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Thursday, December 31, 2015

News Yearth 2016

News Yearth 2016

So a news yearth comes agained,
making this an age old trend,
and so my elbow doth be bend,
to toast with milk, you, dear friend.



Barry G. Wick

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Tinsel

Some memories
take so long to fade
They are made of people
who have passed through
my life
or gave it to me

I want them all with me
now
around some live tree
covered in lights
still attached
to its roots
much as I am
to the people
who were mine

Please help me celebrate

Your darkness must
become the light
my life once had
after many years
filled with grief

too many lost
to age or sickness

Oh glorious light
push away the darkness
make a wall
that gradually expands
enough for breath
to reach my lungs
while they draw
their life into me

I am ready to smile
despite every ache
and darkest memory
which colors its black
beyond the lines
I was told to stay within

Come my friends
come to me again
if only
in a dream's reflection
your smiles
mirrored on Christmas
that sees everything now
with a library of strands
that hang into this future
when I can see
the wisdom of tinsel



Barry G. Wick





Sunday, December 13, 2015

Beethoven Between Dreams

It is after
the first few hours of sleep
the night begins to glow
in the steps through mental snow
following the blizzard of years
as we wander through the keep

The Moonlight, Sir,
invades the process of thought
and what days created it
the process of selecting
between black and white
between major and minor
runs up the scale at night
when dreams that are bought
repeat themes knocking at the door

Sinking into remembrance
fingers fly hesitantly
across the keyboard
finding a letter here
and the joy of chance
in new melody near
when dark around us
peers over the shoulder
at the small sparks
that light the fingers
in their joyful dance

Always drifts begin to close
upon the gates then open
where feet through memory
run when no fence will hold
and the need to doze
intrudes it twists and trills
to lean back into the drama
of a neat little glimmer
where fates await
their dream eludes


Barry G. Wick




Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Wind

The wind pushed trees
in a bully's attempt
to game the playground
just the other day

They stumbled a bit
as if there
was another wind
on the ground
just behind their knees

Each tree had seen
this trick before
as trees are often
older than they say

Each year is much the same
to us on the same playground
though our roots
are rarely as sturdy
as we'd like them to be

Sometimes we fall over
not from any wind
that raises itself before us
but from falling years

Each year crashes into us
as if propelled by
an accidental push
from an unseen hand
to which was cocked a shaking fist

Hopeless standing our ground
we wish we could
fly through leafless trees
in an imagination of wind

Those leafless trees
are often the later years
in which our health
forces a rooting
to an unfamiliar place

And so we let the wind of years
though our leafless branches
accepting the constant
push from the bully of time


Barry G. Wick


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Tennis Balls

In a very large room
are tennis balls
that represent
the molecules
in my hand

Thank you Alan Watts
for that image
but sir
I am enlightened
where I am

Nirvana

I see the tennis balls
as all the smiles
needed to accept it
All the molecules
in my body too

All I have to do is smile
with every molecule
in me
So I smile all the time
to thank everyone
for their help and themselves
with my smile
and the words behind it

all the molecules
all the smiles
all the words

When I jump
from tennis ball
to tennis ball
I'm not certain I smile
because there is so
much time in my hand
then no time at all
like the present
So I give myself the present
to jump with a smile


Barry G. Wick


Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Old Comet-Asteroid Decision



No more destroying cities
no more floods'
just no more
the creator doesn't seem
to understand
what starts on this planet
and gets to the creator's ear
is cacophony

Some want this
some want that
everyone who prays
can't seem to get together
with the others who pray
4000 plus religions
on one planet
the creator's head shakes
back and forth
as the hands shake
Is it a wave good-bye


And so the creator walks across
the universe
mumbling
It's sad
So creative a talent
now unable to make a decision

time for the old comet-asteroid trick
the destruction can be blamed
on something without mind
it's on the way
it's been on the way
since the beginning of time
just like the other ones

