Window on The West


From here I’ve seen

thousands of suns,

the days end with copper glints 

through languorous trees. Summer’s 

apogee is seed of summer’s end, sure 

as swifts scream out the balm of night.


A fast-forward pipistrelle delays 

the drawing curtains, ever 

thankful for the light.

On the windowsill the sphinxing cat 

sleeps, pointing 

the way to live

Poem and picture ©copyright rp 2016


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: ‘Winter Sun’

Winter Sun

The weaker sun burns low
over stilled marsh and scrape.

Straight-cut dykes glow like
hot metal fissures through indigo.

Heavy boots crunch on ghosted grass,
breaking threats of enveloping silence.

By a glistening gate I pause, to gaze,
the pristine kiss of rime stiffens my hand.

The lone motion is my breath, brief clouds
vanishing in vasty air, to which I am inured.

A bleeding horizon yields dwarfed
silhouettes feigning heat, random skeletal

trees and pylons merely punctuate
before a distant church stump.

A sudden snipe breaks his cover,
rasping furiously over my head,

where I catch fleet Mercury gleaming
bright through icy blue.

© copyright David Francis Barker 2011

* Taken from poetry collection ‘Anonymous Lines’, which can be found here:

** The illustration is from a current painting by the poet/artist, showing the marshland at winter sunset near Boston in Lincolnshire, England.