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

Poem ‘Birmingham’

A38 Rubery by-Pass from Whettybridge Road brid...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Birmingham

In the morning we cooked eggs,
wrapped the blanket around ourselves,
tucking in and staring like zombies
at a dead TV. There was little reason to speak,
to say that food seldom tasted so good.
Birmingham, that first time,
seemed like the bleakest place;
November had fallen cold and hard
and Rubery, the name you couldn’t say,
was depressed and downbeat,
so many shops boarded up
it was like a battle zone.
But there was enough to be grateful for
in that nest of warmth,
watching Saturday’s light rise
and bleach your bedsit walls

poem © copyright df barker 2012

Poem ‘Safe Distance’

Trench Warfare, General Conditions: A party of...
Image via Wikipedia

Safe Distance

Another old soldier who never speaks.
Sitting stiffly in braces and polished leather,
his medals left in bric-a-brac drawers

with sovereigns and half crowns,
concealing the nugget –
the tale worth telling from this safe distance.

A story of a corporal who carried
a limp subaltern from no man’s land
to safety through a Belgian quagmire.

Lieutenant Turnbull was a right bastard,
but no point in resentment or fear
when a bullet could tear through your head

at any time. Simply had to do it and get on.
His blank eyes, though still blue,
cannot disguise the bare brown soul,

like the pounded landscape, the kit bag
he carries around everywhere.
Until the lights go out.

© copyright df barker 2012
First published in poetry collection ‘Anonymous Lines’, available at amazon.com