Patron

Thank you to those who support me via my Paypal account: rikwrybac@yahoo.com. The government doesn't read my poetry. You do. Out of over 370 poems here on this blog by me, I hope you find one or more you like.

Follow by Email

Thursday, May 2, 2019

A Plague at the Sink

A Plague at the Sink

Humans are not
without their diseases
Some physical maladies
have their inoculations
for prevention
some have other medical cures
or none at all
The disease of old age
has no cure
There is no hindrance
to the advance of time
Its toxicity is memory
of ingratitudes
and wrongs against others
The symptoms rage
in the lonely darkness
with no physical pains
It is the soul set afire
No matter how deep
our head sinks in prayer
for forgiveness
the flames lick at us
with their raspy tongues
raking each moment
as if we'd been fed
through a grater
Creation is a temporary salve
music
art
poetry
nature
a change in how
we treat others
making amends
where possible
These reduce
the terrors
as dishes are washed in the sink

Barry G. Wick

Friday, April 19, 2019

The Death of Poetry


The Death of Poetry

Oh yes poetry is dying
and you will say to me
that new poets are arising
from many directions
Rappers and song writers
children writing in schools
and the always lonely and lovesick
teenagers who ache for love
old men and women
who have seen too much
and know things that will
be forgotten or must be written

Again the age conspires
to turn itself gray
a dead body unwashed
and prepared for final burial
Yes there are many who oppose
this change of colors to one
Poetry is violent
a product of injustice
a creation for those
with starved thought
Poetry is an empty mouth
a cell with bars opened wide
that chews the tough to soft
The swallow becomes
an upset stomach
that vomits a need for change
Once poetry charged the soul
to give generations
a reason to live and create
Now the unseen fills
batteries in phones
with clues to neutral colors
no one can unravel

For the reader poetry may live
but think of all the poets
who will never be read again
the ones who write in desperation
burying their scribbles
in the electronic graveyards
forgotten in unmarked
digital graves
Oh yes poetry is dying
as it always has
day by day
hour by hour
resurrected only by the needy
who discover shadows
in the corners of their lives
where the flash of words
may bring the moment
into focus like a famous photo
Keep searching
through the unfinished headstones
for poetry that has died
Some is being buried today
Mourn with others at the open hole
that is deeper by the second

Barry G. Wick




Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Raisins with a Spoon (for Tyler Luetkenhans)

Raisins with a Spoon  (for Tyler Luetkenhans)

Cold from the fridge
with a tepid spoon
Raisins stick to my teeth
I fill my mouth
with this sticky fruit
some deep in my cheeks
All this sweetness
like being among the creative
at a evening for image and sound
I taste that night still
sounds sneaking from my ears
to my mouth
image draining from my eyes
down my face to my beard
where my tongue licks
the visions that close my lids
to widen my smile that drools
color line and word across my lips
This sweetness of my dessert tonight
recalls so much of those five hours
that seem as if I were transported
This spiritual boost
brings tears to my eyes
the kindness of young friend
my amazement at his pallet
which explodes deep in memory
as if fuses were lit on raisins
sending rainbows in every direction

Barry G. Wick

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Foreign Elations


Foreign Elations

In Russia's arms doth Donald lay,
Putin's hands clutching clay.
All thoughts from Vlad come this day,
His forming hands this world doth prey.
When day is done his breath is still,
Having sculpture be his will.
Now troops in Caracas bold,
Traded for that country's gold.
Donald says zero to this play,
For he can't lead this nation's way.
Korea, too, is mocking high,
“Insipid Donald!” our nation's cry.

Barry G. Wick

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Under the Home Sky


Under the Home Sky

Years of distance
miles of time
My eyes cloud
thinking of the stars
that send photonic dreams
though my memories
of the hills and prairies
in the dark
where variable lights
blink my next lives
among them
I have not achieved
Buddha's goal
so expectations
of future lives protect
me with hope
the next arm's reach
will send me to them

Barry G. Wick

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Little Boy


Little Boy

I want to be the little boy
clopping along in yellow
rubber soled shoes
that will never wear out
following his mother and brother
into the library
with eyes of wonder
shy of three foot tall
His neat blond hair
combed with a part
in a gray hoodie
He's ready for the rest
of his life
if they'll let him
in the world to which
he was born

Leaders don't want him to live
to be his own man
They want him a slave
to their corporate greed
their pollution
that poisons his milk
that diddles with his DNA

I want to see him grow
for himself and not
for the world's owners
who don't know he exists
other than to use him
He won't see
the forests and meadows
I have seen
because these will be
just rock and sand

March on boy
go into the future
where hate will consume
the entire world
Fear will run through streets
carrying torches and guns
Bombs will explode
The books mother will read
to you
will be burned
Little boys in rubber-soled shoes
will turn to mush
to feed rats and worms
I'm lost in this vision
of your future
I'll never see
My grandchildren will
save you and others
It's their job now


