Barbara Derbyshire – Two Poems

Barbara 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.


When I begin, you are not here.
I envisage you, my thoughts sketched onto paper;
My road map for bringing you to life.
I am seeing you in it. I have an idea.

I will take time with your face
Developing your image
With love, with care
Caressing your cheeks as one by one
Your mesmerising features appear

I know your ears so well
I look at them when you are not aware
Earrings always attract me.
Shining softly, as your fingers brush back your lovely hair

Your eye sockets, ready for my touch.
How can I ever reproduce the eyes
That for so long have rendered me a slave to their gaze
The sparkle that only I see
when I imagine you lovingly glancing my way.

I take a little clay, not part of this command
Mould it with my fingers until it is the shape of your hand.
It is cupped to fit my cheek
I will keep it close when, in my darkest times, I’m weak.

Making this does not make me feel like God
No creator could have imagined such a woman
Who must have come from heaven
To make this life of mine at last worth living

Completed, I must part with you.
Once more and for the last time, I brush your lips with mine.
You, the woman; she, the sculpture
This beauty will endure beyond the end of time.


Oh, foolish poet, why are you so sad?
Your words were not received with love, it seems
You gave your love to her, you are not mad

Yet in your broken heart you feel so bad
You see this as the end of all your dreams
Oh foolish poet, why are you so sad?

You cannot grieve for what you’ve never had
For all your wild imaginings and schemes
You gave your love to her, you are not mad

Recall her wondrous beauty and be glad
That you bathed in her fragrant, flowing streams
Oh foolish poet, why are you so sad?

Examining your motives, why not add
That wanting her was cream of all the creams
You gave your love to her, you are not mad

You’ll never be together, that’s a tad
Upsetting. But don’t take it to extremes!
Oh foolish poet, why are you so sad?
You gave your love to her, you are not mad.

*The Galway Review 6 – Printed Edition, April 2018

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