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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Windows


I'm likely to move
and don't care at this point
what the world shows
on these two
dirty cave wall transparencies
 
Here the branches
of the crabapple
and the spruce
to the south of the house
with the sun behind them
an octagonal squirrel
cast shadows
through which
I can see better
to the outside.
Yes, the shadows
help me see
though a window
mottled by grime
 
What will layers of shadow
do for you
my love
help me see inside of you
Does your soul wave
it's language at me
the leaves the branches the sun
Paste me up outside
and look at my darkness
I rain
even on sunny days

Copyright © 2013 by Barry G. Wick

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Legend of Sallie Brown and Ben


Sallie rode the Crouch line from Rapid to Dark Canyon.
The seats were hard, the engine chugged,
Ben made a strange companion.
He was her dog and by her side
he stayed throughout the trip,
but when she died, he'd ride each day
and n'er let out a yip.

 
Now Sallie was a real bright gal, she worked for Lawyer Mizer

a listening each day to client problems Sallie grew the wiser

She learned about the crimes and such, mistakes that people made

so she lived what seemed a nun's life and never really strayed.

Her garden bloomed next to the creek, the water pure and clear

her wee small house with surrounding deck and garden ever dear.


Sallie rode the Crouch line from Rapid to Dark Canyon.
The seats were hard, the engine chugged,
Ben made a strange companion.
He was her dog and by her side
he stayed throughout the trip,
but when she died, he'd ride each day
and n'er let out a yip.


Each day at noon just down the block in the old Black Hills Cafe

Sittin' alone at a corner table, Sallie lunched this way

a piece of bread, a bowl of soup and tea to wash it down

then back to work above the bank, this was Sallie Brown.

Not a minute too late and always prompt Sallie at the typer,

Puttin' lawyer's words in rows so neat upon the cotton paper.


Sallie rode the Crouch line from Rapid to Dark Canyon.
The seats were hard, the engine chugged,
Ben made a strange companion.
He was her dog and by her side
he stayed throughout the trip,
but when she died, he'd ride each day
and n'er let out a yip.

 
The years went by, each day seemed long but Sallie n'er complained

and one day after work, her foot stepped wrong, her ankle badly sprained

upon the curb at 7th and main she sat there cryin' lightly

when all at once a milk white pup to her side plopped down quite spritely.

So she waited a while and no one came a lookin' for the pup

he looked so cute, big paws and such, Sallie just picked him up.



Sallie rode the Crouch line from Rapid to Dark Canyon.
The seats were hard, the engine chugged,
Ben made a strange companion.
He was her dog and by her side
he stayed throughout the trip,
but when she died, he'd ride each day
and n'er let out a yip.



Over to the station where the Crouch line came, Sallie with her pup in tow.

They waited and waited for the engine to come while her heart began to glow.

“This little dog,” she thought, “has found me just in time,”

“I was lonely and lost, my days were the same, and me just in my prime.

“So, little pup, it's just you and me, I think I'll call you Ben.”

And up to the canyon the little train chugged where home was up till then.
 

Sallie rode the Crouch line from Rapid to Dark Canyon.
The seats were hard, the engine chugged,
Ben made a strange companion.
He was her dog and by her side
he stayed throughout the trip,
but when she died, he'd ride each day
and n'er let out a yip.



Raising rabbits, chickens, ducks and such, Ben and Sallie ate like kings,

She worked all day with him beside to supplement life with other things.

The lawyer paid a little more than most in that Black Hills day

his clients were the cream of this distant town and all would fully pay.

One day, a sculptor came to visit about a mountain large

Sallie 'ud chat with the wife 'bout dogs drinkin' tea from cups so large.


Sallie rode the Crouch line from Rapid to Dark Canyon.
The seats were hard, the engine chugged,
Ben made a strange companion.
He was her dog and by her side
he stayed throughout the trip,
but when she died, he'd ride each day
and n'er let out a yip.
 
 
For 50 years her fingers flew across the typewriter keys

the sadness came when her beloved dogs would pass next to her knees.

All tolled there were 8 white dogs each with the name of Ben

out there in the garden with rows so straight seven buried now and then

Then one day some years beyond a neighbor called to check

upon old Sallie age 92 her body dead a-layin' upon the deck.


Sallie rode the Crouch line from Rapid to Dark Canyon.
The seats were hard, the engine chugged,
Ben made a strange companion.
He was her dog and by her side
he stayed throughout the trip,
but when she died, he'd ride each day
and n'er let out a yip.



Copyright © 2013 by Barry G. Wick

Know a musician looking for words?  This is an odd poem for me to write...but it might fit some musician's tune.