Barry G. Wick


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Shape of States


The Shape of States

I have decided to write a poem
in the shape of an unknown state
I thought first it should be Louisiana
but since I can't remember
if I've ever been there
if would be foolish to write something
about a place I know nothing about
So that is the origin of my unknown state
It's a place where nobody lives
until some government official
decides to draw a map
then places it's unnamed capital
near yet created rivers and transportation
and decides what resources
will make this state wealthy
so he or she can reap the rewards
of graft and personal investment
This state is to be named after some
yet to be discovered native tribe
with a history of dancing on full moons
wearing red berry-stained loincloths
woven from Morvopinus Tree bark
Again a tree created by government
biologists and insane foresters
with a grudge since the juice
of this particular berry stings
Yes the native do wild dances
As the roads and cities of this state
begin to take shape
we are reminded that place names
usually come from the distinguished names
of citizens who either gave away their lives
or raped someone or something
for personal gain
Arguments ensue between groups
of this state's yet to be politicians
An entire politically correct system
develops from almost nothing important
the bubbles spit by fish
chicken phlegm
dust from the tops of pianos
I then realized that this fictitious state
was probably like South Dakota
the state in which I grew
from tadpole in mother's stomach
to uninterested adult
It only makes sense to dismiss
this project entirely
It's all been done before
and wasted like all political argument
The sun shines on this unknown place
Birds sing Gershwin here
Cows fart Cole Porter
I guess we should be thankful
nobody else lives there
as I am its only resident
The budget for state aid to education
is enormous just like South Dakota

Barry G. Wick



Sunday, March 17, 2019

The Same Morning


The Same Morning

It always begins
with the end of a dream
I've never had

I lay on my back
perched like an extinct bird
flapping the lids of my eyes
just fast enough
to rise above the jungle
of sheets and pillows

I am no longer pretty
in my orange breechcloth
which I straighten
before standing to grab
the handles of the walker
that steadies me
for the travels through light

I mutter simple prayers
of gratitude and hope
I know I will die
It is this knowledge of death
that replaces the foolish youth
that sometimes returns
inside me
someone willing to make
the same mistakes
I gave up years ago

I move through the tight spaces
that limit my trek
around this simple house

Will the particle board
furniture finally sprout a tree
Will the radio announcers
stop in their scripts
to take a moment to hold my hand
All things are possible
when the sun speaks
to the one plant I nurture

I spread myself upon the couch
a weird potentate
searching for a t-shirt
the only wealth I seek
to give me comfort

Through the veils
that cover my windows
others are known to me
by the sounds of their automobiles
or the barking of their dogs
People should bark
their morning greetings
to the world
It would change the sameness
of intractable hours
that silently begin
in a yawn or a stretch

Behold
I yelp my greeting
I sniff at the world's butt
hoping I won't get dragged away
by the leash that binds me to heaven


Barry G. Wick


Thursday, February 21, 2019

Winter Haiku


Winter Haiku

Winter's sudden fright
Curled oak leaves wind-blown down
Spiders crawl on snow



Barry G. Wick

I Am A Monk


I Am A Monk
(for my children who are confounded by their father)

Be still with me....you know where I am...keep breathing...”--Imogen Heap

I am a monk
without chanting sutras,
without simple robes,
or affectatious langot.
There is no exact word
to describe the faith
I practice. Some are close.
Ranjung sangay?
The self-enlightened?
Pratyekabuddha?
The path of self-enlightenment?
I would be a poor choice
for such great words.
My study wat
is an old trailer
where I cannot kneel,
where there are no devotees
to help with my simple needs.
There are no attachments
or so I think
as I examine everything within
or attempt to suspend the world.
Unlike a real monk
I cannot walk my city with a bowl;
I need and sometimes carry money.
In this obsessed society
it is not begging to accept money
since cooked rice and vegetables
rarely come or survive in the mail.
Those who give to me
practice their faith in generosity
and reveal truth in charity.
For the few who serve me
I give what I simply can:
a poem,
a caring ear,
a kind word,
my time,
confused attempts at love,
a smile.
I wasn't always on this path.
It would be impossible
to explain my life to others:
the silence of selflessness,
the study of what's inside,
the walk inside a cage.
I fail every day to match ideals
of monks around the world.
I do aspire to a higher way;
to answers that complete me.
I claim no awareness or
enlightenment.
Normal clothing will cover me.
It's not important for others
to recognize me by my exterior.
Many will judge me
with or without robes
and the trappings of a religious.
As a teen,
I once told my mother
I wanted to live in a monastery;
the undiscovered truth I later found
was to get away from her.
Not being Catholic, Thai Buddhist,
our own Congregational Christianity,
some other religious group
with monasteries, I never
found pantheists who share
in communities. Some may exist.
My back on a lawn
in the starlit dark of night
is a way for me
to partially glimpse gODD.
I have achieved the basic
requirements of such a life
without the company of
other monks.
I contemplate and pray.
I read lessons that come
or are presented before me.
I learn from everything
what it is to live striving
for an ideal I'll never achieve.
My monk's name
was given to me by my parents
and those who came before me.
Out of respect for their paths,
right or wrong,
I now keep the name
in reverence for their sacrifices
that put me here,
unable to walk the road
or to visit those who need me
in my advanced years.
My service is simple
without desires for fame or wealth.
What I create is free.
What I take comes freely to me.
I spent much of my previous life
failing at everything I touched.
I was greedy, egotistic, glutinous,
foolish, caddish, and more.
I am accepting now
that I've found where I belong.
I am alone;
with or without
friends and family,
sitting with my experiences.
While I listen for a priest
ringing a bell,
here it becomes birdsong,
squirrel chatter,
wind rippling the metal roof,
the frozen noises
of the siding that complains,
falling icicles, thunder, rain,
voices in a dream or on radio,
music of every student,
even the professional ones.
All sounds come from gODD
in a vast spectrum of the visible
and invisible.
Sometimes a person becomes
what they once thought they
wanted to be and never expected.
I am a monk.

Barry G. Wick