Thank you to those who support me via my Paypal account: The government doesn't read my poetry. You do. Out of over 400 poems here on this blog by me, I hope you find one or more you like. Thank you for my readers. Thank you for your comments.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Familiar Music

“When the music's over turn out the light”--Jim Morrison

Often the music is the same
a few tunes that express
this constant mood
like the stuck records of old days
that would regurgitate a single word
or phrase as many times
as possible
until the finger slaps
the needle to stop it
bad needle naughty record

except now
it's possible to have
one or more
musical moods play
until either the gun goes off
or something breaks
the concentration of the player

two songs today
repeated ad nauseum
were it possible to end
all this
the music would play
as the soul slipped
into the expanding universe
until the electric was cut
or someone found
the remnants of a final act

that can never happen

who would even call
or check to see
months perhaps
until a concern revealed
the truthful corruptions
of an evacuated head
its dessicated last thought
upon the wall

what chance
that the exploding brain
creates the written score
in blood upon the wall
of music heard
the final second

as the universe
repeats itself
this scene might play
again with theme and variations
or create
the greatest symphony
this self-possessed victim
would never write
or go unrecognized
as a musical score
by crime cleaners
in protective white suits
lost greatness destroyed
by chemical swipes

so somewhere this orchestra
that you cannot hear
plays on unknown instruments
the music
of desperate love that soars
through an audience
so suddenly come to grief
by the story of this piece
the entire house is gassed
to end the shrieks and sorrow
the flood of instant tears
that flows through the aisles

the symphony of suicide
only one performance
where even the orchestra
sees the music for the first time
and despite its vast creation
five movements with a choir
no performance has ever made it
to the second movement
or passed its initial
8 bar reading

it must be difficult
to populate so depressed
an orchestra and chorus
surely someone just had a baby
got a new job
bought a few new recordings
to play over and over
over and over
over and over

Copyright © 2012 by Barry G. Wick

{{It's an unusual poem.  The question was asked if I'm alright.......and no place within the poem do I suggest that am the potential was a train of thought based upon some listening I was doing this morning...that turned into a dark, albeit morbid examination and surreal set of images....after I wrote it I was assisting mother in her bedroom and since we had no internet this AM....I had put on a large playlist that included The Doors....and the Morrison line came up...almost as if there was some sort of muse working here. I am quite alright and have NO intentions. I have much to live for...much. So I appreciate the concern....there are dark corners of my mind that must given light during creative times. They are examined and tossed away as easily as one would toss away a used tissue. NO basis in reality.   I'm quite fine. I write...I am a writer. Not famous, never likely to be famous....but one could also ask the same question of Steven King....}}

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Second Snow

These flakes seem much more resiliant
able to stand the cool breath
this day breathes
upon the Black Hills
until time sends them
dripping through the canyon rapids

Certainly I know the words
Paha Sapa
but raised in the white bread house
those words were rarely uttered
unlike the homes
on the reservation
or the northside of my town
Rapid City
Hay Camp
and who knows
what the Lakota
called this gap and the grass
that filled two sides of it
It's hard to imagine
them coming into this area
in search of tatanka
another word most learned
from a movie filmed
east south and north of here

My father double scheduled Lakota
people in his office for eye exams
and gave out watches
in the early days
because he said
“Lakota have no word for time”

how lovely
no word for time
no moviestar many moons
no measured distance
from here until tomorrow
just alive and surviving
the system that locked them
into the spaces where
we could tolerate them
separated from us

we who felt so superior
handing out five dollar bills
when the troubled family
struggled up the hill to our house
baby wife man
on a snowy day
much like this
no sense of time
except the empty bellies
that gnawed at their dignity
so much so they came
to my father for a handout

my father
telling me to stay inside
when I watched from his den
in our comfortable home
fearful that something might
happen to him
when all this family wanted
was food a place to get away
from the cold
this measured cold
that pulls the hunger
from a conquered people

I would barely know

and feel the shame
of my superiority
the day I shook hands
with Russell Means
in the downtown deli
near the piano store
where in “times” before I sold
sitting at my desk to watch him
when “times were slow”
and his friends
across the street
take AIM
at a thoughtless world
from the second floor
to shoot a message to the world
about dignity truth worth

about the people
who really own the land
where this house sits
where I watch the snow
and worry
where I'll get five dollars
to feed myself
after I'm forced to leave this place
by the system that forced
off their land
into servitude
to strange customs
of ownership
the destruction of families
the system of time
no snowflake
is white enough
to stand up to
the same system
that forces me to finish
this poem with these ugly words:

