It was in the late 90s that David Barnes began publishing my early poems on his Poetry DownUnder website based in Western Australia. It was a time when the Internet still seemed to be an exciting new experiment and we marveled that our work could be published instantly along side poems from all over the world. A lot of the early stuff has disappeared into the ether (although fortunately the WA Dept of Culture & The Arts, the State Library and the NLA have archived a selection of the early PDU & Numbat pages.)
David has had a lot of illness in recent years. In an email this week he told me he was sending me a book of his poems and
“I’m now working on a second book of selected poetry, of round about
100 poems Rob – working on them now as a matter of fact – keeps me alive
if nothing else, for as you know, poetry has been my life and still is mate.”
… and he included two revised poems which he generously allowed me to post here:


destruction or happiness
such a fine line,

between them ―

all we hope
pray for,
is fate to be kind:

fate- destiny
brings people together ―

to life’s particular twists.

debarnes – revised june 2011



It was the wrong moment in time
to reach beyond the ambience.
in retrospect—
I should have stayed in bed.

the suns ray’s claw
tearing night’s shroud, revealing mist floating—
above restless grass;

“a gentle breeze
releases it from its earthly hover.”

I search for you, for release
where ever you are, rise; break in to my existence
waves across a desolate rock, aching
for your mind-touch

“with our mental images
another night’ with dreams─ irrationality:”

will we meet?
at the next juncture, when the mist rises clear ─
where sails touch horizons, as twilight
is absorbed

Setting the patterns
for tonight’s new visions
where ever you are─ I await
for you, with

debarnes – revised july 2011

Thanks – as ever – for everything David.


David Barnes at his son’s wedding.


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