blackmail press 22
David Barnes

I have been an active poet since1996 and published in Australia and at many online poetry venues in America, England, and France with further work Published in Hard-back in Anthologies.

My first publication was in the Paris/Atlantic, a literary journal in 2001. With further work published in Anthologies released in 2001 & 2002 by Empowa Inc' here in Western Australia: further work was published in Firefly Magazine U.S.A.

My poetry was published in Anthology Number (ll) released in Austin Texas 2003, with further work published in Inside Out:  A Gathering of Poets. By Tombolo Publishing. In late 2004, I was invited to be the Guest poet, featured in “Blackmailpress:   Issue (11) a great New Zealand poetry site. 

Recently I was a Featured Poet 2007 in Poetry  (Spring Issue)
also 2007 in The Australian Journal of Arts, Ethics & Literature: Issue No. 12: Australian at Work Series 2: David Barnes.

Recently I was invited, to submit my poetry to July 2008 as a guest poet in the Editor circle of selected poets. I am also the publisher and editor of Numbat  pdu - poetry journal, since 1998 – 2007. 10 years a labour of love...

David edits and publishes the outstanding Australian poetry journal Numbat Journal. we highly recommend it - Editors


i do not sleep much anymore
unremittingly it is naps and snacks
pen in hand, inscribing
words at 5 AM
i have prayed for relief
there is no answer conversing
with God

if thought
exceeds the velocity of light
would he hear
a single muted plea
it seems life
is a continually moving flash
an inside-outside ache
this leaves no thought
on how to spend
the days

its Easter holidays
and the only man
with the solution died
carrying his fated cross
i surmise
i will have to continue
carrying my own

between toast and coffee
the aftertaste lingers, like prayers
waiting for God

© draft 1998.
© rewritten ® debarnes February 2008 - 20th

the orchard

such sweet fruit held in hand
eaten from the tree
caressed by the gentle pith
cover of the peach on my lips
juices melt on tongue
a taste never felt, never touched
never to be forgotten
passion adrift in light, twilight
flesh smooth down
mellow pliable tender - open to all
pain pleasure trickles
dew soaked skins soar down
in to indivisibility
dewdrops sparkle on the peach
a window, a soul,
holds you captive
pledges sensual electricity
an ecstasy of perpetual hunger
under the leafy cover of the orchard
shaded from life
forever floating in the void spent
fleetingly, you and I immersed
with the fruit of the tree
such sweet fruit to ripen.

© debarnes 1999
revised: September 2007 -26th

source of life

your soft white skin
is moist underneath my hands
as I cup your breasts
suckle as a child suckles newborn
for you are ripe, overflowing
with the source of being.
surely as a fig ripens
on the tree that bears fruit
our love brings forth the fruit
of hunger
as a child suckles
feeds its desire in need
so we are entwined
the flow of satin skins
slip in the warmth of the desert night
as we dip into each other
Mulga trees dig
to the source of life
take root with the rising
of the new dawn
there branches caress sun
draws in the very air,
of awakening
we ride on through
the night
we rise spreading weary limbs
at daybreak, seeking
the very source of the
Mulga tree.

© debarnes revised February 2008 – 15th

St. Johns boys home blues  
we were always famished, a curse
in our childhood lives year after year
it was I know now after the second great
world war and the depression followed
hit everyone hard

    “i know it was, as boys
        we pushed-pulled horse-carts round houses
                  begging’ for extra clothes, food”.

it disappears fast when you’re famished
tummies rumble for more food
and the sweet smell of fresh baked bread
was enough to tip any scale

    “patience we learnt quickly
             we had no choice
                    the priests were robust at strapping”.

so we wait
until all is finished
the fresh sweet smelling odour enticing us
laid out on stainless steel work-benches
waiting for us

“the women helpers
          who do the bread and baking,
             really know how to make tasty bread”.

the coast is clear
one mate keeps a sharp look out
as the three of us, raid the kitchen yet-again
Sinners that’s what we are, so the priests
tell us anyway when were caught doing
something we’re not allowed to

         “sinners and God,
               what do 9 – 10 year old boys
                              understand about priestly words”.

like flicking butter
up onto the high dining-room ceiling
it’s great fun betting who can make
the biggest circle up there as the
butter melts

“at least all boys,
      all ages go in for this challenge
           and  luxury bets change hands I tellya”.

Ah! Butter
that’s what we want
nothing like freshly buttered bread
it is a clean getaway, one loaf
and half a pound of butter from fridge stores
bet they notice one missing

    “missing, gone astray
          kids would swipe your socks to double’em-up
                                in Melbourne’s bitter winter”.

you havta’
keep ya trap shut about things like this
there’s always some smart arseholes that’ll
dob you in to get special privileges - sod em’
it’s what we do, what a boys home is all about
worth the belting if-ya’ caught that is

      “we stuffed ourselves silly
                      till bloated tummies  
                          could consume no more”.

we get away with it this time
because no one knows who did the sneaky deed
however, the whole home cops the penalty
loss of mail privileges and visitors rights
that’s if you have any family

     “families tell me about it
               half the kids here were dumped
                       the unwanted, others as well, war orphans”.

heaven help us if one guy opens his goddamn trap
starts boasting, it will really hit the fan
priests’d be on us like a ton o’ bricks, and older boys
with bigger fists will beat the shit outta us
but we’re a close nit and been together for years

“some may suspect us
      especially the priests
                since we’re high on their trouble makers list”.

It’s great
when we have had a neat clean raid, and no pain.

© debarnes February 2008 -15th