Poem From A Photograph: ‘By The Sea’

DSC_0017 (3)

One day we will live by the sea,
take our time like we always said.
We shall walk along the strand
come rain or shine,
while dinner cooks slowly back home.
Though we won’t have much,
we won’t ask for any more: it will be enough.
Contentment is making do,
inevitable like the tides,
the changing season
and the portals of life

copyright Francis Barker 2020

Mare Incognito (for J) Update

photo of seashore during golden hour
Photo by Avelino Calvar Martinez on Pexels.com

Somewhere between
Southwold and Saltfleet,
that’s all I’m prepared to say.

Where eastern seaboards
lose out each year,
glacial moraines fall away

with no answer to tides
that even kings couldn’t resist.
England crumbling in eye and mind.

Cliffs.
Now that could be a clue
but they’re not too high,

though high enough to sit on
and savour the grey seas,
the view, such as it is.

Does it matter?
Fine days won’t do, not to this mind.
Sea mists, fogs, or battleship skies

which leave enough to be imagined,
whose easterlies cut me into me
whatever I wear—they’re best—

when the only way to keep warm
is to keep moving, jogging
below the sleek aerobatics of herring-

and black-backed gulls,
super-marine harbingers of storm
doing their best to bring life to

Mitchell’s drawings of seaplanes—
and the spitfire.
Such an elegance in death.

But I’m here to forget about war,
about politics which can only
divide and kill.

Grey days mean I’m alone
in a moody make-believe.
I turn my back on all that was,

think about what might be,
where nightmares a few miles away,
that lost world within my right hand,

might just be gone when I return
or answer the bleep which says
I’m connected, branded for life.

Leave me now.
For a little while longer
let me say I’m free

image and poem © copyright Francis Barker 2012

Poem: Strand

beach foam landscape nature
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I walk out on to the strand
the only person around,
my shoes sinking some way
in to the fine washed sand.

The world of the town
is stacking high behind me
like multi-coloured pieces
of sweet rock and bubble gum

with the long line of beach huts
parading before them –
those little homes for the English
never wanting for their English tea

and comic newspapers
which they still read and believe.
But none of them are here now.
I’m looking out to the flat horizon,

a line of dark blue beyond
this stretch of local turquoise sea.
Somewhere around here,
maybe even on this easterly shore,

my DNA must have arrived
via Angle, Cimbri and La Tene,
a strand on this strand
in these islands afar.

copyright Francis Barker 2019