Copyright (c) 2012 by Barry G. Wick All rights reserved

((((Writer' Note:  A friend points out that there are many Lakota words for the passage of time.  Of course there are.  This is a poem about misunderstandings, misconceptions, lack of understanding, cross- cultural differences and stereotypes.  I understand stereotypes very well as a gay man because stereotypes have always been a part of gay life....sometimes we even acted them out becaus of our own ignorance....Ignorance spreads like wildfire until it often becomes hatred of others and self-hatred....which is just so stupid.   The greatest lesson we can learn is to take each person one at a time.  What was passed to my father was ignorant....and it was a story he repeated often...and to a few knowledgeable people....he looked very bad in some respects....but they said nothing to him as he was a man who genuinely wanted to help people see....and a large number of Lakota people had very bad eyes.  I am genuinely a man who has to communicate in order to stay sane which psychiatrists will probably inform me has no place in modern psychiatric discussion as "sane" is probably not a true definition or diagnosis of why I need to write.  While it's not just might be close to it.   Instead of compulsive hand washing, perhaps it's my way of cleaning out the words and feelings in my brain so I can feel clean.  Oh no, the more I write the more my foot becomes either locked in my mouth or my head.  And as we all know, a foot in the head is worth two on the ends of your legs.)))

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Hard Fall

The hard fall is here
with its
alternating skies
switchblade breezes
tree-blown fruit
jaundiced leaves
perch-pecking turkeys
arcing squirrels
hesitant bucks
nervous snow

Away you summer furniture
checkered tablecloths
candle-lit breakfasts
to be covered with plastic
Time for boredom's chores

And now the words open winter
with desiccated thoughts
when libraries become shields
from the revenge
of poor sentences

The Bradbury
labels October
a rare month for boys
from his lake shore
Waukegan cubbyhole

me at sixty
wishing I could lay in leaves
with a pen
and a crackerjack line
for each detached parchment
that floats to my desk

Copyright (c) 2012 by Barry G. Wick All rights reserved. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Asleep in Her Chair

Beside her every day
I sit to watch and keep
the world spinning
while she sleeps
after breakfast

Today I play
Glenn Miller's Moonlight Serenade
and wonder if an old memory
now keeps her in tune
with a time she and Dad
lived in New York
during war

And the future asks of me
which war was that
and even though I know
let her have her memory
as the saxophones and clarinet
climb through tall buildings

It was a time
when she was happier
before children
before her Nanny died
before her brother and father passed
when the world was engaged
in the great project
when she and my father
were in the great city
where they felt like winners
at the end of the war
couples kissing in the streets

I won't tell you who fought
It's enough that her dreams
of Flushing Meadows
the library where she worked
her singing lessons
cross the darkened room
with Glenn in charge
of the war
trombone in hand
a great weapon that tolled the moon
into the lives of lovers

Copyright (c) 2012 by Barry G. Wick  

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

In the Wind

The first few leaves of fall
were blown to ground
Oh, I'd seen the colors change
from brightest green to yellows and reds
all around
I had not expected to see leaves fall
yet I knew all would

I've seen this many times before
this year somehow
To see leaves fall for the first time
came as a shock
as if I'd seen a crime

Have I become that sensitive
that the change of seasons
the on-going constant
would upset me to such a degree
an invisible grip would squeeze
the center of me
the visceral knowledge that calls
another end to this season
these visions of life
that send me dreaming
away from my world
behind these walls

For now the summer fades
and cooler winds chase birds away
soon squirrel, turkey and deer
will be just prints in snow
that show which way the cadence
of their wild hearts shall take them
and I shall stare instead of follow
with my own wish
to fly outside in any wind

Copyright (c) 2012 by Barry G. Wick

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Apples, The Turkeys, and The Election

In a good year
two varieties of apples
load trees on the south side
of our home in the Black Hills
The two trees closest to the creek
are spotted red even in this drought
the roots reach deep to the water that flows

This late September day a flock of turkeys
has attacked these trees with some
trying to roost close to the apples
turkeys in the apple trees
heavy birds on branches
twenty-five or more
on the apple strewn
ground excited
by the few
that fall

