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.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Seven Rules from Thick Air

If you have to protect yourself
then you have created the enemy

If you have to love yourself
then you turned away all who could love you

If you have to feed yourself
then you have taken food from others

If you have to go somewhere
then you have never invited enough people to visit you

If you feel surrounded by uneducated people
then you have never told them what you know

If you have no one to touch
it is because you have refused to be touched

If you cry when you are lonely
it is because you never dried the tears of lonely others

Copyright © 2013 by Barry G. Wick all rights reserved

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Communal Campfire

The night surrounds us
and we are not alone
A mother feeds a child
A father worries over debt
Someone has pain
in their back
in their legs
in the emptiness of their soul
The enemy is just over the rise
Workers fulfill their duties
or ignore them
This darkness
might as well be a cave
water drips
bats fly
insects crawl through slime
The fire just started my refrigerator
burns inside four bulbs
and sends me across the worlds
to where you are
I wish you'd finish
decorating my loincloth
I'm feeling a bit chilly
sitting on this folding rock
listening to Vivaldi
Copyright © 2013 by Barry G. Wick All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Windows

I'm likely to move
and don't care at this point
what the world shows
on these two
dirty cave wall transparencies
Here the branches
of the crabapple
and the spruce
to the south of the house
with the sun behind them
an octagonal squirrel
cast shadows
through which
I can see better
to the outside.
Yes, the shadows
help me see
though a window
mottled by grime
What will layers of shadow
do for you
my love
help me see inside of you
Does your soul wave
it's language at me
the leaves the branches the sun
Paste me up outside
and look at my darkness
I rain
even on sunny days

Copyright © 2013 by Barry G. Wick

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Legend of Sallie Brown and Ben

Sallie rode the Crouch line from Rapid to Dark Canyon.
The seats were hard, the engine chugged,
Ben made a strange companion.
He was her dog and by her side
he stayed throughout the trip,
but when she died, he'd ride each day
and n'er let out a yip.

Now Sallie was a real bright gal, she worked for Lawyer Mizer

a listening each day to client problems Sallie grew the wiser

She learned about the crimes and such, mistakes that people made

so she lived what seemed a nun's life and never really strayed.

Her garden bloomed next to the creek, the water pure and clear

her wee small house with surrounding deck and garden ever dear.

Sallie rode the Crouch line from Rapid to Dark Canyon.
The seats were hard, the engine chugged,
Ben made a strange companion.
He was her dog and by her side
he stayed throughout the trip,
but when she died, he'd ride each day
and n'er let out a yip.

Each day at noon just down the block in the old Black Hills Cafe

Sittin' alone at a corner table, Sallie lunched this way

a piece of bread, a bowl of soup and tea to wash it down

then back to work above the bank, this was Sallie Brown.

Not a minute too late and always prompt Sallie at the typer,

Puttin' lawyer's words in rows so neat upon the cotton paper.

Sallie rode the Crouch line from Rapid to Dark Canyon.
The seats were hard, the engine chugged,
Ben made a strange companion.
He was her dog and by her side
he stayed throughout the trip,
but when she died, he'd ride each day
and n'er let out a yip.

The years went by, each day seemed long but Sallie n'er complained

and one day after work, her foot stepped wrong, her ankle badly sprained

upon the curb at 7th and main she sat there cryin' lightly

when all at once a milk white pup to her side plopped down quite spritely.

So she waited a while and no one came a lookin' for the pup

he looked so cute, big paws and such, Sallie just picked him up.

Sallie rode the Crouch line from Rapid to Dark Canyon.
The seats were hard, the engine chugged,
Ben made a strange companion.
He was her dog and by her side
he stayed throughout the trip,
but when she died, he'd ride each day
and n'er let out a yip.

Over to the station where the Crouch line came, Sallie with her pup in tow.

They waited and waited for the engine to come while her heart began to glow.

“This little dog,” she thought, “has found me just in time,”

“I was lonely and lost, my days were the same, and me just in my prime.

“So, little pup, it's just you and me, I think I'll call you Ben.”

And up to the canyon the little train chugged where home was up till then.

Sallie rode the Crouch line from Rapid to Dark Canyon.
The seats were hard, the engine chugged,
Ben made a strange companion.
He was her dog and by her side
he stayed throughout the trip,
but when she died, he'd ride each day
and n'er let out a yip.

Raising rabbits, chickens, ducks and such, Ben and Sallie ate like kings,

She worked all day with him beside to supplement life with other things.

