Last updated: October 28. 2013 3:44PM - 1097 Views

Story Tools:

Font Size:

Social Media:

Neil Carpathios


Contributing Columnist


Since starting this column a few years ago, I have been introduced to many poets who have written to share their works. All of them are special, and I am grateful to each one for helping to spread poetry to readers. Now and then, though, a poet comes along who stands out. Kayla Barker is such a poet.


Born in Columbus, Ohio and raised in Portsmouth, Kayla writes that she was bitten by the poetry bug in early childhood when her mother gave her a book of poems to read. That book was the famous collection, The Prophet, by Lebanese poet, Kahlil Gibran. At the time she didn’t even know what a poem was, but the book’s musical language and mystical themes infected her mind and started a life-long love affair with poetry.


As I read some of the poems that Kayla sent to me, I quickly realized that a special sensibility was at work behind the words. I felt almost dizzy to discover a new poet capable of a line like this one: “…the night you took a scalpel to my chest and fed my heart to the stars…” Or this one: “I want to be scarred fruit, still savoring the promises I sucked from your mouth.” Or this one: “Dance with fistfuls of roses, shred their petals one by one and wear their thorns like armor.”


Kayla Barker’s poems are intense gut-punches to the psyche. They contain simple language that sears. I love their directness and haunting imagery. I would happily include here some of her longer poems, but instead will share a handful of shorter pieces that demonstrate the qualities I mentioned.


Muse


She corrodes star shapes into


the hearts of sleeping poets,


slowly, methodically.


Untitled


This windowpane loneliness


has devoured too many stars


making love to ocean beds.


Poetry


It’s like cultivating a greenhouse


with broken fingers.


August Lover


I want to wrap myself in your air,


hold your secrets between my


ribcage-embrace and just


breathe.


I have no doubt that if Kayla Barker continues to write and work on her craft, she will someday make her mark in the poetry world. How exciting to learn of a local poet of such promise.


Send poem submissions and correspondence to: ncarpathios@shawnee.edu or Neil Carpathios, Shawnee State University, Dept. of English & Humanities, 940 Second Street, Portsmouth, OH 45662. (740-351-3478).

Comments
comments powered by Disqus


Featured Businesses


Poll



Mortgage Minute