Poem: The Painter

beachlovers1 - Edited

Climbing the dune,
wind heavy in our faces.
We squint (or do we smile?),
our laughs and quips
diffuse in the air.

Young legs carry you
ahead to the summit,
where tufts of green cling
to an existence. Then you’re
a sudden lithe silhouette

against a racing sky.
I revel in your victory;
your gentle hand hauls me
up close to ocean eyes,
an elfin smile, teeth

pristine like breakers
on the distant, crashing
shore, that white noise
filling our ears.
To look into you

is to look as men
have done for centuries.
Unchanging heart,
you’re the pearl left
nestling in filth.

So take a look –
can anyone steal time?
An hour here or there,
we leave our footprints,
no foothold anywhere.

I am the painter of this shore –
you are the model.
Again and again,
we return to wrestle
in familiar hues;

deep alizarin crimson,
yellow ochre, phthalo blue,
making it real. Stay in this
moment, we bless and bless.
It has to be you.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019 and 2011

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Poem: ‘Picture’

E

There’s a picture
it’s been hanging on my wall
You know it tells a story
the truth of it all

Now it’s time to tell you
with the sun streaming in
After all the silent years
I should begin

For love is like the summer time
in the northern lands
This cold barren soil
through my hands:

And we shall never pass this way

So how long did she stand? I don’t know.
Waiting – those poor women –
for a tall mast to show

Yes, he was a treasure
fresh flowers in the jar
Cap in hand, feet ten and two
like an evening star

Most nights she takes the air
down by the sea
Out there she can feel him
where the ocean sets her free

For love is a precious time
a sacred space
Give into the water
and its healing grace

And we shall always have this day

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

Poem: Summer Coming In

spring summer

Spring finally comes, like your
warm breath on my
desiccate skin. So then
sing to me of careless summers,
your smile, where
love begins

© copyright David F. Barker 2013

Poem: April 2

daffodils3

No longer will I bore you with my
mother’s life, and how I wish I could change
the way of her death. Thirteen years

is a long time, abridged by events that
just happen down this road. Though more
and more, this life seems impersonal, like

watching a new born lamb, sweet
to touch and then later to taste. How does
this lover turn carnivorous at a stroke?

And the lamb, like its mother, is a mere
vessel – when you’ve seen one, we all
know how we’ll react. So don’t get me wrong,

but Mum, you were a function, a role you
played so well, and no matter how
I embellish your memory at this time – well,

there you go, I have done it once again

Poem: ‘Clothes’

clothes

These are my favourite clothes, I
wear them for days on end.
See?
They retain their shape,
my shape,
even when I toss them
into wardrobes, or hang them from
skeletal frames, dis-
assembled, waiting for warm
odours of my living
return.

So say you’ll never throw them
out, and resist all
temptation to wash. Simply
lay them on a chair or bed – though
mark the creases,
the bulges of cotton limbs, fleshy
legs which have moulded denim,
now hanging in threads. And make sure
to study the greasy collars, precious
oils of my skin. Then take
hold of this shirt, stretch the faded
fabric in your hands and breathe in
the smell of years. Remember
the walks and our talks, when
there was only time to kill. For these
things, which may be nothing now, are
still worthy of note, the relics of
a single life
and not without right

image and poem © copyright David F. Barker 2013

Lipstick

She still puts on lipstick the same way,
calls it ‘lippy’ like it was a toy

One time she was his Venus
emerging fresh onto the shore of him

Now it’s Saturn who looks back
from the mirror

smeared,
croaking lame words of age

poem © copyright David F. Barker 2013

Poem: Your Kiss

English: A young girl kisses a baby on the cheek.

English: A young girl kisses a baby on the cheek. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)I was unaware

 

I was unaware

of your kiss at first, on forehead

and cheek, maybe even on

my foot – you know, when babies’

feet are cute and pristine, before life

gets too serious and rinds the soul?

Then later, and with equal ignorance, I

noticed your lips, though they’d always

been there. Now the way you walked

and talked

and brushed your hair – suddenly

you were magic! A vision! My lips

against yours, the most natural

avenue in life and love. Then

all too soon, you gave me air

kisses at weddings

and christenings

and funerals, the social graces

that count, their passion sucked

out by convention. And right now

I’m all too aware of

your kiss, on my forehead,

my cheek once more, though you stay

clear of my foot. You realise

that I am slowly leaving, retreating

into soft make-beliefs

of self, sheaths which soothe

the cool airs of emptiness

 

poem © copyright David F. Barker 2013