I remember you remember me remember when I lost my mind I remember it well making music making bread making money making my way downtown and then what and then the sun rave song and then we danced and then he kissed me poet for our times poet for hire poet for love poet wife […]Grammar of Happiness — writing in north norfolk
North Norfolk in eastern England is one of my favourite places, unusual light, maybe because it is mostly north facing, and very atmospheric – and largely unspoiled too.
I recently completed two quite similar paintings based on views around Wells-Next-The-Sea, which pretty much describes its position.
Both of these paintings have been produced in oil on stretched canvas, 31 x 23 cm, unframed.
copyright Francis Barker 2019
No excuses, just thought I’d share again a couple of my past impressions of one of my favourite places.
If I ever got serious about oil painting and painting in general again, I think I would have to visit more places abroad. Like the south of France where the light is glorious, so I am told!
Of course North Norfolk’s geographical position is almost unique in England, which gives it its particularly quality of light, strong blues; whereas in the Mediterranean, for example, the brighter colours predominate.
When I used to paint (I’m hardly picking up a brush these days), I found the North Norfolk coast in eastern England to be most inspirational.
There is something about the quality of the light, perhaps because it is north facing. There is a strong ‘elemental’ feeling to the whole area which is difficult to put into words.
I am not alone in this of course. It is a popular tourist destination, is home to much wildlife and many want to relocate there. The house prices in certain parts have skyrocketed in recent years.
But that can’t stop us visiting. I think I shall have to return soon and who knows – maybe I will be inspired.
Is there a point where the tide
a moment that I could see, or touch?
I’ve been looking
at tables giving times, exact
minutes of apogee, and it was
just here I’m sure,
where I pointed
and saw nothing, except
the foam stretch ahead of me
like phantom silk, all
along the buff triassic sand, as far
as I could see or walk.
“That’s where the waves
stop,” you said, “where the tide
turns back to the sea – and me.”
image and poem © copyright David F. Barker
Haiku 2012 #4
teachers have returned
the world awaits its blessing
watch the advent sky
poem and image © copyright dfbarker 2012. Image in part created digitally, a beach scene on the North Norfolk coast of England, near Titchwell.
The image does not necessarily have any relation with the haiku content.
You’d think the crabs would learn,
like the canny herring gull does,
buzzing anyone suspected
of bearing food
Generations have stood, sat,
squatted on this spot
overlooking the wide harbour,
an untamed marsh,
engaged by the melding
of land, sea and air,
dangling bait tied to sodden strings.
It’s easy meat for crab and kid alike,
a great treat to see
their briny sojourns in buckets,
arrayed like lines of medals on concrete.
Soon we’ll let them go,
watch each one plop into the murk.
We’ll be back to coax another day,
warmed by the thought of them
in cold dark depths,
waiting for next time
© copyright dfbarker 2012
When I look down toward the beach,
the distant pier seems to stride
forward from the shining sea.
I like to look beyond,
to the bands of turquoise and blue,
an ocean painted in bold,
Why are we drawn to the waves?
Those elemental rhythms,
sounds and colours
of a primary world,
where sparse pointillist spots
busy themselves on
Some days the morning
unfolds through mists,
groynes spacing out
the distances along the strand,
until a final fade-out,
well before the sea
can meet the sky.
Overhead, pterodactyl shapes
patrol against fresh patches
of blue. As I approach,
the blurred semblances
of buildings appear, rectangles
feathered violet or grey,
as if stepping off the cliff.
© copyright df barker 2011, first published in poetry collection ‘Anonymous Lines’, available for purchase here: http://liten.be//gHmf9
*Painting from an original, digitally enhanced.
We awake to whiteness,
standing still to take it in,
like nothing will ever move again.
A few footprints in the snow,
silent records of an earlier day.
You say this is how it should be,
our minds lost in books, our dreams,
stretching out in listless days
and long nights. I yawn down
the stairs to click on the kettle,
soothed before a misting window
by the straight-falling flakes.
© copyright David Francis Barker 2011
First published in poetry collection ‘Anonymous Lines’ available at:
*If you are having a Christmas break, have a peaceful one
** Many thanks to all of those who have read or commented on this blog. I am very grateful.
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!