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