Friday, November 9, 2018


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

Tuesday, July 3, 2018


which part of a person stays unchanging 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

Saturday, April 14, 2018

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

Saturday, December 16, 2017

fast forward

looking toward the new year
approaching as yet
unadorned for the celebration
how will the days be filled
what will happen as nightfall
descends upon each day
what will we bring
to the weeks and months
as they open and close
some drawing near now
others distant
will laughter and tears be our gifts
lifting someone’s burden
can we vanquish the ghosts of the past
or will those images still intrude
as we close our eyes to sleep

for some
the old year heralded new beginnings
cast against dark days and
setbacks searing the view

for others
discovery of some holy grail
an epiphany of truth and joy

 for a few more
a slow race against time
to escape through that midnight opening
with still a bit of hope to spend

we’ll all face the same invisible wall
everyone who has traveled far
and  those who were unable
to take a single physical step

we’ll succeed
we’ll fail
while the  earth spins and orbits
sprinting through sunrises and sunsets
we’ll recognize the inevitability of a turbulent ride
as we try to grasp the reins
and hold on tight

Barry DeCarli
December 15, 2017
On South Street
©Barry DeCarli

Saturday, November 25, 2017


who gets to fill in
the colors
piece together
meld the parts
pick the words
the direction

the masterpiece
of each lifetime
an almost imperceptible
a time-lapse video
not of a flower opening
a bud bursting
a storm brewing

of a subtle yet surging manifestation
of the accumulation
of experience
friends and enemies
a quiet collection of circumstance
choices and reactions
a collage of matched
and mismatched mediocrity
and splendor
victories and losses

the addition and subtraction
of joy and pain
drenched and dry
love and hurt
staying and leaving
apology and forgiveness
of multiplication

and then division
the fraction of dreams
the common denominators
of distractions
the few defining moments

a life begins
as a clean slate
a blank canvas
an empty page
dark then light

a cry in a sterile room

Barry DeCarli
October 28, 2016
On Hammond Pond
©Barry DeCarli

My photo of the portico outside of Giancarlo Rocco's Palazzo Pannolini apartment we rented on Via Zamboni, Bologna. November 15, 2016

Friday, October 13, 2017

a candled soul

would you welcome
a microscopic look at your own essence
someone peering through a magnifying lens
to discover what’s there
and what isn’t

who would unwrap your secrets
where your words are only wishes
your thoughts hint deeply
or just skim the surface
as a glimmer in your eye

maybe someone who
who finds a way in
carrying scales and light
to weigh and to candle
even your embryonic dreams
your age-old regrets
is able to see through your tempered skin
past your veins, muscle and bone
to view just how you balance
what you don’t say with what you will

to glimpse your soul

what if that revelation is
not a violation of your private shell

but a release…

Barry DeCarli
August 17-18, 2017
On South Street
©Barry DeCarli

Friday, July 14, 2017


the prayers skipped out
no destination even imagined
a shot in the dark
with no target
person, paper or god

or they traveled
no matter their urgency
like the damp whisper of a snail
on a six inch journey across a stone
or at the speed of light
blazing unseen into some dark corner
of the universe

or maybe they just sat nearby
on the sill of a window
closed to time and space

yet the response
was quick and blunt
like a lightning bolt
to the deadened brain
giving no relief
only numbness

but even not feeling was a better answer
than no

Barry DeCarli
July 9-14, 2017
On South Street
©Barry DeCarli

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

going through the motions

some of us
coast through
our days
never facing 
a major hurdle
never learning that big lesson
maybe a small epiphany 
now and then but
but not a revelation 

some of us
are good with the path 
of least resistance 
the view from the bleachers 
where there are no defining
few, if any, victory laps

many of us
feel little desperation 
in our own
ordinary knowledge 
the bits of experience 
we've pieced together
the little lessons that
built us up
or knocked us down

some of us
have not discovered
our own voice
yet we find some solace
some peace
in what we have to say

it can take a while
to hear the drummer
to find the words
as we go along

all the while knowing
that lip-syncing 
someone else's song
should never be enough...

Barry DeCarli
May 19, 2017
On South Street, Easthamptom
 ©Barry DeCarli