Poems and Fragments


I write mainly in a non-fiction form – books and newspaper/magazine features. But this writing is also intensely personal. Memoir. My relationship  – complex, tangled, ever-changing – to the world around me. Memories of people and real life events. Thoughts. Feelings. Questions, questions. As a dancer, rhythm and movement is important to me, and it informs the way I write. I am no poet, though I long to be one, and the harmonics of poetry and song fascinate and thrill me. On this page, as the time flows on, you might find stumbling attempts at my own simple poems, and reference to poets and singers whom I especially love and admire…. So watch this space, and I shall too.

April 2015.Sonnets. In my spring creative writing class at Heydays, West Yorkshire Playhouse, we had a look at the Seven Deadly Sins. But as an antidote to 'Jealousy', I decided to explore with them the pure loveliness of ....LOVE! And unusually, I had a go, in class, too. Iambic pentameter. 16 lines. The glorious rhythm and rhyme. Shakespeare. Sonnet Number 18....'Shall I compare thee to a summer's day....' That was our inspiration and lode star. I chose to write about Hungary, a place I fell in love with 25 years ago, and have only recently re-discovered. This is about a man, too. Inevitably.

Hungarian Rhapsody

You tell me that my voice is rich and warm,

although we do not share a common tongue.

A longing, sweet and foreign, starts to form,

for dances we might dance – and songs unsung.

Your black eyes flash with promises not kept,

and rendezvous in restaurants never made.

Snowfall on village roads – my heart, unswept:

old, vivid scenes that slowly burn to fade.

When postcards from a far-off place arrive,

the years of absence worry at my mind.

I walk the tightrope back – what will survive?

A country boy – and country – still to find.

I try to block my senses, but in vain.

             You touch my back – it all begins again.

Here’s another sonnet, this time from one of my creative writers, Gail Mosley. On the broad theme of LOVE in all its forms…

Love All

 We played at two-ball in the avenue

with perfect throw and catch, a wordless game.

I didn’t need to shout or call to you,

I can’t remember if I knew your name

but you were tall and willowy and fair,

and we could play for ever and a day,

at least until dusk blurred the evening air,

and each of us was called our separate way.

The accidental grace we conjured then,

oblivious to ordinary fears,

I’ve tried to capture many times again,

and keep returning to it down the years.

I wonder if it meant as much to you

when we played two-ball in the avenue.

Gail Mosley

This is a wistful offering –  from one of my Creative Writing group again. They are a talented bunch.

Sonnet : A Love Revisited

I loved you and I lost you long ago;

Now, I can barely call to mind your face

Though, when I do, it’s always in the place

We strolled and laughed, where broad and river flow.

It’s self-indulgence, just what I despise,

Nostalgia for a disappointment past;

There’s no excuse to make what’s painful last.

Let go, be content with the now : be wise.

For all I give myself such fine advice,

The empty moments come; nothing to do,

No book to read, the glamour of the new

No longer has the power to entice.

I make myself ridiculously sad

Thinking, wishful, of what I never had.

Mike Palfrey

And a final offering from creative writer Harry Venet, with one more sonnet about love…


Your voice, the most mellifluous of sounds

Attracts me every Tuesday in the park

In summer as I wander through the grounds,

Condemned to stay forever in the dark.

I sit upon a bench within your range,

My faithful dog so patient by my side

The feeling of contentment is so strange

And yet there’s no temptation still to hide.

Your words are less important than the voice

Its tone and timbre clinging to my ears;

It’s nice to know that I still have a choice,

A choice that will remain with me for years.

Though blindness means I don’t enjoy each sense

The one you give is ample recompense.

Harry Venet


4 thoughts on “Poems and Fragments”

  1. Very nice Barney for you to be rekindling so many creative energies after all the hurdles you have recently had to overcome and rise above. Good luck in all you touch upon. Francis. xx


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