Andrew Barnes


Monkey saved after arson attack,
white clouds bloom over la Rochelle,
a blue whale's heart weighs a thousand pounds,
today we learn the difference
between basal and psychic tears.

All these facts keep me occupied,
knowledge is neutral and drives my day,
I don't have to think or feel,
it's just there, a comfort,
with no pressure for dislike or enjoyment.

Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
white car stranded on a railway line,
Van Gogh only sold one painting in his life,
my train home to Sheffield
costs me two quid per mile.

Happiness is such a risk,
being open to emotion can let in despair,
I prefer to know the answer to questions,
rather than to question anything myself,
that's a calmer place, safer ground.

*The fear of being happy

Andrew Barnes © 2019


This voice is frail,
sometimes croaks with a cough,
strains for space to squeak.

This voice can rail,
against injustice,
betrayal and all vices.

This voice can pin hypocrites
to the wall,
a dagger to their black hearts.

Then at times I lose this voice,
timid, in fear, nothing to say,
scared to offend,

others, I hold my tongue,
mute and dumb,
a voice suppressed.

This voice is not as loud
as the overbearing shouters,
the great swell of noise.

This voice is my truth,
that no-one bothers to hear.
I shall speak anyway.

Andrew Barnes © 2019