Poem ‘Perpendicular’

I’ve been baffled by this talk of
perpendicular, amused by the students
drifting by
in lurid hats and long scarves. Some are arm-
in-arm, quite oblivious to me, their
languid strides taunting
my age.
It’s a peculiar English thing, this style
of architecture,
(I know it hurts you to say) but I pretend
not to care, because my
recall of art history class is minimal
at best, a choice
that perhaps I regret now in these
idle moments,
sitting hunched in this cafe on
the square, bleeding its pasts. Maybe I’m jealous of
these boys, their short-skirted girls
with dark tights going on forever. And that bell,
it has a continental ring; I see
other occupants here, the shadows
of angular men in martial grey, mingling
with the smiles and chat of stylish women. But
now I have to watch you eat, your
gannet-eyes sucking coffee, washing
down the sachertorte you wolf. The mere
thought of those cobbles out there just beyond
this warping glass— you know
they are as hard as the freeze
which grips this place, the tissue of
your frozen heart

© copyright David F. Barker 2012

Poem ‘City Nights’

London

City Nights

Though your faces
change these same streets
remain. Same high
sights in floodlit stone,
city nights abased
by brawls and chilli fights
in queues

Where were you when
I was this green
and victim?
Your fashion is the masque
of fools, disguises nothing;
your life like mine is
still waste

But somehow you’re
preoccupied.
Laugh in my face and deride
my reticence— won’t you!
So it always
was, for soon the dreaming
is done

© copyright df barker 2012

Poem ‘Doing it all’

Doing it all

you are like a meteor
and you’re young.
I am a metaphor for middle-age

I watch you smoke,
I can’t tell you
how it makes me feel

one hand wants to snatch
while the other loves
patting your head

so why do I smirk
at your facebook smile? – oh
this envy takes many forms

though the worst is knowing
you’re doing it all, and that I,
for all my whittling

have nothing to show

poem and image © copyright dfbarker 2012