Alison J. Barton


upturned bird   legs crooked to the sun
bearing rain on a brick path paved in
winding slabs to the back of a spire cathedral
where a friend   by his own arm
imbibed religion with the suck of his last breath
metal ribs cracked on fine ruby thorn
exhaled from a fallen rosebush

where I walk and think of strength
of young men’s bodies  canopy of their minds
romanticism framed in crackling canvas
the smell of outside  wet air, pale concrete
remembered in pulpy fibres  and tears
strained through water-tight muscle
ripe with stories held like stones

blue light  veils white wood
voyeur of warmth and union
back when life moved  and the clock
wound at its usual pace
now I mark days that have not passed
my head coils in loops
to the bell toll of a curfew call

Alison J Barton is an Australian poet based in Melbourne. She attended writing school in the 2000s but her best expression came from introspection and learning the relation of the internal to the external world. Themes of feminism and psychoanalysis are central to her writing. Alison has been (or is to be) published in Otoliths, Westerly, Poethead, Blue Bottle Journal, Underground Writers, Parity, Perspektif Magazine and Under Bunjil. Alison also works as a Social Worker. She can be found on Instagram @alison_j_barton

Next poem

Previous poem

Winter 2021