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POET PHIL BARLING RESPONDS TO LOCKDOWN WITH A NEW POEM 'TURN THE LIGHTS BACK ON'

Phil is a member of the writing groups that meet at Radcliffe Library in Bury (or were doing until the lockdown). The groups were formerly Tell Us Another One Story Groups, based at community libraries since shut down.

Phil's collection of poetry, Now Where Was I, published last autumn is available on Amazon

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Now-Where-Was-Collection-Poems/dp/1689145706/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Phil+Barling&qid=1588495298&sr=8-1

Turn the lights back on

I want to smell petrol, hear buses and the cars

down Ancoats and Parkway, airport bound for the stars

wailing and flailing into wild Friday night,

screams some of delirium, some of delight

I want to hear again those Metro doors whoosh

The “How’s it goin?” the “How are ya’s”, the whole crazy caboose

Colliding bodies, the “Sorries”, the pub singalongs

the buskers, Big Issues, the Chuggers, the pongs

of dodgy kebab shops, of perfume and pies

Smiles wide as motorways, replacing dead eyes

I want takeaways, taxis, and train station sadness

Saturday night pre-fills, the mascara madness

reflections in shop windows open for business

the dancing, the acting, the old fairground dizziness

I want old friends and strangers, the kooky, the clowns

The crackle of barbeques in city and town

Leave the woods to the sparrows, fed up with our chatter

Take again to the streets, to the chaos and clatter

To the old Bury market, the barter and call

The touching, not too-muching, just closeness, that’s all

I want oxygen of folk giving life back to street

The “Hiyas, the “See ya’s, the places we meet

to shake hands, hug and kiss, on a cool afternoon

I want to be there, it can’t come too soon

©Phil Barling April 2020

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