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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Stars

In the dark away from cities
be drawn to the stars
like grandparents before
who stared from grassy knolls
their back caressed by earth
All dreams begin with stars
winding their lives like clocks
until the key to time is lost


Dreams that begin with stars
shave with diamond shards
so no hair of thought
extends beyond the face of it
Each dream is smooth
for itself and another
just as a lover's pinch
is drawn to smooth skin

The dream for peace
does not reach beyond itself
but remains pure of heart
The dream for love
has no further shore to settle
The dream for knowledge
travels through the universe
with an invisible ship and sail

Hold these dreams close
for they appear bright ghosts
as sunlight fades from day
These molten shadows of hope
retain all that came before
enclosed in their wispy shells
true for all the ages
as they fly through the dark




Barry G. Wick

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Roller Coaster


It became my Mother's home
on Rapid Creek up the hill
on nine miles of two lane
from where her condo
had been destroyed
by the great flood
down canyons
It had been
lightly flooded
but the old couple
who had lived there
decided to move away
rather than risk another
Mother was brave that way

The house came to me
at the end of her life
as she lay in a bed
at a town home
where nurses
could do little
with her swallow
all wrong and gagging
food and water impossible
to take in at her advanced age

It all was sold to pay the bills
furniture and everything
gone in an auction
and I slept
on the floor
of that house
until two weeks
before it quickly sold

An empty house yields
its darkest secrets
wall cracks
webs
attention
all you movers
there is no one to move


Barry G. Wick




Monday, June 13, 2016

The Last Embrace

(for Juan Ramon Guerrero and Christopher “Drew” Leinonen)


It wasn't planned this way.
Families were to be invited.
Flowers, cake, and all
chosen to make the day
so special for them
and for everyone they knew.

No one can predict rain.
Clouds sneak in to skies
to play dark games.
It is the same with people.
Some people are so dark
they cannot share in love.

While sharing their love
with friends, the clouds came
when light changed to dark
for one and then the other.
The last embrace unplanned
kissing their crimson altar.




Barry G. Wick

Friday, June 10, 2016

Sounds: Part II

Within a thousand yards
of Interstate 80
the mechanized music
of mankind and money

Late at night
when local noise is gone
motors and tires
sing to each other
as lovers might
sweetly squeal
arching in ecstasy

The thump of a gap
between a bridge
and the highway creates
an irregular drum beat
as a concrete hand
strums the belted radials

Diving in and out
the bass notes
from truck engines
delivering the reefers
along side flat beds
their steel passengers
lulled to sleep until
the announced destination

Empty aluminum boxes
full of internal echoes
appear and disappear
full of Doppler poetry
spoken as if
their poets are born and die
within universal seconds
They are victims
of the cruel dictators
from time and space

These blended notes
form symphonic manuscripts
inside the tired mind
as the open window
allows its conductor
to gently fall asleep
dreaming of the sounds
of love and loss
pain and pleasure
joy and jealousy


Barry G. Wick



Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Sounds

Surrounded by
sounds of a Tuesday.

Outside
a mower rattles
across a corner of concrete
bringing control
to the ever disturbing grass
that threatens civility.

Inside
the air conditioning
keeps the Iowa heat and humidity
at bay,
and we mustn't have anything
out of the bay.

A pleasant Bach Sarabande
tries so desperately to compete
with all this machinery,
as a squeak
from a challenged office chair
complains the words aren't flowing
fast enough to satisfy it.

Perhaps these sounds
are all critics:

“You'll never be loud
enough to quell a mower!”

“Your mind won't be cool
if you argue
with your air conditioner!”

“Dichter sind die lauteste Publikum!”
screams Herr Bach
from his peaceful tomb.

And finally from my office chair,
“You're fat!”



Barry G. Wick



Friday, June 3, 2016

The Poet's Photo

That gasbag
Dumbforbrains Thunderjaws
runs for office

If IT wins
all the poets who wrote
unkind "nerd mcwords"
about IT
will be rounded up
for their police photos
much like
the NKVD photo
(Народный комиссариат внутренних дел)
of Osip Mandelstam
who displeased
Uncle Joe in Russia
Two different sets
of smug
and resistance laden images
attaboy Osip

I hope I'll be arrested
for my poetry
because I can think
of nothing more lasting
than the photo of a poet
charged with poetry
just before he or she
went into the mashamatic
or perished in the gulag

Such a cover
for the collected poems
there never was
that should sell
for years beyond years

It's very hard to get arrested
for writing anything
in the United States
One must threaten
great bodily harm
Since I'm non-violent
in a physical sense
I shall poetically do
the only action possible

I intend to commit poetry
on Dumbforbrains Thunderjaws

I shall
eviscerate verbiage
reposition prepositions
adjudicate adjectives
assault adverbs
confront conjunctions
neutralize nouns
plunder pronouns
injure interjections
detonate determiners

I shall sabotage any badinage
I shall devastate the dictates
I shall disarm discussion
I shall detonate debate

I am prepared to suffer
every poetic act
for the want
of a police photo
with my name and numbers

The headline shall read
CHARGED WITH POETRY

I shall serve my time with dignity



Barry G. Wick

(To support and defend writers in prison
please visit the website of
Pen International
who does exceptional work
to alert the world when
writers of conscience
are attacked and in trouble
worldwide)







Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Loneliness: a primer for training

There are trainers
who teach being alone
It starts at an early age
with something
as simple as piano lessons
age four comes to mind
which is much too early

Then the house has to be
far enough away from others
few children in the neighborhood
a long walk to school alone
through a forest
filled with dark imaginings
and an older sibling
who races ahead
so as not to be seen
with the intended loner

The parents must be aloof
from each other
only talk of business
no kisses or hugging allowed
of each other or the children
These are must-obey rules

Be sure to find fault
with the child
when it can barely understand
the language of fault
A spanking will set
invisible marks
Instead of laughing off
the childhood foibles
everything must be serious
This also makes the child dependent
when praise is given
usually in excess

Be sure to overfeed
The child will learn
that food is reward
instead of project accomplishment
Eating will occur
in the dark hours
when everyone else is in bed
Eventually all meals
will seem normal
when eaten alone

Be certain the mother
drags the child to her
social events or shopping
so the child just stands around
waiting on the next place
to stand alone
The backseat
is a loner's kingdom

As the child grows
make it do things it doesn't
want to do
and be certain
to deny it all the things
it wants to do
Make excuses
like
The hands will be hurt”

Shop for and buy
clothes and shoes
almost every day of the year
The child
gets nothing it wants
except for
one day of the year
before school starts
This will establish
the child's unimportance
and the parent's totality

Be sure to establish
a sibling rivalry
so that one child
gets more than the other
The choice of what
does not belong to the child
but to the parent

As the years go by
the child will remain a child
and won't know
how to be tender
how to be loving
all relationships will fail
all friendships will have distance
all beginnings will end
All endings will be painful
since the child has been
trained not to understand
the normal course of relationships
As the child grows older
there will no longer be attempts
to start or rekindle relationships
Deaths will be unimportant
Tears will never flow
The trainer won't be mourned
except in darkness
when the child is alone
always alone

The loner's children
if there are any
will figure out what happened
late in life
as loneliness training
is quite possibly genetic

This is the success
all loneliness trainers
expect to achieve


Barry G. Wick