Sunday, February 27, 2011

Space Bar

I sidled up to the space bar
and asked for a cold one.
Something fresh,

and letters slid down,
full of froth,
flipped and painted
my nails.

Good company.
We spoke of
Robert Burns
as if he sat here
with us after a long
day of white space.

Why is it we are
compelled to push
down so hard.
So far a distance
for fingertips to ride
our ABC's.

I remember the night
we laughed at a
fingertip push up
We were young
and strong and pushed
the keys effortlessly
like machine gun fire.

And what was with
the pencil in the mouth
like we were dogs
slobbering on bones?

We were so hard on
the return handle
like a cold slap
on our royal face.

Those were the days
when it was so physical
and our metacarpals
flexed their mini
biceps, and 40 wpms
would impress the

Now we raise our mouses
and click them like
wine glasses and
our fingertips are
as soft as a baby's

We rarely crumple
paper anymore.
We delete with
a stern pointed finger.

How 'bout one more
cold one fellas, eh?

One Stop Poetry invites you to stir the tanks with a picture prompt over at One Shoot Sunday...give it a go...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I didn’t mean to leave you
in my dreams.
Yet is was dream on dream
on dream and then…

I woke up in the arms
of Jesus.

His hands touched my
cheeks like you did.

His eyes twinkled brown
into mine like you did
every morning.

He sang lullabies
that both of us know.

We went for walks
and talked about
how much we love you.

I told Him how I missed
you and yet the ache
wasn’t there like
when it was nap time.

He said, “Claire-bear, here
time is set aside, like when
you would play and play
and your imagination
was free and full.
Your Mommy will be
here before you can
flash a dimple.  It
will be as if she
came along too.

Then the three of us
will rock in the chair
in the lazy afternoon
hours of the day
and dreams will come
absolutely true.”

 Written for Hollie
for Claire’s 2nd Birthday
By Gerald Barrett


He logically talked me
into a corner.
Then he staples me
with truth bound logic.
One would think a
word on charity
would be gentle
and freeing.
Simply set your self
aside and charity
will transform
any need-love.
He would lieu us
by grace in the
quatrain of loves.
But first we must
think it through
with a great Noch
of our heads.

I had forgotten how challenging his writing is at times.  I read some of The Four Loves this morning.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Grace in the Fireplace

out of power
out of type
so many blogs
so much hype

the fire in its place
lays words of grace

no hum
no ho
take in
the glow

the fire in its place
lays words of grace

thoughts like smoke
up they flue
nothing else
to do

warm fire in its place
such grace

Sunday, February 20, 2011

High Coup Bow

                                       no retirement
                               traded in the light saber 
                                  the force suspended

Submitted for One Shoot Sunday.  Photo by JackAZ photography.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


This is Kinda long but I needed to store it in my files.  So here’s an early one for my wife that hangs in our bedroom.  I was getting to know her more and more and often I would assume and/or misunderstand her and she often was misunderstood.  Being from a different culture often put a disconnect between her and her north american friends.   I tried to write about the pain I felt and saw in her at times. 

I saw you in the trees today
The weeping winds held your arms at bay
Your limbs which once reached out in love
Were cuffed by rejection’s subtle shove

The same trees cuddled the fields of green
Clothed in blossoms and buds of spring
Lovely pink pastels and fuchsia born
Tender memories of pure love untorn

The heat and dust with summer’s scene
Befall the flowers of love serene
Seasons of warmth both nurture and test
The depths and strength of roots once blest

Colorful leaves you stretched to show
To grasp the needy winds that blow
And how they blew… your leaves did strew
Like teardrops in the gusts they flew

So now you stand with barren bark
Your frame kept still from chilling dark
The frayed twigs have curled in to ask
“Have I summoned my own love to task?”

Has the corridor of sharp wind and rain
Been the source of all your grief and pain
Your tree-top shakes an affirmed negation
From the depths of your trunk rises self-condemnation

Evening gathered a blinding black
While trees began to turn their back
Pinpricks of stars freckled the sky
The little lights welcomed your why

One final stretch of hope
Your lowest limbs attempt to cope
Weary twigs  to the heavens reach
Longing to graft the ambivalent breach

Then leaning on the eastern hills 
Stares a star whose brightness fills
The forest floor  cool with frost
Winter’s edge was all but lost

The rays of hope sent life to your limbs
Its heat and light your sorrow trims
The shadow cast merely reminds
Shades of grace you’re able to find

My branches and leaves have shared the same sun
In your shadows I dance and run
In your leaves wild spectrum I rejoice
Our limbs forever tangled in true love’s voice. 

Written for my wife on our 11th anniversary
February 16th 1997

Submitted for One Stop Poetry.  A Saturday celebration: Your Past.

Friday, February 18, 2011

It Just Is

the words never written are
perhaps the purist

the pictures never taken are
perhaps the most perfect

the music never played is
perhaps the most transcendent

the freedom comes when
you don’t have to
                                                                                                                                     and love is never a
                                                                 it just is
                                                                 it just is

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Shell Game


which cloud bears underneath
the golden super ball
I crick my neck
and prick my consciousness
burning eyelids descend

this long down filled covered sky
it would be a good day for the
gods to get in a pillow fight
flinging wisps of fog to earth
so they evaporate leaving only
a golden super ball

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

You and Me

Over time we have formed a
more perfect union.
Our names at the
bottom of a license
a quarter of years

Under time I have walked to
gather your shadow,
white as the snow,
the passion trailing, and
grace on grace.

