Soon after he arrived I gave him
some food. Half way through
his ham and eggs he raised a fork,
pointing it at me as if he had
“The universe is where you are, not
somewhere else. Belief is the key,
not truth. Truth is relative,
so don’t look for it.
in what’s important
and go all out. Then keep it
© copyright David F. Barker
See Milly Reynolds’ work here:
available at amazon.com and amazon.co.uk
‘Manifesto’ is due out on amazon and kindle imminently!
Taking a break from crime fiction, Milly Reynolds’ new ebook is an imaginative and quirky take on the state of current affairs as well as the meandering course of history.
Eleanor Cross, a disaffected Tory MP, takes us with her as she rides on the waves of destiny towards the formation of a new political party which will challenge old ideas.
Written as a very loose prose poem, this book sets down the policies that some might put in place if given the chance to take over the country.
Aiming where novella meets prose poem, Milly Reynolds has really pulled out the stops with this unusual new ebook. Both mysterious and funny, contemporary yet timeless, Milly’s head strong heroine, a disaffected MP, is challenged to ride the transformative waves of destiny towards a new future for herself and her country. An imaginative and quirky take on the state of current affairs and the long course of history.
I come here most days
after school. Dad says it’s ok, so I
head straight away to my
friends, the chickens; I help them
dig for worms. Sometimes
a school friend drops by too
and we race up the stacked bags
of guano; they’re almost warehouse high, our
voices muffled like we’re in a cave. Later,
when it’s time to go, I sit and wait
for Dad, stare at old pictures
on the wall. A bomber
plane in camouflage, the rows of cheerful
men before it with little to smile
about, Dad said. I can
point to his friend, the rear
gunner who never gets out. I’m stuck in
there, spinning round
and round in the noise, the ground’s
approach quickening— then nothing—
until this awareness
and I am his son
© copyright David F. Barker 2012
*Notes: When I was seven or eight years old, my Dad used to work in a warehouse and I did play with the chickens, climb the bags of guano. There was an office, with a picture of an old British Blenheim bomber, with rows of RAF men lined up in front…
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.
Woman from the West
You’d awoken me with tea in the spare bed,
where my feet hung out the end.
At breakfast we heard about the pier,
smashed by the savage storm, the worst for years.
It was early December with heavy skies threatening,
so we wrapped up warm to take some air,
scarves blowing, my arm around your waist
feeling your locomotion, the buttock’s rise and fall
with that playful goose-step, your natural stride.
Through the lichgate, we passed graves old and
one very new. We stopped by wreaths, with thoughts
for a boy of no age. Found him in a ditch, you said,
in blasé exaggeration. No Christmas this year.
Not for them, but did it bother us?
Your life lay ahead, sampling life in London,
as lethal as the sea stallions pummelling that pier.
Now my eyes were open. That walk wasn’t playful
but callous, and the tea seemed like a gesture.
So when we left the wreaths, I felt changed.
Wreaths for that poor boy and for us.
Not for love.
© copyright David Francis Barker 2011
* First published in 2011 in poetry collection ‘Anonymous Lines’.
** The illustrations are from a 1990s drawing of a Lincolnshire Church, and a more recent painting of a couple on Cromer beach in North Norfolk, England. CLICK ON AN IMAGE TO SEE BIGGER SIZE!