I now have one regular patron who sends a monthly contribution to keep this poet alive. Yes, per usual, I'm a poor poet...and for some reason I'm a poor poet in its many meanings...but someone like my patron loves my work. If you become a sustaining patron I can guarantee you'll see writing from me on a regular basis. I do edit my mad. But I don't always hit it out of the park. At least my patrons have a chance to select from all my work...and they become the editors rather than the small-minded who often edit magazines and journals. Poet James Wright,one of his last books, held by two editors for the longest time that his wife Anne took to another publisher who snapped it up and it became a huge success. Now I don't have people like Robert Bly, Don Hall, or their equals I can send my poems to for a review before I put them on the internet or send to any publisher. I believe in opening up my "horde" for the world to critique or love. And it's expensive to send out my work, getting only rejection, so it's money I don't have for food, or the electric bill. Please send what you can via my email: via Paypal. I thank those who support me one way or another.


Thank you to those who have contributed via Paypal to support my writing. My account at Paypal is the same as my email: rikwrybac(at)

Follow by Email

Saturday, October 17, 2015

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

Post a Comment