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Thursday, October 5, 2017

Darkness at the Edges

There is darkness at the edges
just night that removes colors
without permission
automatic deception
after daylight
before the morning refreshes
all the important thoughts
I am not depressed
I am just dull
and not able to keep
an interest in myself
at this hour
I know the sky
is packing sunlight
into empty suitcases
for a trip around the world
The sky and the air
that surrounds us
is an illegal immigrant
without a passport
unable to do any
reasonable work
except to provide us
with air to breathe
and protection
from the emptiness
of unconquerable space
So there is an opportunity
to let it fill out the paperwork
we so desperately require
The questions we have
on our forms
are not given enough paper
to answer
unless we allow
the answers written on atoms
even then
we aren't willing to learn
the language it speaks
we try oh yes
our mismatched intentions
are similar
to giving a tuba
to Thelonious Monk
which I have no doubt
upon which he could
make some kind of music
The question
on a high numbered line
might be
would it be his best music
With that I've run out
of space to provide answers
to anything important
The sky and its unpacking
the light of day
have me seeking
a dark closet or empty drawer
for a gas-filled mind
waiting in the spark of light

Barry G. Wick

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Fascination Haiku----for BF

how we could have danced
just funky enough to jazz
your husband's anger

Barry G. Wick

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Fall Haiku 3—The Vampire

Sun begins its rise
Night feeding benefits end
Homeland soil calls

Barry G. Wick

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Fall Haiku

A hinge is fueled
as the wind rockets a door
the slam of fall launched 

Barry G. Wick

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Flying across galaxies and time
on waves of gravity
other civilizations
have likely discovered us

They research everything
this planet has given us
plus the depth of mistakes
we make every day

Mostly it's our inability
to mind our own business
while cooperating
that must have them baffled

They can see how everything
is related here because
of the biological signatures
each species has inside of them

They're not likely to announce
their discoveries to the planet
because they're just waiting
for the failure about to come

For them a second
is fifty thousand years for us
that flies by to reveal
our inherent flaws

Over the rivers through the woods
our grandmothers knew the truth
stay home make a pie
give to those less fortunate

So our gifts to those
less fortunate from distance worlds
will be a planet free of humans
deceased from war and greed

Barry G. Wick

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Quest Room

(for my observant and intelligent friend, Corwin Watts)

I am here in my Quest Room
You read that correctly
It's not my guest room
It is here where The Black Hills
once surrounded me
where I now keep them deep inside
Here are the fallen sandstone boulders
of my youth near my parent's home
The house still there
but it's no longer home
just like so many houses there
were home and are not now
the warmth I once felt

Here are the Ponderosa Pines
I once sat next to
to peel bits of bark
Sometimes an ant or other bug
would crawl through the grooves
between the segments

There are the pasque flowers
in the spring
don't call them crocus
because that's not what they are
but I remember pale blue
handfuls of them
taken home to Mother
as I rounded the rock
on Hangman's Hill descending
to the small field
on the side where our home
looked west to the rain
crossing the layers
of hills to the south
or the setting of the winter sun
that warmed the basement cement
where I could sit dreaming
of where I might go
or what I might do

It's the home where I managed
to slay the dragons of music
on the peaks of a piano
tossing my fingerings
into the volcanoes of disapproval

I bike down the gravel road
past the dozer cuts that give
this Dinosaur Hill something
about which to complain
That very road almost killed me
as I gassed my father's car
more than the ice would tolerate
to spin a one-eighty
rear wheels just six inches
from locking themselves
over the edge and rolling me
to a severe injury or worse

The schools teachers and students
come into my Quest Room
challenging me to change
a painful past that many
would also experience
with no one to talk to

People in South Dakota
never talked about being queer
especially in a house filled
with conservative politicians
at my parent's summer parties
Here a governor
there a mayor
This is my mother's friend
married to a successful dentist
This is my father's friend
the superintendent of schools
They know everybody
but the Indians who walked up
the road with their children
in the cold of winter
without coats
only to get a five dollar bill
I want to say now
take my coat
Here's one from my mother
a mink
Dad has several
and blankets
take all these blankets
Wrap your children in them
wrap your children in them
wrap your children in them
a five dollar bill is not very warm
when he could have taken them
to a motel
given them clothes
bought them food
called someone anyone
leaving me with the guilt
only a child can feel
staring out the windows
standing on green wool carpet
Invite them in
Don't turn them away with money

They turn and walk away
in my Quest Room
Here's a dragon I can't slay
Here's a dragon that slays me
And with that the bubble bursts
on the Quest Room
I flounder in what's left
of that liquid memory
looking across the room
at what created this
in large letters
large enough to read
large enough to stab
any dream
from over fifty years ago
Many quests and dragons slain
only some of them
still breathe fire and smoke
fire and smoke
and where there's fire
sometimes there isn't warmth

Barry G. Wick