David Barnes


According to his publisher and reviewer, David Barnes was born in 1943 (with a whole litany of medical conditions including a debilitating spinal injury which makes movement and long periods of writing difficult) .David doesn’t expect to write much more. He came to poetry by a long route. Leaving school at 13, he worked for 11 years as a carpenter in Melbourne before traveling throughout the outback as a driller, trench-digger, stockman, petrol-pumper, cook and playing self-taught guitar at folk festivals. This morphed into writing, poetry and editing the DownUnder and Numbat websites. He and his wife Libby met in Alice Springs but they settled in Perth in ’72 where David sold real-estate and they had a son. When Libby died in ’96, David had to raise Daniel alone on a disability pension. Amazing that with all this, David also continued to write his own poetry, founded Poetry DownUnder and edited and encouraged other poets like me. Small wonder that he hasn’t had time to be a prolific poet or that only now (with the help of fellow WA poet Janet Jackson) has he been able to produce a collection. The result is an intense collection of the impressions of one man’s life.


Précis of a life

Shade moves to the rise

and fall of the sun ...

It has no profile, no force

shape of its own


… Only variable, motion


yet casts a never-ending array

of intricate patterns

shifting across variable  landscapes


And I shall not be in rage

when my light fades

the same as the sunsets settling glow


... Who will ever know?


I basked in sun ... shadow soothed

In twilight


let the glitter of stars

fill my eyes

at the fading of my gift 


… life’


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© Copyright, 2013, David Barnes.
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