Liberty Atoms 1

Sun defaults at climb.

Winged viper hulks

In nipping twitchgrass

To Maisie’s prompt.

Her teardrops firm up no lifeline.

Stencilled on boiled egg:

“One night – this time –

You do understand”.


Quote: Iris Murdoch, The Nice And The Good



Liberty Atoms 2

Pea-pods in Belleek ware –

Only tide-sniffed coal.

Maisie’s fingertips bled.

Our kitchen tightened as she wittered

A jinxed dirge.

On a bus ticket:

“I would like to see you

To talk about my brother’s death”.


Quote: Iris Murdoch, The Nice And The Good 



Liberty Atoms 3

Emery-rough towel…strewn

Maisie gnashes carbolic

Howl-storying into evaporation.

This instant’s quarrel peeps

Through the ghosts’ no-matter wishes.

Copied onto a synthetic eyelash:

“He’s just an external impulse,

A sort of jolt, a solid entity”.


Quote: Iris Murdoch, The Nice And The Good



 Liberty Atoms 4

Damask chiffon scarf

Muzzled the handset obstinately.

Our toadlet flopped

Into peeling door.

Maisie imagined numbers,

Glaring at fallow A4.

Zeros bevelled.

On neat velvet

Confidence-trick diamonds pushed into:

“Edward has been disappointed

And a little hurt”.


Quote: Iris Murdoch, The Nice And The Good



Liberty Atoms 5

Boulder-snaplink choker

Would not be donned.

Gala day scrapped.

Amelia whomped Maisie,

Floundering oysters.

Cloud ruptured –

In glazed shoreline:

“Do you imagine that you can save the world

Simply by proving that it is possible?”


Quote: Iris Murdoch, The Nice And The Good


© Christopher Barnes 


Bio:  In 1998 Christopher Barnes won a Northern Arts writers award.  In July 200 he read at Waterstones bookshop to promote the anthology 'Titles Are Bitches'.  Christmas 2001 he debuted at Newcastle's famous Morden Tower doing a reading of poems.  Each year he read for Proudwords lesbian and gay writing festival and partook in workshops.  2005 saw the publication of his collection LOVEBITES published by Chanticleer Press, 6/1 Jamaica Mews, Edinburgh.


 On Saturday 16Th August 2003 he read at the Edinburgh Festival as a Per Verse.


Christmas 2001 The Northern Cultural Skills Partnership sponsored him to be mentored by Andy Croft in conjunction with New Writing North.  He made a radio programme for Web FM community radio about his writing group.  October-November 2005, he entered a poem/visual image into the art exhibition The Art Cafe Project, his piece Post-Mark was shown in Betty's Newcastle.  This event was sponsored by Pride On The Tyne.  He made a digital film with artists Kate Sweeney and Julie Ballands at a film making workshop called Out Of The Picture which was shown at the festival party for Proudwords, it contains his poem The Old Heave-Ho.  He worked on a collaborative art and literature project called How Gay Are Your Genes, facilitated by Lisa Mathews (poet) which exhibited at The Hatton Gallery, Newcastle University, including a film piece by the artist Predrag Pajdic in which he read my poem On Brenkley St.  The event was funded by The Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Institute, Bio-science Centre at Newcastle's Centre for Life.  He was involved in the Five Arts Cities poetry postcard event which exhibited at The Seven Stories children's literature building.  In May he had 2006 a solo art/poetry exhibition at The People's Theatre.


The South Bank Centre in London recorded his poem "The Holiday I Never Had"; he can be heard reading it on  In August 2007 he made a film called 'A Blank Screen, 60 seconds, 1 shot' for Queerbeats Festival at The Star & Shadow Cinema Newcastle, reviewing a poem...see   He has also written Art Criticism for Peel and Combustus Magazines.