we just have to wait


Barry G. Wick







Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Day

My Mother and Grandmothers
are cooking Thanksgiving at my home today
Oh my no they aren't in the same kitchen
but their own kitchens that have expanded
beyond the walls of the place I live
The rain awakened me this morning
and the clattering of pans
in between the smells of cooking turkey
and pie oh yes pie
All the cousins aunts and uncles
everybody I ever knew in my family
and some I never met until today
arrive in this magic
as a great table begins to expand
in my living room
Why they chose my place is beyond me
and beyond the small walls of these rooms
that seem to explode with the arrival
of family and friends
Such a table has never been seen
It grows each minute
when someone remembers another
who belongs with this group
Out comes the bottles of wine
with grandchildren begging for a taste
More cousins arrive
Brothers sisters wives husbands
hundreds now chattering a roar
that outdoes the rain on a metal trailer roof
I see my children when they were little
playing with their own children
in an impossible scene of hilarity
that spawns a sandbox in another room
that expands suddenly before my eyes
as little hands steal olives
and a chorus of mothers and grandmothers
sing in multi-part harmony
their age-old song
“Now don't spoil your dinner”
that seems to have been written by Bach
and Sondheim all at once
an amazing chorus that seems to last
through many curtain calls
dripping with applause

Now from a hundred ovens
dancing turkeys browned to perfection
drop on platters for the fathers and grandfathers
going back generations
to feel important as they strop and steel
their fancy knives used only on this day
The table expands beyond all walls
in a star shaped explosion as if July 4th
just became a day for furniture to detonate
with more and more chairs filled
with friends family and the ones
who need such a party
as they've never seen before

Soon there are soldiers from every war
home to hug their moms
tears flow into barrel-sized gravy boats
Dancing down the middle of every section
the finest silverware jumps into hands
as platters float silently in front of the family
for we are all family today
doing justice for our freedoms and our gratitudes
As I walk from my bedroom
into this circus of Thanksgiving magic
someone yells for me to say grace
words I now stutter with my radio-trained voice
whose ending is the loudest amen I've ever heard
breaking windows and sending clouds away
to seize the light of a distant sun
that now surrounds each member
of this golden table
Happy Thanksgiving everyone I yell
and all at once it seems
every silver serving dish
and platter of slabs of perfectly carved turkey
show up before me
Such a day I think

Now where's the gravy
I have stuffing begging
with outstretched arms
to be drowned in thickened rapture



Barry G. Wick



Saturday, November 21, 2015

T. E. Lawrence-- Two Paintings by Augustus John

Forget the movie
forget the actors
forget the desert
forget the Arabs
played by an Englishman
and by an American
forget the handsome Egyptian
forget Omar Sharif
forget Peter O'Toole
though they probably
are the elephants
that create themselves
inside our heads
forget the oil beneath
the sand thousands of miles
away beyond the curvature
of a boiling earth engulfed
in a new world war
to see the man
an Englishman who was himself
dressed in the clothes of a nomad
the handle of his janbiya or Khanja
sticking out of the belt
his thobe and tassels
the kufeya, ghoutra and igal
if you want to blame someone
blame him for being a man
who opened the Bedu
to the 20th Century
so that now every one
has a Lamborghini or Ferrari
with a Kalashnikov
in the back seat

Here a wide-eyed crazy painter
or so how he looked
still creates the images
now long after both are gone
as if these two flat creations
could see into this future
where we experience a locked door
afraid of the neighbors
shy of the others
who shop like us at Walmart
where the greeter wears an hijab
in an Iowa city
who smiles as she checks
the receipt
for her corporate bosses
certain you might be deceitful
with unpackaged
toilet paper
and cases of bottled water

A painting sees more than its subject
It often sees the people
who many of us can't see
and don't want to



Barry G. Wick

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Henry's Dream

There comes a point
yes a time in space
when the realization
comes to pound down
the doors put up for show
It's not the game anymore
It's not being in it
Every wind has its wall
a line of trees without leaves
purpose without play
It's all gone
ideas drip into pools
on bare floors
when even the mops
can't be alerted
fingers follow the same paths
on soundless keyboards
whole tone after whole tone
white black black black white
white white white black black
no melody erupts from silence
no creation gets an ear
every action seems foolish
every attempt to fit
becomes thin milk
through a plastic sieve
the butter already churned
from each hour
better to extinguish the lanterns
than to pretend to show
there is light
settle back now
don't try to talk
a thumb finds the hard edge
on an unprocessed board
that isn't sharp
where is a good plane
a sharp plane
when one is needed
to take off just enough
to make this kingdom look good
just one more time
once more into the breach
or just close the wall
for the wind
the always blowing wind


Barry G. Wick

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Last Trail for Big John (for John Miller)


