Colony and other poems

by Christopher Barnes



As the chorus threaten
Benevolent assault as just desserts
Unannounced, went AWOL.

Carted off in penal-ring bolts,
After heavy handed stints outfitted with stripes –
They also take a Mr Universe Most Wanted.
Gruffness, reprisals, knuckle-raps and duress,
Unforgotten across the rails.

Conscience-salving is blood sore vigilantism.



Unleashed from a dell of juiceless bones,
We’ve let slip our mummified whelp.
The jackal-chinned transfigured one
Rocketed between the shady and celestial.
His carting away is never-endingness mourned.
A winding sheet groans in dead letters.


Fixed Grin

This picked-up frown’s hoi polloi pestiferous;
Eyebrows narrow the gap on gloom.
Dip-down lip wonks, crinkly brows –
Hanging in cheekular tendons
All disfiguring forlorn hope.

Task plastic surgeons
To fiddle with the scourge of plebeians.


Unwanted Guest

First-rounding a trend –
Tantrumming through these botched up nerves,
Passed to my inadmissible door,
This slippery slope.
A haemorrhages to Z
String-pulling the leverage of connections.
Hour X has sprung.


Bluebottle In Sunshine

She plays ball to the roll call as Dysentery Della.
Un-nested this rush hour…
A wayzgoose trim at her paunch,
Tinsel-mineralogical oil-slick.
You’ll be over-curious at midriff legs,
Crushed with wicked-ways bristle,
Squab club-footed antennae
Streaming wide horizons.
Erewhile neck-craned on picked bones
Razzling a dead rat boogie.
We’re wistful of those sorcerous-cherry eyes,
Misted wings,
But in truckloads…that buzz.


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In 1998 Christopher Barnes won a Northern Arts writers award. In July 2000, he read at Waterstones bookshop to promote the anthology ‘Titles Are Bitches‘. Christmas 2001 he debuted at Newcastle’s famous Morden Tower doing a reading of his poems. Each year he reads for Proudwords lesbian and gay writing festival and partakes 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 http://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 him to be mentored 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 he had 2006 a solo art/poetry exhibition at The People’s Theatre – why not take a look at their website 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 http://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 http://www.myspace.com/queerbeatsfestival On September 4 2010, He read at the Callander Poetry Weekend hosted by Poetry Scotland. He has also written Art Criticism for Peel and Combustus Magazines.

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Artist Nannette Guinto Amorado