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.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019



The old embrace

Their place

Slumped in soft chair

Or on the edge of a bed

The only reminders

Of what was once

The wrapped arms

They held

Or held them

The starting furnace

Footsteps in a hallway

A flushing toilet

None are the air

Rushing through trees

Bounding in youth

With joyous screams

Through grass

All the minutes

Must be now alone

As an old head

Strains to blot the past


Like blue ink spilled

On a white plain

Changed forever

Where clouds and sky

Imagined for seconds

Bring joy and pain

In remembrance

Barry G. Wick

Sunday, December 1, 2019

To the Day

To the Day

Six years ago

began the last month

of my mother's life

I get up from bed

steaming with memory

of that time in our lives

My life begins now

as I go to the kitchen

thinking of pancakes

and coffee 

with cream and sugar

the way she liked it

Headed towards 68

I've become 5


into the livingroom

of the old house

with it's green wool

beneath my feet

Mother reads the paper

on a loveseat

by the floor to ceiling

bay window

her cup sitting 

on the round

mahogany table

I pick up her cup

she turns a page

I turn a page

to begin my life

with coffee

Barry G. Wick

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Monet's Dog

Monet's Dog

In rare film
now turned to video
Claude Monet paints
in his garden
at Giverny
When he leaves his canvas
we see a small dog
follow behind him
To that small dog
Monet was everything
Perhaps somewhere the name
of that little dog
is mentioned
though Monet's painting
of the little dog
is just called
"Head of the Dog"
It didn't matter
to the little dog
that Monet was Monet
It doesn't matter
to us the name
of the little dog
nor the name Monet
We just see what Monet saw
after his paintings
became more than his garden
became to him
The little dog just saw
the garden and Monet
who stood there doing something
while the little dog panted
in the heat of a summer day
Monet likely held that dog
on that quiet evening
comforted by the company
of a small dog
I want to be comforted
by a little dog
to have that little dog
be everything
that Monet's little dog
was to him
and his paintings and my poems
to mean more to my children
than they do now
to Monet
and to me

Barry G. Wick

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Checker Bored

Checker Bored

Invisible chains hold the woman
behind the register
She is not the daughter
of the original owner
who owns a multi-million dollar yacht
who plans to add another to her fleet
This woman has children
maybe a husband
for whom she scans and bags
until her mind is numb
on the little money
this corporation pays
Each little thing she does for me
I thank her
I'll compliment the “corn rows”
or the hijab she wears
I'll smile as much as I can
knowing well few will thank her
for her aching feet
the simple paper cuts
the rough skin of her fingers
If she puts the bags I provide
full of the food and products
I will use every day
into the basket on the electric cart
I will thank her as many times
as I am able
smiling whether she see it
or not
If she lives with her family
are they also burdened
with people who care so little
with long hours of repetition
unfamiliar operations she learns
as she grows into this job
she might leave in days from now
because the boss is strange
because a customer complains
because someone showed no respect
because a man was condescending
because someone told her
to go back to the country
from where she came
escaping the guns bombs and murders
escaping the poverty of the neighborhood
in the state next door
A thousand reasons will cross her mind
until I don't see her again
until she finds a place in this world
where the owner
will take less and give a living
to her and those with whom she works
Thank you for your help today
Thank you for smiling just a little
Thank you for saying hello
to an old man
who will only talk to you today
returning alone to his quiet house

Barry G. Wick

Sunday, September 8, 2019



A Sunday at the typer

In a quick store

Watching shoppers come in

And go out

Thinking of where

I should go next

In a dream or with the wheels

This isn't the norm for me

Idle in public or indecisive

Even at home I'm active

Doing nothing

There is wind today

A chance of rain

I'll let the moving air

Direct me to a baptism

Sure of no belief at all

Aimless as this galaxy

Pointless as this universe

Controlled by god

With his explosive finger

Please don't pull it

It smells bad enough

As it is

Barry G. Wick

Friday, August 23, 2019


Cephissus and Liriope
Were really hot for each other
Liriope had a thing for river gods
Cephissus had a thing for nymphs
They did it on the shore
Of still waters

Liriope was knocked up
And had a kid they named

His parents thought he looked
Too hot for his clothes

So he took them off
To go sit by the still waters
Looking at his reflection
Until a fish splashed his face
He got bored with that

Asking his parents for an iPhone
Nope no way
We don't have Zeus pockets kid

Narcissus went out and found
A sugar daddy who fondled him
Bought him an iPhone
Whereupon he's been standing
In front of a mirror applying make-up
For 3,984
Of the last 4,000 years
Looking at himself
Posting selfies
Covered in layers of Max Factor
He applies with a trowel

