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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Asleep in Her Chair



Beside her every day
I sit to watch and keep
the world spinning
while she sleeps
after breakfast

Today I play
Glenn Miller's Moonlight Serenade
and wonder if an old memory
now keeps her in tune
with a time she and Dad
lived in New York
during war

And the future asks of me
which war was that
and even though I know
let her have her memory
as the saxophones and clarinet
climb through tall buildings

It was a time
when she was happier
before children
before her Nanny died
before her brother and father passed
when the world was engaged
in the great project
when she and my father
were in the great city
where they felt like winners
at the end of the war
couples kissing in the streets

I won't tell you who fought
It's enough that her dreams
of Flushing Meadows
the library where she worked
her singing lessons
cross the darkened room
with Glenn in charge
of the war
trombone in hand
a great weapon that tolled the moon
into the lives of lovers



Copyright (c) 2012 by Barry G. Wick  

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

In the Wind



The first few leaves of fall
were blown to ground
Oh, I'd seen the colors change
from brightest green to yellows and reds
all around
I had not expected to see leaves fall
yet I knew all would

I've seen this many times before
this year somehow
To see leaves fall for the first time
came as a shock
as if I'd seen a crime

Have I become that sensitive
that the change of seasons
the on-going constant
would upset me to such a degree
an invisible grip would squeeze
the center of me
the visceral knowledge that calls
another end to this season
these visions of life
that send me dreaming
away from my world
behind these walls

For now the summer fades
and cooler winds chase birds away
soon squirrel, turkey and deer
will be just prints in snow
that show which way the cadence
of their wild hearts shall take them
and I shall stare instead of follow
with my own wish
to fly outside in any wind


Copyright (c) 2012 by Barry G. Wick




Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Apples, The Turkeys, and The Election


In a good year
two varieties of apples
load trees on the south side
of our home in the Black Hills
The two trees closest to the creek
are spotted red even in this drought
the roots reach deep to the water that flows

This late September day a flock of turkeys
has attacked these trees with some
trying to roost close to the apples
turkeys in the apple trees
heavy birds on branches
twenty-five or more
on the apple strewn
ground excited
by the few
that fall

Much like the unemployed who queue
for jobs where jobs can be had
hundreds gather beneath
the greedy corporations
that only give enough
to protect wealth
and power
election

apples greed water
turkeys drought branches
election wealth jobs 


Copyright (c) 2012 by Barry G. Wick




Thursday, September 20, 2012

To Make Sense



It's dark with the only light
a screen across the room
upon which I type these words
The fans of the computer
The fingers pounding out words
The refrigerator in the kitchen
chugging out ice
and ice smashing back and forth
in a plastic container with a handle
You can't call it a glass
it's not a plastic glass
because it's not glass
it's a plastic
I must have spent 20 minutes
looking for the recipe
because I wanted to make
some sense
I know
trying to make sense
in the dark
when a yawn comes upon
and the stomach growls
I just have to wait
and go to the store
common sense
what is the price today


Copyright (c) 2012 by Barry G. Wick

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Prisoner's Room



As the morning sun streams through dirty windows
the patches of sun reveal the cart of unfolded clothes
parts of the desk
the inside of the lamp shade
the top of the satellite receiver
hard to look at glints on the turntable
the front of the couch
a metallic camera next to batteries
the wooden table with a candle and snuffer
a Chinese miniature scene carved in wood
dust everywhere

All these things in this prisoner's cell
where the guard quietly sleeps
some 25 feet away
and yet I am the guard
and the prisoner both
who watches the branches slap each other
on a windy day
and the sun on things
never found in a real jail

So I am both
the split personality of elder care
who keeps the doors locked
the prisoners fed
the uniforms washed
the beds made
and the floors scrubbed
and all for what purpose
to someday walk free
to explain why I didn't have a job
for so many years
to end all this
to go to someplace else
and some other life
all unknown to me now
as if I'd just walked outside the walls
from the darkest cell
in the deepest canyon
that man creates for himself

we are our own wardens
unlocking the doors
for ourselves the prisoner
the sun on our faces
as if it were the first time
pushed out of the womb



Copyright © 2012 by Barry G. Wick

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

In the Breeze


The birch is either green
or mirror
The spruce is either blue
or pipe cleaner
The woodbine is either orange
or screen

Light of sifted leaves
Dust of melodious sandpaper
Fingers of tense air

Spider silk
Water stains
Dirty windows

Hand on throat
Body on couch
Feet on floor

Reflections
Shadows
Barriers


Copyright (c) 2012 by Barry G. Wick


Friday, September 14, 2012

Love in the Internet World



There is a light breeze
through the spruce
The apple trees droop
laden with ripening fruit
that only the squirrels and deer
will eat to keep away
the cold of winter
that approaches in just two months

From far down the wires
there are tentative notes
from those who want friendship
perhaps more
Their world is desparate
for a real touch
a message that will stir them
into heights of emotion
the sense that someone cares
I feel no such need to raise
the heat of my heart

