Dear Mr Larkin

They tried their best, your mum and dad
Caught in the net of their own nurture-nature hue
As a family, simmered and stirring under just one roof
More than a little of them rubbed off on you

But before you shoot them down in flames
For absorbing a large chunk of their world view
And try to reverse the flow of the generational pendulum
Think about the world they, and their parents, came through

Love was tough, what with no contraception, all those kids
Few of them ever had it so good, or knew how it felt
You try living in Victorian England or through two World Wars
They worked with what they had, hard hand and tightened belt

Gone are the stiff upper lips, stoicism born of hard labour
And that Victorian attitude of cold propriety, class deference
There’s far less overcrowding now, poor health, grit and grime
So live life as best you can, and do have kids if it’s your preference

(A reply to ‘This Be the Verse’, Philip Larkin)

-© Glenn Barker 2022


Larkin’s Photograph

Pictures paint a thousand words.
The camera never lies,
but what do portraits give away ?

Truth lies behind those lenses.
The owlish almost smile belongs
to lost time. The wit belongs to us

and to the slow wry page.

-Tony Noon

Hull Ginger
I sauntered down the old docks road,
arrivals from around the globe,
variety is a life of spice,
heady perfume and an olive skin,

Flaxen blonde, as I see the fine detail,
seedy customers eying the exotic retail,
smooth as silk, I run my finger,
Oh! I love a bit of Ginger.

-Geoff Lowery

Bio And Links

-Glenn Barker,

a late developer in the threading of formal and free verse, explores the dislocated dynamics of the human psyche in this age of anxiety, both thoughtful and flippant. He also grapples with impressionistic and abstract expressionist wordscapes, as he attempts to understand his own psyche and the world beyond.

-Geoff Lowery

has been a member of the Read To Write poetry group at Doncaster for two years, considers himself an amateur poet and is as yet unpublished.

-Tony Noon

has walked at least a mile in Larkin’s shoes , and feels he knows many of the characters in “ The Whitsun Weddings” personally. The shoes were way too big.

Celebrate #PhilipLarkin ‘s centenary of his birth. Please join Glenn Barker, Geoff Lowery and as we respond to Larkin, his place and his poetry. I will feature your published/unpublished poetry/short prose/artworks about/inspired by Philip Larkin, or Hull . Please include a short third person bio.

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