Au Revoir Summer?

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Summer doesn’t officially begin until June 1, or June 21 with the Summer Solstice, according to some.

But a few warm days in early May lulls you into that typical false sense of security, leaves you thinking summer may have come early.

Then, of course, the heavens opened and May returned to its usual, not entirely unexpected mixed bag of meteorological mayhem.

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And that’s just it, the downpour reminded me of many previous Mays, and by all accounts the temperatures will be almost back down to single figures by the weekend. This is a normal May.

Great.

That’s why I said ‘Au Revoir’ at the start. So, like the French might optimistically put it, until we meet again, dear summer…

Here’s hoping.

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© copyright words and images rp

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Poem ‘Horizon Line’

 

There is no love on those horizon lines,
nor in the sight of ships
tacking their finite courses to
oblivion, spilling me
outside.

So who is it waiting
in the rain, feels its spots
cool on their skin, can smell
its sweet aroma
off the hard hot road, stretching away
around the lonely coast?

poem and picture © copyright David F. Barker 2012

 

Poem ‘Beachcombing’

Beachcombing

We set out one morning
after the rain had cleared.
Not a breath of wind,
loose clothes sticking to my skin.
Our intention was to search
the shallow beach,
stretching so far ahead of us
towards lights on low, murky cliffs—
baleful beacons through the mist.
“Stop there!” you said
and took that picture of me,
my trousers rolled up;
never the most fetching sight.
“Walking on water,” that’s
what you called it right away:
Maybe this was the closest
we ever got to heaven

poem and image © copyright df barker 2012

Poem ‘The Californian’

The Californian

To this day I don’t know for sure
who you were.
You sounded American
and dressed like a Californian,
or that’s how it seemed
to my parochial mind.

I wasn’t used to your friendliness,
being spoken to so kindly
by a complete stranger,
but then, that was the thing —
I felt I knew you.
Why didn’t I ask your name?

The event had brought us together.
Now we waited for the train
to take us back through Cumbria’s
rounded hills, always threatened by rain.
And true to form, despite it being July,
we found ourselves sheltering
in a little cafe, sipping bad coffee
made more palatable with cream.
That’s where I saw you surfing
in my mind’s eye,
feeling that smelting sun sink
beyond an ocean of glass.
We had just enough time
to assess our few days
in the company of a Buddha.
At least that’s what we said, if I recall,
and that we, too, might be Bodhisattvas!
And who’s to say we weren’t right?

Even now, when I play that album,
I keep looking at the picture
of the kind-looking man, all smiles,
with the sweet and beaten guitar.
He still looks an awful lot like you

poem and image © copyright df barker 2012

Poem ‘The First Time’

Blackbird (Turdus merula), singing male. Bogen...

Blackbird (Turdus merula), singing male. Bogense havn, Funen, Denmark. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The First Time

Blackbird, you must believe me,
but I didn’t set out to praise you.
So much can seem pastoral,
hackneyed, and plain ‘done already’.

But your song today
when I opened the window,
once the lashing rain had passed
and a feeble sun had come out –

it was so vital and clear.
You were not troubled by worry,
not hamstrung with minutiae,
nor at all concerned about

what you should be doing.
You simply sang from your heart,
a heart which I can’t always find
or even acknowledge in me.

Today then, at least let me say
it was like hearing you
for the first time.
Which of course, I was

Poem © copyright df barker

Poem ‘A Robin’s Descent’

A Robin’s Descent

The rain is gone,
though a heaviness remains.

Between this precious repose
and first glimpses of a lighter day,

a robin drops to drenched grass,
almost tame and curious,

the colour of passion,
his peppy, ardent life

among manifold greens.
Then he pops up once more,

daring closer this time,
an upturned table leg his perch,

to peek inside this house
of false comfort,

bringing life to worn out lives

poem and image © copyright df barker 2012

Poem ‘Rain’

Rain

He was looking at the rivulets
stuttering down the glass,
ignoring the sodden cat on the windowsill
and the puddles in the grass.

Sitting down, I braced myself:
He’d say it wouldn’t do any harm.
I suppose it was his way of seeing things
when in the safe and warm.

Never mind that spring was passing,
never mind that I’d forked the grass over

for five darn days on end,
to drain away the numerous ponds.
Yet still there are some who insist
that we are the lucky ones!

So I put on my best April gear,
braving the cold and the wet.
I had to get out of his face, you see,
to hear some pessimism instead,

about the weather, the world,
or the state of this or that.

Sadly though, I have to say,
rain makes even the shy ones talk,
though they’d better watch out —
because I’ll be stabbing with my fork!

poem and image © copyright df barker 2012