
they are as hard as the freeze
which grips this place, the tissue of
your frozen heart

© copyright David F. Barker 2012

Poem ‘Daffodil Heaven’

Daffodil Heaven

When March was still and new
before I was of an age to care
we’d visit the fields across the way
where she’d earn some more pennies
in that cool primavera air

Here I would watch her
peeping from between deep rows
where lingering water drained
like instant coffee in footprint pools
only recently covered with snow

With an abattoir efficiency
she’d pluck off each clean head
sometimes pause for a smoke
stand straight to feel her back
or maybe tick me off instead

To the sound of mellow bells
we’d walk home for biscuits and tea
when I’d hear her cutting vegetables
leaving me with a comic
a ginger cat curled up on my knee

© poem and image copyright dfbarker 2012

Not seasonal, I know, but it’s nice to think of the spring.