And time after time I saw
us meet again fresh,
honest, standing
bare, with each other.
It’s you and me

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mortar and Mortals

What were we thinking
when we gathered the stones
from our freshly plowed hearts?

Our high ideals fooled us
into manipulating mortar.
Fluid emotions filled in
to block and brace the
hard places of our past.

Oh, what a wall we built.
We filled in each other
with tears and laughter
and significant pauses.

We were lovers in a
dangerous time, as Coburn said.
We built
as a protection from without.

The winds deflected.
The rains diverted
from the watershed above.

Our pale shadows etched
in the dust dirt floor
and we sWept and sWept.

Only in the evening
when light broke over
the window sill did our
charcoal selves sway
on the walls of our extensions.

What were we thinking when
the place we built would
protect us from without?
It only walled us in.

Our only saving grace
were the seeds we
let fall as we stirred them
with straw brooms of angst.

Now look how much brighter.
Our freedom now let in the light,
and look how far it came.

The stones stacked like
broken Berlin,
just high enough
to appreciate where
we have been.

Graffiti of my Heart

I have to put down my pen
and pick up my heart
and etch your name
like graffiti.
 I’ll get the paint and shake it
and mark the symbols
of our gang on it
like family.

You are my turf and rumbles
are things I would show up for.
I would Defend you.

Our hood is understood
your heart is my treasure and I
will fight all the harder for it.
I know you have fought for mine.

You know tough turf love

bus graffiti city alley picture and wallpaper

You know the power of paint.
You show our colors and
walk the alleys unafraid.

But when we take to the streets
I will go beside you,
look ahead of you,
listen behind you.
My weapons are my history
with you.

Barcelona, Barri Gotic - graffiti photo

Holsters, armed with red spray cans
and baseball bats.
Red love, red passion, and I
would swing away…for you.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

And Oil Keeps Floating By.

Let the chains lay heavy
on shoulders of bronze
as the oil floats by.

Keep an eye on a key
and it’s hole of freedom light.
See the sphinx winking on
and prowling in the night?

And oil keeps floating by.

A pharaoh is turning in
his tomb trying to get
comfortable again.

And oil keeps floating by.

The streets fill, erupt
like a plague of frogs
while armies break it up.
They jump and croak.

And oil keeps floating by.

Will the pyramids be
overturned and spin
like tops
on the sphinx’s
litter box?

And oil keeps floating by.

Thirty years minus three
Thirty years plus three.
A simplified answer.
What is that to thee?

And oil keeps floating by.

A religious antidote
slips like a camel
through a needles eye.
That eye of freedom
a squint with a sty.

And oil keeps floating by.

Not rest for middle earth
that land that has been
shuffled from birth.
Middle East so far from mid west.

And oil keeps floating by.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Limping Eagle

It was either custodial
or cathedral.
I entered in with my
spirit bound.
It was freedom that echoed
off the clapboard.
It was splinters that entered
my meniscus.
I cried as exit wounds
revealed an inner light.
For moments I laid there
in the neutral zone.
The Great Spirit came
and I wrestled with the
infused refracted light.
I knew I couldn’t win.
I really didn’t want to.
From some skin deep,
soul deep place I wrested.
It was not the Spirit.
It was myself that I overtook.
It was my stubborn
reflexive pronoun.
I rose in sweat to see
the night swirling,
splashed with colors
replenished by God.
I limped to the window
to look on the glow
of freedom and
thanked God I wasn’t alone.

Just a note:  Sean McCormick, the photoghapher took this shot in Alberta, Canada, in an area called the Nuetrals.  It's a prairie between two ranges where, centuries ago, different tribes hunted and weren't allow to go to war.  This photo is copied with permission for One Shoot Sunday.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Have Fun

Don't eat the yellow snow.
Old Yeller's gotta go.

Don't lick the flag ple.
What a double dog dare role.

Skate away from thin ice.
The pond is not so nice.

Please don't sauser down the hill.
That grove of trees will be no thrill.

Now go outside and play.
"Have fun" I always say.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Springing From a White Out Dream

White out has covered
the sleds left out,
the junk pile behind the fence,
the fire pit,
the holes dug by the dog,
the I.E.D.’s (insensitive excrement drops) by said dog.
the trampoline,

the picnic table,

the dormant garden.

Does this mean I can declare a do-over?
When it melts will
clandestine errors be erased?
When comes the spring will
a rolling hill support Julie Andrews
and her guitar?
When the shaving cream is scraped will
Arnold Palmer claim our
greens as his own?
When spring flowers rise
will Martha Stewart
pull out of K-mart?
When the snow angels
fly back to their perches
will I look upon an English
garden which will inspire
poetic trances?
When a foot of snow
shrinks down to a bootie
and beyond will
I sway in hammock


nodding off slightly
above pristine nuances
of botanical gardens?
The white blanket lays
like a dream
a dream that
I have of my back yard.