barbararenablake_13Barbara Derbyshire is an author of short fiction and poetry. Originally from London and now an Irish citizen, her home is in Kerry where, with more time to think, observe and remember, she has rediscovered her love of writing. Her first published book is Tapestry of Love, Life and Spirit, and, together with other writers from North Kerry and West Limerick, she has contributed to the anthology, Striking A Chord.


Let us not go backwards
Like the women of Afghanistan
Who lost the freedom
Their grandmothers enjoyed.
Their men are enemies
The women in Afghanistan
Told how to dress
While the opponent is armed
With rusty knives
To cut away their beauty, their pleasure;
With shadowed veils
To cover the faces of those wondrous women;
With testosterone
The ultimate WMD.
Unnoticed, this crafty enemy
Crept upon them like a slow death
Only now, we look back and we see
That not long ago, in Afghanistan, women were free.


Darkness surrounds her, yet
When she is calm she is content to rest.
She lies hidden, hooded, enfolded in beauty.
The softness which protects her
Keeps her safe and sleepy
Until she is ready to blossom
She needs love; that is all.
Love and whispered words
To gently encourage her from her hiding place
To awaken that sensation
Which makes her
The best she can be.
When the bud is ready to show herself
In all her beauty
Hearts race, then stop for a second
The world disappears
And she is in full and fragrant flower.


Cars so close, like lovers, steaming,
Every one heading towards the sea
Drumming fingers, overheating,
Tempers flying, a radio crying.
Another screaming “Hold Me”.
PJ Proby making us laugh. “He split his pants”
Although we had no evidence,
Just horror stories from the elders.
We were shrieking with laughter and excitement
At the thought of his bum
On show to the world.
While the grown-ups wished we had never left home.
This Whitsun morn on the A24
We could have been speaking in tongues.
No-one would have known.