Poem ‘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
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
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