Francesca Johnson

Rookie (I'm a metal tiger - there's your clue / Europe)

Barry Of The Cut - Poem by Francesca Johnson

He lives a life alone on his floating kingdom,
A Dutch barge of immaculate neatness.
Barry left a life of greed and falsehoods
Many years ago
To start a new life on the Cut.
His old, grizzled and wrinkled face
Resembling Vespasian in all his madness
Belies the gentleness underneath.
The scowl he wears turns into a beam
When our paths meet.
We share coffee and music,
Played expertly on his organ
In an atmosphere of complete peace.
The inlaid mahogany and carved hardwoods
Of the interior
Are lovingly maintained and proudly exhibited
To all who care to share
And appreciate true artistry.
Barry talks of portholes and how they must be the right ones,
And how to tell if they're not,
Of wildlife and water
And the washing away of the banks.
The glass of lemonade he carries around
As if a beloved baby
Contains a shot or two of vodka,
Well hidden in its clarity.
And the cigarette hanging loosely
From his mouth is taken up
Every so often, by his gnarled old hands
To flick and return once more to his lips.
Then he disappears into the bowels of his barge,
Soft lighting emitting from round spaces
Along its length,
Bidding goodnight to the world.

Poet's Notes about The Poem

This wrinkled and gnarled 'old git' has been my partner for well over five years now. In fact, I am sitting inside his boat enjoying the warmth of his fire and awaiting my tea....7th November 2012.

Comments about Barry Of The Cut by Francesca Johnson

  • (3/7/2010 1:10:00 PM)

    Goodness me.That must have been some engaging talk about 'portholes'....Look where it got

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  • (5/6/2009 3:19:00 PM)

    Poor old Barry all wrinkled and crinkled. Well he wasn't that way the last time I saw him. Great poem that captured the atmosphere of the dear old gent. Top marks and thanks for sharing it my friend.
    Hugs David

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  • (6/5/2008 8:39:00 PM)

    Thank you, Sid. My King of the Cut, this one. A definite 10 from me too.......

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  • (12/16/2007 4:41:00 PM)

    No, no, Sid. It's vodca. We don't do Drambuie on the cut. That's for classy hotels and weekends in land-locked places. Water gypsies always drink vodca. Fran. (Report)Reply

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  • (11/8/2007 8:47:00 PM)

    these are more than characters... hidden in their clarity... (Report)Reply

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  • (10/14/2007 2:44:00 AM)

    I'm addicted now. These cameos are packed solid with vivid images. Fantastic.
    Ez X

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  • (10/5/2007 6:55:00 AM)

    Fran, I'm absolutely loving these poems. Allie got it just right when she said you were painting line by line - poetry even in that comment! I think all of these characters seem to bring the whole place to life and the Cut could be just the place for a soap opera, these poems are most enriching. Thank You and Well Done You! HG: -) xx (Report)Reply

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  • (10/4/2007 12:41:00 PM)

    A vivid and lovingly detailed portrait of ain individual person and his lifestyle. I feel I could draw his portrait from your words, Fran (Report)Reply

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  • (10/2/2007 2:32:00 PM)

    A wonderful glimpse into a life of freedom, whether found or fought for. Seized, in any event. Many thanks.


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  • (10/1/2007 7:41:00 AM)

    Life on the Cut sounds great, excellent poem, wonderful imagery, love Lynda xxx (Report)Reply

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  • (9/29/2007 9:09:00 PM)

    Reading this is like watching a fine artist at work - building up the image of the subject line by line in layers of colour and light. By the end of the poem, your reader 'knows' your subject and feels thoroughly satisfied. Brilliant poem. love, Allie xxxx (Report)Reply

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  • (9/29/2007 3:44:00 PM)

    Fran, The Cut is too real to be an obsession, and the characters too finely drawn to be only imagination... This is fabulous stuff! I'm loving it, Ivan (Report)Reply

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  • (9/29/2007 6:31:00 AM)

    Fran, this is delightful to read... that's the only word. You're doing some stunning penning at the moment. t x (Report)Reply

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, September 29, 2007

Poem Edited: Friday, December 7, 2012

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