It is enough for me to see
the first sun painting the tops
of the trees to the south
as darkness receeds to the north
in this canyon
the last darkness of a cool night
The mountain rises across the creek
where trees begin their pirouette
into yellow and reds

The words can be sent
but not the feeling
of the twitches in my muscles
from the chill of a fall morning
And soon I shall return to sleep
with another day of the same
day after day and the repetition
of the same words the same smiles
the same questions
from the aged head I guard

It is not love from distant souls
or readers of the lines that tumble
across the streambed of my life
I tell the world
peace is what I need each day
in moments all by myself
when no one wants me

Copyright (c) 2012 by Barry G. Wick


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

In Chicago, not at Home


There is no sense of home for me here
and I'm not even there anymore
except for now in my memory
as I wind through the streets
going from here to there
in the Green Mill
underground downtown
waiting for my love around the corner

The sense of home comes to each of us at birth
otherwise we are tumbling
through the waves of an electrified field
we are unfamiliar with
imprinted on us at the moment of conception
or perhaps the moment of our birth
or learning to sail through it as we grow
and from then on it is everything

This reminder came to me listening to Metheny
ask if I was going with him
and for that moment I was
standing on a train platform
heading for a studio downtown
to record a commercial for a furniture store
inconceivable to me now
that I would follow him into the city

But there is the power of music
the piper pulls you through another life
just listening to a melody or a beat
that passed through your world
a long time ago in another life
and suddenly you are transported
into the sights and feelings
the pain of not being at home where you are

But I can pull myself away now
and I'm back in the Black Hills
surrounded by my magnetic field
so comfortable and warm
and hearing another city move through my mind
I move back and forth
swaying between home and hurt
the pain of a city where love went away

Copyright (c) 2012 by Barry G. Wick

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Watching Lots


What is this place
Publix Cub Foods Safeway
Ralphs A and P
or any of a thousand stores
where the old sit
inside the cars of their wives
sons daughters
the caretakers of the challenged
in their later years
with Alzheimer's or just
significant white matter disease
that pulls the sitters away from
the rest of us
who pass by with our shopping carts
the ones who do not notice
that an old person is in a car
on a hot day

Now if it were a dog
we'd check to make certain
the windows were down
or a child where police
would be rushed
to break the window
or fish the lock open
to save the young one

But it's just an older person
we assume to be an adult
capable of all the adult decisions
we have for ourselves
as the heaps of Cheerios
flavored yogurt
household goods
sail by those empty eyes

Are we even in thought
when we park across
from another car
that maybe the tired one
is inside to buy the necessities
for the one inside the far stare
who wears the Depends
and spends most of the day
in front of a television
entertained by everything
the family cannot provide

For the minutes they are alone
on a cold or hot day
you are the watcher
who makes certain
nothing happens to the ones
who tossed a child on his knee
or carried the shopper to term
because now
the child has become the parent
the child who is the only one
in a large family who cares
or loves
and can't leave the wanderer
at home
to fall down the stairs
to forget the walker
to imagine they go off to work
or hear a party down the block
you provide the respite
as you in thoughtless hurry
park to buy a salad or a sandwich

So this is the watching lot
full of old people sitting in vehicles
not quite with us
and yet alive inside the years
that you see on their faces
their lonely faces
as they wait for the one
who gives them a bath
feeds them some chicken
who makes peas far too often
the one who wakes up in the middle
of the night to any sound
their parent makes
the tears of a dream
the shouts of a happy child
remembered in the dark
the tired son
the exhausted daughter
away from their father or mother
to get a bit of life
as they shop for a break
you now give them
for five ten or fifteen minutes
the only time they have away
or are a part of the world
outside the home where
mummy or daddy
provides an absolute rule
often in silence
the kings and queens of emptiness
as their last golden moments
tick away in a lift chair
or a ten year old Chevy
in the parking lot of a grocery store


Copyright (c) 2012 by Barry G. Wick








Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Blunders


The Blunders are guests in this house
who live all around me
They touch my hair
They stroke my hands
but mostly they just rattle around
like a marble in a tin can
alerting my soldier mind
of their forage into my territory

Often, they come in the dark
in dreams
strange allegories blended
with the pinpoints of stars
and wisps of smoke and dew
as hard as I might try
I cannot get them to leave
They are embroidered on my clothes
and often sneak beneath my skin

The older I get the more annoying
they become
all of them are the child's mind
I once possessed
when I'd just as soon forget
them at the side of a country road
an unwanted pet wandering
without the love of family

Oh, don't think of me as cruel
they have taught me morality
patience of thought and deed
the importance of passing time
and distant colors I'd thought were gray
but come back to blaze
through my thoughts
fires burning out of control
I only want doused
but no, they don't put out
they put me out and I am annoyed
by their constant caresses


Copyright 2012 (c) by Barry G. Wick