Poem ‘City Nights’

London

City Nights

Though your faces
change these same streets
remain. Same high
sights in floodlit stone,
city nights abased
by brawls and chilli fights
in queues

Where were you when
I was this green
and victim?
Your fashion is the masque
of fools, disguises nothing;
your life like mine is
still waste

But somehow you’re
preoccupied.
Laugh in my face and deride
my reticence— won’t you!
So it always
was, for soon the dreaming
is done

© copyright df barker 2012

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Poem ‘Charity Shop’

Litter in Paramaribo.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Charity Shop

That scream connected
with the deepest level of guilt.
I’d been breezing by the charity shop,
litter and leaves scuttling ahead in a chill wind.

I saw him strapped into a chair
on the chewing gum pavement,
pulling taught in a fury
of condensation and sputum.

I stopped a safe distance away,
mingling-in with the bus queue,
all eyes askance and tutting as one,
wondering if (and how) to intervene.

Best not to get involved.
It’s nothing to do with us,
it would cause more trouble
than it was worth.

So I left to get some food,
relieved to find him gone on my return.
A clear misunderstanding:
mum had been in the shop all the time,

had emerged to the relief of all,
smiles and hugs and kisses all round.
But no. There he was ahead of me,
blighting my eye, my mind,

outside the chip shop
surrounded by shell suits and smoke,
the swearing and the sputum –
on the chewing gum pavement.

poem © copyright df barker 2012

*poem first published in 2011 in poetry collection ‘Anonymous Lines’, available at amazon.

Poem ‘Birmingham’

A38 Rubery by-Pass from Whettybridge Road brid...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Birmingham

In the morning we cooked eggs,
wrapped the blanket around ourselves,
tucking in and staring like zombies
at a dead TV. There was little reason to speak,
to say that food seldom tasted so good.
Birmingham, that first time,
seemed like the bleakest place;
November had fallen cold and hard
and Rubery, the name you couldn’t say,
was depressed and downbeat,
so many shops boarded up
it was like a battle zone.
But there was enough to be grateful for
in that nest of warmth,
watching Saturday’s light rise
and bleach your bedsit walls

poem © copyright df barker 2012