Comments Posted By Barber

Displaying 1 To 30 Of 46 Comments

construction

What are you building? Or even, WHY are you building?
I spend my days reading and working and learning and growing but the outcomes are ever more unclear, the blueprints are fading and the engineers are gone and I find myself building just for the sake of building. Building because I feel into construction and it’s all I know, not because there’s a vision or a dream or a plan. And what is it worth? These tools – the books and the machines and the hours invested – they could be better deployed,by a labourer more skilled or a structure more worthy than me,

» Posted By Barber On 06.13.2018 @ 3:44 am

butterflies

Don’t tell the scientists – or the entomologists – but there’s really only one difference between moths and butterflies: beauty.
The world is becoming increasingly mothy; society is dark and our hearts are ugly. We swarm, frenzied, around whichever light shines brightest now, fighting for its attention, achieving nothing. Musicians, athletes, actors – all the wrong types of star.

My only hope is that this darkness is our cocoon, and we will emerge more beautiful in unforeseeable times.

» Posted By Barber On 06.08.2017 @ 1:38 am

involved

“I’m afraid to say he isn’t really very… involved.” Her eyes bore deep into mine as if to drive her meaning telepathically. I knew what she meant, regardless of her steely gaze. What she means to say, of course, is that young Alfie doesn’t have a lot of friends. She means to say that the teachers have ‘tried everything’ but he just doesn’t want to play. She means to say that she doesn’t see a very bright future for a little bot who is more interested in reading than playing football.
She means to say that her own imagination is stunted by prejudice, but she doesn’t know that that’s what she means.

» Posted By Barber On 07.11.2016 @ 5:19 am

silk

Soft and precious, like the beautiful silk weavings of ancient women worlds away, no less mysterious to me than the stars in the night sky, her hand brushed against mine; the poignant breath and the whisper in her eye cried into our shared moment of silence, and then was gone.

» Posted By Barber On 07.07.2016 @ 2:39 am

screens

The screens between us weren’t sufficiently robust – still the light glared through from the setting sun behind, silhouetting the blood as it splattered upon the waxen sheets which hung loosely from their rusted frames; still the anguished screams pierced these pathetic curtains as the work began before the anesthetic had made its heroic race to his shattered bones; still the buzz of the un-stopped machinery chuntered and chomped.
We walked on, pallid.

» Posted By Barber On 06.27.2016 @ 8:20 am

burning

Like bonfires in deep November they burned across the city, these pockets of broken humanity. The bats would flit between them, known but unseen, and chatter their secret speech across the skies. The last of our schools and hospitals burning to the ground, their forgotten value just embers on the scorched politic.

» Posted By Barber On 06.24.2016 @ 6:54 am

unhealthy

You see them in the street or in the park, parading their greedy opulence without shame or penitence. And their indulgence is not merely physical – it’s the mind that’s sick that makes the wallet spill over with its decadent obscenity. Selfishness is the sickness of the 21st century.

» Posted By Barber On 06.16.2016 @ 8:56 am

prove

Just one theory disproving another, out-dated theory, that’s all it ever is. It’s progress, and it’s good, but it’s the infinite elimination until all that’s left will be that which was always unprovable.

Maybe we should have acknowledged from the start that it can be true without being proved. Take faith.

» Posted By Barber On 02.22.2016 @ 5:20 am

pumpkin

Halloween is a bust, just an excuse for people to take off their masks and be themselves for the night.
The candle flickers in the porch, the jagged teeth of the pumpkin spitting shadows across the walls.
Nobody even comes to my house. More treats for me.

» Posted By Barber On 11.30.2015 @ 5:20 am

denim

There were stress marks in the folds of the knees and the seat was wearing thin. The coarse weight of the wet denim clung to his thighs like a leech, and the buckle of his belt was rusty and scarred and the cuff gathered over his boot. He poked two weathered thumbs through the loops of the waist and clung to them like he clings to this image of his aging youth. There’s a sparsity to his facial hair and his cheeks are gaunt and grey; there’s a wistfulness in his sunken eyes that speaks of better times, and his slouch is that of a man who has worked outdoors for longer than he means.

» Posted By Barber On 10.23.2014 @ 6:49 am

terrain

The cracks and crevices in the terrain of my furrowed face are not unlike those in which I lay for months on end, barren and wasted and lifeless. My finger still coils around the ghost of the trigger like the snakes that writhed in that desert, and no more tears have fallen on these cheeks than raindrops fell on that ground.
For what felt like an eternity I became part of that terrain, an insignificant swelling on the palm of the land, and for what will be too short a lifetime that terrain now haunts my own countenance.

