DAVID BARNES was born in 1943 in Paddington, New South Wales, Australia. He began writing at 18 years of age when he took up folk guitar, song writing, and performing at folk centers around mainland Australia and Tasmania. He worked as a carpenter in Melbourne, leaving for the bush in the early 60's, finally settling in Perth in 1972. He worked as a real estate agent for 24 years until the death of his wife, becoming a full-time writer/poet in 1996. He has been an active Internet poet and has been published in Australia, America, and England. Recently he was published in the Paris/Atlantic: an International Journal of Creative Work, Spring issue, 2000. He is also the publisher of Poetry Downunder, an online poetry site in Perth, Western Australia.

I have never underestimated the power
of circumstance,
or the perverse power of everything
that can go wrong when you least expect it;
and always problems that do occur, eventually
seem to come from within,

When it seems there is little left
is it possible that more can be taken,                                                                                                          
Thin as I am, my other looks up at me
playing cards with himself.
He offers the deck to me, the game of chance.
It is useless to make guesses.

Maybe he is a ghost and the dead
are coming to greet me.

I wonder what waits hidden
from my eyes; it is enough to grind your bones.
I we myself, have argued all our life
have I finally become cynical in our discussions;
is it from the dawn of old age.

What will the creatures
of this world do
when I nova.

David Barnes


I saw
two Willy Wagtails today
a simple thing,

these small birds boogie,

their tails undisturbed
  by people going by.

I think of
the woman who contentedly
         walked past them

a young man's arm
    draped across her shoulders

moving in tandem,

David Barnes