“Kes” A Tribute To Barry Hines (1939-2016)

An incomer with a posh accent.
“Where’s you come from, Paul?
Ha-Row-Gate.” I had to be able
to take “the pillock.” Whatever

that meant. I didn’t know.
“Today we have a new book that I
want you to read. It’s called,
Kes.”, says the teacher. “Written

by local writer, Barry Hines.”
He lobs the paperbacks
on our wooden desks.”Don’t
screw them up or deface

them. Or you’ll be answering
to me. Has anyone ever seen
a kestrel?” A few hands go up,.
I’ve never seen one. “This

is about a lad who brings up
a kestrel. Read the book
to yourselves for now.
Quietly. And I mean quietly.”

And that’s how Billy Casper,
was for me an outsider,
and someone who taught
me what life was like,

in my new town of Barnsley.
warm, generous folk
stubborn, brave folk,
full of untapped rich imagination.

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