Poetry For Now Archive

Holding pattern

By Beverley Barnett-Jones and Tim Fisher . . .



Two friends, Beverley Barnett-Jones MBE and Tim Fisher co-authors of this piece, we spun words into a hexagonal web, shared back and forth during the last 18 months. Patterns of Hope and real talk. Deep listening, holding in difficult times, ongoing journeys of intersectionality, and the emergence of Hope’s daughter, Love.




Sometimes I feel so happy

Inside it’s warm




Other times it’s like a

slow bleeding hurt

at the centre of my hope.


I woke up this morning

and the light in the room

was brighter than I remember it yesterday

Way to start

the day

Pinpoints of sun


That heavy fold of curtain.


Walking in late February

before the Sun sets

It rained heavily all day.

The street lights flicker on at 5.30pm

Their reflection can be seen in the pools

Of water where the pothole scars of

tarmacadam bear witness to the ice of winter,

Thawing spring cracks the black stuff.


Lying down

at the end of long days

the dreams come light –

without announcing themselves – and leave heavy


They enable travel,

reaching through the coddled fabric of lockdown life,

And finding my friend.



Something happened in lockdown

I stopped dreaming

Purposeful imagining like an athlete

in training repeats circuits jumps !

Mind loses.


Buttons in my room got me distracted: I’m charging…

I’m flat out red

Yeah them lights they blink and then glow good, when they settle on it.

Maybe I will dream tonight

about Florence Griffith-Joyner’s finger nails

Or Carl Lewis blue space-run suit.


He was graceful like Gazelle

Wasn’t he the fastest man in the world?


Sometime before lightning bolts came crashing

down and birthed the Usain

She never seemed to breathe after 400 metres

They say she couldn’t fly flow jo as the heart was too slow-jo

From the kinda crack that leads to heart attack

So they say don’t they.


Whatever the speed

Everyone gets the measure put on them at times.

That’s Life.

Gotta Run. On The B of the Bang.

Can’t always beat the tape neither.

The schedule too sometimes will put us in that crowd, yeah the jammed up, the cheer-it-onners, the caterwaulers. I’ll be there, feeling for the Flo – buzzzzed by the Bolt.


The B of that bang buzzed into my garden and lands on the sweet nectar of the honeysuckle

Whining her way up the back fence where the ivy all year clings on

All weathers

Have you seen a bee up close?

They high like the juice is sweet

Sensi .. sleeping while indulging

I seen one take a yawn as I watched

He cussed me down

Don’t disturb a bee when he is drinking, he might have to Bite You!

Honey Bees sloshed like Uncle Remni after one too

Many over proof rums

Darlin let me introduce you to

Wray & him cousin Nephew

Dem did trick mi

Fi go spend mi wages pan dem

Dorothy says get off ole man,

move from me

You drunk

As she holds him up, strong worked arms and shoulders round his waist and under him

They walk over hill and gully

back to yard of overhanging tamarind trees


The Night Time lit by fireflies and drum kettle

Burning bright fire

As the mannish soup boils away.


Waves roll in and out

On the boat acquired specifically for the purpose of floating

But. How’s that for a thing, tableau seen

The mingle moment when the backwash hits the forward tumbling sea-threads and I glimpse the fire

The fire flies


People indistinct, foam flecked and humble in their carry on.


Oh waves roll over me

Beat that drum on my deep crimson heart

Its rhythm closer to oceans call

Can I come aboard dear friend

I need to float too.


We gonna let the ocean play its tune

Hum the home songs

Pick the night cold as found and wrap it to our style, warm things all through,

Love got things floating good.


Together you and me dear friend

We looked at the horizon

It danced before us as we Bobbed in our boat on the ocean

Good it was. No lie

Fine and figured with freedoms too.

But, hold on now, we just got warm

Our boat good, together friend.


The sea at night is so deep black

so black that every star’s glistening on it

I am warm and safe tonight

The calm quiet presence of you

A silhouette against the moonshine

Loves presence

Tenders peace

We be free radicals brother.


Until our blood runs to meet the next full moon

And beyond that,

We will be there

Sun bounce on glass sea, in the day

The wash of a real texture at night.

When the water overreaches its inky swell and introduces itself to our boat

We not be scared.

The Love bubble




Where we is.



Water runs fresh across us

Thank you Mother Earth: Gaia we say

Feeling it

The silted hummus on which our feet stand

On the bottom of the sea

balance needed

As heads raised, we look at the sky.


Somewhere deep in this

Is Hope

She is the Mother of love

As grief is the daughter of death

To be vulnerable

Break that word down it begs to be syllabized

They/Them is strength

I go deep in this Hope

bearing witness to the journeying

Of others… I have nothing but myself

to teach with

It may be of some use.


That spark in the backyard fire

The embers that consolidate the glow and produce the ash

Warm us

Help us see somewhere at least

The horizon?

Well that maybe too far away

But I got ya next to me.


Split from the infinity of cells

But joined by blood and culture

A stand of trees turning and touching,

The outside does send wind swirls

And fleet winged creatures that take space to rest…

intrusions no, rather momentary ambassadors, enriching the internal unity of us.



Photo credit: @BeingVanes