» Posted By Barber On 10.21.2014 @ 3:57 am

grateful

There’s an ugly irony to gratitude.
See, it’s always seemed to me that those of us who are most privileged – the ones who have the most to be grateful for – we tend to be the least grateful ones. And I’ve even been to those slums where there’s a boy just grateful to have a pair of shoes to wear, even if they don’t fit; grateful for a seat in a school a two-hour-walk from home; grateful for breakfast the few days he can have it. And it puts me to shame to admit that I’m less grateful for having so much than he is for having so little.

» Posted By Barber On 09.25.2014 @ 3:59 am

bourbon

The whiskey tumbled into the glass like a waterfall, a beautiful fountain of hope in my hopelessness. This will be my medicine tonight, this will be my religion, this will be my home.

» Posted By Barber On 01.10.2014 @ 5:29 am

baffled

I have to say, I’m baffled. Only today I used the word ‘baffled’ in a lesson, and it became the word of the day because so many pupils had never come across it before. As if that wasn’t baffling enough, it’s now also oneword’s word of the day. Coincidence? Divine? Certainly baffling.

» Posted By Barber On 10.21.2013 @ 3:57 am

collage

Her face was a collage of black and blue and lines of red, like a bad piece of modern art. The downwards-facing crescent beneath her nose was the heart of the work, and the ink itself told less of a story than the fact it was smudged down the cheek.

» Posted By Barber On 06.06.2013 @ 2:34 am

stories

“They’re just stories,” she scoffed, throwing the book down upon the table contemptuously, “they don’t mean anything.”
The corners were dogeared already, the leaves withered and yellowing from age, the letters faded. Countless thumbs had turned these pages, each owned by a narrator of their own secret story. The book could tell more stories than merely the words it contained.

» Posted By Barber On 05.07.2013 @ 6:52 am

trench

Tears tumble like vinegar down the deep trenches in her face, streaming over the crevices of her faded old skin and splashing onto the face of the dried old photograph. It was a haunting mirror, only half true now and stuck desperately in the past as she looked on at the handsome young couple smiling back at her in smudged black and white.
A tear for every year.
She sniffed back the flood and accepted a terrifying peace in feeling closer to him today than she had since he drowned in the trenches seventy years ago.

» Posted By Barber On 04.09.2013 @ 9:15 am

destined

I was destined to be set free, and that’s the extent of my destiny.
They say ‘what ever will be will be’, but that’s not the same as destiny.
I say ‘whatever will be will be when you make the decision to make it be’.
So look where you like if you like what you see, since that’s up to you and that’s up to me.

» Posted By Barber On 03.27.2013 @ 5:00 am

tales

The wallpaper is of a style beyond an era I could name, and yet the condition is perfect; no tattered edges, no curled corners, no scuffs, scratches or scrapes. It doesn’t have the same old-person smell that so many of the others had either, nor even that taint air of alcohol gel and cleaning agents. It just seems fresh here at WestAcre Care Home.
A bronzed light falls through netted windows of a large west-facing room. It’s filled with chairs not strewn randomly around the room but placed intentionally and with care so as to nurture conversation. The faces are varied. Some wrinkled, staring wistfully over the grounds at the setting sun, other soft and smiling, engaged in quiet conversation over a cup of tea and a hand of hearts. Their conversation drifts through the air like music in a next-door room, audible but not invasive; I catch little bits here and there as we wait at the door, and I know this is the right place for him. His tales will go down well here, and I know he will receive theirs eagerly.

» Posted By Barber On 03.12.2013 @ 10:58 am

claims

“It’s been a long time!” he exclaimed, his smile wide but his eyes muted.
“How have you been?” I asked, loosing my tie and setting my pint briefly on the corner of the table. Perhaps he could see through the feigned interest, but he played along.
“Very well indeed,” he went on, “I’ve been travelling. South Pacific mostly; New Zealand, Tonga, Samoa. I spent a long time moving around urban Australia – you know – Sydney, Brisbane, taking whatever work came my way, seeing whichever girls came my way!” His grin was very broad, but still his eyes betrayed him.
“Anyway, I only flew back in yesterday and I’m exhausted. I probably should get on my way.” As we shook hands I looked for the sun-stricken tan line beneath his watch; the freckled skin; the bleached tips of shaggy hair. I like to think of myself as pretty perceptive, but I found none. He was always like that at school.