Much like the unemployed who queue
for jobs where jobs can be had
hundreds gather beneath
the greedy corporations
that only give enough
to protect wealth
and power

apples greed water
turkeys drought branches
election wealth jobs 

Copyright (c) 2012 by Barry G. Wick

Thursday, September 20, 2012

To Make Sense

It's dark with the only light
a screen across the room
upon which I type these words
The fans of the computer
The fingers pounding out words
The refrigerator in the kitchen
chugging out ice
and ice smashing back and forth
in a plastic container with a handle
You can't call it a glass
it's not a plastic glass
because it's not glass
it's a plastic
I must have spent 20 minutes
looking for the recipe
because I wanted to make
some sense
I know
trying to make sense
in the dark
when a yawn comes upon
and the stomach growls
I just have to wait
and go to the store
common sense
what is the price today

Copyright (c) 2012 by Barry G. Wick

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Prisoner's Room

As the morning sun streams through dirty windows
the patches of sun reveal the cart of unfolded clothes
parts of the desk
the inside of the lamp shade
the top of the satellite receiver
hard to look at glints on the turntable
the front of the couch
a metallic camera next to batteries
the wooden table with a candle and snuffer
a Chinese miniature scene carved in wood
dust everywhere

All these things in this prisoner's cell
where the guard quietly sleeps
some 25 feet away
and yet I am the guard
and the prisoner both
who watches the branches slap each other
on a windy day
and the sun on things
never found in a real jail

So I am both
the split personality of elder care
who keeps the doors locked
the prisoners fed
the uniforms washed
the beds made
and the floors scrubbed
and all for what purpose
to someday walk free
to explain why I didn't have a job
for so many years
to end all this
to go to someplace else
and some other life
all unknown to me now
as if I'd just walked outside the walls
from the darkest cell
in the deepest canyon
that man creates for himself

we are our own wardens
unlocking the doors
for ourselves the prisoner
the sun on our faces
as if it were the first time
pushed out of the womb

Copyright © 2012 by Barry G. Wick

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

In the Breeze

The birch is either green
or mirror
The spruce is either blue
or pipe cleaner
The woodbine is either orange
or screen

Light of sifted leaves
Dust of melodious sandpaper
Fingers of tense air

Spider silk
Water stains
Dirty windows

Hand on throat
Body on couch
Feet on floor


Copyright (c) 2012 by Barry G. Wick

Friday, September 14, 2012

Love in the Internet World

There is a light breeze
through the spruce
The apple trees droop
laden with ripening fruit
that only the squirrels and deer
will eat to keep away
the cold of winter
that approaches in just two months

From far down the wires
there are tentative notes
from those who want friendship
perhaps more
Their world is desparate
for a real touch
a message that will stir them
into heights of emotion
the sense that someone cares
I feel no such need to raise
the heat of my heart

It is enough for me to see
the first sun painting the tops
of the trees to the south
as darkness receeds to the north
in this canyon
the last darkness of a cool night
The mountain rises across the creek
where trees begin their pirouette
into yellow and reds

The words can be sent
but not the feeling
of the twitches in my muscles
from the chill of a fall morning
And soon I shall return to sleep
with another day of the same
day after day and the repetition
of the same words the same smiles
the same questions
from the aged head I guard

It is not love from distant souls
or readers of the lines that tumble
across the streambed of my life
I tell the world
peace is what I need each day
in moments all by myself
when no one wants me

Copyright (c) 2012 by Barry G. Wick

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

In Chicago, not at Home

There is no sense of home for me here
and I'm not even there anymore
except for now in my memory
as I wind through the streets
going from here to there
in the Green Mill
underground downtown
waiting for my love around the corner

The sense of home comes to each of us at birth
otherwise we are tumbling
through the waves of an electrified field
we are unfamiliar with
imprinted on us at the moment of conception
or perhaps the moment of our birth
or learning to sail through it as we grow
and from then on it is everything

This reminder came to me listening to Metheny
ask if I was going with him
and for that moment I was
standing on a train platform
heading for a studio downtown
to record a commercial for a furniture store
inconceivable to me now
that I would follow him into the city

But there is the power of music
the piper pulls you through another life
just listening to a melody or a beat
that passed through your world
a long time ago in another life
and suddenly you are transported
into the sights and feelings
the pain of not being at home where you are

But I can pull myself away now
and I'm back in the Black Hills
surrounded by my magnetic field
so comfortable and warm
and hearing another city move through my mind
I move back and forth
swaying between home and hurt
the pain of a city where love went away