Step by step on gravel
dirt or pavement
one foot goes in front
He is lucky enough
to have one leg
Age can make a leg
heavy as a roped beef
that bawls out
grounded in the branding
His last saddle
surrounded by food
and medicine bottles
Back and forth
one grabs this or that
to leave
to save a later effort
along the way
To pass the laundry
sister folded
a towel is grabbed
to dry the dish of the day
or to drop off a dirty towel
of a forgetful nurse
This path is way beyond
the year of rowdy youth
who wasted time and energy
on a ranch or at the bar
to make fences for his body
Some paths are scratched
by a false appendage
that tears at floors
No edges of danger rugs here
Sometimes the bones
in the last knee
click like a dead battery
in an orange and white taxi
adding pain to the meter
TVs are heard outside
for ears who trace
a softer path
Spots grow on skin
with livers blamed
who claim false accusation
The trail to here
fades in dimming eyesight
This chair raises a foot
and lowers a head
until the sun sets
as the last ride
puts two ghost feet
in the stirrups
It could be Fruita
the Hart Ranch
or Blackhawk
where this cowboy
ropes an angel
that flew in front
of his saddled lightning


Barry G. Wick

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Our Friendship

                      
 (for CR)

It began somewhere in the dark
of grade school classrooms
kid drawing projects on the walls
mother's cookies on birthdays
milk and nap-time in kindergarten
A red brick building with a flat roof
upper graveled playground
for the older kids fourth through sixth
the lower for the little kids
Miss Widebody had the little little ones
in their own
Yeah, that's cruel but I can't remember
her name right now as the past
slips away in confusion and loneliness
but she was patient and sweet
The principal was a tall rancher
who would be tall even now
making an in-town living
for payments his acres couldn't budge
My friend lived on the next street north
I lived over the hill
The folks gave me a camera
that captured faces with no names
including his
I could not forget his

His father was killed
serving in the Air Force
My father killed golf balls
on Wednesday afternoon
We played war as kids
to make a machine gun nest
that looked across my gravel driveway
out of boards covered with dirt
There were Germans out there somewhere
I was descended from Germans
My college didn't teach machine gun
He saved his own life
in Vietnam
with the real thing


Barry G. Wick





Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Return


An old shame has knocked on the door
to make remembrance dance painfully
With each footstep it is silly to feel
the growing of it that is best
turned over to an erasable yesterday

Father's parents are coming to visit
They are sitting on the patio
in padded redwood chairs
waiting for the grandchildren
to greet them since they rarely cross town

The one child missing from the greeting
is having trouble finding pants to wear
because they don't properly fit
as buttons won't button and zippers won't zip
these pants too small on a growing child

Eventually the mother takes an arm
to pull him out into the summer night
in a t-shirt and underwear
Grandmother says it doesn't matter
Grandpa smiles through his gold wire glasses

The hugs aren't remembered if given
That's what should be important
No amount of erasing will wipe away
the truth of these embarrassments
It is truth that begs its writing

Such moments return with a lowered head
even when years are suppose to drop
away as a child grows to manhood
then into the aged years grass of the path
of a man is worn away beneath his feet

It is the child inside who feels a failure
The adult also lets such emotions drain
into the same pot that becomes
so overwhelming no amount of self-advising
will knock down the castle of shame

If only hugs could free ourselves in a family
that rarely hugged or held a hand
Reassurance and forgiveness at any age
wipes away all of the dark stains
the created imaginations of a fleeing child

That child is still running to the unknown
to beg for a moment of unfiltered kindness
as he cries for all the times he paused
to hold his self reflected in smaller socks
running around the home he left behind


Barry G. Wick






The Gradual Colors of Blindness

Raised in the home of an optometrist
good vision was often the topic
as the family settled for a meal
in the nook on the corner
of the house with windows
that looked east to the hill
and west to the black mountains
where the sun blazed at its setting
Father mixed the complexity
of long and strange words
with something his boys
could understand
He spoke of his day
staring at the eyes
of patients with diabetes
macular degeneration
and the gradual loss of colors
For someone who had given his life
over to the care of those who
needed his care and concise observations
pain could be easily felt
as he spoke of someone going blind

Jorge Luis Borges was not his patient
because he lived in South America
far from the west of South Dakota
Borges spoke of his descending vision
losing blacks and other colors
one or two at a time in slow progression
Those who know these conditions
have sympathy for the one going blind
Yet thinking about these changes
and the blind who have crossed
the paths of my father's sons
there must be something special
in the loss of a sense
as other senses take charge
as the memory of visions
sharpen into the razors of thought