The lawyer paid a little more than most in that Black Hills day

his clients were the cream of this distant town and all would fully pay.

One day, a sculptor came to visit about a mountain large

Sallie 'ud chat with the wife 'bout dogs drinkin' tea from cups so large.

Sallie rode the Crouch line from Rapid to Dark Canyon.
The seats were hard, the engine chugged,
Ben made a strange companion.
He was her dog and by her side
he stayed throughout the trip,
but when she died, he'd ride each day
and n'er let out a yip.
For 50 years her fingers flew across the typewriter keys

the sadness came when her beloved dogs would pass next to her knees.

All tolled there were 8 white dogs each with the name of Ben

out there in the garden with rows so straight seven buried now and then

Then one day some years beyond a neighbor called to check

upon old Sallie age 92 her body dead a-layin' upon the deck.

Sallie rode the Crouch line from Rapid to Dark Canyon.
The seats were hard, the engine chugged,
Ben made a strange companion.
He was her dog and by her side
he stayed throughout the trip,
but when she died, he'd ride each day
and n'er let out a yip.

Copyright © 2013 by Barry G. Wick

Know a musician looking for words?  This is an odd poem for me to write...but it might fit some musician's tune.


Monday, November 4, 2013

We Go

(for Erin Wagman and all who knew and loved her)

When there is no more room
in our mother's womb
we go to meet our fathers
because it makes no sense
to stay in comfort
when we feel adventure
pull us forward

When we feel the pull of the world
it is often at the hand
that helps us cross the street
for the first time
It may be only a finger we hold
and when we reach the other side
we let go for a second
until the familiar voice
says to come
take my hand
come with me

The older we get
the less the hand is there for us
we've learned to walk to school
to see our friends
the other adventurers
with whom we grow
and get to know
their smiles
their happy voices
their worlds beyond
the houses where
comfort kept us safe

Soon adventures become challenges
some we conquer
and some we cannot
some have no end
These put clouds in our minds
the fogs at the edge of thought
at the edge of reason
across the street
wider than any street
we dodge monsters in traffic
where we never seem
to find the next curb up
or any hand to hold

This is where some of us
find ourselves
reach for broken hands
only to let go of all of them
We reach for anything
that will give us support
or reach for something
that often might be
cunning, baffling, and powerful
that won't let go
when we want to go

we just go
we just go
where we have not been before
to seek a respite
from the journey
to no side of the street
when we no longer want
our feet on the ground
any hands that help
and an end to the darkness

we go
where we cannot
feel the tears on our face
where we no longer
want to voice our pain
where we imagine
a comfort that surpasses
we cannot understand

We go
even when we know
that all we leave behind
is the empty space
where others loved us

here and now...
into each others'
empty spaces
where you left us
with tears and doubt
where we try to fill each other
with a higher power
we cannot understand
and hope you've found

on the corner
across the street
is the playground
filled with stars
from where you once
came to us
and now return

Copyright © 2013 by Barry G. Wick
ownership and publication rights
granted to the Wagman and Vickers families
in perpetuity.

Not a Prayer as Such

Do you see me in the sky
I am on the ground
trying to catch your eye
I'll wave my arms
and scream a lot
but I wonder if your angels
are against my plot
to just talk to you
to get your advice
on what to do next
and pay the price
for all my foolish ways
and goofy days
when I was human
and quite perplexed
I can't call you god
or some other name
because from those
you've taken blame
for all the bad things
on this earth
and while I nod
and poke the air
in hopes that you are there
I've grown to believe
you might not care
even just a little
or a jot and a tittle
So it goes
my invisible friend
I've run out of ways
to get you to attend
to the chores
you once were famous for
creation and all it's glory
I'm fairly certain my simple problems
can't be cured
if you just hear my story
Back to your room
as magnificent it might be
but I suspect
you are as gloomy as I
with all your creation here
that's never correct
and from what this stems
we suffer we cry we cannot act
so where you live
is as dark and dreary
as what I'm assured surrounds me
So there I said what I've felt
blurred and bleary-eyed
dry of all the tears
I once shed
and if you heard this soul
turned toward me or not
I got it off my chest
the rest is just the same old thread
you hear most every day
from folks like me
the lesser of the tribes
you put to wander here

