Tanka: The Best Time

animal cat face close up feline

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It was the best time
Endless summers before school
just mum, cat and me
Our art of simply being
beat the toil of becoming

copyright Francis Barker 2019

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Interesting Textures 1

oldbible2

A favourite old Authorised King James Version Bible can be an interesting subject of study. This is from school days, leather satchels and shorts.

© image copyright rp 2016

Literacy has stalled

English: Map of World Literacy by UNHD

English: Map of World Literacy by UNHD (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The sun only slowly burns off the morning fog;
a mind is clearing.
I’ve been cursing the cold and remind

myself of the time of year.
‘Literacy has stalled’. The radio spits out
this throw-away phrase.

It gets stuck in my craw, as if
this country hadn’t already been thrown
to the dogs, its mangled corpse

not tossed around for years, plaything
of the Whitehall hounds
and their circling vultures, both

rather good at feigning that they care.
‘Literacy has stalled’. As if it ever really
got going, it’s been a hidden truth

for decades; those miraculous exam
successes where league table is king. Never
common sense, not discipline and

certainly never values. And here’s
carte blanche to dress it all up; new curriculums
and shining academies: Zero times zero

equals zero.
Literacy has stalled: so tell me something
new! Nearly everything learned I’ve taught

myself, it’s a case of needing to but
I’ve yet to train my eye to spot who’s
behind the tail that wags the

elephant in the room

poem © copyright Dave Barker 2012

Poem: ‘August in Yesteryear’

English: Summer field in Belgium (Hamois). The...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Summer was once ices poles and living
on bikes; we were free like swifts
screaming circles in the air. Greens
were for football and teams twenty a side,
roads for playing cricket, where cars
were stalling aberrations. We lay
on lawns watching clouds, minds unfettered
in those zenith blues; guilt
and care belonged to
some other world and school
might well have been
beyond the moon.

Only later came guitars with boys’ awakenings;
serenading neighbours
sunbathing in the yard, or the shock
of full moons rising late in the day. We really
thought we had credence, like southern
Skynyrd boys, singing in that
sultry heat with school coming at us
like banks of cloud, the football season
begun and cricket nearing its end,
watching shadows gathering
where the sun once shone

poem © copyright David F. Barker 2012

Poem ‘Brief’

Brief

Of the class of ’77
to my mind you were the best

Diamond moments
in empty halls,
instruments lying at your mercy,

each note, every chord
an affable smile
pavilioned in memory

How could you
be so brief,
this grief be so long?

image and poem © copyright dfbarker 2012