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Best Famous Barry Tebb Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Barry Tebb poems. This is a select list of the best famous Barry Tebb poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Barry Tebb poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Barry Tebb poems.

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by Barry Tebb | |


 I am waiting for the sky to flower

Like poems in a winter mind:

And yet they come, maybe trailing along

An urchin gang, sobbing and snotty-nosed.

by Barry Tebb | |


 Leeds this silent solemn Sunday

Tempest Road is clear of all

But wistful birds, parked cars

And vagrant trees.
The surgery and pharmacy are shuttered tight "Get your medication straight into your bag", The friendly GP gravely warned, "The junks Lay in wait to grab and run from those no longer young The building site’s scaffolding of bone Masks pristine piles of bricks where May winds mourn and moan among The gaping frames beneath a bannered Street-wide invitation to a "Housing Consultation Initiative" Flapping desultory and unread Where last year ‘Beeston in Bloom’ was up instead.

by Barry Tebb | |


 Let us, this December night, leave the ring

Of heat, the lapping flames around the fire’s heart,

Move with bodies tensed against the light

Towards the moon’s pull and the cloud’s hand.
Arms of angels hold us, lend our bodies Height of stars and the planets’ whirl, Grant us sufficiency of light so we may enter The twisting lanes to lost villages.
So we may stare in the mirror of silent pools By long-deserted greens, deepen our sight Of what lies beyond the things that seem And make our vision clear as winterlight.

More great poems below...

by Barry Tebb | |


 L’orage qui s’attarde, le lit d?fait 

Yves Bonnefoy

Here am I, lying lacklustre in an unmade bed

A Sunday in December while all Leeds lies in around me 

In the silent streets, frost on roof slates, gas fires

And kettles whistle as I read Bonnefoy on the eternal.
Too tired to fantasize, unsummoned images float by, Feebly I snatch at them to comply with the muse’s dictum: write.
The streets of fifties summers, kali from the corner shop, Sherbet lemons and ice pops, the voice of Margaret at ten, What times will have done to you, what men Used and abused you? Solitary but not alone I read Lacan on desire It is not a day I can visit the ward Overcome by delusion’s shadow.

by Barry Tebb | |


 To Thushari Williams 

Dear Thushie, the six months you spent with us 

Will never be forgotten, the long days you laboured

In the care home, your care-worn comings home

To sit with Brenda Williams, po?te maudit sang pur,

Labouring together to bring to light poems buried alive

And turn them into a book, the living text 

Proof enough of your divine gift as muse

And enchantress of both word and screen.
Now in far Indonesia you strive to strike a bargain With an uncaring world, webmaster with magic fingertips You engrave the words of us, careworn poets of our age, In blue and scarlet on a canvas alabaster page.
Simulacrum more real than reality itself, Should reality exist in cyberspace.
My Pr?vert, my Nerval, I never thought to see So handsomely orthographed, like Li Po scrolled In Chinese water by a blue pagoda.
Indeed if anyone could write in troubled water It would be you, my dearest daughter.
Whether this world will grant you a living Only time’s indifference and your subtle craft will tell, Artists like poets live on other’s bounty, as you know so well.

by Barry Tebb | |


 When I come from the Smoke to visit my son on the ward

I see you everywhere: by the station, by the neon sign of ‘Squares’

By every shopping mall.
Leeds seems to have more of you than anywhere: How do you stand there for so many hours in freezing winds When most you solicit hurry by, saying to themselves, as do I, ‘Charity begins at home’ when you so often have no home? I tend to give my change to the desperate, silent huddled in blankets When all the warnings say I shouldn’t but who’s to judge The deserving from the addicted? Who but God can justly judge My feeling is we all must learn to give.

by Barry Tebb | |


 Rivers, tow paths, caravan parks

From Kirkstall to Keighley

The track’s ribbon flaps

Like Margaret’s whirling and twirling

At ten with her pink-tied hair

And blue-check patterned frock

O my lost beloved

Mills fall like doomed fortresses

Their domes topple, stopped clocks

Chime midnight forever and ever

Amen to the lost hegemony of mill girls

Flocking through dawn fog, their clogs clacking,

Their beauty, only Vermeer could capture

O my lost beloved

In a field one foal tries to mount another,

The mare nibbling April grass;

