what of the dream  dispersed just as you wake
sensed for seconds
then almost impossible
to recall is there cryptic meaning
pressed through the cheesecloth
of dawn
so diffused
that no more than a trace
remains like worry
the struggle to recall
with the desire to
fall back to sleep collide the dream slides
like a childhood memory
into a moment of surrender evanesces
then is forfeited to the provocation of waking Barry DeCarli
February 15, 2019
On South Street
©Barry DeCarli My photo.

human history

what of all the missing and missed moments the magnitude the magnificence even the mediocrity of all the memories lost to time

who would feel compelled to catalog them all who would be willing to try to  remember to recount every thought that each human being had considered in each lifetime

would it even be possible

is there enough random access memory for billions of sighs and whispers dreams and schemes secrets, songs and sonnets so much lost to the silent history that death and indifference leave the ramblings and ravings longing and yearning

what of the millions who waited for an invitation a subpoena that did not came nev

similar wars

another war ending
some uneasy feelings for
for having not been able to pick up a gun
grenade or flamethrower
or to be there
to salvage, to save
a photograph, a last letter home

some part of speech was lost
in this war
less protest than that one
where we may have put a daisy
in a gun barrel
and said “ make love, not war”
or as easily, cursed the soldier

surely some feelings are different now

my reluctance hardly balanced
your willingness
my comfort weighed lightly
on your sacrifice
my desire for self-preservation
was  too thin a veil to obscure your courage
my inability to know what I might die for
did not  diminish your steadfast belief
that you were doing the right thing

yet, at the end, I am here alive
while you are a number
on another list of those lost to war
one more name on a stone or steel memorial
who can say thank you, today
and have it mean anything
to your family, to anyone

conscripted,  enlisted or not
does it matter whether this war
was any more necessary than that war


have you ever been able to taste a sound sizzling
reverberating across your lips
felt the momentary sensation
of knowing something
no one else
can know

can you name the flavor
of steel wheels screaming
or groaning down the tracks
of your dream oil and vinegar
unseasoned tofu

sound crazy

can you still taste them
straight-jacketed in a nightmare
where noise
and sound torture
your taste buds

where days of the week
each have a coinciding color
where you begin
to feel hunger that is louder than the blaring red of Friday

Barry DeCarli
November 9, 2018
On South Street
©Barry DeCarli
My photo 2014 photo of rose petals on the Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy


which part of a person stays unchanged much from decade to decade even as we all play roles pirate or princess poet or pretender priest or player what fragment remains how can that sameness survive so much movement the constant flux and upheaval sporadic boredom imagine being a new person with each breath you take can you feel the loss the growth or the withdrawal of some part of you do we allow others to transform us into someone no one ever knew would we resist the change to hang on to every vestige of who we think we are does a part stay behind the mask we wear can we eventually unravel the impostor’s guise to untangle someone real is there a junction where we see another path where we toss away disguises that protect us in obscurity to reveal a part at least to ourselves that is still the same

Barry DeCarli
June 1, 2018 On South Street ©Barry DeCarli

the rose and the raspberry

we grow thorns
like the rose
and the raspberry
to keep us from slipping
to protect us
from our enemies
how similar we are
to the barbed plants
we tend
the gardens we neglect

we irritate like nettles
we get under the skin
like poison oak or ivy
in the closed quarters of friendship
and family
we become indiscriminate even
to those we love

sometimes we are
passive partners
the stoic sentries
standing against a storm
a season
awaiting the dormant demands to come
our fear fertile
with exaggeration or excuse
prepared to break off
but not to bend

willing to squander
history and evolution
for our prickly pride
taking what we can
while leaving behind
the waste of


Barry DeCarli
March 30-31, 2017
South Street, Easthampton
©Barry DeCarli
Photo credit:

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