Friday, December 7, 2012

repair


 

we could balance
our mistakes
told and untold
her bad, my bad
 
without knowing each other’s
imperfection
hoping that weight would
not tip the scale
 
foundation cracks repointed
primed and repainted
a temporary fiction
hoping not to see
what we knew
would always be there 

Barry DeCarli
May 29 & December 7, 2012
©2012 Barry DeCarli

 


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Barry DeCarli: the masters

Barry DeCarli: the masters:  how they stumbled   upon their insight   conjured the words to  contrive a common language   what amazing things   they imagined, creat...

Friday, November 16, 2012

fragile



fragile seems
such a fragile word
like life
like earth
like love 

handle with care
be careful
don’t bend
or crush 

fragile seems
such a fragile word
like tears
like friend
like touch 

handle with care
don’t drop
don’t kick
use no hooks 

fragile seems
such a fragile word
too delicate
a warning
to matter too much 

Barry DeCarli
© 2012 Barry DeCarli


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

election 2012


 


across the chasm of belief
and disbelief
through that fabricated mist 

against the red face of anger
beneath the blue flame of hope
and the reluctant reach of change 

the soul of a nation has spoken 

Barry DeCarli
November 7, 2012
© 2012 Barry DeCarli


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

family


 

what of that uncle
he only thought about
visiting but never did
always remembering the smooth
rides in his Cadillac that
were so different than the bumping
jostling adventures
riding in his father’s Ford
and his uncle’s bellowing, baritone
provocations at Christmas
there was no arguing
only resignation in response
but he sure could fix TVs 

what can he fix with these
mismatched words
square pegs in round holes
no Phillips screwdriver to drive home
an apology, an explanation
no child’s toy, no Chocobaby here
to ignite laughter
to extinguish disappointment
on both sides 

he imagines his mother’s disappointment
a grandmother’s dismay
at this estrangement, this separation
but who can say
who can talk a way out of this
adult, or child grown into an adult 

who, if anyone
can be big enough to fashion
the escape from this trap of pride
this mess of misunderstanding
which generation will blink
ending this distant stand-off
who will flinch, hold hubris at bay
and reach out
or who will just walk away
never looking back
ignoring regret, love 

uncle or niece 

Barry DeCarli
February 10, 2012
Copyright 2012 Barry DeCarli

 


Thursday, October 25, 2012

funeral


first feeling the heat of emotion
tears flowing
being held back
a choked-up gratitude
a misplaced relief
that the dirge
the solemn music is not for you

shaking sweaty hands
kissing blurry-eyed faces
rouged cheeks grazing
stale perfume stealing breath

touching but distantly
waiting for the open air
the cumulus shadows
the shafts of god light
through the pines
a last prayer in the cemetery
then a chance to have a drink
loosen a tie, wipe off smeared make-up
proffer a smile

dare to laugh…

Barry DeCarli
August 13, 2010
Copyright 2010 Barry DeCarli


Sunday, July 1, 2012


right to farm 

the rooster crows unpredictably
morning and afternoon
sunrise to sunset
sometimes after 

farm equipment for planting
for harvesting forms two rust-pocked rows
of red, green and white
lettered Farmall, John Deere, Massey-Ferguson
even one grey Ford
faded, quiet and waiting 

the herd of Holsteins
loaded last week in rattling metal trailers
for a panicked ride to some industrial dairy
the driver unacquainted with the work
of Temple Grandin

there is no market for the rooster
or his incessant hollering
but still no time to sleep
for this 4th generation farmer
finally idle in the hours before dawn
turning over fields in his mind
imagining the end of
that  mocking wake-up call
as the ax slams down 

with the finality of the auctioneer’s gavel 

Barry DeCarli
September 4, 2010 & July 1, 2012
©2012 Barry DeCarli


Tuesday, June 12, 2012


listen 

a quiet one
remembers speaking
remembers not being heard
words dismissed
ignored by pre-emption
a louder voice
something more interesting
by plain rudeness
even the whisper was lost
in resistance to repeat
what was unheard 

now
when his voice dares
the scarcity of his words
attracts an audience 

the hushed silence
is theirs 

Barry DeCarli
June 12, 2012
©2012 Barry DeCarli


Thursday, May 31, 2012


memory



it might have been disappointment that
gave flight
to that lava hot burner
across that cold  kitchen 

or anger 

but it was my mother
who stood her ground
by the stove
handle in hand
as the nearly molten discus crash landed
short of its mark
at my father’s unsure feet 

