Image: Su Leslie 2021 Major General Urquhart:Hancock. I’ve got lunatics laughing at me from the woods. My original plan has been scuppered now that the jeeps haven’t arrived. My communications are completely broken down. Do you really believe any of that can be helped by a cup of tea? Corporal Hancock:Couldn’t hurt, sir From the […]Virtual Afternoon Tea, January 2021 — Zimmerbitch
On December 16 1773, the incident we now know as ‘The Boston Tea Party‘ occurred.
This was a protest against the East India Company’s recently legalised trade monopoly and the tax on tea. It was carried out by furious American patriots in Boston Harbor, who, dressing themselves as Mohawk Indians, stormed East India Company vessels and threw more than three hundred chests of tea into the freezing waters.
This famous incident followed the passing of the Tea Act in the British Parliament in London, earlier in 1773. This was designed to aid the supposedly struggling East India Company at the British colonies’ expense — an act which was to have severe and momentous consequences in the long term.
Copyright Francis 2020
Welcome to the Cafe and Bookstore Author Updates where I share new releases and recent reviews for authors on the shelves. If you are a new author and would like to be included in the cafe please check out the links in this post: Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore FREE author promotion. The first author today […]Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Releases #Reviews #Adventure Audrey Driscoll, #Fantasy D.Wallace Peach, #Mystery Sharon Marchisello — Smorgasbord Blog Magazine
Windows on a world
Musings on afternoon tea
Bless peaceful moments
copyright Francis Barker 2020
Lingering smells of vinegar and fish,
red and green smears on an empty plate,
a solitary bone in a serving dish.
The constable pours tea
in a room drenched in sunlight;
an incongruous joke becomes light relief.
At his age a simple case of lights out, it’s said,
something you have to believe.
Only an hour before he stood at the door
complaining of chest pains that
Alka Seltzer would not relieve.
The neighbour walks in wiping her eyes,
tells of a conversation by the fence.
She cups her drink, shakes her head,
unable to make much sense.
Light another round of cigarettes,
though wherever the eyes fall
there are many reasons for regret.
So stand, walk around,
peep through the net curtains where
the ambulance casts its shadow – no sound.
You’re numb with facts that won’t ingest;
a still hot soldering iron, pliers, cut wire,
like something from the Marie Celeste.
poem © copyright David F. Barker 2012
* first published in poetry collection ‘Anonymous Lines’, available at amazon.com
Black paint on the front door
was peeling badly. Before knocking
I ran a crackling finger over it,
flakes falling into shade around my feet.
A small grey lady in garish pink
dressed for bed, squinted up at me,
something akin to Stravinsky
played in the darkness behind her.
“Take a pew!” – words betraying her age,
her station, a headmistress perhaps,
Arnold’s paintings in primaries all over low,
leaning walls in a room of gloom,
as if yellowed by years of smoke
and smelling of rose and age.
His preference for palette knife
and fingers were evident at once –
then a portrait, blue eyes staring at me,
almost violet, gorgeous like Liz Taylor
and hints of a grey uniform with pips.
Tea and scone arrived on Royal Albert
with shuffles of pink slipper.
“The portrait,” I pointed.
“Oh, that’s me, circa 1944,” she croaked,
standing bent. “But not his usual style.”
“No,” I had to agree, writing frantically,
excitement like sap
sent tingling up my spine.
So, let’s get this right:
She had trained in Ireland,
was deployed to France,
following allied troops into Germany
all the way to the end, in Berlin.
Hers an eccentric family of noble stock,
a quite irregular life lived on the edge.
Did I believe her? At first, yes.
At least until I closed the door
with that peeling paint.
Then I noticed the corner in the road,
breathed in the fresh air,
saw the rush of wind in poplars
and rooks cawing their honest presence.
The further I drove the less I believed.
Narrow roads led into town, a realisation
that still – the artist had eluded me
Poem and image © copyright df barker 2012
I grab a cup of tea, set out
to make something of the day.
Snow again, it brings daylight on.
They describe it as ten centimetres
which I still find hard to see.
It’s enough to cover my shoes,
that’s how I look at it
while clearing your little car.
Later, the laptop warms my knee
with Schubert declaring his genius,
when I feel the phone shudder.
A cursory text says the roads
were not too bad.
I look outside at the gathering host,
busy blots of grey and black
on white. An emerging blue.
They know the human is about
and that he has food.
photo and poem © copyright dfbarker 2012
When March was still and new
before I was of an age to care
we’d visit the fields across the way
where she’d earn some more pennies
in that cool primavera air
Here I would watch her
peeping from between deep rows
where lingering water drained
like instant coffee in footprint pools
only recently covered with snow
With an abattoir efficiency
she’d pluck off each clean head
sometimes pause for a smoke
stand straight to feel her back
or maybe tick me off instead
To the sound of mellow bells
we’d walk home for biscuits and tea
when I’d hear her cutting vegetables
leaving me with a comic
a ginger cat curled up on my knee
© poem and image copyright dfbarker 2012
Not seasonal, I know, but it’s nice to think of the spring.
Woman from the West
You’d awoken me with tea in the spare bed,
where my feet hung out the end.
At breakfast we heard about the pier,
smashed by the savage storm, the worst for years.
It was early December with heavy skies threatening,
so we wrapped up warm to take some air,
scarves blowing, my arm around your waist
feeling your locomotion, the buttock’s rise and fall
with that playful goose-step, your natural stride.
Through the lichgate, we passed graves old and
one very new. We stopped by wreaths, with thoughts
for a boy of no age. Found him in a ditch, you said,
in blasé exaggeration. No Christmas this year.
Not for them, but did it bother us?
Your life lay ahead, sampling life in London,
as lethal as the sea stallions pummelling that pier.
Now my eyes were open. That walk wasn’t playful
but callous, and the tea seemed like a gesture.
So when we left the wreaths, I felt changed.
Wreaths for that poor boy and for us.
Not for love.
© copyright David Francis Barker 2011
* First published in 2011 in poetry collection ‘Anonymous Lines’.
** The illustrations are from a 1990s drawing of a Lincolnshire Church, and a more recent painting of a couple on Cromer beach in North Norfolk, England. CLICK ON AN IMAGE TO SEE BIGGER SIZE!
Standing by the patio doors,
an early sun was shining through
I thought I heard a gentle tap
no – I didn’t expect to see you
But I asked you in, made us some tea
and we sat in that warm rear room
Said you’d been away, started a book
Just didn’t think I’d see you so soon
When the sun went in I looked again
Somehow you weren’t quite the same
You hadn’t touched the cake or your tea
and now I couldn’t recall your name
So I took the pots through, confused
Nearly went outside for some air –
it was then I began to remember
but when I got back you weren’t there
© copyright David Francis Barker 2011