Haiku: News is News

woman holding newspaper while burning
Photo by Bruno Moretti on Pexels.com

The concept of news
There’s no breaking sensation
We are hooked like fish

copyright Francis Barker 2020

Poem ‘Subliminal’


They put it up on billboards.
It made the headlines,
the tickers scrolling in Times Square
and TV screens back home.

It was like hearsay going viral,
became banal talking points
in satellite drivel,
a tsunami of information
which hid the pearl of truth.

This notion that everyone
who has ever lived
could be alive again today,
our eight billions souls
matching totals for the past;
all of us primed, exposed
for some terrible judgement.

How many saw the subliminal flash,
I’m not sure;
reputedly like an ad,
the split second image of cola
that wets your thirst,
though not on screens – in the sky.
A judgement? No ceremony, no glitz,
no alarming lord riding the clouds.

But word quickly got around,
between lines of copy,
in the things not said.
Tickers in Times Square
stuttered, then stopped;
people draining away
like water down plug holes.
Wi-fi was gone,
it’s just something else
we can’t grasp in the air.
The only tickers now
are the clocks, our watches,
while we keep one eye
on the sky

poem and image © copyright df barker 2012

Poem ‘Little Anne’

Ruins of York Castle / Clifford's Tower. Franç...
Ruins of York Castle / Clifford's Tower. Français : Ruines du château d'York. Tour de Clifford. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Little Anne

How could it have a name,
this skeleton dug up in York?
I asked myself many times,
sitting there transfixed by the image –
a face with no flesh

in the open newspaper on the floor.
In the background
the Righteous Brothers sang,
requiem voices reverberating.
A lone, leaden bass

dripping in a sad, grey pool.
I stared at those empty sockets
as if I had known her,
unsure if I was mortal, too.
On the black and white T.V.

they were burying Churchill.
From the kitchen mother’s
caveats decried the great man,
how she’d marched into
the polling booth back

in forty five dressed all in red!
But when I asked her what
a Jewess was, she wouldn’t say.
All I wanted to know was how
Anne had ended up like this,

disturbed in her rest
while Churchill went to his.

poem © copyright df barker 2012

*first published in poetry collection ‘Anonymous Lines’, available at amazon

* PLEASE ALSO SEE http://mikemalonemysteries.wordpress.com/

Poem ‘Hole’


The hole where a fire used to be
has stared at us for fifteen years,
begging to be filled.
We know we’ve put it off too long,
put up with the inconvenience
and balking at the cost,
hating the insecurity of change
even if it might be for the better.
And then there’s the fledglings
flapping down the chimney each cruel May,
hopping around wide-eyed in darkness,
to be finally coaxed out of injury
through deftly placed curtains,
framing the clean glass of open windows,
an escape into the harsh light.
Remember the circa ’73 newspapers
we found stuffed up the chimney?
Those warm smells of old print and soot,
eyebrows raised at garish red mastheads,
the uneven letterpress lines
telling innocent stories of slower days.
And the Eagles were on the BBC.
For too long we’ve ignored
the unsettling sounds
of western borne gales
raising roof tiles like rattles of doom,
making us state more firmly each year
that something must definitely,
must finally—be done.
But still we continue to shiver
and rue that darn hole
where heat and heart should be.
Another twelve months nearly done, then.
Right now we’ve settled on fresh flowers
to see the winter out, knowing nothing
will ever quite conceal the truth

poem and image © copyright df barker 2012