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Friday, July 31, 2009

Towards a Better Finish
































(((Rhyming poetry to me is contrived and often uneasy, but in memory of my great-grandmother and founder of South Dakota's Pasque Petals poetry magazine, Gertrude Gunderson, a well-known poet in her day, I write an occasional rhyming poem...if only to send my love to her.)))



Towards a Better Finish

I sand this wood and to my credit
sanding seems a lifetime edit.
It removes my goofs so sudden thoughtless
and makes the world seem clearly spotless.
Working wood to clean my mind,
day by day it helps me find
a peaceful time when past is gone
and memory of some flagrant spawn
of ill-timed speech or action dared
gave others hurt I should have spared.
But sand my soul in such a fashion
ol' memory stirs some molten passion.
So now when wood gives smooth it's surface
from rougher times and ill-gained purpose,
I hope that someday I may find
a gleaming finish deserved in kind.


copyright (c) 2008 by Barry G. Wick

My Father Returns




















((Dr. Ralph E. Wick, OD, FAAO with tarpon 1930s))


My Father Returns

I was a child when my mother
pulled me from the Yellowstone,
walking, I went, at age two
to follow my Father with flyrod in hand,
only one foot out of water
when Mother grabbed it screaming.
I remember cutthroat colors
eye to eye
as I gasped in the torrent of wet
then saying
"What happens next?"
And everybody laughs when Father
tells the story years later.

Mother and Father fought over us.
Screaming at the chasms I'd fall in,
the fury of my creative Mother
saving me with piano, poetry and art.
Brother had more visions of Father.
I went to Mother.
Now years after my own family failed,
I care for Mother at the end of life
slowly gone to mindless time
caring only for her body.

In these later middle years
I feel a shadow in the distance,
the ghost of my Father on the Yellowstone,
the last arc of line and fly touching
an unbroken surface with fish food bug
pulling me again to wondrous rapids
becoming what I called him
when I fell into the yellow chasm
with only fish to see:
Daddy.


Barry G. Wick, June 2008
copyright (c) by Barry G. Wick

I Dreamed of Carl

I Dreamed of Carl  (There are links in the poem I did not put there and don't approve of...and I'm very upset they are inside the poem)

I dreamed of Carl
At a concert up in Deadwood,
I go into the bar and he's sitting on top of it.
I go to him and throw my arms around him
for the longest time.
What have you been doing?
His is music now, it seems.
He's with some guy
who was associated with
around
kinda
the New Christy Minstrals
And it seems to be nothing.

Then Carl goes on a plane ride
with some man
on a rikkety ol' thing
and falls off.
I search
and at the edge of a mud pit
someone notices
blood on top
and I leap in to
feel in the mud
and find his arms
and pull him up.
With some clear water I wash
off the mud.
He's alive
and he's okay.
I haven't checked for wounds.
but he's breathing and okay.

I wake up. Longing.

Leave me alone or come back.
Don't just stay at the edge of my dreams.
If you come back, stay.
If you don't, stay away.

Each dream is a torture
of an old love, my only one.
In Chicago nearly 20 years ago
and I'm still in love...I'd still be in love
if the silence hadn't grown deafening.

Copyright 2006 (C) by Barry G. Wick

Digital Feast

Digital Feast

Now the world is scrambled
into ones and zeros
have and have not
and then we split everything
you can half my narwhal
if I can half your bald eagle
I'll mount it guts out
which reminds me
of my drink with Jeffrey Dahmer
in the Phoenix bar
in Milwaukee
I started chatting
he got up and left
I wasn't his taste
and he wasn't my type
taste and type
up and down
ones and zeros

For once I appreciated
being a zero



copyright (c) 2009 by Barry G. Wick

The Composition or A Vase: Full of Musical Grass

The Composition
or
A Vase: Full of Musical Grass


I am called to this world to play piano
with a young composer
who has supplied me
with the most avant-garde compositions.
I am playing most of them badly
but he is kind to me
and compliments my playing
of these rhythmic and unusual pieces
that have come from his mind.

Particularly, the last I am to read
looks drawn vertically
like a series of descending reeds
or grass
to the bottom of a vase.
Near the top I see a circular staff.
A flower? I don't know.
I don't know how to play this music
and feeling drawn to leave
I thank the young composer.

Is it not a calling to play music
in that world of talent
filled with wonders
that I myself cannot create?
I am left with the feeling that
I shall return better prepared
to read the pieces
with a more studied hand,
trembling less and excited
to once again recreate his musical genius.


Copyright (c) 2006 by Barry G. Wick

Los muertos están aquí

Los muertos están aquí


We have been attacked all winter.
Sheets of ice have wrecked the homes
that were not heated.
I cannot think of the words
to tell these people
where to look
when the ice melts.
I cannot speak this language.
An old woman hands me paper and pencil.
I try to write a note.
The word "morte" comes into my mind.
The word "aqui" comes into my mind.
The word "est" comes into my mind.
Then I say:
La morte est aqui.
The man in the chair nods.
It is wrong.
When I awake from this nightmare
I seek a translator for the words
I want to say.

But it is too late.

The dead are not here.
The dead are there in my dreams
and I want to go on fighting
in the mountains
with the rebels.

Barry G. Wick
copyright (c) 2006 by Barry G. Wick

Medieval Journey













Medieval Journey


Heironymous Bosch
comes to visit from Chicago.
We drink. I'm tipsy.

He paints
the friends I used to know.
The devil in a dead tree
with death playing a lute.
A barrel runs on two legs
tempting me with brew.
The city burns in the background.
Lake Michigan with asses
hanging out over the side of a boat
smiling at the gay sun worshipers
on The Rocks
at the end of Belmont Avenue,
their pale horses drinking from the lake.

Plates of bloody food.
human-headed birds,
and scarlet women.
Probably drag queens
from North Halsted Street.

I suspect I am the monk
reading from the book
in the center of the scene.
I am praying for all of this
to go away or
wanting to join in the orgy
of delights
and kept away
by a painful conscience.
All the rest die except me
or am I already dead
upon my knees
refusing to live life
to its fullest.

Go away, Mr. Bosch
and leave
my city memories behind
like years of cracked varnish
on an old painting.

You know too much about me,
dear Heironymous,
and now you've told everyone
about me
and how my life was lived
on my knees
in a cloak
my walking stick ready to support
my last walk through
a world of sorrows.



copyright (c) 2009 Barry G. Wick