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

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Poem ‘Your House’

Your House

I’d arrived there at noon
stunned by the view
from your window,
that vast sweep of shoreline.
I had earl grey tea, some carrot cake;
you made do with strong coffee.
You said we should talk, walk,
try to mimic the clockwork sanderlings,
laugh at comic turnstones,
all busy birds of the beach

I hadn’t realised
how far we’d walked.
The polar wind which swept us along
brought stinging tears to my eyes,
though little could detract
from the sight of your house
standing steadfast against the shore;
nothing except for the florid face
all cheeky smiles and winks,
that prodding finger in my side

image and poem © copyright dfbarker 2012

New Poem ‘Apparition’

Apparition

Standing by the patio doors,
an early sun was shining through
I thought I heard a gentle tap
no – I didn’t expect to see you

But I asked you in, made us some tea
and we sat in that warm rear room
Said you’d been away, started a book
Just didn’t think I’d see you so soon

When the sun went in I looked again
Somehow you weren’t quite the same
You hadn’t touched the cake or your tea
and now I couldn’t recall your name

So I took the pots through, confused
Nearly went outside for some air –
it was then I began to remember
but when I got back you weren’t there

© copyright David Francis Barker 2011