One May Smile

Photo by GEORGE DESIPRIS on Pexels.com

The shark’s reputation precedes him,
demonized in the minds of millions,
movie-goers jumping,
or hiding behind
their darkened seats.
Predators must hunt,
unsmiling and relentless,
the prey must die
so they can live;
for nature’s complexity
is for us to understand — not judge.
A greater power than Man
put this realm together.
And as a poet once said:
‘…one may smile, and smile,
and be a villain–‘
So step back,
you silver-tongued fiends,
those who think
they know better;
Your power is temporal,
so brief,
whilst the shark’s honest instinct
is ageless, only taking its due.

*Quotation from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 5, line 108.

Copyright Francis 2020

Earthweal Weekly Challenge: Shark Poetry

Poem ‘I could live with it’

A screenshot of the free game, 0 A.D..
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I could live with it,

I mean an endless sun,
sipping cool pina coladas
in bottlegreen shade,
watching boats and glimmers
on the steady seas,
smiling abroad in January
like it was wilting June

Yes, right now I could go for that,
especially in this reluctant spring,
where complaints about drought
are already here.
Hosepipe bans hit headlines
while I watch daffodils being battered
and bowed by sheets of savage rain.
And I’m pestered
by cats attacking bare feet;
like me, they’re already tired
of watching drops clatter on sills.
Unlike me, they resort
to playing hide and seek,
upstairs and then down—
flying all around.
I’m sure they think it’s me
with the weather remote
and today I wish it was

poem © copyright df barker 2012

Poem ‘Woman from the West’

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!