Milly Reynolds’ New Book: ‘The Second Death of Dr Finck’

A new book by Crime Fiction writer, Milly Reynolds, is due out imminently on Kindle.
It is the second book in the Jack Sallt series, a detective based in Norfolk, England, who has a lot of rough edges, getting him into serious scrapes with enemies, colleagues and loved-ones alike:
Two men are found in a beached boat, one dead, one seriously injured, stretching the resources of an already underfunded police force.
Suspended detective inspector, Jack Sallt, is reluctantly rushed back on duty to face his most perplexing and dangerous case yet, where old foes move in the shadows, threatening violence, controlling him with sensual taunts.
In the tense climax, Jack has to face his relentless enemies head on, risking not only his own life but also those of his colleagues and loved ones.

© copyright Milly Reynolds 2012

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Poem ‘Boats’

Boats

One of these boats is mine,
let’s say this one right here,
all ship-shape
and eager for the tide.
So come on, take my hand
I’ll show you around,
there’s no time to lose
because summer’s on its way
and I can feel the warm winds
arrive on this scented ocean air,
promising to take us beyond
that blue-on-blue horizon
to those lands unimagined
in all our dreaming

We shan’t follow the tireless tern
who labours from pole to pole
every year of his life,
merely to survive.
No, ours are the balmy seas
and first port will be St Tropez.
We’ll saunter ’round as if we own it,
then sail slowly on hugging Italy’s leg
all the way to Venice,
where we’ll flop onto chairs in Florian’s,
order the most exorbitant espressos
and demolish bite-sized cakes

And after that? Well,
I propose we simply wander,
let the currents of nature and time
take us where they will.
Because you see, there are no plans,
no timetable.
We’ve earned this shot at life— at living—
this precious smiling space

poem and image © copyright df barker 2012

Poem ‘I could live with it’

A screenshot of the free game, 0 A.D..

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I could live with it,

I mean an endless sun,
sipping cool pina coladas
in bottlegreen shade,
watching boats and glimmers
on the steady seas,
smiling abroad in January
like it was wilting June

Yes, right now I could go for that,
especially in this reluctant spring,
where complaints about drought
are already here.
Hosepipe bans hit headlines
while I watch daffodils being battered
and bowed by sheets of savage rain.
And I’m pestered
by cats attacking bare feet;
like me, they’re already tired
of watching drops clatter on sills.
Unlike me, they resort
to playing hide and seek,
upstairs and then down—
flying all around.
I’m sure they think it’s me
with the weather remote
and today I wish it was

poem © copyright df barker 2012

Poem ‘Weapon Take’

Weapon Take

No rusty blade
ever turns up here,
no shadow of a ship
or bejewelled belt;

no iconic helm
to add credence
to our wounded identity.
Not even signs

of a mystery hillock
rising in hugging mists
to excite or intrigue
those metal detector men.

Merely one vast industrial
scar, scoured of feature,
almost of life, tamed,
or destroyed,

depending on your view,
turned inside out
by Angevin priors
and inscrutable Dutchmen.

I come from a long
line of diggers
and dark-eyed women,
grown out of this morass,

hardened to sweat
and pitiless Ural winds.
People who made-do,
though never in

any doubt they
were the subjected
men of their Hundred,
the brave new Wapentake,

where the councillors
still speak in a
double-Dutch behind
tall, timbered walls.

poem and image © copyright dfbarker 2012
*poem first published in collection ‘Anonymous Lines’, available at amazon.

** Wapentake was the Danish word for the English Hundred (a small, political unit, originally meaning a hundred homes). This word is still used in the ‘Danelaw’ counties of eastern England.

Poem ‘Underground’

Underground

By night the town paints clandestine shapes,
broach spires pierce a black arras
and decorated naves of Barnack rag
drape like sepia backcloths for ghosts
and revellers who may pass unaware
on equal terms, merely inches
yet centuries above charcoal rivers
channelled underground,
flushing silently till the night
draws out heat
and chatter of day

Streets swarm with strangers now,
unspeaking shadows in recesses
cupping whispers of gamy tongues,
smoking pipes like brittle bones
with fresh memories of tides
and the deep keeled boats
dragged up onto gravel headlands
by gangs of gruff rovers
and rippling Thracian soldiers
from legions awake to chance,
their unwrested sin

poem and image © copyright dfbarker 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

New Poem ‘April Promise’

April Promise

Full of April promise
so many times we’d disappear
to where the canal boats moored

make-believing one of them ours
a gypsy craft laden for a simpler life
We’d found our own place to dream

saw the naked sun step down to play
to dance on daisy-strewn fields
leaving us to lay by a twisting stream

cradled by heavy blossom trees
unable to face an unpalatable truth
The holes it burned in our maudlin minds

like never-healing wounds
more vulnerable than the blossom
which fell into torrents below

So it is that a few fine April days
are quickly gone
They never presage a fine summer to come

© copyright David Francis Barker 2011

Unseasonal, I know, but those of us entrenched in the northern hemisphere might want to think of spring.