Ben Barton

Ben Barton Poems

My father is a stranger to me
He never turns-up uninvited
Sitting cautiously on the sofa

from a room
of silence

The forgotten birth after me,
a pair
was my twin
Ignored; they stared at me

The balloon rises,
filthy air
The glint of cobble
caught in her hair

These men are children
Sixty years in childhood; lined at their nebulizers
fed, watered and wiped
By the nurses.

Nod in agreement, an ode to Mr Wilde
The architecture of a Church vessel, two halves neatly laid.
Norman arches, cascading in green mould
Hymn numbers on damp card, worn edges and over-thumbed

She stacked the sale items
one by one
and waited for the monday rush...

Ben Barton Biography

**LATEST NEWS** BEN'S FIRST COLLECTION, 'THE RED BOOK' IS OUT NOW! ! AVAILABLE TO ORDER FROM ALL GOOD BOOKSTORES (ISBN 1905599307) OR BY VISITING WWW.BENBARTON.CO.UK Ben Barton's poems have appeared in Acorn, Ancient Heart, Cauldron, Delivered, Isibongo, Jugular, Linkway, Masque, Merely Pictures, New Horizon, Panda, Parameter, The Poetry Church, Poetry Greece, Poetry Kit Magazine, Poetry Now, Red Fog, Roadworks, Scorched Earth, Scriptor, Secret Attic, Sentinel, Springboard, Taoism & Poetry, Time Haiku, Writing Magazine, The Ugly Tree, X Magazine and countless small-press magazines. In 1997 he won first prize in the Ottakar's/Faber poetry competition for National Poetry Day in his home county of Kent. The following year his poem The Re-Birth Remembered repeated this success by winning the competition again. The poem was also a winner in the National Competition and was published in the winners anthology. He was sixteen. Reviews at the time called him ‘Britain’s youngest, most published poet’. Ben edited Words for Mercy, a poetry anthology for the charity Tearfund which included contributions by Seamus Heaney, amongst others. He has also performed work as part of the Canterbury Streetlevel Festival and was awarded a prize by Poetry Update. As a gay writer, he is working to break down barriers and to share his work through performance and publishing. He has featured in the bestselling Writing Magazine, having his work reviewed and discussed in the Poetry Workshop column and being interviewed about his career (Poetry For The Future, October 2004) . He also been interviewed for pieces in Dear Dalai, e-poets,, Queertheory, Sentinel and Shergood Forest. Ben has worked for the BBC on their Video Nation project, presenting the short film No One Reads Poetry in which he vented his frustration at the lack of poetry readership and performed his work. The film has also been included in the Your Stories project, available to watch on the digital TV channel BBCi. The film has also featured in several magazine articles. His continued work with the BBC has included a selection of his poems published on the website and broadcasting his poetry on digital radio. He works full time as a writer for a major British travel company. Currently, there are also a number of videopoems of Ben's work circulating on the internet. For more information, visit:

The Best Poem Of Ben Barton

Commandment No.5

My father is a stranger to me
He never turns-up uninvited
Sitting cautiously on the sofa
He waits - never asks
for a mug of tea.

My father hasn't always been
This stranger in my life
We were close, once
He organised my life, an official referee

He holds my gaze, unsure
if he loves me…

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