The train dawdles on this country track

As an old man settles to his paperback.
The chatter of market stalls soothes me More than the armoury of medication I keep with me.
Woodyards, scrapyards, The stone glories of Yorkshire spring- How many more winters must I endure O my lost beloved?

by Barry Tebb | |


 ‘Leeds welcomes you’ in flowers

Garlanding the white stuccoed tower 

Of City Station: red on green

As poetry’s demon seizes me,

Upending all ordures of order.
‘Haworth Moor, Haworth Moor’ Echoes and re-echoes under the Dark Arches Where the Aire gurgles and swirls In eddies of Jack the Ripper, cloud-hopping Jumping Jack Flash but Jack’s the lad I’m not My adolescent timidity gelding My desire for the welcoming heavy breasts And garlanded yielding vaginas.

by Barry Tebb | |


 I could bend and kiss them, everyone,

Strong and securing

As cunts are soft and beckoning.

by Barry Tebb | |


 I was never a film buff, give me Widmark and Wayne any day

Saturday matin?es with Margaret Gardener still hold sway

As my memory veers backwards this temperate Boxing Day-

Westerns and war films and a blurred Maigret,

Coupled with a worn-out sixties Penguin Mallarm?-

How about that mix for a character trait?

Try as I may I can’t get my head round the manifold virtues

Of Geraldine Monk or either Riley

Poetry has to have a meaning, not just patterns on a page,

Vertical words and snips of scores just make me rage.
Is Thom Gunn really the age-old sleaze-weasel Andrew Duncan says? Is Tim Allen right to give Geraldine Monk an eleven page review? At least they care for poetry to give their lives to it As we do, too.
My syntax far from perfect, my writing illegible But somehow I’ll get through, Bloodaxe and Carcourt May jeer but an Indian printer’s busy with my ‘Collected’ And, Calcutta typesetters permitting, it will be out this year With the red gold script of sari cloth on the spine And fuck those dusty grey contemporary voices Those verses will be mine.
Haslam’s a whole lot better but touchy as a prima donna And couldn’t take it when I said he’d be a whole lot better If he’d unloose his affects and let them scatter I’m envious of his habitat, The Haworth Moors Living there should be the inspiration of my old age But being monophobic I can’t face the isolation Or persuade my passionate friend to join me.
What urban experiences can improve Upon a cottage life with my own muse!

by Barry Tebb | |


 Why our son, why?

Every morning the same dark chorus wakes me

And I wonder how I am still alive.
"Balance the forces of life and death" Is the Kleinian recipe for survival.
"It is God’s will, life is meant to test us" My Christian heritage tells me.
"Life is a vale of soul making" Keats reminds us.
Insistently the morning traffic hums As I sip my tea, list calls to make, Sigh in frustration at unread books.
For solace I look at cards of Haworth Moorland vistas of unending paths Cloudscapes only a Constable could paint High Withens in a gale, the sloping village street.
How? When? Why? ‘The truth’ - if such an entity exists - Is that I want to run away.

by Barry Tebb | |


 Two nights I have dreamed of you

Once as an adolescent, evanescent

Yet tangible still to the spirit’s touch,

Then as a ten year old in the shared 

Secret garden of our imagination.

by Barry Tebb | |


 Too much gone wrong – 

No Muse, no song.

by Barry Tebb | |


 When Blunkett starts to talk like Enoch Powell

I think of Harold Wilson’s statue in Huddersfield Station

Caught striding forward, gripping his pipe in his pocket,

Hair blowing in the wind.
could we but turn that bronze To flesh I would have asked him to meet the two Asylum-seekers I met in Huddersfield’s main street And asked directions from.
"We are Iranian refugees", They stammered apologetically.
"Then welcome to this country.
" I said as we shook hands, their smiles like the sun.

