Biography of Barry Tebb
Barry Tebb is an English poet, publisher and author. He was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire in 1942.
His poetry was first published by Alan Tarling's 'Poet and Printer Press' in the sixties, along with Ted Hughes, Michael Longley and Iain Crichton Smith. His first collection was praised by John Carey in the New Statesman and his work was included in the Penguin anthology Children of Albion: Poetry of the Underground in Britain.
After a twenty-year writer's block he began to write again in 1990. Appalled by the state of poetry publishing he founded Sixties Press in 1993 which has published over forty books and pamphlets.
Barry Tebb Poems
‘Leeds welcomes you' in flowers Garlanding the white stuccoed tower Of City Station: red on green
The Innocent Eye
I struggled through streets of Bricked-up, boarded-up houses, Mostly burned-out, keeping
We were three weeks Into term, Sheila, When you came
A Hope For Poetry: Remembering The Sixti...
There was a hope for poetry in the sixties And for education and society, teachers free To do as they wanted: I could and did teach
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 â€" England's Imminent destruction, his own, the world'sâ€¦ 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 â€˜A six language master,' on PICU madness is the only qualification. There was the â€˜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 â€" 'I feel my head coming off my body' â€" 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 â€˜Care Home' was the next disaster, trying to cure Schizophrenia with sticking plaster: 'We don't want Carers' input, we call patients â€˜residents' and insist on chores Not medication', then the letters of terrible abuse, the finding of a flat, â€˜The discharge into the community.' His â€˜keyworker' was the keyworker from hell: the more Isaiah's care fell apart the more she encouraged Him to blame us and â€˜Make his life his own', vital signs Of decline ignored or consigned to files, â€˜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 â€" 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
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 â€˜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, â€˜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.
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, poÐ¸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 PrÐ¹vert, 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.
THE DREAMER, THE SLEEP
L'orage qui s'attarde, le lit dÐ¹fait 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.
TO MARGARET, UNFORGOTTEN
Two nights I have dreamed of you Once as an adolescent, evanescent Yet tangible still to the spirit's touch,
Apologies For Absence
Sorry, Neil Oram (with an orange in my pocket) I can't make ,your loch-side commune by bonny Drummadrochit.
My Perfect Rose
At ten she came to me, three years ago, There was ‘something between us' even then; Watching her write like Eliot every day,
To Daisy Abey
In sleep I dream the gratitude I know I cannot say Now you are in a latitude where palm trees hold the sway There are always things between us that keep getting in the way
New Year Poem
Rejection doesn't lead me to dejection But to inspiration via irritation Or at least to a bit of naughty new year wit- Oh Isn't it a shame my poetry's not tame
Dawn's my Mr Right, already Cocks have crowed, birds flown from nests, The neon lights of Leeds last night still
The Innocent Eye
I struggled through streets of
Bricked-up, boarded-up houses,
Mostly burned-out, keeping
To the middle of the road,
Watching the abandoned gardens
With here and there a house
Still lived in, curtained
Against the daylight and distantly
I saw the iron railings of the school