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

Poem: ‘Love Shack’

DSC_0010 (2).JPG

Once more we are here, leaving our mark in the sand,
each time like a beginning, distant memories
of our first sight of the sea and the stretching beach.
It’s a smile you can’t stop, a sense of freedom
among the elements and primary colour,
dead pan voices of young and old
muffled by wind and rolling wave.
We look out on that flat horizon
spoilt by scattered wind farms, feathered
by painterly coasts
and we walk and talk along the strand,
laugh at the silly names of beach huts
and wonder what we would call our own,
to sit in the sun
on one of those few good days of summer
with our rug and thermos,
munching make-do cream teas
bought on a budget.
It would be a life, I suppose

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

Poem: Carousel Kissing

winter

And so I followed you,
holding desperately your trailing hand.
From dodgem screams in head-on collision,
to long kisses on carousels,
sitting the wrong way—
facing you,
holding you—
Yes, I was daring you!
That smile behind your eyes like a loving sun
which I met devouring candy floss;
sugar highs spinning lips together,
meeting and melting our cares;
suspended in ghost trains,
scaring you, opportune for me.
And later, strolling slick sands,
the far bass thuds
tripping our hearts,
setting off our lives.
Still in motion

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

*If you would like a personal astrology report, please contact me at: leoftanner@gmail.com for further details.

Poem: At Cromer

boatsoffcromer©dfbarker

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,
abandoned strokes.

Why are we drawn to the waves?
Those elemental rhythms,
sounds and colours
of a primary world,
where sparse pointillist spots
busy themselves on
yellow-ochre sands.

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 Leofwine Tanner 2019, 2011

Days of Innocence and Eternity

beach

Summer is not far away, fickle though it may be in England’s northerly reaches.

To us as children the good days were glorious; down at the beach the sun was our friend, the sea and sand our playmates through the days which would last forever. Eternity was within our reach – then.

In reality nothing much has changed, only our perception of reality.

cropped-beachheader1.jpg

paintings by Francis Barker

Poem: ‘Clothes’

clothes

These are my favourite clothes, I
wear them for days on end.
See?
They retain their shape,
my shape,
even when I toss them
into wardrobes, or hang them from
skeletal frames, dis-
assembled, waiting for warm
odours of my living
return.

So say you’ll never throw them
out, and resist all
temptation to wash. Simply
lay them on a chair or bed – though
mark the creases,
the bulges of cotton limbs, fleshy
legs which have moulded denim,
now hanging in threads. And make sure
to study the greasy collars, precious
oils of my skin. Then take
hold of this shirt, stretch the faded
fabric in your hands and breathe in
the smell of years. Remember
the walks and our talks, when
there was only time to kill. For these
things, which may be nothing now, are
still worthy of note, the relics of
a single life
and not without right

image and poem © copyright David F. Barker 2013

Poem ‘Floss’

Floss

And I followed you,
holding desperately your trailing hand.
From dodgem screams in head-on collision,
to long kisses on carousels,
sitting the wrong way—
facing you,
holding you—
Yes, I was daring you!
That smile behind your eyes like a loving sun
which I met devouring candy floss,
sugar highs spinning lips together,
meeting and melting our cares;
suspended in ghost trains,
scaring you, opportune for me.
And later, strolling slick sands,
the far bass thuds
tripping our hearts,
setting off our lives:
Still in motion

poem © copyright df 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 ‘Mare Incognito’ (for J)

Mare Incognito (for J)

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 df barker 2012