its circle brand smoking itself
into worn linoleum
acrid uncertainty
hanging in the air 

a half century later
though the house may be cinders
caved into its foundation
the taste of burnt linseed oil
smoldering cork
and an uncertain future 

still remain 

Barry DeCarli
May 31, 2012
©2012 Barry DeCarli




Thursday, May 24, 2012

taps echoing

(for my uncles, Albert & George Atkins on Memorial Day
Veterans of WWII)

unceremoniously
your photos stand
against the debris of suburban life
garaged with tools
and transportation
wheels and windows
boxes and broken glass

stored here
your photos stand
for the memory of war
the honor of service
the love of country

accidentally remembered
an afterthought of lawn mowing
trimming and hedging
chain sawing
hammering, nailing
do-it-yourself mentality
for fixing up

but not for war

graphic images
of two uncles who went to war
then came home to live

the American Dream

now
both are gone with
no ceremony
no phone call
no visit
no possibility

this poem is hardly enough

Barry DeCarli
Ferrisburgh, VT
Copyright 2009 Barry DeCarli
Revised 05/29/11
Reposted 05/24/12



moving



and winter, on its cold way
doesn’t know things have changed
only people are rearranged
and quietly lost in the play 

blanketed with fallen snow
the landscape really doesn’t know
that its friends have packed and gone
the final caress, gentle footsteps at dawn 

and peeking through the frigid early sky
not the smallest inkling disturbs the sun
for it neither cares or wonders why
we throw it a tearful kiss and run
neither can we know what to perceive
as we sadden at the life we leave 

Barry DeCarli
From Of Sun and Rain
Copyright 1972 Barry DeCarli


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

cutting the cord




a film may show the cord
being cut
and some suggest the ineptness
of the doctor making an innie or an outie
as if at that point
the belly button matters

the violence of birth
might be
traumatic
preparation for

separation
approaching nearly two decades
in the future

leaving a first home
escaping the full protection of a thin layer of skin
the warmth, the liquid breath
the sanctuary

years later
a June ceremony

setting the stage
for a September departure
a bloodless umbilical severing

an unsure backward glance
a hastening step

away
 

Barry DeCarli
March 26, 2010
Copyright 2010 Barry DeCarli





Tuesday, May 1, 2012

a better truth

feelings
may speak when silence is
the better truth

but what sacrifice is too great
on the altar of tact
there is no apology for beauty

forgiveness may unburden
but the truth remains
unchanged
can a truth be reconciled by contrition
how long can whitewash cover a scar

apology
forgiveness
silence

which is the truer reckoning

Barry DeCarli
November 22, 2006
Copyright 2010 Barry DeCarli


Friday, April 13, 2012

the price of memories




what outside influence
intrudes upon us surreptitiously
stealthily
stealing our breath like carbon monoxide
letting us do something we don’t want to
explain 

as the soaring price of
precious metals seeps into our consciousness
heirlooms have found their way
reversing the gold rush
to pawn shops
coin dealers
hotel lobbies
instead of into jewelry boxes
dresser drawers of nieces
or nephews 

no dust or danger
no pack horse or partner
searching for Sutter’s Mill
just a paved strip mall parking lot
and a sandwich bag of rings, lockets, chains
the remains, the props of the past
the stuff of personal history 

more than gold traded but
the memories weigh easy
on the digital scale
the tipping point, the balance
some logic that someone else
would just stake their claim 

after we’re gone 

Barry DeCarli
April 12, 2012
Copyright 2012 Barry DeCarli




Monday, April 9, 2012

like father, like son


wanting to pour poetry
from a bottle
of Pinot Grigio
to uncork the perfect pairing
of words and emotion
in an untitled document
trying to escape the collision
of headache and hope with
the right metaphor
stoking my muse there in the wine
my poem scrapes against the easiness
of inkjet black on white

he stood unsteadily
the car was his vehicle
driven with a practiced recklessness
he sought to slake a more primal thirst
I never understood
as the bourbon burned his throat
then softly drenched
his drought of dreams
for a while he found forgiveness
fulfillment there in the bottle

his Oldsmobile keyed with barbed wire
while taking out the farmer’s fence

there was nothing easy about his poetry
of rubber and speed
steel and noise

Barry DeCarli
April 15, 2010 (6)
Copyright 2010 Barry DeCarli


Thursday, April 5, 2012

like a ghost

like an invisible cloud
I sneak across your life
like a ghost
with no place to haunt
I watch and remember
secret handshakes
and passwords
I gaze through your days
and nights
unseen
I linger just near enough
to dream again
then
like a whisper of wind
I say goodbye unheard
unseen
like a ghost
I'm gone