Copyright © 2013 by Barry G. Wick

Saturday, November 2, 2013

As Close as I am to You

Here is a sofa to my right
I sit in a soft chair
to his left
Am I drinking
for those were the days
when I thought all one had to do
to be a poet was drink
smoke some weed
and splatter any ol' words on paper
No question about it
I was a fake then
and not entirely certain
that I am not a fake now
The color of the sofa
is light brown or dirty yellow
in my memory
but I am there
not aware of what the future
will bring for me
or the man who sits to my right
being ever so gentle
with a younger man in the prime
of growth
Today I only wish
some of his teacher
had rubbed-off on me
as if Theodore Roethke
was pollen floating around the room
falling on little poets who will
flower in many hues

I am asleep sitting there
in that time of the past
not even waking slowly
or in any state of a being dance
though I try
sitting next to Richard Hugo
who teaches me more now
whose teacher makes my head
butter it's brain across the language

These warriors accost me
to go back into that past
to remember what it was
that made me grow into now

Richard I am 62
when you died at 59
with a small shelf of books
for me to recreate on my own

And there you are
living in my memory
surrounded by others
who have similar dreams
to take them into the pain
of Life magazine pictures
where you looked so hurt
The smear of ink on paper
from your arteries
the ball turret gunner
on the runway
of poetry

So I can only dream
in the shade recalled
of your girth
and smile
me now
not having any books
to prove
the youth of my years
me older now than you
beyond the moment
when all you left us
were the recordings
I made in a workshop
given now away
to where you taught
so many sculptures
in a language
which one day
in ten thousand years
will not mean as much
as they do to me today

and your ridiculous assignment
to live longer than you
to weep for both of us

Copyright © 2013 by Barry G. Wick

The Click of a Lock


The spots on my skin
begin to form
as feet ache
and grow numb
My joints aren't in their twenties
will there be anymore
as my father used to say
old age is not for sissies
but I am a sissy
at least to that generation
and perhaps
a few here and now

My eyes must have
their reading lenses installed
pulled from their black case
whenever I can't see
the wrinkles on my hands
to remind me once again
that anymore
is this day
with it's sun
as it creates trapezoids
on the green carpet

While winter approaches
I listen to music
only I hear
as it passes through my heart
my empty heart
that ages with each
empty day
as I wait
for the only moment
that will complete it
the sudden note
of the lock on the door
through which I can't return

Copyright © 2013 by Barry G. Wick

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

On the Beach

Her glazed eyes
to the gray sky
stared at clouds
as if they
were pinned
to the horizons
The Spanish Olive face
with pimentos in her nose
there on the sand
days later
dead as the minute
she died
beneath the wheels
of a truck
by a teen boy
out for joy
her chest turned to yuck

Copyright © 2013 by Barry G. Wick

(note: I seriously don't know why I wrote this...but it just came to me in a Hill City restaurant...not based upon any true story or picture I've seen. Perhaps I received a thought, an image or something from someone somewhere.)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Two Hunters

On this moonless night
after wind and snow
a hunter steps
over the mountain top
His sword and kilts
hide all worlds behind him

He pauses

His distant lanterns
help me gather wood
to raise the fire
His slow pace shows me
his hunter's patience
I learn what it means
to see the moment

As the fire grows
jagged-toothed predators
turn away

On the shadow of my breath
The huntsman smiles
We have seen each other
always from far away
both of us lonely
for homes
full of memories
of arms and comfort

Though his heart is empty
he continues to trudge
over endless trails

Tonight's gameless hunt
in his eyes
Orion is visible now
to one vagabond
who wants to share his fire

Copyright © 2013 by Barry G. Wick

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wide Eyes

The door opens
then a short step through
the clap of thunder closes it
In front the multi-tides
wash away the shore
beneath invisible feet
Floating becomes drowning
drowning becomes dying
Dying is a vision of the surface
in final eyes
a glassy stare of amazement
perhaps shock
this always:

the small surprise
at the end of this box
of Crackerjacks

Copyright © 2013 by Barry G. Wick

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Nuisances of A Day

Within the last hour
pollen from the spruce trees
flew in clouds
above the back lawn
It coats any surface
brazen enough
to face the sky

Summer heat returned today
for the first time it seems
since this year began
Mother's range of comfort
must be maintained
so we pay for electricity
to warm her too much
in the winter
and cool her down in summer
I could live in both
goosebumps or sweat
my choices are simple

Laundry lays in baskets
to demand organization
What I do
can't be called folding
Woman folds
and man organizes
Yes, this thought seems sexist
but since I play the role
of both man and woman
in the house as I care for Mother
I decide the words I live by

Dust accumulates
always dust
somewhere here are bits of China
that find its way across the world
There must be words for dust
in Mandarin or Cantonese
either way it speaks to me
with unknown vowels
the remnants of dried-out bowels

