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)

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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Tom the Cobbler

At first the odor
accosts us
It's a small mess
on the inside
of his shop
and in that instant
its reputation is sealed
in the affirmative

Tom can't retire
because he's too busy
fixing shoes
selling shoes
selling everything
needed for shoes
little colored jars
of this or that wax
cans of this or that spray
hundreds of shoes strings
of every variety

This isn't a mall
where neatness counts
Here the only attraction
is Tom himself
with his spectacular
white hair and mustache
What he does
for a new customer
he's never met
someone with a simple fix
he starts on it right away
while the world enters
through the same door
to pick up a purse
that needed a new zipper
a better one
Someone ogles
colored shoes
An old man with a walker
sits near the entrance
unable to get further in
But how does Tom repair shoes
and care for customers
at the same time

The smell is a clue
there's no mistaking it
the elves of the old shoemaker
have taken up residence
to help Tom
in Iowa City

Elves it is said
smell of gingerbread
but careful discernment
inside the nose
picks up notes
of fruitcake
and rum babas
An elf on rum babas
is pitiful
Ask it to resole a shoe
and you're likely
to get a billfold back
Fruitcake munching elves
are mean
sometimes vicious
Tom can't let them
greet customers
They refused to read
by Dale Carnegie
If elves eat gingerbread
they will slobber
all over you expressing
love of mankind
Eyes roll every time

Tom is patient and wise
always watching elves
for the potential
of such a mistake
It's why he's so friendly
with his customers
That way the elves
don't help
in the front
And nobody likes
an elf who paws
and slobbers

Barry G. Wick
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