Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Spring Publication
Camouflage of Noise and Silence
By Barry DeCarli


(cover mock-up)

Wednesday, February 20, 2019


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

like worry
the struggle to recall
to salvage
with the desire to fall
to sleep

the dream slides
like a childhood memory
into a moment of surrender

and then
is forfeited to the provocation of waking

Barry DeCarli
February 15, 2019
On South Street
©Barry DeCarli
My photo.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

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
never asked to bear witness
to their own lives
what they had seen
and said
what was important
what drew their tears
their laughter

will no one be able to tell their story
will nothing chronicle that they ever lived

would anyone know what lies beneath
the ragged wooden cross, the crumbling cairn of stones
how much could be chiseled
onto a headstone
words that so few would ever read
cemeteries holding so much cold hard truth

what of our failure to offer even a penny for their thoughts

Barry DeCarli
January 18, 2019
Revised on January 20, 2019
On South Street

©Barry DeCarli

Monday, December 17, 2018

similar wars

similar wars?

another war ending
more guilty feelings for not
being able to pick up a gun
or grenade
or hear a fellow soldier's dying wish
to carry a letter home

some part of speech lost
this war
had less protest than that one
where we would have put a daisy
in a gun barrel
and said “ make love, not war”
and surely the feelings are different now

my reluctance hardly balances
your willingness
my comfort weighs lightly
on your sacrifice
my desire for self-preservation
 is too thin a veil to obscure the generosity
of you overcoming your fear
my inability to know what I might die for 
can not diminish your steadfast belief
that you are doing the right thing
yet, at the end, I am here alive
and you, number 4,556 are
on the list of those lost to memory

who can say thank you, now
and have it mean anything
to your family, to anyone

conscripted, enlisted or dodged
or just the luck of a high lottery number
does it matter whether this war
was any more necessary than that war
can it matter now

if your death or my life was in vain

Barry DeCarli
Ferrisburgh, VT
December, 16, 2011
Revised in 2015 and 2019
©Barry DeCarli 

Reference to Vietnam and Iraq
Photo credits:
Vietnam  "flower power" war protest photo from Wikipedia
Iraqi Freedom photo from www.itv.com

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

Tuesday, July 3, 2018



which part of a person
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
My photo

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
Photo credit: www.needpix.com/photo/1442566/background-thorns-crownthorns-punishment-suffering-symbol-easter

Spring Publication Camouflage of Noise and Silence Poems By Barry DeCarli . (cover mock-up)