Hey kid, you look mah-vel-ous
You really do
(I don't have the heart to point out
His wrinkles)

Barry G. Wick

Poem of summer 2019

Poem of Summer 2019

Argue these auspiciously
Regulate suspiciously
This pot is stirred
My life is blurred
Nothing's meant maliciously

Barry G. Wick

Friday, August 16, 2019

(Haiku Stream)

(Haiku stream)

Fingering my way
Through a keyboard alphabet
Phone words save big trees

Somewhere squirrels play
Unaware we have saved trees
To save life for all

Heating our planet
At a frightening death rate
Cars boil oil

Only we can know
What we daily do to earth
Destruction's our way

At work or at play
We file our plastic waste
The water trash bin

Belching smoke still reigns
Despite an earth awareness
We know smoking kills

Barry G. Wick

Wednesday, August 14, 2019


Flying on a dream

Falling in love

With an arm around someone

Who pushes me away

To later see them talking

To someone else

Even in my dreams

I am rejected

My question becomes

Wondering if this is karma

Or me rejecting myself

Waking to sadness

The dream holds me

When no one will

Barry G. Wick

Wednesday, August 7, 2019


A small light creates shadows
In the dark of my night
Awake as an old man
Traffic is heard 
as it bumps over bridges
Tires sing their Doppler song
I touch my leg
In a wish for your hand
And soft voice that asks
if I'm alright as I return to bed
You're not there
You have never touched me
You are a dream for me
That speeds through the night
To take your love
Far away from a small light
Which dims in my heart
Never to have met you

Barry G. Wick

Tuesday, August 6, 2019



        Drops of last night's rain

           Remain upon the window

     Their tiny magnifications

        Slowly drying

     The eyes of the dead

        Upon cement

        Their last vision

             Revealed by hate

          Barry G. Wick

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The Bore-a poem

The Bore-a poem

The bore had one or both parents
and relatives
who could talk on for hours
about the most meaningless things
forcing those around the bore
to either fall mentally asleep
or wishing they could leave
since the bore knows how to capture
the audience in a corner
or behind a desk

The bore never knows when to

Barry G. Wick

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Spinning Blades

Cutting the air above 
The spinning blades of a fan
Air stirred causes the hair
On wrinkled arms 
To slightly move
Small trees in a storm
That will not flag
Like the ponderosas
I saw on the hill
Above my childhood home
And yet
My branches move away
From the direction of all winds
Which tells me
The long quiet is coming
My bark shall fall from branches
Split by gales that have me
At their mercy
To where it will nourish the sod
All these reminders
From a cooling breeze
Inside on a hot day

Barry G. Wick

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Split Thought

Split Thought

A fingernail is rough
To my right a large pill bottle
now filled with what
is useful and useless
small scissors
letter opener
small bandages
pink and green paper clips
an old key
several metal fingernail files
All inherited from my mother
I retrieve a file
thinking about her
sitting on a flowered loveseat
using this
beside the bay window
looking up the hill at The Rock

I wonder how far
through the family
these items will travel
All this just rattles in my head
as bits of my nail
fall to the carpet
becoming the dust of the world
along with the lives
that fully explain
memory of yesterday
Imaginations of tomorrow
And the mystery of today

Barry G. Wick

Monday, June 3, 2019

Tech Collapse

Tech Collapse

A hard drive, a circuit, something
is dying in my computer
I'm beginning to weep
though it's more about
what phone-fix hell
I'm gonna go through
rather than
an actual fixer
who would show up at my door
taking the system in hand
smashing all conventions
actually fixing something
rather than taking my time
to talk with Malaysia
or the Philippines
nice people
but not an American fixer
with tools
and replacement parts
a box full of replacement parts
like the old guys who
put tubes in black and white
televisions in the 50s
their box of mysteries
at the ready
priests of the tube
as we knelt in awe
waiting for the next opportunity
to let our eyes get too close
to the glow our parents
didn't want us near
fearful of blindness
or too much communist control
kneeling with open mouths
waiting for the electric wafer
to confess our sins
to Captain Kangaroo
Say five Kukla, Fran, and Ollies
wait for “What Time is IT!”
and scream at the screen
knowing Howdy Doody
will personally hear the prayer
as we guzzle sweetened corn flakes
with milk and spoonfuls of sugar
each spoonful roaring like Tony

Barry G. Wick

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
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

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 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?
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
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