‘Help!’ a poem

Photo by Eternal Happiness on Pexels.com

If I cry out for help —
will you be there?
We can’t know the thoughts of billions
staring bleakly out of windows:
I can only speak for myself.
Watching the news wounds me,
a psychological stab to my heart,
yet still I follow it religiously:
The enemy is out there, silent,
unseen, invasive and surreptitious
in ways I can’t imagine.
So don’t let my cheery greeting
fool you: I’m scared to death
of what may come —
for they’re making death my sole

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

*Are we really living a dystopian nightmare?

Haiku: ‘Shut’

Businesses shut down

Empty cafes and take outs

Fear and anger full

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

In these time we need all the support we can get.

Haiku: Our Perception II

aerial photo of sea
Photo by Simon Clayton on Pexels.com

When nothing makes sense
Dystopia the new state
Earth beautiful still

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

Haiku: Making Up the Jig Saw

person holding white jigsaw puzzle piece
Photo by bongkarn thanyakij on Pexels.com

There’s no division
I do not see scarcity
Fear is no option

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

Tanka: Program

white and brown wooden tiles
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

I never go out
I wait for deliveries
I wave from windows
My life is now the TV
Programs of fear sustain me

copyright Francis Barker 2020

Tanka: Contagion

photo of three people standing on beach
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Invisible foe
Manipulator of fear
The world may be yours
But immortal souls will see
Your contagion defeated

copyright Francis Barker 2020

Haiku: Fear Factors

black and white photo of person looking at the window
Photo by Two Dreamers on Pexels.com

Fear is a problem
Pedlars working overtime
Keep your own counsel

copyright Francis Barker 2020

Poem ‘Terrorform’


From the first day let us start to terraform Mars,
make oceans from melting ice caps

and rivers run red through the rusty soil.
Day two let’s release plankton into the sea,

let out vast shoals of fish to feed on them
and steely predators to feast on the fish.

Day three we’ll throw spores into the sparse air
and watch the forests grow, the trees

stretch high up the slopes of Olympus Mons.
Day four let’s release mammals, birds

and other fauna into the forests and fields,
to watch them gorge on the goodness

of the land, enjoy the clarity of the sky.
Then on day five we’ll take ourselves

to the former red planet, to become
the feared Martians we thought were there.

Day six let us wage glorious, total war
among ourselves, make the rivers run red

in the name of the god who named this place.
And day seven let us rest, exhausted by labour

and lust, to examine our new abomination
from the safety of space’s vacuum,

in orbit with Phobos and Deimos
without fear or dread of another first day.

poem and image © copyright df barker 2012

*poem first published in collection ‘Anonymous Lines’, available at amazon.
**image created digitally.