Poem: Girl with a Cello

cello

In a diamond city night we’re
taxied through floodlit streets

angled snow alabasters old facades
medieval histories beyond all guessing

Flanders is frozen outside this misted glass
the two of us sitting nose to nose

our tongues loosening aperitif smiles
white burgundy cutting through brie

making heads light and cheeks flush
and toe touch toe

Our eyes meet when bare soul strokes calf
kissing slim fingers one by one

plied each day to taut cello strings
sneak previews to plots and suites of night

image and poem © copyright David F. Barker

* sorry, but this is an oldie!

http://millyreynolds.co.uk

Poem ‘Wordspiller’

The Old English epic poem Beowulf is written i...

The Old English epic poem Beowulf is written in alliterative verse and paragraphs, not in lines or stanzas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wordspiller (for Christopher Marlowe)

So you are the spiller of words, almost
as far from me as
Beowulf is to you.

Wordspiller, your crosspose outstands me,
but I backthink
the falling choirs where you sadwalked

your summerwaiting mind, to
when your glories were mere
airthought,

like the Greathallow who once
shorestepped there
to see for himself

your forliving Angles (he oncebethought
angels) and their saxon King
Ethelbert redeemed to newspells that

you mindweighed as truthless.
Now I meet your clearstead gaze; for
the muse which stretchfed you

has not alleaten you yet

poem © copyright david f. barker 2012

Poem ‘Girl with a Cello’

Girl with a Cello

In a diamond city night we’re
taxied through floodlit streets

angled snow alabasters old facades
medieval histories beyond all guessing

Flanders is frozen outside this misted glass
the two of us sitting nose to nose

our tongues loosening aperitif smiles
white burgundy cutting through brie

making heads light and cheeks flush
and toe touch toe

Our eyes meet when bare soul strokes calf
kissing slim fingers one by one

plied each day to taut cello strings
sneak previews to plots and suites of night

© copyright df barker 2012

Poem ‘Weapon Take’

Weapon Take

No rusty blade
ever turns up here,
no shadow of a ship
or bejewelled belt;

no iconic helm
to add credence
to our wounded identity.
Not even signs

of a mystery hillock
rising in hugging mists
to excite or intrigue
those metal detector men.

Merely one vast industrial
scar, scoured of feature,
almost of life, tamed,
or destroyed,

depending on your view,
turned inside out
by Angevin priors
and inscrutable Dutchmen.

I come from a long
line of diggers
and dark-eyed women,
grown out of this morass,

hardened to sweat
and pitiless Ural winds.
People who made-do,
though never in

any doubt they
were the subjected
men of their Hundred,
the brave new Wapentake,

where the councillors
still speak in a
double-Dutch behind
tall, timbered walls.

poem and image © copyright dfbarker 2012
*poem first published in collection ‘Anonymous Lines’, available at amazon.

** Wapentake was the Danish word for the English Hundred (a small, political unit, originally meaning a hundred homes). This word is still used in the ‘Danelaw’ counties of eastern England.

Poem ‘Poor Things’

Poor Things

At some stage or another
we all become poor things

The man who once
pulled trucks and trains for fun

in a gown
and listening to a nurse

image and poem © copyright df barker 2012

Stratford Upon Avon… again

Don’t get me wrong, I like Stratford, birthplace of one the greatest (if not THE greatest) Englishmen who ever lived. The major changes to the theatres are nearly complete and it will be a spectacular venue for the plays of which I am so fond. What I was not so keen on, a little while back, were the ‘begging buckets’ after a performance to help retired actors – a worthy cause indeed – but I found it a little incongruous immediately afterwards walking by the multi-million upgrade of the theatres. Well, what I mean is, couldn’t some of that money have been used to look after those older thespians, rather than putting it all in the new buildings? Yes, it all began before the credit crunch, and we now live in an age of austerity, but couldn’t someone with some foresight have thought that perhaps these improvements were, shall we say, a little over the top?

Anyhow, this time we went to see Morte d’Arthur, a play (based on a series of books/plays) written originally by Thomas Malory in the fifteenth century, given a modern makeover and quite honestly, it is the best performance I have seen at the Courtyard Theatre in years. Yes, it isn’t Shakespeare but it fits in wonderfully, and anyone familiar with the film Excalibur will be reminded of that fine film, with only Wagner missing to highlight the various tableaux. Nevertheless, this performance did not need Wagner. The ideas are wonderful; jousting given a realistic feel with men acting as horses underneath knights in vivid medieval colour; medieval plainsong wonderfully sung by the cast; Sam Troughton ageing convincingly, seemingly without makeup.

In a nutshell, I left the theatre more enthused and entertained than ever before. Well done Mike Poulton and Greg Doran. It was a long time in the making but worth waiting for.