blackmail press 26
David Barnes

from: Angipanis of the Abanimal People - Andy Leleisi'auo
David Barnes has been an active poet since1996 and published in Australia and at many online poetry venues in America, England, and France. His work has appeared in Paris/Atlantic, anthologies released in 2001 & 2002 by Empowa Inc, Firefly Magazine U.S.A., Anthology Number (ll), Inside Out:  A Gathering of Poets, Blackmailpress Issue (11), and The Australian Journal of Arts, Ethics & Literature: Issue No. 12.  He also publishes and edits a poetry journal called Numbat pdu:

Death wearies of his task

The young traveller walked in to the village parkland, a storm impending; seated
on damp grass a stranger was telling a story to a small gathered crowd, telling a
story about death, of death being weary of humanity, tired of collecting souls.

When will it end? he said.

When the world was younger, his load much lighter, now the burden of death is thousands upon thousands; the score of innocence grows without end. How did it
all come to this?

Then he spoke of humankind’s inner evil, said evil was a lustful fruit, seeking the
evil in man over his morality, from time beginning. Imagine, he said having the
task of collecting mans souls as circumstance decrees over countless centuries.

Remember, mankind is ever rapacious and like locusts has spread across the face
of earth, creating privation– repression– devastation; now he wishes man to be returned to the dust from where he came;  keep in mind, Death is bound ever to
walk the earth, collecting those who die in mans continuous endemic wars.

Death himself is not evil.

His shade cradles those who pass; reaps lightly as ordained by life's true span. He comes to many suddenly at the hand of man himself, and he tires of it all.

At this, the stranger stood up his short story completed.

A thunderclap resounded as if from beyond the grave as the stranger walked
steadily up the winding hill. He seemed faded within the gloom; and in the glare
of lightning, a final crash of thunder- unnoticed by anyone- the grass where the stranger had been sitting was lifeless.



when i awakened
i was tired of the dream

the mirror told me
a sad-eyed man

stayed with me all night
waiting for dawn


i awakened next night
again, i was tired of the dream

once more– the sad-eyed man
stayed throughout the night

i could not see him
though i know he was weighed-down


the subsequent night —drained
the tired-eyed man reflected ─ sits ─ waits

seeking oblivion
tormented in stark shadows

i know he waits— as i
for the dawn.

memories mingle

oh! how we
use to gaze across a room
at each other 
our riotous-frivolous behaviour 
still youthful;
your eyes-electric- implicit
as we danced 
bodies’ fluid- in- motion
longhair wild in semi-light;
and now
all I see are burgundy-shoes 
silent in the splay of shadows
your white- split- mesh
see- through- dress
which once drove other men- burning
to seek you out - 
hangs inert in the wardrobe
and i reach for you
and i see you through eyes within 
summon-up your image
it is all I have left.