Approach – ©Andrew Barker 2012, reproduced with permission

So. Last night I was at the Holy Biscuit for their fifth birthday party and the launch of Now and Not Yet, a publication for advent (visit their site to find out more and to order a copy). The book has twenty-five entries – one for each day of December up to and including Christmas Day – most of which have a photograph and an accompanying piece of text which responds to or reflect on the image.

The entry for the first of December features Approach by Andrew Barker and this poem, which I was asked to write in response to the image.


I had not noticed the shadows before,
where there is no light there are no shadows.
Without the light. I had not realised
it was dark, that such a thing as light could be

I was surprised. To find I had a shape,
have edges. Definition. Shoulders.
And now, I see the rest, out there, is dark.
The light makes ‘there’ and splits it off from ‘here’.

I like the light. I do. I like the light.
I will stay here. Close, but not too close.
This shape I have. I’m not exactly proud.
I would rather have a different shape.

You could step closer, nearer to the light.
Be bolder, clearer: let yourself be bright.



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