Summer doesn’t officially begin until June 1, or June 21 with the Summer Solstice, according to some.
But a few warm days in early May lulls you into that typical false sense of security, leaves you thinking summer may have come early.
Then, of course, the heavens opened and May returned to its usual, not entirely unexpected mixed bag of meteorological mayhem.
And that’s just it, the downpour reminded me of many previous Mays, and by all accounts the temperatures will be almost back down to single figures by the weekend. This is a normal May.
That’s why I said ‘Au Revoir’ at the start. So, like the French might optimistically put it, until we meet again, dear summer…
© copyright words and images rp
Gulf of Mirabella and island of Pseira, Crete, Greece (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
He didn’t know how to handle it, the sheer
heat of Crete; nor
the first sight of her, bikini pink, and later
sauntering around carefree
in even less,
through the clam of every evening.
And he’d certainly never seen
a cockroach before. It scooted up
their wall, brazen and antennae led—
she leapt straight out of bed! But
this one hadn’t counted on
the soul of a size eleven shoe.
While she drew a star in her diary, he
flung open the windows
each sultry morning, looked out
across the milky Mirabello Bay,
then down below, where
right on queue, Adonis
hosed down the tacky taverna floor,
leaving him to remember
what was cold and rain
© copyright David F. Barker 2012
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
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
(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
What Goes Around
At last I can leave
the window ajar
to sense those languid
sounds of the street
like life itself returning
from some distant place
a world woken up
by a warm gentle kiss
Promise too in the bee’s
tender tap on my window
busy on beatnik rounds –
I am wishing him luck
on a maverick wind
in the cool melodious rain
poem and image © copyright David Francis Barker 2011
*First published in Shot Glass Journal in 2011
I’d arrived there at noon
stunned by the view
from your window,
that vast sweep of shoreline.
I had earl grey tea, some carrot cake;
you made do with strong coffee.
You said we should talk, walk,
try to mimic the clockwork sanderlings,
laugh at comic turnstones,
all busy birds of the beach
I hadn’t realised
how far we’d walked.
The polar wind which swept us along
brought stinging tears to my eyes,
though little could detract
from the sight of your house
standing steadfast against the shore;
nothing except for the florid face
all cheeky smiles and winks,
that prodding finger in my side
image and poem © copyright dfbarker 2012