by Barry Tebb | |


 A thousand visits to the supermarket

A thousand acts of sexual intimacy

Spread over forty years.
Your essence was quite other A smile of absolute connection Repeated a thousand times.
Your daily visits to the outside lavatory While I stood talking outside, An intimacy I have sought With no other.
My greatest fear is that you might Have changed beyond recognition, Submerged in trivia and the Minutiae of the quotidian.
At ten my adoration of you was total.
At sixty it’s somewhat greater: I place you among the angels and madonnas Of the quattrocento, Raphael and Masaccio And Petrarch’s sonnets to Laura.

by Barry Tebb | |


 We were three weeks

Into term, Sheila,

When you came

Through the classroom door;

Forty-four children

Bent over books,

Copying Roethke’s

‘The Lost Son’.
You wrote your First poem on the ‘Moses’ Of Michelangelo.
Words cut like stone.
I taught you Greek But your painting of ‘The Essence of the Rose’ Was pure Platonic form.
You drew the masks Of Comedy and Tragedy In perfect harmony.
Having seen neither; So Socrates was right.
Those who have the Spirit’s gift Will one day find the light.

by Barry Tebb | |


 I never did fit in – at six or sixty one –

I stand out in a crowd, too young or old

And gather pity like a shroud.
"Is that real silk?" A teenager inquired.
"As real as Oxfam ever is For one pound fifty.
" The vast ballroom was growing misty And blurred with alcohol I’ve never had the taste for.
"Fuck off" a forty-plus dyed blonde said half in jest.
So I chose the only Asian girl in Squares with hair like jet And danced with her five minutes centre stage – I’ve lost all inhibitions in old age.
A Malaysian architecture Student invited me to sit and get my breath back "Le Corbusier described a house as a machine for living in," I quipped; she slipped a smile and sipped her drink and said "I love Leeds and its people; in seven years I’ve never Heard a single racist comment, whatever the papers say" Malaysian girls are rightly known for their sensual beauty But I made my pitiful excuses and slipped away.
I knew I couldn’t make it, couldn’t even fake it With all this damned depression in the way.
Leeds boys are always friendlier than the girls, They see themselves grown older in my years And push the girls towards me with a glance "Go and give the poor old man a dance!" And dance I do and show my poems around Like calling cards and jot lines on my palms.
Reading Lacan into the night I thought things through But somehow none of them was half as good as you.

by Barry Tebb | |


 Pulled from a life some leaves in evergreen

Or dressed like fragrant crinoline draped

Over shadows by di Chirico, stolen

From a station where trains never run

And set up in a tableau in the parsonage at Haworth

The three sisters with Chekovian overtones

Stood round the table where their mirrored forms

Await the blast of the last judgement’s call to make them

Take that final walk across the heather mantled moor.
Down vain corridors I searched for some leaf token Of a life unlived, a faded mignonette or four leaved clover Down a pathway closed forever by the twists of fate: The shadows of you gone still took the night And I was left alone to face the painful light.

by Barry Tebb | |


 Poems do not always satisfy the soul,

The feel of cobbles underfoot is at this moment more

Than all of Shakespeare’s sonnets, the unending vistas

Of the moor, an infinity of purity that excels even Mallarm?.
I sit on the cracked steps to the church, sipping tea With my eye on the Black Bull where Bramwell worshipped Until a mobile phone playing ‘The Bluebells of Scotland’ Disturbs my reverie and I notice the Big Issue seller Can find no takers among the ernest camera-ready Japanese And mid-life couple shuffling into tea rooms.
"We are here to please" I long for the enduring love of a woman Here is God’s glory-hole, O, women, why are you all so angry?

by Barry Tebb | |


 I have no camera but imagination’s tinted glass

I cannot pass this crumbling dry stone wall

Without a break to catch the vistas of the chain of Pennine hills

That splash their shades of colour like mercury in the rising glass.
The June sun focuses upon the vivid grass, The elder’s pale amber, the Victoria Tower’s finger On the pulse of past shared walks, Emley’s mast And the girl from there whose early death We somehow took the blame for: her reach from the beyond.
Still troubles us, the only ones to mourn you, Chris, Your corn-gold hair splayed like a longship’s mast You sailed to Valhalla through a sea of passing loves, The deceits of married men who took your beauty For a moment’s gift then cast you with your seven year old son adrift.
The sun has gone but birdsong blunders on As I take courage from the gone, the waving grass, The sculptured pylons of my shadowed past.

