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Saturday, November 26, 2011

What Abraham Knew and When He Knew It

It cannot see the shadows
in the valley
nor the wind
that today
swayed the ponderosa pine
yet I have discovered
the value of my words
to the world
as valuable as any
written by a computer
programmed to write

And what of the monkeys
given typewriters
who spend their days
in attempts to write Shakespeare
so am I no better than
those self-same monkeys
stifled by the weaknesses
of today's language

My expectation is a lie
I tell to me
the thought that I might write
one poem that could remember
me to a future world
or that my death might have the means
to net a few lines in the obituaries
of faraway newspapers
their readers amazed they never heard
of my efforts or books
enough to make them feel
they had never accomplished
even the smallest recognition
of a world in the throes of ignorance

So I've charmed these thoughts
from the shadows of a windy day
and the movement
of unimportant evergreens
that gives me the truth
of my exhalations
that they are not enough
to move any tree
in the slightest direction
and to have this manifest
fall as if I have made a fault
that cannot shake the world

Oh, a friend might send a note
to assure me that a line I write
has bent their conscious path
and caused a shift to new directions
their words to heal my lonesome wounds
and dreamy sores upon the invisible skin
I craft upon my burdened exterior
where those words become a salve
expected to seal the canyons
on the surface of my ballooned ego
what would be better
than the silence I know
the compliment of the ages
for poets

For few know that Lincoln wrote poems
these simplest expressions of humanity
the leavings on a empty plate
where they are passed to the cat
to lick clean and have as much impact
and only I can free myself
from the encroachment of a solid world
where such pronouncements
can no longer penetrate

the largest exhale though
the spiked leaves of an evergreen
on a windy day

bitch bitch bitch


Copyright © 2011 by Barry G Wick

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Big Drip

Diamonds falling from the trees

as two days of snow

bright white to half gray

sits on the evergreen

to catch the third day's sun

splitting light

as they drop branch to branch


they remind me

why my father had his ashes

tossed into the ocean


why wait for the water

to wash you to the final

frothy waves

when you can be dumped into the big waters

and know you didn't have to wait

centuries to make it to the nearest beach



Copyright © 2011 by Barry G. Wick

Friday, November 4, 2011

Ben and Peter, beside the Sea


remembering

Benjamin Britten 1913-1976

Peter Pears 1910-1986



The excitement of a radio studio

at the time

the best source in the world

the microphones to everywhere

to be heard and be enjoyed

in the great days of radio

the same year

that Adolf murders all his gay friends

in the long night with knives

and here in this radio studio

the singers prepare

rehearsal for the great British audience

where a handsome young composer

meets a handsome older tenor

only to fall in love later

at the worst of the war


when going to jail in their country

meant shame and shun

Ben wrote songs for Peter

Ben wrote parts for Peter

while Hugh Auden and Ben

made a habit of art

and Isherwood made a pal of Ben

at the bath on Jermyn Street


Ben and Peter friends for 42 years

in love from the war on

collaboration at every level of music

in a freer America

to spend bright summer days with

Aaron

and all the boys

who weren't allowed to fight

the powers of Paragraph 175

who had to keep their secret

and they kept the secrets of others

pianist composer and tenor

the dreamer and his voice

open even to the Queen


and they would remember the war

with minor chords

of the saddest music

Ben with his requiem

and Peter singing the debut

at Coventry Cathedral

lionized by the audience

as they privately remember so many

secret friends who went away

in the fight.


Now remembered in the moments

of “Moonlight”

when one hears the soft

love words they say to each other

together for eternity

unmarried except

for the shared notes

they sang and played

the rings of golden vibration

that circle their boney fingers

side by side

north of St. Peter and St. Paul

in Aldeburgh, Suffolk

as they shimmer beside the sea



Copyright © 2011 by Barry G. Wick