Flowers for Moloch and other poems

by Christopher Barnes


Flowers for Moloch

The astonishing stuff was summer clouds,

Twirling a trice,

Touch-and-go, dispensed with, smashed.


But The Comforter of prevalent banks

Sabbaths through the ages,

Overdue for embezzlement

Or somersaulted in deluge

To a credulous pocket in ground.



Five Days In Iraq


1.  Prime mover – each passing manacle

Is persuaded by a skeleton.


2.  A deodorizing gust

Is the most hazardous incident.


3.  How burly’s the kleptocracy?

(A thoroughgoing miscreant ogle.)


4.  Scaffold, strappado vaults, CCTV…

I relic the scorpion.


5.  That self-stunt pay-off

In innermost contrivances of bossing

Has frantic strains

Between the wished-for and dread.



Love Song To A Riot


Forcing identity –

Man-made moppet with packthread, glass,

Hoist your utterance to the convict’s window.


More than a judge’s backlash,

Callous to control,

A screw in a uniform.


I’ll stockpile an incentive

To shatter something.


We’d see eye to eye,

What models in defiance must reshape.



Tinselly Talk


“Those of us supplementary

To the pecking order,

Shredding merriment

Infecting the salariat,

Loitering, acquiescent, beholden –

Shall nosedive into liberty,”

MCed the belt-and-braces clown

In a twinkling before being shot.



Keyhole Light


Poverty smacks us sick

In baffling gothic doorways.

Medics give ear to the pique of cells

Not absorbing the pitiful.


How much clock will you waste?

We’re laid bare to astounding jeopardy.

We have simply to unblock the door, flee.



The Twelfth Pair Of Hands


The unwary are scheduled to capsize.

Conglomerates are standard

On every short-lived impetus.


Here’s another skirmish,

A spurning of assembly lines.

You too are an issue

At the crush stone.




Christopher Barnes in 1998 won a Northern Arts writers award. In July 2001 he 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 his poems. Each year I read for Proudwords lesbian and gay writing festival and partook in workshops. 2005 saw the publication of his collection LOVEBITES published by Chanticleer Press, 6/1 Jamaica Mews, Edinburgh.

On Saturday 16th August 2003 he read at the Edinburgh Festival as a Per Verse poet at LGBT Centre, Broughton St.

He also has a BBC web-page 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 his mentorship by Andy Croft in conjunction with New Writing North. He made a radio programme for Web FM community radio about his writing group. October-November 2005, he entered a poem/visual image into the art exhibition The Art Cafe Project, his piece Post-Mark was shown in Betty’s Newcastle. This event was sponsored by Pride On The Tyne. He 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, it contains his poem The Old Heave-Ho. He 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, including a film piece by the artist Predrag Pajdic in which he read his poem On Brenkley St. The event was funded by The Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Institute, Bio-science Centre at Newcastle’s Centre for Life. He was  involved in the Five Arts Cities poetry postcard event which exhibited at The Seven Stories children’s literature building. In May 2006 he had a solo art/poetry exhibition at The People’s Theatre. Their website is http://ptag.org.uk/whats_on/gallery/recent_exhbitions.htm

The South Bank Centre in London recorded his poem “The Holiday I Never Had”, he can be heard reading it on www.poetrymagazines.org.uk/magazine/record.asp?id=18456

REVIEWS: He has written poetry reviews for Poetry Scotland and Jacket Magazine and in August 2007 he made a film called ‘A Blank Screen, 60 seconds, 1 shot’ for Queerbeats Festival at The Star & Shadow Cinema Newcastle, reviewing a poem…see www.myspace.com/queerbeatsfestival On September 4 2010, he read at the Callander Poetry Weekend hosted by Poetry Scotland. He has also had art criticism published in Peel and Combustus magazines.


Art by Ernest Williamson


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