There is no desire to be blind
however eyes no longer drawn
this way and that
some kind of peace must settle
into the minds of those blind
who render the remembered
pile of black letters
into the word pictures
of the astonished void
that is the life of most people
Just as dust settles into the cracks
of a table or between the letters
on a keyboard
words gather no dirt
with no need for a polish in the mind
if they are properly dipped
in the colors of a blind man's creation

There's Borges yes but also
Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder
Jose Feliciano and Ronnie Milsap
Moondog and Doc Watson

These colors can make the legs weak
or force a toe to tap beyond all control
Father helped those near to blindness
see the dimming of the world
knowing well that something else
could rise from the pool
of remembered visions
What is left of each life's way
by accident birth or advanced age
needs no pity or tears of sorrow
but a closer look by inner eyes
of those who still can see
to recognize the possibilities
of darkness as a gift
for a golden frame
around the blazing colors
spilling from a changing soul



Barry G. Wick





Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Word Stringer


“Any great poem is one you wrote anyway.”--Richard Hugo

Those who put words
together
one after another
are not writers
image manufacturers
poets
whatever is believed
the occupation
or avocation may be

the real creators
are the readers
who bring their own
mental images to the paper
the pages
the screens
to the voices aloud
bouncing wall to wall
or dancing across the prairie
like light rain

No
rich and often poor words
bring thunderstorms
drop hail and tornadoes
inside heads
to flash their lightning
across inner eyes
the ones that cannot be
examined by an optometrist
until after brains
have exploded from heads
when they become invisible mush
for the dead to digest

To enjoy them
stay alive
to prepare for the apocalypse
when dictionaries are burned
sending smoke aloft
unreadable by everyone
except Indians in the movies
or destroyed by noon-day cannons
their loud utterances
demanding rest or nourishment

The King proclaims
only what is accepted
by those who are woolly caterpillars
in line for the next bush
unable to see anything
except the next crawly butt

Stop that at once

search all the words
being fed by the spoonfuls
to find the depth
of the gift of creation

Now blow that up
Mr. Hubble



Barry G. Wick



Thursday, October 8, 2015

Recollection

A poet awakens from his dream

Before the paper records it
he wanders to his toilet
to let the night's words drain
He checks his underwear
for poetic skidmarks
Yes his dreams are written there

The fog of darkness hustles him
to the kitchen where he takes
his first medicine
a pill of words prescribed
by poetic doctors
Dishes from a poetic dinner
sit in the sink
so he draws the water
into his well of words
adding soap to billow
over its edges
He wants his poem to be clean
He rushes to feed more words
to his fish who are hungry

Sitting
he tests his blood to see if
he is still worthy enough
to record the memories of the dreams
that sleep has stored
He presses buttons to open
the paper on a screen
The pens on the tips of his fingers
splash ink where the clouds lift
as the sun enters
his drifting storm of letters
that create the gibberish
that poets always recollect

This poet's dream has him rushing
to his mentor to retell a story
that never happened
of a gathering of poets along a river
where they spilled their words
in a distant land of mountains
The senior poet nods
at his student's progress
deciding to give him a radio
full of his poems
attached to a window sill
by a separate base
wires piercing the wood
into this poet's collection
just as empty as a gathering
his student organized in the backyard
of his past life

The instrument is separated
and given to the student
who beams with pride
at the gift
that can never replay
the voice of the man
who gives it
No matter how many watts
the student poet applies
to the tubes and speakers
the words of his teacher
cannot appear in the morning haze
as the poet drools more words
onto a glowing screen
while he watches the bubbles
disappear in the sink
to the sound of bubbles
where his fish swim
to the bubble of memory
that pops in his head

He is ready for the day
surrounded by empty words
popping everywhere
a sonic bubble bath
that keeps his dishes clean
his fish alive
and his poem
empty of voices


Barry G. Wick





To Space and Beyond


Whatever empty space is
I think about it
and it doesn't seem to notice
my thought
That empty place is locked
inside the wrong of me
that I see every day

Those who are pleased
I suffer
are rewarded by it

It is an expanding emptiness
certainly not black
for something to be black
there must be something
to absorb the light
but inside the light fades
an empty jug
deeply empty
atoms of thought
pushing farther into nothingness
and I'm spread out
until the edges aren't just thin
this toast has no butter
this music has no vibration
this painting has no color
no frame
no canvas

I hang it on my wall
to remind myself
of its memory
which is nothing at all
sprouting into the distance
a growing plant
unable to gain sustenance
from its impossible growth
without a root
pushing deep
into a dirt-free soil