Copyright (c) 2012 by Barry G. Wick

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Watching Lots

What is this place
Publix Cub Foods Safeway
Ralphs A and P
or any of a thousand stores
where the old sit
inside the cars of their wives
sons daughters
the caretakers of the challenged
in their later years
with Alzheimer's or just
significant white matter disease
that pulls the sitters away from
the rest of us
who pass by with our shopping carts
the ones who do not notice
that an old person is in a car
on a hot day

Now if it were a dog
we'd check to make certain
the windows were down
or a child where police
would be rushed
to break the window
or fish the lock open
to save the young one

But it's just an older person
we assume to be an adult
capable of all the adult decisions
we have for ourselves
as the heaps of Cheerios
flavored yogurt
household goods
sail by those empty eyes

Are we even in thought
when we park across
from another car
that maybe the tired one
is inside to buy the necessities
for the one inside the far stare
who wears the Depends
and spends most of the day
in front of a television
entertained by everything
the family cannot provide

For the minutes they are alone
on a cold or hot day
you are the watcher
who makes certain
nothing happens to the ones
who tossed a child on his knee
or carried the shopper to term
because now
the child has become the parent
the child who is the only one
in a large family who cares
or loves
and can't leave the wanderer
at home
to fall down the stairs
to forget the walker
to imagine they go off to work
or hear a party down the block
you provide the respite
as you in thoughtless hurry
park to buy a salad or a sandwich

So this is the watching lot
full of old people sitting in vehicles
not quite with us
and yet alive inside the years
that you see on their faces
their lonely faces
as they wait for the one
who gives them a bath
feeds them some chicken
who makes peas far too often
the one who wakes up in the middle
of the night to any sound
their parent makes
the tears of a dream
the shouts of a happy child
remembered in the dark
the tired son
the exhausted daughter
away from their father or mother
to get a bit of life
as they shop for a break
you now give them
for five ten or fifteen minutes
the only time they have away
or are a part of the world
outside the home where
mummy or daddy
provides an absolute rule
often in silence
the kings and queens of emptiness
as their last golden moments
tick away in a lift chair
or a ten year old Chevy
in the parking lot of a grocery store

Copyright (c) 2012 by Barry G. Wick

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Blunders

The Blunders are guests in this house
who live all around me
They touch my hair
They stroke my hands
but mostly they just rattle around
like a marble in a tin can
alerting my soldier mind
of their forage into my territory

Often, they come in the dark
in dreams
strange allegories blended
with the pinpoints of stars
and wisps of smoke and dew
as hard as I might try
I cannot get them to leave
They are embroidered on my clothes
and often sneak beneath my skin

The older I get the more annoying
they become
all of them are the child's mind
I once possessed
when I'd just as soon forget
them at the side of a country road
an unwanted pet wandering
without the love of family

Oh, don't think of me as cruel
they have taught me morality
patience of thought and deed
the importance of passing time
and distant colors I'd thought were gray
but come back to blaze
through my thoughts
fires burning out of control
I only want doused
but no, they don't put out
they put me out and I am annoyed
by their constant caresses

Copyright 2012 (c) by Barry G. Wick

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Distance from Me to Me

Was it always this foggy
I remember crossing
the Bay Bridge years ago
unable to see anything beyond 10 feet
around the car

and that is what it felt like
as I grew into an adult
littered with the thoughts
of everyone around me
inside my head

I couldn't stand up for myself
direct who I was
into anything for me
I always heard voices like flames
and I was meat on the grill

No thing seemed right
no direction was the best
and so I wandered through
the cloud high above this world
and didn't even get wet

Now suppose you've reached my age
having tried so many paths
and none of them seemed right
there's no success in the modern sense
no feeling of accomplishment

And now I find the same cloud
hanging around me
some ghastly shroud ripped
from the graveyard of past lives
I now fight to keep from tightening

My friends move in their directed lives
filled with comforts of self
confident in their own worlds
their lives secure on single roads
they've chosen years ago

Why compare myself to them
I think inside this high cloud
full of unfulfilled dreams
It's only a matter of time
when all this fog will blow away

My suspicians begin to turn
to the sense of all lives past and present
to realize a fact
that what I feel today is what
all feel at different points of life