The kitchen floor
speaks to me in bits of this and that
that fall as I cook
or move the groceries to their
appointed nests
Onions are the worst
always flaking from their nets
to what I think is a clean surface
They shame me as I make breakfast
Stay away from my raisin bran flakes
I scold
my tastes are much too simple

Now a dozen projects stare at me
as they demand some mental attention
this and that
here and there
I shake my head
to wonder what I can do today
beyond my comfortable place
next to Mother
where I protect her
from herself
I tell her what to eat
She forgets she has a left hand
Her right hand holds the tea
I know I shall have to tell her
to take a bite
Of what she'll ask
the banana in your left hand I'll say
It's been there for 20 minutes
while she sorts through
her breakfast items
A lonely banana cries
in her wilderness
with hope to be eaten

Copyright © 2013 by Barry G. Wick All rights reserved.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Upset about links

I'm very upset that some of my poems now have links on certain words.  I didn't put them there.  And I didn't approve of them.  They were there on 5/26/13...and are gone today in my poem "I Dreamed of Carl."  I agreed to have ads on my page because I know these blogs are free.  But I didn't agree to have links in my posts.

The Day of the Leaves

It's been an unusual spring
colder than some
heavy snow
long days of rain
and here today
I look out the window
as if I've never seen this before

in every view
from where I'm
locked with mother all day

she still in bed
and yet I sit here
in my own time now
before I must attend her
the bloom of the crabapple
every bush and tree
as they seem to have pushed
leaves into my face today

the warmth of this spring day
an eraser of everything before
of everything that troubles me
of fears and worries for tomorrow

certainly an oxymoron
but here goes


It's plural I know
but there are so many
I cannot see them all
and some hide behind others
from me
as if embarrassed
they were late to my party

Copyright © 2013 by Barry G. Wick

Saturday, April 27, 2013


It is said that
we are all the characters
in our shimmering dreams
I've often wondered
if there are connections
with other sleepers
long threads of gold
spun between those
in beds on couches on buses
worlds apart
because I can't explain
why I always awake
in humanity
not getting the job
or the break I've always wanted
so I could feel successful
not dissatisfied with results
after walking
through an unfriendly city
where pigeons eat a drunk's vomit
on a gray sidewalk

Copyright © 2013 by Barry G. Wick All rights reserved.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The New Spring

“I have never considered a difference of opinion in

politics, in religion, in philosophy, as a cause for

withdrawing from a friendship.”  ---Thomas Jefferson

My old friend is no longer my friend.
It was going to happen.
It's happened before with others.
I have been in winter with my country
and the people around me
since I was frozen just out of the womb.

You cannot support the north winds of hate,
those who freeze me
from my human rights
and expect to get my warmth,
my inner sun.
I've read enough about
my homosexuality
to know others haven't.
They prefer to maintain
their ignorance of my reality,
my being,
while they hold on to a few lines
from a two thousand year old tome
that has wrapped the tombs
of millions who were denied and died.

The new books know something new.
The Sunlight of the Universe
has made revelations
to us, to me:
that I am what I am.

To keep me from my flowers,
from the budding of my branches,
is to follow an evil season
to maintain an ignorance
that light, the Power's Light,
has difficulty penetrating.

I shall be the last generation
to hold the hatred inside of me.
It breaks up even now
like old ice melts in the spring
in shaded areas
when after days of warmth
a few sheltered shapes
end their cold, impenetrable dominance.

My friendship is not for sale
with a smile or a memory
of what we were as children.
This is now.   This is me.
I am forever changed.

What I have wanted and needed
was denied to me even when
I thought I had found it.

I gave my love
and found the cold,
this world built around those I loved
and around me.

The walls melt.
The dams of ice now belong to the few
who remain stuck in their frozen beliefs.
I am thawed in a new spring,
the kind that never ends.

Copyright (c) 2013 by Barry G. Wick  All rights reserved

Saturday, March 23, 2013

In Your Own Skin

((This poem spoken by the author))

Whose skin were you going to wear?
The prophet is no longer available.
There have been plenty of them
and most have grown much bigger
than the flesh they wore in life.

Poet has been over done
since so many made the ultimate
statement by jumping ship
or outliving their youth
when they were passionate.

Parent was given up some time back
when the word queer attached itself
to a torn psyche full of guilt
now past history of torn rainbows
but still it's what was learned.

Protestant seems to fit
without all the religious baggage
carried on a long train
full of previous nailers who now yell
something disrespectful in a crowded tomb.

