Poem: ‘The Return’

photo of person walking near orange leafed trees

Photo by KIM DAE JEUNG on Pexels.com

She was sat
on the old porch, a piece
of me I’d left
behind
in some spring
long ago. I knew it
in an instant, as
soon as she looked up—
our minds dovetailing as if
nothing had happened
in those draining,
intervening years. A part
of me wanted
to leave,
to move on and deny
what my heart was insisting, but
the spark was still there,
some sweet, indefinable
thing.

She tapped
the space beside her and
I sat down
on the creaking pinewood. The air was
still,
a low September sun
buttering the track
in front of us
and the turning trees
all around us
and the pale skin
of her arms, her legs,
and that gentle,
dappled face.

“Do you remember
when we were spring?”

I nodded, watching
her lips break
into that dimpled smile. In
her eyes I saw again
the boats
and the blossom,
like promises, journeys
only taken in our minds

poem © copyright Francis Barker 2012

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Poem: ‘England’s Glory’

man person men old

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

He taps the roll up on his weathered
seat, strikes the match
towards him as an old man should, a box
of ‘England’s Glory’ and tobacco bag
thrown at me, as if they weren’t
all his worldly goods.

“No thanks, I don’t.”

He shrugs as if it’s my loss,
cups the yellow light with
the nonchalance of a friend, his hands
raw and dirty. He draws, a near
toothless mouth collapsing
like worn bellows;
he exhales, deftly aiming a spit
of spare flake to his right, while knotty
fingers wipe wet lips— the sound
of sandpaper on wood. And so
the coughing starts. There’s little else
to fill the new day.

* ‘England’s Glory’ is a brand of match

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

 

Poem ‘Flux’

The window is
ajar,

just enough to
let in some air, to

tantalise the cat
hooked by

night’s soft invitation.
Something outside

is burning, hangs
in the yielding light, though

I’ve never
seen those crimson clouds

phase
to dusky pink

and then to grey.
It’s a flux which

eludes me
every time.

Magic, you might say,
like being in space,

and now

© copyright David F. Barker 2012

Poem ‘Keeping it Simple’

Uprising fist

Uprising fist (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was you who said that
it’s not what you earn but
how little you need. That
was the way to fly
in their face— living
within your means
is no good to them. They
want your soul, your very
soul, make it drown
in debt and fed
on all the salt
and fat
and lies you can swallow.

And they want you bound
to their state, you said,
their secret,
silent state. Well, I don’t
know about that, but
your answer was simple, a firm riposte
which said ‘no’. It meant
watching the pennies
and paying your dues. Keeping it
simple,
not listening
to the news

poem © copyright David F. Barker 2012

Poem: ‘August in Yesteryear’

English: Summer field in Belgium (Hamois). The...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Summer was once ices poles and living
on bikes; we were free like swifts
screaming circles in the air. Greens
were for football and teams twenty a side,
roads for playing cricket, where cars
were stalling aberrations. We lay
on lawns watching clouds, minds unfettered
in those zenith blues; guilt
and care belonged to
some other world and school
might well have been
beyond the moon.

Only later came guitars with boys’ awakenings;
serenading neighbours
sunbathing in the yard, or the shock
of full moons rising late in the day. We really
thought we had credence, like southern
Skynyrd boys, singing in that
sultry heat with school coming at us
like banks of cloud, the football season
begun and cricket nearing its end,
watching shadows gathering
where the sun once shone

poem © copyright David F. Barker 2012

Poem ‘Chances’

A set of Poker dice as used in Liar dice (indi...

A set of Poker dice as used in Liar dice (individual hand). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chances

You watch me do the washing up,
clean surfaces and toilets.
All the time you’re standing there,
moaning, swaying in your underwear,
sleepily spooning chocolate cereal
into that stale and coated mouth.
You must look at me and think
this will never be you,
that someone will always be here
to do this, the menial things,
the responsible things.
Maybe in twenty years
your swelling salary
will provide the foreign cleaner,
so you and some lover
can roam that glittering world.
Maybe sooner than that;
this huge lottery win
you keep hankering for
will surely drop the easy life
straight into your lazy lap.
Chances are, it won’t.
Do you still want to know
what the future might hold?
Take a look at me.

poem © copyright df barker 2012