 

Monday, November 4, 2013

We Go

(for Erin Wagman and all who knew and loved her)


When there is no more room
in our mother's womb
we go to meet our fathers
because it makes no sense
to stay in comfort
when we feel adventure
pull us forward

When we feel the pull of the world
it is often at the hand
that helps us cross the street
for the first time
It may be only a finger we hold
and when we reach the other side
we let go for a second
until the familiar voice
says to come
take my hand
come with me

The older we get
the less the hand is there for us
we've learned to walk to school
to see our friends
the other adventurers
with whom we grow
and get to know
their smiles
their happy voices
their worlds beyond
the houses where
comfort kept us safe

Soon adventures become challenges
some we conquer
and some we cannot
some have no end
These put clouds in our minds
the fogs at the edge of thought
at the edge of reason
across the street
wider than any street
we dodge monsters in traffic
where we never seem
to find the next curb up
or any hand to hold

This is where some of us
find ourselves
reach for broken hands
only to let go of all of them
We reach for anything
that will give us support
or reach for something
that often might be
cunning, baffling, and powerful
that won't let go
when we want to go

then
we just go
we just go
where we have not been before
to seek a respite
from the journey
to no side of the street
when we no longer want
our feet on the ground
any hands that help
and an end to the darkness

we go
where we cannot
feel the tears on our face
where we no longer
want to voice our pain
where we imagine
a comfort that surpasses
everything
we cannot understand

We go
even when we know
that all we leave behind
is the empty space
where others loved us

here and now...
we
go
into each others'
empty spaces
where you left us
with tears and doubt
where we try to fill each other
with a higher power
we cannot understand
and hope you've found

on the corner
across the street
is the playground
filled with stars
from where you once
came to us
and now return

Copyright © 2013 by Barry G. Wick
ownership and publication rights
granted to the Wagman and Vickers families
in perpetuity.









Not a Prayer as Such


Do you see me in the sky
I am on the ground
trying to catch your eye
I'll wave my arms
and scream a lot
but I wonder if your angels
are against my plot
to just talk to you
to get your advice
on what to do next
and pay the price
for all my foolish ways
and goofy days
when I was human
and quite perplexed
I can't call you god
or some other name
because from those
you've taken blame
for all the bad things
on this earth
and while I nod
and poke the air
in hopes that you are there
I've grown to believe
you might not care
even just a little
or a jot and a tittle
So it goes
my invisible friend
I've run out of ways
to get you to attend
to the chores
you once were famous for
creation and all it's glory
I'm fairly certain my simple problems
can't be cured
if you just hear my story
Back to your room
as magnificent it might be
but I suspect
you are as gloomy as I
with all your creation here
that's never correct
and from what this stems
we suffer we cry we cannot act
so where you live
is as dark and dreary
as what I'm assured surrounds me
So there I said what I've felt
blurred and bleary-eyed
dry of all the tears
I once shed
and if you heard this soul
turned toward me or not
I got it off my chest
the rest is just the same old thread
you hear most every day
from folks like me
the lesser of the tribes
you put to wander here

Copyright © 2013 by Barry G. Wick

Saturday, November 2, 2013

As Close as I am to You



Here is a sofa to my right
I sit in a soft chair
to his left
Am I drinking
surely
for those were the days
when I thought all one had to do
to be a poet was drink
smoke some weed
and splatter any ol' words on paper
No question about it
I was a fake then
and not entirely certain
that I am not a fake now
The color of the sofa
is light brown or dirty yellow
in my memory
but I am there
not aware of what the future
will bring for me
or the man who sits to my right
being ever so gentle
with a younger man in the prime
of growth
Today I only wish
some of his teacher
had rubbed-off on me
as if Theodore Roethke
was pollen floating around the room
falling on little poets who will
flower in many hues

I am asleep sitting there
in that time of the past
not even waking slowly
or in any state of a being dance
though I try
sitting next to Richard Hugo
who teaches me more now
whose teacher makes my head
butter it's brain across the language


These warriors accost me
to go back into that past
to remember what it was
that made me grow into now


Richard I am 62
when you died at 59
with a small shelf of books
for me to recreate on my own


And there you are
living in my memory
surrounded by others
who have similar dreams
to take them into the pain
of Life magazine pictures
where you looked so hurt
The smear of ink on paper
from your arteries
the ball turret gunner
on the runway
of poetry

So I can only dream
in the shade recalled
of your girth
and smile
me now
not having any books
to prove
the youth of my years
me older now than you
beyond the moment
when all you left us
were the recordings
I made in a workshop
given now away
to where you taught
plus
so many sculptures
in a language
which one day
in ten thousand years
will not mean as much
as they do to me today

and your ridiculous assignment
to live longer than you
to weep for both of us


Copyright © 2013 by Barry G. Wick






The Click of a Lock


 

The spots on my skin
begin to form
as feet ache
and grow numb
My joints aren't in their twenties
anymore
anymore
will there be anymore
as my father used to say
old age is not for sissies
but I am a sissy
at least to that generation
and perhaps
a few here and now


My eyes must have
their reading lenses installed
pulled from their black case
whenever I can't see
the wrinkles on my hands
to remind me once again
that anymore
is this day
with it's sun
as it creates trapezoids
on the green carpet


While winter approaches
I listen to music
only I hear
as it passes through my heart
my empty heart
that ages with each
empty day
as I wait
for the only moment
that will complete it
 
the sudden note
of the lock on the door
through which I can't return



Copyright © 2013 by Barry G. Wick