by Barry Tebb | |


 Eamer o’ Keefe with your tinge of brogue

And Irish warmth, Daisy and Debjani 

With your karma and cool verse, I salute you.
( III ) "Ecoutez la voix du vent" – listen to the wind’s voice As Milosz commands "All your griefs, My sad ones, are in vain" but offering In recompense soaring sonatas which remain unread Untranslated, relegated to the reserve stock Of the Institut Fran?ais, along with Fargue, Jacob and Larbaud while all those Bloodaxe deadheads Blossom and bloom round poetry’s tomb Where still there’s room for Ursula’s Queen’s Medal for Poetry, lacklustre poetaster From Harry Chamber’s Press at Peterloo – That Augean stable has too much shit For even me to clear with my scabrous wit.
I burn to turn myself into the translator of French poetry For our time and not to waste what little life I’ve left Attacking Survivors ‘Coming Through’ – A second-hand title for a third rate book Of botched and blotched attempts at verse and worse.
Down with O’Brien and Forbes, those two of our time Who above all others vie for the crown of infamy and slime.
Underground poets of Albion unite Its time to clear the literary world of shite.

by Barry Tebb | |


 Yellow rapeseed

Fields of vision

Whiter than

A shade of pale.

by Barry Tebb | |


 I had a father once, the records say.
He has gone away down the long avenue Of death, on the hand-held minor no mist Of his breath, his firm signature no more.
No more holding down his hat in the wind, Running to catch the last post, he has gone Beyond the wind-shaped stones on the high wall.
His breath in that final coma came steady.
Stertorous, the oxygen mask, the catheter, The telephone call summons and night train, The taxi over the moors, the charge nurse With little to say but kind words.
I had a father once, the records say, Who carried me on the cross-bar of his bike Down Knostrop: we saw the white bells Of bindweed crawling with ants Strangle the rusty railings.
My father, a quiet man, never knew what To say, which is why he was taken And I was not told and the records say It was pneumonia that took him And I was not told why the anti-biotics Were not given.

by Barry Tebb | |


 Mornings like this I awaken and wonder

How I have moved so far, how I have moved so little

And yet in essence stayed the same

Always passionate for the unattainable

For Joan Baez to make me her analyst,

To tour Ireland with Eddie and Finbar Furey

To be made a Chevalier des Palmes for translating Milosz.
I remember one road, many roads I did not take And my heart lurches and my stomach turns At the vertigo of mystery At the simplicity of childhood And its melancholy At the silence of the moors Beckoning, unreachable, tormenting me As I lie helpless at the border of infirmity With my soul burning and brimming over With adolescent passion.
Only analysis with its symmetries and asymmetries Exactness and paradox, scientific as Heisenberg's Principle of Uncertainty, yet various as the shades of Monet, Eases me.
I think of those I have known and know no longer, Who have died needlessly, disappeared irrevocably Or changed beyond recognition.
I think of the bridge, river and streets Of my Montmartre, gone under and made over Into the grey utilities of trade, the empty road, Sad as telegraph poles, my Sacr? Coeur silent and boarded up.
My Seine empty of the barges of D?rain My Sorbonne absorbed, its students gone Mornings like this, I awaken and wonder.

by Barry Tebb | |


 From the French of Andr? Fr?naud

France was born there and it is from there she sings

Of Joan of Ark and Varlin both.
We must dig deep, o motherland, Beneath those heavy cobbles.
Country of the Commune, so dear to me, My very own which make my blood burn And that same blood will one day flow again Between those very stones.
It is there when I see people dance Beneath the veined clouds under the May sun Especially when the notes of the accordion Pied-piped them away from the urgencies of the day.
It is the people’s special gift beneath the waving banner To have such gentle hearts.
Mine beats still At the kindness of strangers.
After the Night of the Long Knives That same heart still beats At the goodwill of those souls buried Beneath stones laughing and weeping even now.