» Posted By Barber On 02.07.2013 @ 2:30 am

due

I haven’t written a oneword for a while, I think it’s about due.
I like language, I think it’s fun. Homophones are my favourites. Especially how they’re not always homophones depending on your accent.
Due know what I’m talking about?
I hope you due.

» Posted By Barber On 12.17.2012 @ 4:03 am

rise

Burning torches and red faces, but no hoods, no balaclavas. We have no shame in this, no secrets. We sweep the streets like a slow stampede – calculated and considered but no less catastrophic. We don’t scream, we don’t shout, but the sound of smashing windows is drowned beneath the beat of marching feet.
Storm strike the city streets; united swarm; swamp assassin.
Together we swell to fill the space, together we stand beneath city hall steps.
Together we rise.

» Posted By Barber On 11.30.2012 @ 1:18 am

late

Late. Easy. That’s an easy one. I’ve got loads of ideas, loads of stories, loads of examples. I know exactly the story to tell, though there are so many to choose from, and exactly the words to describe it. And you’ll love it, too, I know you will. It’s just the best story, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll sympathise. I know how to tug at the heart strings, I’m kind of an expert (if I do say so myself).
Right, I suppose I ought to get cracking.

Oh, too late.

» Posted By Barber On 11.23.2012 @ 6:34 am

learn

“And what did we learn today class?” There was smudged ink on his hand and a flake of minestrone in his moustache. His cheeks were red; though not with shame or anger.
There was a muted shuffling. Eyes flickered towards the clock. Feet slipped into shoes. They sat. For the first time in the afternoon, silence ruled.
“Well?!” he bellowed at blank faces. “Nothing?!”
Now his face had cause to be flushed.
His bellowing was drowned by the bell, and nobody stayed to listen to him rant. He was left huffing at the blackboard, picking up paper plans and pen lids.
“Those blasted kids never bloody learn!” he mumbled into his mug.

Hypocrit.

» Posted By Barber On 02.12.2013 @ 6:58 am

teeth

She had something there, sitting casually between her teeth like a book on a shelf. I couldn’t tell if it was a permanent fixture, some kind of unfortunate dental work, or the by-product of a rushed falafel wrap en route that needed just a little attention. It would all soon be forgotten, I was sure, but for a first date it was an awkward accessory marring an otherwise beautiful girl. Such a shame.

» Posted By Barber On 10.22.2012 @ 7:29 am

entrance

The neon sign was captivating, and for a good fifty seconds I stood and stared, captured by its warm inviting glow. There was something hopeful about it, something exciting, like a glimpse of a future with flavours of reminiscence, nostalgia, the familiar. I was lost in the feeling until the bouncers ushered me in…

» Posted By Barber On 10.18.2012 @ 5:27 am

civilize

There can be no denying we have become more civilized as a race, as a people, as humanity.
Our medicine has improved dramatically over the last two centuries, almost even to the level of our impressive homicide and self-destruction.
Our politics have become a level playing field, even if it is because nobody trusts anybody.
The classes soon will meet in the middle as our money transcends value, if you can excuse the fact that it’s the ignorance and greed of the bankers who are taking more and making it worth less.

Yes, all those dreams of equality are finally reaching realisation; albeit the realisation that it’s not quite what we meant from the start…

» Posted By Barber On 10.17.2012 @ 4:48 am

wet

Wet?
Yeah, you could say; raindrops avalanching from my nose, my saturated shoes squelching every step as cars splash muddy puddlewater across my chest.
Looking forward to drying off at the pool.

» Posted By Barber On 10.12.2012 @ 4:37 am

walls

These Walls, cold and close; the only respite that tiny, flaky hatch. The solitude whips me into a frenzy until I freeze, again. These Walls, all 99.

» Posted By Barber On 10.05.2012 @ 4:20 am

various

Variety, they say, is the spice of life.
There are various other cliches too, however, and sometimes it’s hard to choose. Tried and tested; safety first; better the devil you know…
For me, well, I don’t know. Maybe my palete is weak. Maybe I like life mild. Maybe I’m too straight-laced…

» Posted By Barber On 10.04.2012 @ 3:55 am

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