SENTINEL POETRY #26 Online Magazine Monthly, January 2005



Home Time


 Leaving town on a 711, returning ‘home’ to where

I’m forgotten. Anonymous faces: prams and cars spell

fresh opportunities - but nothing is the same

Girls pull on cigarettes in a dusky corner

boys jostle on the patchy green

And I’m the grown up, yet all alone.

I used to dream of returning here;

pulling aside this house in a shiny convertible

not a Stagecoach bus

although the throne isn’t important

I know what is - you don’t live here anymore

Scared to ask and too tired to knock - instead

I swing on the empty frame, toes skipping the tarmac

The roundabout removed, just a concrete square

Health and safety no doubt

In my mind, I’m still that child,

running and wheezing, the asthma attack

still lingers, like the cold marsh air

Careless phantoms, haunting my memories

tackling insecurity - and leaving me bare.



Ben Barton works as a writer for Saga Holidays Ltd. He has been publishing poetry for eight years in a variety of publications, including: Acorn, Isibongo, Linkway, New Horizon, Panda, Poetry Greece, Roadworks, Scriptor, Springboard, The Poetry Church, Taoism and Poetry and Time Haiku. In 1997 aged fifteen he won first prize in the Ottakars/Faber & Faber poetry competition for National Poetry Day (teen category) in his home county of Kent. The following year his poem The Re-Birth Remembered repeated this success by winning the competition again. The poem was also a winner in the National competition and was published in the accompanying anthology.


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