Understanding

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I sat with him at the table. He offered me bread, a goblet of wine. After I partook he gave me a quill, some parchment, his smiling eyes encouraging me to write. Somehow the quill took over, gliding across the surface with ease. Before I knew it I was looking at a line of words I didn’t recognise. I looked up at him, his kind countenance pitying my ignorance.
“Try reading it again,” he said.
I looked down — suddenly the script made sense. “Reading what I have just written, I now believe.”
A gentle smile was pursing his lips.

Copyright Francis 2020

*dVerse Monday night Prosery

Trekkie Addict (Quadrille)

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In another dimension
a science fiction buff
might be prized.
Both generations of Star Trek,
scripts known verbatim,
dramas wrought
from billions
and parsecs,
all sheer make-believe:
I cannot abide it.
So which side is up in space?
I’m passed the Van Allen belts

Copyright Francis 2020

dVerse — Quadrille 117 — The Dude Abides

I am a bit of a Trekkie addict — but is it absurd?

Haibun: ‘Isabella’

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The sea was writhing at Seahouses. Northumbria wild, voices calling on the wind blown from Hyperborean reaches.

And then you — your skin grey like a seal, matching your eyes, a lantern jaw jutting out like a promontory, unyielding.

So then why are you so kind? Because you are blind, like nature, the tempestuous oceans thrusting, reaching, for just one fleeting sight of your son.

Who brought me this far?
Providence cannot explain
Winter’s existence

Copyright Francis 2020

dVerse Haibun Monday

Complementary (Tentative Diagnosis of Synesthesia)

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Dragon on vert
poppy resonance dancing
Tuesday shimmering, bleeding
blood-high on grass smoking
in Cambrian mountains
or Vietnam
through Afghanistan’s
fields’ perfumery
stains on reverse strata
of Snowdon’s peak, or Cambodia
covered in skulls
stacked dens of white hopium
masquerading as lines of snow
conquerors’ castles
morsels of stone
demolishing molars
of the starving
in unbearable agony
— Boudica still scowling, raging,
deafening blue woad on faces
bearing banners
golden torque cast
crushed under studded caligae
mass burials’ deep turf
dredging bone from mud

Sixties’ grass, love child
in fifty shades
acid ancestors calling
thudding on our spine “wake up!”
their history burned —
your future denied
Stand firm in dissolution
on Sunday’s black evening

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

dVerse: Meeting The Bar: Synesthesia

‘Dallas In Queen’s English’

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Eleven
Twenty Two
Sixty Three

I think I recall
the BBC globe
in black and white,
a spinning duality.

The program inter-
ruption in Queen’s English
like a lightning strike;
Mother’s tears,
Dad’s ambivalence —
“Your blubbering
as if you knew him!”

What youngster could
comprehend?
Yet somehow I knew
a bright star had fallen
that November day

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

Poetics – Stoddard, Longfellow and Bryant say hello! (What does November mean to you?)

‘Whitby’ (A Gothic Folly)

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It’s the same sounds all round the harbour,
the cries of birds immemorial, echoes
through the cliffs of stacked up buildings, over
masts of twee named boats, men’s bobbing toys.

Your voice is still fresh in my mind, I see
yesterday’s tears in your eyes — that won’t see
me again, our little talks cut off by that corporate
guillotine. It had nothing to do with me.

But didn’t I say you should come here, to Whitby?
Simply to sit, drink it in, watch the gnarled men with sticks
hobble over cobbles, their tight permed wives
with ice creams, moaning, putting worlds to right.

The goths gather here, swarming to darkness,
and the name of Nosferatu, with steampunk dress 
codes posing, mingling with transient gulls 
strutting their stuff through archaic streets,

owning the place. Enough of my platitudes,
our shared liking for Camembert. You made
your choice, it was the mortgage and the dog,
tethered to the post called debt. It was sad, perhaps

I expected more. So is it sheer folly of me
to hope you read these words? — This tired old man
who just wanted to show you Whitby,
that we might make small talk once more.

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

dVerse — Poetics 427 — Mussenden’s Temple

Deafening Mime

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The mime artist confronts me,
lithe and contorting,
nuancing as best she can
with her eyes.
Masked and distanced,
her gestures rage out loud
and proud,
yet I do not understand,
I can’t even take her hand
to console, to reassure;
so now she’s rubbing her eyes
with feigned clenched fists
but the sorrow doesn’t translate;
such sobbing falls on deaf ears,
yet it screams to my soul:
She’s in her world, I’m in mine,
dimensions apart,
both of us born again infants
deprived of facial cues.

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

*dVerse: Let your words ring out. I taken a ‘left field’ approach.

Poem: ‘Mother & Child’

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Of course
you were always there;
I still see those dark eyes
like warm pools of love,
such intimacy poisoning
nearby attention.
And whilst jealousy
and estrangement
have enmeshed silence
around us ever since —
family is everything,
it’s all we have to
fall back on,
to stand up to those
moving to destroy us.
So mother, I honour you,
archetype in my mind,
fulcrum of my heart:
And may siblings forgive
each other.

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

dVerse open link night here

Murder At The Gallery (Tuesday Poetics dVerse)

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It was at the Turner Exhibition.
Hutchings was a quiet lad, for a copper;
he had a passion which no one suspected — and it got him killed.
I took the call and we all piled ’round.
There he was, wrapped up in bubble wrap,
sequestered in the store room
next to ‘Snow Storm’; not one of my favourites.
Someone had taken a scalpel to him,
a right mess he was, poor lad.
When we got to his flat there were art books all over,
though not a morsel in the fridge. Evidently Hutchings —
I shall call him George — used to feed on art.

https://what3words.com/Feed.quiet.copper

Copyright Francis Barker 2020