Barry Of The Cut

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.

by Francesca Johnson

Other poems of JOHNSON (71)

Comments (13)

Goodness me.That must have been some engaging talk about 'portholes'....Look where it got Sid.
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
Thank you, Sid. My King of the Cut, this one. A definite 10 from me too....... Fran
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.
these are more than characters... hidden in their clarity...
See More