Barry G. Wick

Saturday, September 26, 2015

A New Coat

To whom and in what do I fit
raised by a lonely woman
who had second thoughts
after her marriage
of three decades
her second husband
tossed away at the wrong time
for poor reasons
when she could have had
someone to share a few more plays
concerts and parties
then ostracized by his circle
deserved or not

She was never very physical
never full of hugs
or just a simple touch
It felt so odd to hug her
as her runaway dementia plowed
though her hole-filled brain
mowing down memories
of everyone including me
at the end of her autonomic gasps
silenced by drops of morphine

Here the violins crescendo
in dark hours
months past those tears
when I still talk to her
across the chasm between
her chair and my sofa
the same stations
that brought calm to her sleep

Even in the years I cared
she always shouted
to a flameless room
filled with family shadows
in years that didn't
include me
never once falling
over the syllables
of her children's names

Her ashes in the ground
beneath the pines
far away
in what seems light years
across the galaxy of states

I am buried in my mobile home
quiet until the dawn
when I can no longer hold
the emptiness at arms length
only to jump into a cold bed
trying to still a vacant mind
akin to pulling a boiling pot
from a glowing stove
the liquid boiled away
to cause rainbows of heat
in the steel

Yes all the colors
anyone could want
except the one color
of you in my heart
whoever you might be

I hug the ceiling with my eyes
doused in minuscule shadows
from the acid street
curtains always drawn
to keep away my dreams
that always end with you
that always awaken to sorrow
much as she opened
her crusty eyes to empty days

You are not my mother

you always an imagination
of your face and hair
reflected in the polished pipes
of her empty funeral dirge
or the mirror of tarnished imagination
I don't know your eyes
the touch of you beside me
in these days of punishment
spiking memories mixed
with the burn
of never having met you
my invisible love
as I try on these age-filled years
a new coat made
from the wooden shavings
of my last breath


Barry G. Wick










Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Bread on My Stove

Pending a visitation
to my local big box food
pharmacy clothing garden store
you know the place
where bread
appeals browned and airy
in the plastic socks
tied neatly with a length
of papered wire
red blue or green

butter and jam awaits
the smell of end season
violets onions and oranges
that boost the odor
of unscrubbed
or tar-fingered patrons

the beep of the oven timer
in its high-pitch regularity
announces that a poorly crafted
inadequately covered
in the rising phase
pile of crusty dough
not really a loaf
in a loaf pan
but on an oaf pan
dough slammed onto a flat
blistered and mottled cookie sheet
forged incomplete
through a heated cycle
to the point
where it might be edible

across the kitchen it cools
in its appearance of a pillow
cased in pale protuberances
a bread sandpaper
only slightly brown
at each end
just enough to rake a tongue
with its cheap flavors
of salt and olive oil

that's it
any more images
and I'll be forced to eat
that crappy loaf


Barry G. Wick








Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Chosen One


My Valkyries are joining the party
they bring glitter and poppers
swords and spears
disease and damnation
love and lust

Upon the clouds they ride
dark and demonic
wearing sensible shoes
for they travel far and wide

They choose who lives and dies
in battle
I am surprised by their decision
I am chosen by them
Go about your business, ladies
For I must immortalize you
in all your Wagnerian thunder
I don't have time to fulfill
your requests of me

It would be more exciting
to see you in the clouds
above a fjord that descends
into a deep sea
full of dark monsters
but this is Iowa
at the end of summer
and the only monsters here
are talking about taxes and banking
poverty and riches
snakes and angels

Of course I'm half Norwegian
which is why I am able
to see you in the clouds
before all my neighbors
who peer out of their mobile homes
wondering what is going on
So I add more trumpets and tympani
chorus and cannon
flame and fluster
It's all for you
the women of my dreams
with at least one named Bob

Barry G. Wick










Saturday, September 12, 2015

Peace in Our Time


The only gold George Custer and his troops
should have seen as they traipsed
through the Black Hills in 1874
wouldn't have been gold but the light blue
of the spring crocus
They might have convinced him
to throw out any prospectors of the hills
and given him incentive
not to fight anymore “Indians”
He would have announced
to a waiting world
“I found the crocus and nothing else”
Then there wouldn't have been any greed
any Mount Rushmore
tourists in their whale-sized RVs
nor motorcycles rumbling by the millions
passed Bear Butte
near an unfounded Fort Meade
no Sturgis or Deadwood
Hickock would have lived longer
No Rapid City or Ellsworth Air Force Base
No broken treaties
No reservations
My parents would not have met
and I wouldn't see any crocus
on my hike over 
an unnamed Hangman's Hill
to an unbuilt Lincoln School
or take them home to Mom
by my little handfuls


Barry G. Wick

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Publish This Poem!

