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Saturday, September 30, 2017

Fall Haiku 3—The Vampire

Sun begins its rise
Night feeding benefits end
Homeland soil calls




Barry G. Wick

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Fall Haiku



A hinge is fueled
as the wind rockets a door
the slam of fall launched 


Barry G. Wick

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Failures



Flying across galaxies and time
on waves of gravity
other civilizations
have likely discovered us

They research everything
this planet has given us
plus the depth of mistakes
we make every day

Mostly it's our inability
to mind our own business
while cooperating
that must have them baffled

They can see how everything
is related here because
of the biological signatures
each species has inside of them

They're not likely to announce
their discoveries to the planet
because they're just waiting
for the failure about to come

For them a second
is fifty thousand years for us
that flies by to reveal
our inherent flaws

Over the rivers through the woods
our grandmothers knew the truth
stay home make a pie
give to those less fortunate

So our gifts to those
less fortunate from distance worlds
will be a planet free of humans
deceased from war and greed


Barry G. Wick

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Quest Room


(for my observant and intelligent friend, Corwin Watts)

I am here in my Quest Room
You read that correctly
It's not my guest room
It is here where The Black Hills
once surrounded me
where I now keep them deep inside
Here are the fallen sandstone boulders
of my youth near my parent's home
The house still there
but it's no longer home
just like so many houses there
were home and are not now
the warmth I once felt

Here are the Ponderosa Pines
I once sat next to
to peel bits of bark
Sometimes an ant or other bug
would crawl through the grooves
between the segments

There are the pasque flowers
in the spring
don't call them crocus
because that's not what they are
but I remember pale blue
handfuls of them
taken home to Mother
as I rounded the rock
on Hangman's Hill descending
to the small field
on the side where our home
looked west to the rain
crossing the layers
of hills to the south
or the setting of the winter sun
that warmed the basement cement
where I could sit dreaming
of where I might go
or what I might do

It's the home where I managed
to slay the dragons of music
on the peaks of a piano
tossing my fingerings
into the volcanoes of disapproval

I bike down the gravel road
past the dozer cuts that give
this Dinosaur Hill something
about which to complain
That very road almost killed me
as I gassed my father's car
more than the ice would tolerate
to spin a one-eighty
rear wheels just six inches
from locking themselves
over the edge and rolling me
to a severe injury or worse

The schools teachers and students
come into my Quest Room
challenging me to change
a painful past that many
would also experience
with no one to talk to

People in South Dakota
never talked about being queer
especially in a house filled
with conservative politicians
at my parent's summer parties
Here a governor
there a mayor
This is my mother's friend
married to a successful dentist
This is my father's friend
the superintendent of schools
They know everybody
but the Indians who walked up
the road with their children
in the cold of winter
without coats
only to get a five dollar bill
Here
I want to say now
take my coat
Here's one from my mother
a mink
Dad has several
and blankets
take all these blankets
Wrap your children in them
wrap your children in them
wrap your children in them
a five dollar bill is not very warm
when he could have taken them
to a motel
given them clothes
bought them food
called someone anyone
leaving me with the guilt
only a child can feel
staring out the windows
standing on green wool carpet
Invite them in
Don't turn them away with money

They turn and walk away
in my Quest Room
Here's a dragon I can't slay
Here's a dragon that slays me
And with that the bubble bursts
on the Quest Room
I flounder in what's left
of that liquid memory
looking across the room
at what created this
in large letters
large enough to read
large enough to stab
any dream
from over fifty years ago
Many quests and dragons slain
only some of them
still breathe fire and smoke
fire and smoke
and where there's fire
sometimes there isn't warmth


Barry G. Wick



Haydn Between the Leaves

Outside my window
from which I look
every day
a crabapple tree
in the middle of summer
now stripped of fruit
except one or two
here and there
because a squirrel
will jump the branches
causing leaves to fan the air
or send a bird or two flying

I sit back on the sofa
to watch this tree
in sun wind or rain
Its trunk leans
a bit to the north
much as I lean
over the walker
that supports me
The squirrels race
around the trunk
on a freshly mowed lawn
jumping onto it
when cats are around
Some have even sat
at the foot of the trunk
hoping a squirrel
will make a mistake
yet they never do

Who waits for me
to make a mistake
Who would even
notice if I did
and what mistake
might it be
dumping the grounds
into the hopper
without a liner
not starting the dryer
when I need something
to wear that week

Everything simplifies
Messages become the same
year after year
Dust falls on furniture
Garbage needs to go out
It rains or snows
or winds blow
just enough
to knock the rest
of the crab-apples
to the ground
The window gets washed
by the morning rain
Birds leave the grass
in a furious flap

What would Haydn
compose today
to accompany
all this activity
that entertains
an old man who sits
after breakfast
sipping his cooled coffee



Barry G. Wick



Friday, September 15, 2017

Haiku Pie



I have disappeared
in an apple tree's blank stare
taste me if you dare





Barry G. Wick

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Responsibility

Having remembered a fun time
with a person
in a dream still asleep
I phone him
and invite him to go out

