Landfill
 
Those fairy lights with pore fungi
Grumbling on twisted flex
Settle the matter.  Kept
At the railing-ribs of the cupboard
A pigtail to the mummifying Dulux tin.
 
They’re all on call
Bin-bagged, done with,
To be hand-brake turned
To a floppy rough-handling
In stinking winds.
 

 
Landscapes and Ears
 
A man
Old-eyed
Is scratched with ginger
 
Fanning the flaming melon
Melting lines of a happy-day suit
Border the expressive growl
 
Pierced eye-buttons
Perched to spring
Attack new light
 
Across the bleak
Flimsy empty homes
Await the strike of heat
 
The sun is weak
Studded in the elephant-belly
Above where orange rocks
 
Sunk boats stir the sky
Bloodied fishes slop the road
Only dead colour moves
 
Someplace beyond the mud sea
Becomes this place in me
The wheel squared
 

 
 Last Fishing Boat
 
Taciturn ripples
Cool-winded
Flutter over river’s skin
 
Perpetual ripples
Sliding harbour grease
Nudging high sides
 
Pasty houses
Lived in, winter coats
Gouge film-worthy rocks
Adumbrating hill.
 
Sky  almost empty
Fading blue, white
 
In the little fishing boat
A figure
 
 
                   Waves…
 

 
 Last Getaway Before Gold Watch
 
Oblique in command of action
They walked, where the wind walked,
March waves tracing Amstel’s cradle.
 
There were colder days than these,
Nickel wind tooting nerves of shoulder-bones,
Ice-peaks in mist under every step.
 
Shape distinguished again as the breeze
Spiked water with lost wax,
Pieces of fin in a Hans Membling landscape.
 
Up the bank to peppery lime, he followed Marguerite
Into Van Woustr, eyes dancing,
A whiss of bass fiddle in air.
 
Flicked from memory, beats measuring tides,
A year caught like a leaf.
 
There they boarded a tram,
A wavering terminus of bud and clinker
Roaring a tourist’s farewell to Amsterdam.
 
(From The Amsterdam Poems)

 
 
Last Letter
 
Farewell seasprayed world
Bleak, sticky love
Will have me no more.
 
Ships, trains,
Radio signals
That dart questions
Into night’s nets
Are circus tricks
For me to endure.
 
Over, caught,
I’m glad, if I could have ever
Been called glad.
 
My innocence
Shivers unproved.  I’ll
Doctor to my own salvation.
 
Of my wife I say nothing
Appeal only to the ghost,
Her voice singing
The cracks of my living.
 
Pentonville for a short
Unlighted stay, walk
To the hangman’s rope.
 
         H.H. Crippen
 

 
 
Last Night
 
Sat inside the tv I could change channels
Simply by blinking
A million old movies became one long picot-snake
The man-fly cried, “Help Me!”
Webs flew like homeless demons
The feeling was good but not finger-licking
I could hear the gay-boys gulp
But when she didn’t choke
The lighting burst a valve
And the whole television cooled
 
From the old school came Godzilla
The slickest lounge-lizard of all
Cross-gendered and sporting monochrome lipstick
Still able to tango at five thousand
 
After the first eight hours
Someone turned the sound off
The panstick became powdery
And the images flickered
 
I woke up in a heap
No longer in the tv
Turned and stretched
Then went to bed
The sun had come up
Inside my head
 
© Christopher Barnes, UK
 
 
Some bio details...
in 1998 I won a Northern Arts writers award.  In July 200 I read at Waterstones bookshop to promote the anthology 'Titles Are Bitches'.  Christmas 2001 I debuted at Newcastle's famous Morden Tower doing a reading of my poems.  Each year I read for Proudwords lesbian and gay writing festival and I partake in workshops.  2005 saw the publication of my collection LOVEBITES published by Chanticleer Press, 6/1 Jamaica Mews, Edinburgh.
 
 On Saturday 16th August 2003 I read at the Edinburgh Festival as a Per Verse poet at LGBT Centre, Broughton St.
 
I also have a BBC webpage  www.bbc.co.uk/tyne/gay.2004/05/section_28.shtml and http://www.bbc.co.uk/tyne/videonation/stories/gay_history.shtml (if first site does not work click on SECTION 28 on second site.
 
Christmas 2001 The Northern Cultural Skills Partnership sponsored me to be mentored by Andy Croft in conjunction with New Writing North.  I   made a radio programme for Web FM community radio about my writing group.  October-November 2005, I entered a poem/visual image into the art exhibition The Art Cafe Project--my piece Post-Mark was shown in Betty's Newcastle.  This event was sponsored by Pride On The Tyne.  I  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.  The film is going into an archive at The Discovery Museum  in Newcastle and contains my poem The Old Heave-Ho.  I 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 before touring the country and it is expected to go abroad,  funded by The Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Institute, Bioscience Centre at Newcastle's Centre for Life.  I was  involved in the Five Arts Cities poetry postcard event which exhibited  at The Seven Stories children's literature building.  In May I had 2006 a solo art/poetry exhibition at The People's Theatre why not take a look at their website http://ptag.org.uk/whats_on/gulbenkian/gulbenkian.htm
 
The South Bank Centre in London recorded my poem "The Holiday I Never Had", I can be heard reading it on www.poetrymagazines.org.uk/magazine/record.asp?id=18456