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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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Written by Barry Tebb | |

WAITING

 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.


Written by Barry Tebb | |

VIEW FROM THE INNER CITY

 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.


Written by Barry Tebb | |

WINTERLIGHT

 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...

Written by Barry Tebb | |

THE DREAMER THE SLEEP

 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.


Written by Barry Tebb | |

WITHOUT THE WHEREWITHALL

 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.


Written by Barry Tebb | |

TO LEEDS BIG ISSUE SELLERS

 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.


Written by Barry Tebb | |

A GRIEF

 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?


Written by Barry Tebb | |

WELCOME HOME

 ‘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.


Written by Barry Tebb | |

KISSING COBBLESTONES IN KEIGHLEY

 I could bend and kiss them, everyone,

Strong and securing

As cunts are soft and beckoning.


Written by Barry Tebb | |

OUR SON

 Quarter to three: I wake again at the hour of his birth

Thirty years ago and now he paces corridors of dark

In nightmares of self-condemnation where random thoughts

Besiege his fevered imagination – England’s 

Imminent destruction, his own, the world’s…

Sixty to eighty cigarettes a day, unavailing depot injections,

Failed abscondings, failed everything: Eton and Balliol

Hold no sway on ward one, nor even being

‘A six language master,’ on PICU madness is the only qualification.
There was the ‘shaving incident’ at school, which Made him ready to walk out at fifteen, the alcohol Defences at Oxford which shut us out then petered out During the six years in India, studying Bengali at Shantiniketan.
He tottered from the plane, penniless and unshaven, To hide away in the seediest bedsit Beeston could boast Where night turned to day and vaguely he applied For jobs as clerk and court usher and drank in pubs with yobs.
When the crisis came – "I feel my head coming off my body’ – I was ready and unready, making the necessary calls To get a bed, to keep him on the ward, to visit and reassure Us both that some way out could be found.
The ‘Care Home’ was the next disaster, trying to cure Schizophrenia with sticking plaster: "We don’t want Carers’ input, we call patients ‘residents’ and insist on chores Not medication", then the letters of terrible abuse, the finding of a flat, ‘The discharge into the community.
’ His ‘keyworker’ was the keyworker from hell: the more Isaiah’s care fell apart the more she encouraged Him to blame us and ‘Make his life his own’, vital signs Of decline ignored or consigned to files, ‘confidentiality’ reigned supreme.
Insidiously the way back to the ward unveiled Over painful months, the self-neglect, the inappropriate remarks In pubs, the neglected perforated eardrum, keeping Company with his feckless cousins between their bouts in prison.
The pointless team meetings he was patted through, My abrupt dismissal as carer at the keyworker’s instigation, The admission we knew nothing of, the abscondings we were told of And had to sort out, then the phone call from the ASW.
"We are about to section your son for six months, have you Any comment?" Then the final absconding to London From a fifteen minute break on PICU, to face his brother’s Drunken abuse, the police were kindness itself as they drove him to the secure unit.
Two nurses came by taxi from Leeds the next day to collect him The Newsam Centre’s like a hotel – Informality and first class treatment Behind the locked doors he freezes before and whispers "Daddy, I was damned in hell but now I am God’s friend.
" Note: PICU- Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit Beeston- An inner city area of Leeds ASW- Approved Social Worker


Written by Barry Tebb | |

IN HARM’S WAY

 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!


Written by Barry Tebb | |

COMING TO TERMS WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA

 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.


Written by Barry Tebb | |

TO MARGARET UNFORGOTTEN

 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.


Written by Barry Tebb | |

UPON BEING ASKED WHY I AM NOT WRITING

 Too much gone wrong – 

No Muse, no song.


Written by Barry Tebb | |

ASYLUM SEEKERS

 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.