So, now to run out of “P” words
means a start where the alphabet
separates itself from grunts
and gestures with means unknown
though some were wrinkled when worn.

To look at these hands that pound
out a simple language
with gaps that search
a forgetful noggin for the “right” dictation,
the scars belong here to no other.

So what is found is owned:
a cloth of memory that surrounds
all that has pretended and accepted
this year of simple messages,
this skin that passes its owner's test.

Copyright © 2013 by Barry G. Wick All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Speed Of Life

[My great-grandmother, Gertrude Bertelsen Gunderson, wife of South Dakota Governor Carl Gunderson, was a well-known poet in South Dakota, founding the state's poetry journal “Pasque Petals”...still in existence. She wrote poetry for another time and every once in a while I feel her presence so much that words come to me like prairie lightning in an older style. This poem is an example of that.]

The Speed Of Life

I moved so fast I could not see
the best the world had offered me.
Now, windows give me outside views
Not one thing seen will come in twos.
Each part of what I see unique.
My gaze, my interest at its peak.
You think pine needles just the same,
But each is different I can claim.
When I can leave I hear all sounded;
The creek across the rocks all rounded.
And sometimes smells to me exclaim:
I am alive, I have a name.
So turn your car to greener land,
Remove the key, on grass now stand.
Take all inside, leave nothing out,
You'll find yourself, what you're about.

Copyright © 2013 by Barry G. Wick All rights reserved.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Voice

Somewhere between
the unheard beep
of a bat
and the low rumble
of the elephant's roll call
the human voice
plays through the silence
of dictionaries
or sitting at desks
in the habitats
of darkness
dreams tossing words
through oblivion

Across the sea by cable
or the alleys of the old
the voices betray
everything we are
though strange
to the rest of our companions
we walk with
yet the dog may know
the meaning through repetition
the chimp by sign and ear

But what does the crow
across the creek
think of this yell
to leave my sleep undisturbed
by the racket so many create

Whatever they say to each other
I'm damn mad
and by their continued bird rants
I'm diminished
to the level of stupid humanity
who can't even fly
without some idiot's contraption
strapped to my back
as it sputters and spews
a smell the ass of a crow
could never fart

So off they fly
in a laugh
at me who thinks
all the world is mine
as I stand on a balcony
to squeak at crows
as the resplendent unseen letters
of this unknown language
explode from my mouth
upon their bothered conversation

Copyright © 2013 by Barry G. Wick All rights reserved.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Another Storm Brings Dorothy

On this day
with its yellow brick sun
as it hides between
the puffy munchkin clouds
and behind the dark emerald hills

the white fliers
crystalline witches
on holly broom sticks
in a swarm that clothes the air
in this chill accompanied
by swirls and sudden shifts
of these lifeless crones
as they attack the old
on sidewalks and doorsteps
Upset trees wave their arms
in warning

Evil billions pile their magic
on the edges of sinless water
afraid of its goodness
though many are doused
as if melted by a pail
of trout-tossed water

The stored spring melt
flows in toto
passed the stones that scream
in this monkey-tail canyon
through torches of light
between winter and spring

This house falls
on its faceless occupants
who wear home bound slippers
their feet curling back
under striped blankets
with courage to keep
hearts warm
and brains from boredom

a snowy day
in the Black Hills

Copyright © 2013 by Barry G. Wick All rights reserved.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Dawn Over Rapid Creek

The sun not yet into this canyon
somewhere towards the east
that circles about Big Bend
behind the run-up to Norris Peak

No sense the air moves
along the ice sheets
that cover the edges
Two days of melt
the large breaks sent
into the dark tumbles
of a creek still in dreams
where fish yearn
for the flies of spring

The ponderosa pines stretch to attention
as they salute a sky in its last yawn
They have been awake all night
fearful of the porcupine and pine beetle
day will let them sleep

The night lights popped on
for deer that pass this house
perhaps cats both large and small
some after mice
or ones that chase the deer

Floaters in these eyes
suggest the ghosts of this canyon
pass through this glass lined room
that head for shadows
as the day ahead
never needs their haunt
and their memory
of the Crouch Line that once
chugged along this watery lane
to Johnson Siding
for an engine's thirst
on to Pactola for Bernice Moosecamp's
scrambles bacon and corn fritters

