Poem ‘Days in Magic May’

Days in Magic May

And I opened the eyes
you’ve been opening ever since;

from the sweet wafts of mayflower,
whose banks of pure white

herald the long summer days,
to the sudden sight

of all manner of flies,
all busy living their fast fuse lives.

You’d point to the swifts swooping close,
yet so completely removed:

how could we comprehend
a life spent solely in the sky?

But you spoke to me in magic—
the old names for flowers and trees

sitting soft in lush landscapes,
either lost or quite alien now

poem and image © copyright df barker 2012

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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

Poem ‘Doing the Work’

Doing the Work

I thought of someone
scrunching up pink paper tissues
and sticking them randomly
to scanty trees. I paused outside,
beguiled by fresh horse chestnut leaves
like little green squids,
poised in the crossing sun

When finally I sat down inside—
sustained sounds in A
all around the unravelling dark
—I knew how much sweat
went into this, his sweetest symphony.
Oh, there would be tears, applause,
cries of ‘bravo!’ and the house
might well be brought down— eventually.
None of them saw the bitter tears
or heard the harsh cussing.
And they never had to sit
through the long silences
or watch him toss batons aside
and wipe that heavy brow.
More than once he must’ve wished
to be somewhere else—
in the grip of a glacier, perhaps?

At the break
I stumbled out into an evening
among smokers, a kerfuffle of gulls.
We watched a lone magpie emerge,
sneaking off with leftovers,
the keener eye winning
with the merest effort

poem and image © copyright df barker 2012

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 ‘Sandalwood’

Santalum

Image via Wikipedia

 

The first warm wind of spring

whispered threats in his ear.

Not even blossom bedecking

knolls of the smoking temple

embraced by those steepening hills

could turn the colour of his mind.

“I can’t feel a part of this,” he said.

He watched her take a piece of bread

and a cloud passed before her eyes.

Neither his touch or choicest word

would have any effect

and no amount of wisdom exuding

from centuries of contemplation

could prevent him feeling alone.

Their minds would never mingle

like fresh sandalwood in mountain air.

All he saw was a set of blue irises,

statements of beauty

and perhaps an intent

 

poem © copyright df barker 2012