We circle in our clouds above
trying to see the ground
that has never been beneath us
and no matter what our comforts
they all shall disappear

So what I did to take as many paths
to breach the distance
from me then to me now
is what I did with what I am
all other voices silence in this peace

Copyright (c) 2012 by Barry G. Wick

Monday, August 20, 2012

There is a Bird

I know there is a bird
sitting on the trough
that gathers rain
from the covered porch
at the back of the house
the rain that falls when it wants
to fill these small rivers
that become larger rivers

This bird is there
if only for a few minutes
before he flys away
to poo somewhere else
because that is how I knew
he was there

Suddenly a white glob
dropped through my
line of sight
between me
the air in the house
the double pains of door glass
the screen on the door
the air on the porch
the screen on the porch
me looking at the tree
and poo falling to the ground
from the ass of a bird

Oh Bird with poo of white
please take your unclean ass
to another porch
where there aren't poets
who see everything
and dream of a world without
white poo
It wasn't what I wanted to see today

I'd had thoughts of living on the prairie
while putting a bedspread in the washer
living alone on the prairie 500 years ago
trying to survive the hail and the winter

oh imageless bird
because of you my thoughts
are of poo
now poo on the prairie
herds of great pooing buffalo
and one dumb naked poet
dodging enormous flops of poo
hail stones and winter snows
and it's not even time for cocktails

Copyright (c) 2012 by Barry G. Wick

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Of Oaths and Darkness

I remember when I signed
my oath
oh not a signature
because I did not know
how to write

it was what I saw
bright lights
the first feel of hands
the vague images
of first experience

they come to me now
from 60 years ago
remembered visions
from what I believe
was my birth
in a hospital not far
from what would be
my first home
on a gently rising street

first memory
of a promise to live
in the light
and away from the darkness
and yet life has a way
of showing us those first visions
though the darkness
that surrounds us in the years
that follow

the haze of the foggiest bridge
the dull closeness of a wet rubber glove
things seen and felt
and yet somehow eclipsed
surrounded by a halo
through which we stumble
not drunk yet inebriated
with an overwhelming sadness
as if one is walking
through a cemetary
filled with family

it is the oath we who live have signed
to go on through this field
to return to the doorway
of the closed room
from where we came
to which we promise to return
enlightened aware bemused
filled with laughter and sadness
a giant tank filled with beads of life
blended into the fullness
of debilitating age
whose promise has been fulfilled

Copyright © 2012 by Barry G Wick

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Justify Sonata for Brain and Colon

What I bought I now sell on Ebay
to gain a few bucks for what
I no longer use
which I used to justify
my existence
and the string of bullshit
to which I attached myself

Now I realize
the manufacturer
is bidding up the price
on my used item
against the great unwashed
in order to keep their new product
valuable in the marketplace
so that snobs will keep buying
what they probably make
for pennies on the dollar

They bid on my thing
to keep their thing posh

(It's like tattooing your cock
with the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel
instead of a barber pole)

And that's the point isn't it
to build a stack of shit so high
that people will feel good
they've hired you
or bought your product

and you thought this
was going to be a poem
filled with rare Amazonian orchids
and nectar drool snot droplets
with rare and phantasmagorical fauna
enough for ten expeditions
and one-off high-buck phrases
to make you feel justified
to spend this time
to absorb what I write
when a poem is only a piece of shit
sticking out of the poet's colon
able to make that musical splash
in the toilet of your imagination

So how is that a sonata you ask
(the poet references the title
of his majestic creation)
hey it's a musical term that makes
you think I'm edjikated
and trying to pull
images from various encyclopedias
of human experience
when all I am
is another corporation
to be sure a poor one
trying to game you
into a purchase
at a price that will make you
believe you have something
of value
Thank you
dear reader
because my share
of your unconscious mind
is now assured

Copyright (c) 2012 by Barry G. Wick

Monday, July 23, 2012

Rules to Guarantee a Short Life

((Author's Note:  This poem/rant has been written in response to many Christian conservatives claiming being gay is a culture that worships death....despite the fact that Christianity is a middle eastern death cult in itself promising life after biological death.  This poem/rant contains unsettling images and is recommended for mature audiences.  The author hopes to live a long, full life to old age in good health and suggestions contained here-in are not  what he really believes.))
This poem read aloud by the author

Please remember
you are likely to wind up
in a toilet before you
are big enough to be born
If this is your goal
you will have succeeded
in not having a life at all