He makes an excuse
then I tell him
another time maybe

Awaking I know
he represents
everyone who has ever
rejected me
or
who I rejected

Sitting on the edge
of the bed
I begin to wander
through the memories
of my life
piecing together
a story of how
I've ended up alone

I find excuses
and people to blame
though later
I know it is
the person
on the edge of the bed
who sleeps in crumpled sheets
staring out a curtained window
at the new day
thinking he can change
the old day
when his unkindnesses
rejected others 
who wanted to be loved

I have arrived here
the result of shaming
fear of discovery
rejection by others
and my rejection of them

There's no chance
that I will find real love
in this life now
locked into a solace
and silence
in a home selected
to reject everything
that came before it
people places and things
who passed through the life
of the one I rejected the most
myself



Barry G. Wick

Friday, September 8, 2017

Two Eggs and Failure


From the refrigerator
to the gap between
the stove and the counter
just next to the perking pot
two eggs rest
warming themselves
from their sleep
next to the milk
and oranges
Instead of noisy clucking
from generations of their future
so nastily interrupted
by corporate farming
pacing between farm buildings
munching on grass and bugs
I have chosen these eggs
on this very morning
to be a runny part
of a heart-clogging breakfast
on the top of Walmart wheat bread
two slices from an 88 cent loaf
the eggs 54 cents for 36
during Walmart's welcome
of the Aldi store just over the hill
This breakfast has been
the product of business competition
desired by a retired something-or-other
who lives on payments
from a government social program

The eggs failed to produce
generations of chickens
The wheat failed produce
generations of tall wheat grass
Walmart failed to keep competition
away from this neighborhood
Aldi had failed to make a greater
new business opening
Mozart, whose piano concerto No. 15
accompanies this writing
failed to know of his fame
dying in poverty
and failure to live into old age
This writer failed to be published
and you dear reader
failed to find a great poet
to inspire some wondrous moment
during which you live
wasting away your time
on the musings of a simpleton
who was inspired
by two eggs and failure


Barry G. Wick












Friday, September 1, 2017

A Minor Epos: The Life of One: Our Hero or Heroine



There will come a time,
a time of which
one has never been told
and would not understand
if one had been told.
One has been had.
The truth will hit one.
Complete descriptions
featuring fantastic adjectives
are inserted here.

Running around the world
will cease.
The thought will occur to one:
What an idiot I was
for running around the world
like an idiot.”
The world will shrink
to the size
of whatever distance it is
to where one buys food
to where one gets medicines
to where the hospital is
possibly to where some family
or friends
live
or include one in their family
And one will not mind
this diminution of localities
this shrinking of the wool
over one's eyes
One starts to see the little things
like unvacuumed carpet
bits of string dust crumbs of food
tiny shreds of paper
that escaped the dump
into a larger waste sack
or bag
depending upon which
part of the nation
your language describes
floppy open-ended plastic or paper
containers into which
are dumped life's flotsam and jetsam
before it is released
to the great dinosaurs
that consume these bags
on one's special day
a day one hopes will not be forgotten
since such containers
full of crud sweepings and empty containers
either fall upon the curb
or sit in the garage or hallway
until the following week
when one can again forget
to take these now gently expanding
gas bubbles of garbage
out

oh yes
one forgets even the simplest words
only to spend useless time
coming up with a definition
one enters into the internet search engine
in order to find the correct
combination of letters of the alphabet
that match the gap in one's head

One has much to which
one looks forward
as the solar orb sweeps
ever more rapidly
across the raceway of sky
ever more rapidly
please stop
ever more rapidly
why won't you stop
ever more rapidly
and then there are the nights
that shake and roll
beneath the festering sheets
that whip every little patch of skin
with wakeful pleasures
designed to punish the mind
with the importance of unlocked doors
burning coffee
greasy ovens full of black things
old peas in teeth-ripped plastic
and oh yeah
the question of the middle of the night
is this garbage day
and why didn't this one
take it to the curb
when once again it's time
to stagger through a darkened room
bumping the walker
into everything one tried to remember
is in-between one and a toilet seat
up or down
which doesn't matter quite soon
as the moon moves faster
please stop
as the moon speeds faster
stop stop stop
as the moon shreds
its sol-lit lumbering
with its unseen nighttime walker
through its black bedroom
of night
bright and awake
as one is
waiting for another day
for breakfast
for lunch
for dinner
for the same Beethoven this
heard for the painful, unnumbered time
of one's life
when one begs the radio personality
to bring out something
one has not heard
Oh yes
even the Ode to Joy
can be an Ode to ad nauseam
Ode be damned
Ode be gone
and one slides into sleep
a long tortuous sleep
full of discomfiture
as a blanket brands one's cheek
when one realized
one has been part of the herd
waiting for one's balls to be cut
(not the case for the heroine
of this epos)
waiting for the smell of burning hair
on an open prairie
the dreams of a corpse
lying in the oven
hair on fire
feeling owned by everything
and everyone
that preceded this
baptism in flaming methane

And the priest asks:
What name do you give this corpse?”
Just one. Just one.



Barry G. Wick