Perhaps the sun will make its hike
through these deep canyons
to have breakfast at her hotel
now drown beneath deep water
five miles up behind the great dam wall
then later in the afternoon
to the old store in Silver City
for a Nehi Grape pulled
from the cold water of a deep cooler
This sun remembers
what was always
the best
a long memory this sun
to be followed day after day
as it breaks the ice
as it greets every resident
along the gentle curves
of an old friend's hand
a hand that shapes this canyon
this tireless sculpture

Copyright © 2013 by Barry G Wick

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Note to Someone Who Doesn't Feel Loved

This is a happy day
because of this discovery

Laugh into your hands
then write
love is missing
on your onion skin soul

Perhaps love plays a childhood game
of hide and seek

Was the count
to one hundred completed
as all the little lovers
escaped into their hidden selves

or was love disguised
to the point of invisibility
a camouflaged bug on the bark
of a tree
or it crawls beneath rocks
swims in dirty water
ready to attach itself
a leech

You face New York City
with hope to make
it's world see you
when it's blind
to pictures you take
to show you are
what it wants

You might be better going home
to the small town
from where you came
The nightlife will be horrible
The people more than real
each digging their cisterns
ready to catch
your love as it falls
from the cloud
you live on

these drops
will nourish new growth
in the soil of your dreams
something concrete and steel
never could
and who knows
I might just pop up
from this cracked mud
ready to kiss your feet
your sequined feet

Copyright © 2013 by Barry G. Wick

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Cocktail Party

The hour is late after mother
is put to bed
Windows reflect this room
where the conversation
turns into buzz and laughter
spent here away from the world

This imagined is a cocktail party
with others in conversation
about their stumble in love
success at work
the political topics of this cold day
how to make palatable chip dip

The other guests sip their daiquiris
the advertised beer their fingers
unconsciously harvested
from a liquor store cooler
Martinis olives pool at the end
of Soviet flagged toothpicks

Soft piano melodies rinse the room
of any darkness
Then a trumpet plays familiar notes
this handsome crowd notes
with a nodded head and gestures
of green blue and red stereo light

This imagination is still work for me
since my ear is cocked
towards the dark hallway
and her bedroom
These invisible guests surround
this silent observer who just listens

Individuals could be described
a blue turtleneck hopelessly
out of style
mustachioed black leather jacket
with worn elbows
a younger man receiving glances

But none of them are really here
despite my need to be with others
while mother slips
into darkened dreams
This is my party alone
in deep blue shallows

Copyright © 2013 by Barry G. Wick

Friday, January 18, 2013

To That Place Where Sleeping Dogs Lie

Most of the people
of the world
are where they are:
wanted, needed or not.

Some of the people
go where they want to,
wanted, needed or not.
Pushy, pushy, pushy.

The most difficult decisions
surround going where
we are both wanted and needed.
The two are not the same.
We can go where we are wanted
but not needed;
its an excess thing.

We can go where we are needed
but not wanted:
its a matter of they're pride
and butting-in
and we become imperialist dogs.

Poets are the least wanted,
the least needed,
except perhaps
by colleges and universities
who want to look posh.
“We have a poet.
He's even had his shots.
The department chair
grooms our poet once a week
and even picks up his poo.”

I serve no function
except to translate other poets,
teach word games to children,
play with my sand pile of words,
and try to make others think
about what I think about,
edit the little magazine
where I can chew up other poets
with my rejection canines.
Yes, I am a thought imperialist
doggedly barking up your brain stem,
scratching away the paint
on your outside doors.
I track in mud on your floors
you neatly maintain
to keep yourself from falling
into depths inside your hidden house.
I dig up your flowers
in those awful things
you call the poem you write.
I chew your invisible shoes
to bits
in the hopes your feet of clay
will be forced to walk
in more common soil.
I beg to be fed.
I want to be a fat, lazy poet.
I'll look at you with sad eyes
hoping you'll throw me a bone
I can gnaw on in the afternoon.
You can be common:
a human in your comfortable chair
reading a newspaper
or surfing the Internet,
me in my carpeted corner
chewing, grinding, gnawing.
I'll even try to sleep in your bed
to make you toss and turn,
my poem breathing heavily
through your sleepless mind.

In the morning I jump at the chance
to be taken for a walk.
If you're possessive about my words
you'll hold them tight to you
with a leash.
Careful, I can pull quite hard:
I'm a damn big poet
and I'm poorly trained...
perhaps, even impossible
to control.

If you repeat my words to others,
I'll run free in parks and fields
peeing on everything taller
than an adjective.

Throw the ball.
Let's play.
I'll woof a few times
to get your attention.

woof woof

Copyright © 2013 by Barry G. Wick All Rights Reserved