Acquire and wear make-up
prior to birth to look
like a different race
from your mother's husband
so that when you are born
you are guaranteed to be hated
by at least one person
Put cellophane tape on your eyelids
to look Chinese
unless you're Chinese of course

Stay in your mother's womb
eventually someone will force you out
kicking and screaming
often with sharp instruments
Try running into one

Start smoking just after birth
and request daily contact
with drugs and hazardous chemicals
though some call it eating
Since you are likely to be human at birth
these substances may have already
given you flippers
which means
you'll be given sympathy
making it difficult to find
an early exit from life

About circumcision for boys
try jumping just as it's happening
assuring you of ambiguous genitalia
everybody out here hates
people who don't know their sex
You will be hated for this immediately

Speaking of food
don't eat much
food has become poisoned
with all sorts of bad stuff
if you insist
eat nothing but butter
and raw pork sausage or better
eat nothing but uncooked hot dogs

Don't drink the water
or the milk
instead concentrate
on convincing your mother
to give you martinis when you cry

Immunization can be a good
or bad thing
Ignorant parents will
eschew shots for you
Be sure to give them
intelligence tests
before you are born
Better still
be born in a Taliban family

Never go to school
instead read books
without pictures
or learning
any alphabet first
Education often guarantees survival
which means Sesame Street
is a big no-no

Stay naked
The older you get the more
fun you will have walking
into religious meetings
where you will discover a power
greater than yourself

Draw and post
pictures of a middle-eastern
prophet who shall remain
playing American football
and eating bacon
A significant number
of people will be unhappy
with you for even thinking
about it

Collect pets like
funnel web spiders
grizzly bears
and powered tree chippers

Fall in love
with cliffs and tall buildings
eventually you may find
one that will reject
your romantic advances

Remember that
green means go in China
and stop in the US

Have gay sex in broad daylight
on any corner
in St. Petersburg, Russia
or at Robert Mugabe's birthday party
though if you've followed the
rules to this point
you're not likely to have
achieved sexual maturity

If you live in a democracy
don't vote
if you live in a dictatorship
run for the highest office
if you live where
there is no government
suggest forming one
this will guarantee
some kind of hatred
that might provide an early exit
from life

if somehow
you've grown up
to be a productive
member of society
you have failed
Ropes guns pills and skydiving
were invented
for your particular problem
even then these things
can fail

Lastly, if everything has failed
to this point
to provide you an exit from life
and you are now
late middle-aged
living at home
and paying child-support
try caring for an elderly parent
This will likely kill you
before the parent dies

Failing even that
refuse Social Security
buy a tent and live
in or very near a forest
or a tall mountain
Pray for a dry year
and lightning

If you've completely failed
to heed the intent
of all these suggestions
you're wondering if there is a gODD

The answer is no
These rules have always been here
They've always been written for you
citizen of the universe
are a complete fuck-up

Copyright (c) 2012 by Barry G. Wick

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Crib

Awake in the dark hours
staring at a bright screen
when I
refuse to go back to sleep

this is my inner child
as defiant as ever
even now to me
as an adult

younger I would have
been spanked once
and dragged off to my crib
by one arm
and the lid tied shut
in more than a dozen knots
by mother who knows
how many to tie
to keep me busy
until she's ready to get
me up

and now I have
untied all the knots
to care for her
nearly 94
tied in her own knots
not sure where she is
in a desparate effort
to get out of the crib
she fell into
the crib she made
all by herself

the older I get
the more I understand
the concept of karma
and wonder what awaits me
for all the trouble
I caused my children
It is a knot in my brain now
that keeps me awake
and even lucid as I am
can't untie the last one
wet with my tears
held fast
by my fingers that fumble
in the early morning
before the bright screen
this child cannot leave
these fears of the dark
future of my childhood
as I wait for anyone
to untie me from my prison
that I made for myself

Copyright (c) 2012 by Barry G. Wick
Follow this link to hear the poet read this poem.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Composer, the Critic and a Saint

Johannes Brahms in his mind
at two pianos
playing variations
on a theme by Joseph Haydn
on a path in the forest
with Saint Anthony sneaking
about someplace.

Saint Anthony whispers to Brahms:
Being a composer is not as complicated
as being
who makes a tree and
then says, “i'LL have another,
only different,”
in a variation that only hE understands.
gODD hopes the second tree
will swing along with the original,
so, hE knows the trees
have to practice daily
in order to know
how their branches
will sway in the breezes together
to end on the same note;
the same beat.

