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Saturday, May 28, 2011


A crow on a dead tree
jumps from branch to branch
his wings and tail
in constant motion
as if to shake away
what bothers it
above the flow of water

the tree dead to green buds below
the crow next to white birch
the still air to the flash of water

a coil of threes
ripples this valley
to deter this sleep
this sleep of the alone

Copyright © 2011 by Barry G. Wick

The New

I know it has come for a visit
in the way the yellow pine pollen
covers the windshield
in the way the high water
now spreads its white sound
beyond the backyard
where before it was
only heard at the edge of the house
The crabapple trees finally leave
at this altitude
and the bushes across the creek
now raging river
have begun to hide the gray rock wall
we stared at all winter
through the dirty windows
now years passed washing
It is the new that visits us again
as it has year after year day after day
only this time I feel the old beginning
to scratch at my back
sag in my face
slow my thought to a crawl
when trying to find the right word
that memory of a sunny day
or the name of a passing thought
founded in a forced conversation
The new and the old fighting
as they always have
crossing their borders in skirmishes
never settling their aged war
and so we are surprised to discover
that both the new and the old
are the same age
brothers never seeing eye to eye
refusing to loan a shirt
taking back a belt
arguing over the days
unable to divorce themselves
from this continuity of aggravation
that is visible
in the turn from winter to summer

Copyright © 2011 by Barry G. Wick

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

“Mozart! Mozart!”

(Gustav Mahler's last words)

While my attentions were on a glowing screen
movement on the other side of windows
and suddenly I'm looking at the fast beat of wing
or the dancing of hooves across the creek
today a heron
some little red-headed, yellow-breasted bird
all these and the higher, moving water of spring
on the anniversary of Mahler's death
when all at once the green of this new season
given rain and sun
and the motions of wind and nature
become symphonies and songs
Oh, Alma, you were there for his last words
when a sadness spilled over you wearing you thin
his hand growing cold
And now each time we hear
his love for you
the colors of the outside world
fill us with new notes
as if he wrote this world I see
he composes still
and reminds us
with his dying words
that even he was limited to the palette
of another before him
that he could not achieve such a sunny day
or the life that fills it.
Oh, to be Mahler and think another was greater.
That is essence. That is spirit.
That is the view from my window.

Copyright © 2011 by Barry G. Wick

Friday, May 6, 2011

The King of the Taxis

The King of the Taxis

(a birthday message composed for and dedicated to Bryan Leui, driver, taxi owner extraordinary)

The King of the Taxis has come to the door,
I'm drunk as a skunk and I'm ready for more.
So to the far bar and quick you dumb fool
I'll lay on the back seat and mindlessly drool.
You give me your card and say I should call
Before the bar closes and your list gets too tall,
So, I tell the bartender just five before two
Get me a cab and a quick 'nother brew:
But he won't draw the beer and that makes me mad
so I take all my anger and store it up bad,
then you come to get me as I'm ready to pop
so I pour all my anger on your floor, get a mop.
It's my birthday, I say, as I'm barfing up gore,
“Happy Birthday, dear fare, and to you many more.”

Copyright © 2011 by Barry G. Wick

Thursday, May 5, 2011

What a Horse Knows

"I have discovered the fundamental Laws of Time, and I believe that now it will be easy to predict events as to count to three. If people don't want to learn my art of predicting the future . . . I shall teach it to horses."
Velimir Khlebnikov (1885-1922)

People are alright
the ones who stop by to rub noses
and cheeks
without climbing all over
they never know where
they want to go

I love to run in the grass
and roll around in the dust
I hang my head near the fence
because there's nobody to play with

Why do they call us horses
that not what we call ourselves
but we play along

oats with honey or molasses
sometimes I get indigestion

I like to be washed
and have my back scratched
grass isn't all it's cracked up to be
but hay er hey you gotta eat something

I will hide when there are loud noises
and flashes in the sky

belts can be tight

Predicting the future
Oh yes my mother told me
some will have apples and sugar
sometimes carrots
and oats
oats with honey or molasses

She said I'd like to run and I do

hoof toe, hoof toe, slide slide slide

She told me to tell my offspring
about the future
but I can't
that's why my voice is high pitched I guess

All I need is someone to take care of me
inside this fence
or let me out
to run free
I've heard of those places
word gets around you know

I like the ones who give apples and sugar
sometimes carrots

You put a chunk of metal in your mouth
It's not a bit
it's a lot

Copyright © 2011 by Barry G. Wick