First morninglight through windowpane
falls to kiss
the carpet, our front garden’s Clarkia
left no trace of last
night’s condensed mist.

Is there happiness enough
to fill these rooms, or
could there ever be?
Like the relief that echoes
through living rooms on Christmas
noons, like the smile rising from a voice
at the suggestion of “Tea?”

Will the cosy silence play
to win out the crowd’s
lament? Will the dinnertime rustle
deliver imagination out from under
time's sway?

Do these questions sound like
asking the weight of water?
A cup of late youth’s innocence
to be drenched with irony,
pity’s daughter?

The home to while the world away, where to
process life’s refinery

A well-made plot that shuns
a twist.

A dry-witted author
Whose lust is the mundane.

That weekend
When we reached the lake house
After it had rained enough to fill
The floodbanks for an entire decade
Do you rememember...
what it was like?

To walk down the footpath dissected by brambles
And see the fog surround the land
And those first moments
So wonderfully calm

It was if we had found a minnowing horse
We once thought was wild

Seeing into the eyes of it,
We stayed for a whole week
Every day so different from the weeks that came before
Yet every day we felt absolutely settled
in that place.

The past recedes
Into memory
That is all we are capable of.
Still, all the same
We never fail to remember
the past emerging
an old punchline
Only half forgotten.

Though you've barely had a ramble
are no wayward canine daddy of note
that brief encounter in the brambles
has left the experts fearing a cancerous growth

So we starve you of your pine nuts and bacon rinds
so we can feed you anaesthetic
and betray you to the thief of time
only to make you, I imagine, feel pathetic
And you often so full of life's exasperate scurry

I worry
will the shine stray from your eyes
those hazel pools of so much of
my feeling mature, just for
pertaining to a creature's care

 we all seem in too much of a hurry
to stifle what little spirit
that surrounds us
to wear
down on every minor aspect
of childish delight
in this silent sacrament
of the aging process
and with arguably years
of your fatherhood left
in the very loins some dry eyed savant
decides it correct we should tamper with

Tomorrow I will snuggle you in favoured, bouncy eiderdowns
that will blanket your unknowing
and treat you if
you were an eastering child
on cured hams and other saltiness
after you awaken
from that strangest enforcements of sleep
and through our eyes we will trade more secrets to keep

And we will hope, as we only can, that it was for the best
For you, Yorkshire's son, or Sheringham's
And consider with all of your
exhuming breath
That we meddled, stilling over life
To cheat a slightly delayed death.

This poem was written on the occasion of the final night of my Yorkshire Terrier's non-emasculated, non-nuetured  era. Even in his soon to be state of infertility, I doubt we will ever see his like again, as you can't recreate perfection.

Can you call out to the night
in a voice that
reminds me of innocent days.
Where often I
appreciated the sunlight's grin
as I did yours, and exclaimed
my surprise at the late evening's
chill breeze milder, really,
than any touch of hands
that knowingly await
their bodies' compromise.

a frankness lightened by
a cherished voice's
warm reprieve
which follows in tuneful  
adept time.

Mournful as the time is without
you being spent half in memory
is yet still
courting bliss.

These petals that transfix
the passagemakers of this city
when falling they touch ground
as markers of this
city's stowaway quarters
as eyes open on a map
a view restricted by it's very habit
of spreading across.

These petals are not
but should be
cherry blossoms whose
sudden appearance
wakes up students
on the elevated tram
These petals are not
the spires of those finest churches
but they could induce that
same inspired awe if
they were crystal white on black
boughs that made this country's
roses appear washed out
like bleached hair
after a shower.

This downpour started and
gracefully cooled off
by you turning toward
our balcony window
as if hearing the
night call back to you.

Calling all the city's secrets
only rumours
Simply songs for worrying Lovers
Lovers who should remember songs
and let voices, floating rise
Above.

Some of the imagery inspired by this song came out of watching Spike Jonze's film "Her." (2013) Though a lot more of it came out of a recent trip to Venice, and there's even some Zurich in there too.

Thousands of cards are opened
in hundreds of rooms

And the wine is uncorked
a little earlier than usual

And everybody talks to one another
for once

And smiles captured through words
cover and hide the awkward hump
of sadness
That rises, like a cold,
on the flesh.

"Mothering Sunday" was the traditional name given to Mothers Day in Britain.
Westley Barnes Nov 2016

Roses announce the bedroom clipped from your thought
dilapidated vintage chandelier shakes with light
we might as well make the moment
when it's that cold outside
the mirror glimpses angles that escape our eyes

Daybreak child
would you be my sleepy wonder?
consumed with life

Grey bleeding into blue eyes  shock gives way to wonder
ertswhile Goddess of the night

My angry words have taken the violent locomotive
of the words that fill the books upon your shelf
but that was before
Now lilacs mute the bedlace
the wall's painted sea is our sky

Would you believe all those things I never tell you
or would you spit their underhandedness right back at me?

Mock turtle rhymes the sound your mouth makes when you're giddy
moves lies a breaking sundial
Fingers that are off-white feel to the touch like a promise
And
Now you're a plate spinning on it's side.

Westley Barnes Oct 2016

About 4 years into the friendship, or whatever it had by that stage become, during a chat on our Internet porn preferences
over badly-filtered Americanos
in the UCD student cafe, I said to her
" I think I enjoyed our friendship more when we used to get coffee and just laugh for twenty minutes. "
And after a half second of unusual silence from her, those pools
of ever-renewing blue eyes of hers almost incisions
into my consciousness, I added" That was pretty unique."
And then I laughed unbound, and she almost shrugged
and definitely smirked as if to say "this is where I am now, it took some time for me to realise but it's where I've always been."
Unapologetic, as only she could seem to be.

And it was, like any tryst, fling or abandoned half-romance is, utterly unique. Half on the way
to becoming something we were going to hang on to and definitely regret
and half-stopped, sulking out of a puddle,
dead damp weight created by the differences we made ourselves
for the other to behold and dismantle.
The immediate was meant for us, first the attraction, then the disgust, then the despair, then the cursing off, then round to the intrigue all over again.
She remained the great question mark of my undergraduate years. Heartaches after her were equally demeaning, but far more easily explained.

You know you've found someone irreplaceable when they tell things you really shouldn't know,
things shoved up in boxes for years, things too unformed to be really caught sounding out, in the moments after your first kiss.
And every clever undergraduate will tell you how negative all connotations of "irreplaceable" are.

And yet these are the backhanded good graces,
the immeasurable gifts that memory serves
I wear this like a wound I can find wry mirth at the very sight of,
I have learned all this from her without her ever intending
These memories are indented in a music box with an imitation sacred heart all mine
distempered by the candid lines of a girl who never wanted religion, divulged somewhere in our seat of learning.

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