Imagine the entire forest
as each tree grows and sways,
as each tree pulls water from the soil
to push out leaves:
an orchestra of trees
under one cOMPOSER
who also conducts
this green orchestra.

And then fire:
the critic in the first row,
wiping all the notes from the page:
dissing the cOMPOSER.
“yOU had a chance to make it rain.”
says the critic.

which is why gODD
refuses to read reviews
about the trees hE makes

“Stupid critic,”
grumbles gODD.
“I was in a mood to try
some dry humor
and you could not feel
mY creation:
absurd and funny.”

so the critic walks from the theater
with ashes on his coat
and fire for his words
printed in the daily
to admonish gODD
for destruction of a forest

with just two pianos
balanced between his ears
fully understood
the relationships
between fire and forest,
between critic and creator,
between ashes and empathy,
as he walked through the trees
hands clasped
behind his back
listening to the Saint
rustle the leaves
ever so gently.

Copyright 2012 by Barry G. Wick All rights reserved
Follow this link to the audio version of this poem read by the author.


Friday, July 13, 2012

The Boiling Mind

Too much sour stimulation
images, text, video
and I physically start to heat
then looking out the window
toward the secrets
of the back yard
I see the moving water
of the creek that roils
by our house
every minute of every day
ten thousand mirrors
in seconds to calm
and I know that I was
never meant to let
my brain boil away
on the stove of my computer
so I turn it off
with just one glance
that removes the pot
to make a cup of tea
soon, it's cool enough
to sip my own
lightly-sweetened thoughts

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Man Alone

"A man alone is obviously crazy."--Paul Goodman

here at night
I look at the dark
and edit the instrumental
parts of a song
not unlike
snipping pieces of my memory
and pasting them
forwards and backwards
in my mind
as I try to come up
with something that means
anything to me

the visions of the past
youth and growth to manhood
the sparks of a past life
create lightning in my closed eyes
and all the while this music
echos through the house
trying to find its way
back to where it came from

these notes are lost
to the new generation
who have their own revolution
to pretend they can win
and no matter what I do
I want to race into the street
and scream for the world to change
for wars to dump their arms at sea
for hatred to change into hugs
for hunger to slink away starving
as the gaunt turn into the chubby-cheeked

All this time alone has turned to years
and I can't decide
if what I feel
are the sharp edges of sanity
instead of the smooth curves
of a happy day
filled with what I once wanted
flowers, peace and love
flowers, peace and love

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Darwinians Eat Steak and Salad

                                     for Mike and Jacqueline

As the engine of life
ripples across its stones
friends share a meal
and conversation

a blue jay flies by
and disrupts my thoughts
about last night's dinner

This is typical.

I try to honor something
so simple as an evening
meal with friends
from Colorado
and a colorful bird
takes me through time
to now

and what I wanted this morning
was to write a special honor
for a visit
only to be interrupted
by the spreading blue and white
wings of a dinosaur

yes, we believe in evolution here
we believed in evolution last night

damn us liberals anyway

Copyright 2012 by Barry G. Wick

Friday, June 8, 2012

Quintet for the Confused Mind

I am flying through
Antonin's mind
perhaps some European scene
or Iowa
when nearly 94 my mother
says this isn't very good then

your trees are blowing outside aren't they

they aren't my trees
you own them
they belong to you

those trees?


they don't look like anything I ever had

Perhaps Dvorak owned them
as his piano glided
like Dakota air
through the branches
of these spruce
and the Box Elder
beside the creek

Copyright (c) 2012 by Barry G. Wick

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Green Nurse

The light is limited
by clouds and rain
bright green spring
stands between the hill
and me
across the creek

only last week
clouds of pollen
obscured the view
from where I sit
most every day

I've been in pain
for several days
from a back
the twists me
like a private earthquake
so I seek comfort
in this view today
from this damp nurse
of leaves that fills
the emptiness
I saw all winter

He doesn't take my temperature
or cuff my arm
nor feel my head
and change the sheets
instead his comfort
leaps into my eyes
to fill me with desire
to take the first steps
to wish myself better

The colors of this season
sit near me
in green attire
to pull me through
another day
to hold my hand
and say
“There, there. It'll be alright.”

Copyright (c) 2012 by Barry G. Wick