Barry DeCarli
From Of Sun And Rain
Copyright 1972 Barry DeCarli


Friday, March 30, 2012

close encounters







I saw no planes today
expecting Air Force One
such an empty blue sky welcome
to the Green Mountain state 

a good run again in winter gear
but I felt sure
I was missing something
maybe a chance
to glimpse history 

in November ’63 I escaped seeing  JFK
from the too crowded room in a New York hotel
as the elevator pinged “up”
I peered back one last time 

in ’81 as the Secret Service looked on
I shook George Herbert Walker’s hand
in the Holy City of Charleston
in ’95 I bypassed security unknowingly
walking through a Burlington bank lobby
was searched, questioned and
delayed just long enough to miss Clinton 

today the best I could have done
would have been  to stand on the curb
in proximity to history
waving at big black cars with flags on their fenders
hoping for a glimpse of Obama 

instead
I ran my regular four miles
on a brisk clear morning
ate a bowl of cereal
and typed these words
as history passed by without me 

Barry DeCarli
March 30, 2012
Copyright 1012 Barry DeCarli


Thursday, March 29, 2012

funeral



first feeling the heat of emotion
tears flowing
being held back
a choked-up gratitude
a misplaced relief
that the dirge
the solemn music is not for you

shaking sweaty hands
kissing blurry-eyed faces
rouged cheeks grazing
stale perfume stealing breath

touching but distantly
waiting for the open air
the cumulus shadows
the shafts of god light
through the pines
a last prayer in the cemetery
then a chance to have a drink
loosen a tie, wipe off smeared make-up
proffer a smile

dare to laugh…

Barry DeCarli
August 13, 2010
Copyright 2010 Barry DeCarli


untitled

her pillow

still warm
was so empty
I could trace her
footsteps
to
the
door
as she
tiptoed

goodbye

Barry DeCarli
From Of Sun And Rain
Copyright 1972 Barry DeCarli


Thursday, March 22, 2012

under tents




under tents, mud huts
beneath skyscrapers
in parks, in dreams
sometimes with just the wind to warn them
or a shadow against a wall
or a whisper
amidst the tumultuous thunder of war
those intent on peace 

will not hide forever

Barry DeCarli
March 21, 2012
Copyright 2012 Barry DeCarli


Friday, March 16, 2012

ending

tears
shattering a stone face
carving canyons of crying
to the sea
savage scars
streaking the reflections of night

suspended in the black

like silver gods casting curses
tears like screaming witches
slaying the stars

one
by
one

Barry DeCarli
From Almost
Copyright 1979 Barry DeCarli
(revised March 16, 2012)


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Barry DeCarli: the masters

Barry DeCarli: the masters:  how they stumbled   upon their insight   conjured the words to  contrive a common language   what amazing things   they imagined, creat...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

the masters




 how they stumbled
 upon their insight
 conjured the words to
 contrive a common language
 what amazing things
 they imagined, created
 invented as they
 paired the pigments
 mined the marble 
 how did they uncover
 the riches with so little
 to find, so little behind them
 the benefit of so few volumes
 no Internet
 to leave us with Dante's Inferno
 Michelangelo's Pieta, Von Gogh's Starry Night
 what idea compelled them to sacrifice
 their lives to create a masterpiece
 what desire pushed them forward
 in poverty, in desperation
 to leave us with the priceless treasure
 of their blood, their sweat
 the lasting vision of their dreams 

 with all our burgeoning access to information
 our gluttony for natural resources
 our unbridled enthusiasm for change
 for wealth, for comfort 

 what will we leave 

 Barry DeCarli
 February 5, 2012
 Copyright 2012 Barry DeCarli
 Draft #4




Friday, January 27, 2012

mourning




maybe when someone dies
a new black hole opens
somewhere
in the universe
a place where the soul
can find respite in its great journey forward
beyond our understanding
out of sight of our grief
leaving behind the sounds of our sorrow

but what of our private tears
the sorrow we do not share
at an evening vigil
or at a grave site
as we mourn strangers
as those we knew
what of the sobs no one hears
who can fathom their meaning

does a black hole open
to accept those too 

Barry DeCarli
January 27, 2012
Copyright 2012 Barry DeCarli