Hello my name is
Juan Feng-shi Apollinaire-Washington
My parents are a combination of
German Scottish and Norwegian
I concocted my MFA
at the University of Southern North Dakota
where I teach 22nd Century Poetry

I write poetry that never gets published

Soon this will change
because I have a name
the covers all the bases
I know you'll take this poem
into your deep publisher's heart
swirl it around a bit
get to know me
and put this poem
in your monthly magazine
I shall become famous

My poem will be translated
into thirteen languages
Italian but not French
Swahili but not Urdu
and some others

You will seek out
other poems by me
and my mysterious photo
because I have such
a important-sounding foreign name
You will call me on the phone
to invite me to read at the Y
or the Brooklyn poets
for a slight fee or let's just say
a ghastly-large honorarium
I will wear colorful clothing
and shoes
that do not match
My hair will be soaked
in a brand name shoe polish
I will say a few words
in my religious tongues
that no one will understand
and fake an accent
that sounds like a Native American
who grew up in New Delhi
I will be brilliant at this reading
and will chat with all those
who will fawn over me
at the rich man's apartment
after the reading

What a beautiful view
I'll say
while sipping my single malt
with a splash of cranberry


Barry G. Wick





Isolation

I don't understand
all the complaints
about people
with their heads bowed
and their eyes
on the screens of their phones

Man's long-term dream
is isolation
We treasure the stories
of Daniel Boone
Jim Bridger
and those who
lived in small cabins
at the edge of a mirrored lake
built over their first summer
to trap the beaver
on dammed streams
in the wilderness

The screens show us
the great wilderness
that is humanity
as we search for beaver
buffalo and elk
all by ourselves
on the L to the “Loop”

Someday a passenger
will shoot an elk
near the CTA Blue Line
We'll call her
Elk Megan
since
Buffalo somebody
is already taken
The Chicago SWAT Team
will show up while she's
beading her elk-skin shirt
and yell for her
to put down her needle
Cell phone by her side
with complete instructions
and color illustrations


Barry G. Wick





Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Three Drops

On the floor they appear
in the light from my rechargeable
like planets on the page
of a childhood book

See here is the sun
with two planets circling
though these planets are immovable
and are not really planets at all

The largest
farthest from the entry
to the small room
with wash and dry machines
The smallest in the middle
with the mid-sized
closest to the kitchen

Now mottled brown
appearing almost as if
these had been struck by meteors
Closer inspection would reveal
dead worlds of tiny things
that had once been a part
of a larger life force

These planets show
because the blade of a hatchet
had been carelessly replaced
among other needed tools
which ever so gracefully
put a half-inch slice
in a right index finger
deeper than first thought
from where these planets
would form on the floor
from the drops carelessly
created by the sudden pain
more like a paper cut
than this dripping wound

So here these three show
themselves long past the minutes
of anxious footsteps
to the first aid box
crafted in the wood shop
some years ago
for just such an occurrence
that never happened hundreds
of hours and miles ago

Here was the bottle of wash
to treat the cut to move
what might have stayed
inside the skin now dripping
cells of many kinds
into the tiny sink

The first attempt at a bandage
failed from skin being too wet
and again the drops
were swirling down the drain
as the sting returns
to remind how carelessly
was the search for a screwdriver
The second held longer
but again failed to stem the flow
and now a third
between attempts to dry
the wounded digit
of the dominant hand
Now it closes the thin line
that caused so painful a drain
that the pad was not soaked through
that the adhesive held this skin
together to seal the skin closed

So now forgetfulness becomes
a need to put the air conditioner
into the window when the central system
had failed on a hot day
A second attempt to procure the right tool
to remove the screen
Could the machine be lifted
Could the window be sealed
So quickly it was in place to cool

So the night progresses though phone calls
through life attachments to friends
who suffer more
to video to radio to type
to all the things that take away
the pain of creation
billions of years ago
before the galaxy
the solar system
before this fragile planet
before these sudden creations
dripped reminders upon the floor
of all the atoms
of all the cells
of all the chemistry
learned in hundreds of years
of war and study
from more than
three drops of blood


Barry G. Wick