Showing posts from 2014


questions of potential haunt the mourners of this boy Snowflake Bentley's namesake could he have produced paintings that might hang in the museum of art or design an airport internationale a peaceful bridge too far a launch pad to the milky way who knows, could he have hit 800 home runs after all, he was so much younger than Shelley when the water pulled him under
what about such prolific possibility Shakespeare Lennon and McCartney Solzhenitsyn Marco Polo or Stephen Hawking why question genius while we hold the proof in our hands maybe, to let us off the hook so we could say no one could have done all that
what could my father have done had life been different had his desire raged at another god had his muse spoken with more promise but he did not waste his life being who he was he did what he could no manuscripts, no tome to show his wisdom no invention to ease our burden no compound to ease our pain no perfect poem
 (just three good sons)
here we are this soup of genetics different hopes, fears and dreams
he lef…

not at the table, please

eyes anchored on empty beer bottles amber sentinels separating thoughts into fighting words across a battlefield strewn  with cheese curls, potato chips cheddar and crackers feeling too thick to swallow warm chardonnay souring on the tongue a brother-in-law volleys  “if Mo’ne Davis was white…” leaving the rest unsaid though apologies would come the damage was done one voice lost to the complicit silence of others
many more opportunities to sit at some holiday table together measuring appropriate topics weighing platitudes against risk a generational gerrymandering of conversations clipped and careful to avoid popes and presidents wars and whistle blowers
and now, even Little League
what does that leave us but to agree on the weather, I guess
though not on the science of its cause…
Barry DeCarli On Hammond Pond, Goshen, MA November 30, 2014 ©2014 Barry DeCarli


must there be a gaping wound with flowing blood? must our cheeks be streaked with tears? must  we stagger and fall? then must we crawl before someone reaches out a helping hand?
how obvious must the truth be? how blatant the wrong? when what is apparent is lost in the lie we all become victims of the desperation we seek to ignore.
for in making beggars of the desperate, we become the ones truly in need.
Barry DeCarli January 23, 1980 Charleston, SC
©2014 Barry DeCarli

similar wars

another war ending more guilty feelings for not being able to pick up a gun grenade or flamethrower or salvaging, saving 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 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 your courage my inability to know what I might die for can 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 another name on a stone or steel memorial who can say thank you, now and have it mean anything to your family, to anyone
conscripted or enlisted or not does it matter whether this war was any more necessary than that war will it matter
if your death or my life was in vain
Barry DeCar…

moisture molecules

are any of them signs we see or imagine we see some color or reflection some shadow
are any of them signs we look for, hope for think are real in the atmosphere of our dreams
or are they just ordinary shadows things mirrored in sunlight or moonlight on a watery surface on some concrete wall
most likely  a cloud formation is just that moisture molecules on a blue background and not some semiotic dervish
not some sign that no one else can see
Barry DeCarli November 8, 2014
©2014 Barry DeCarli

fall time change

so much beauty so little choice in autumn caring enough to die leaving the scenery in melancholy shades of awe
when going always seems to be the call when staying leaves you open to the utter boredom you know you’re sure to find
ragged branches already disavowing the lost warmth
and now, so much earlier seeking refuge from the dark
Barry DeCarli November 2, 1976 ©1979 Barry DeCarli
From almost


trick or treating just here in my mind hoping for more than toilet paper streamers in the trees outside my window or soaped and waxed window panes like in the day when things were simple and safe no razor blades in apples or needles and pins when the worst I could get was a corn ball or some home-made cookies
and now, behind closed doors with all the lights off who will come stumbling down the stairs  to disturb me old, in my pajamas almost before dark for just some dark chocolate half gone on the kitchen counter
whose loss will it be to get nothing to give nothing to see no witches, zombies Princess Elsa
no lonely old man
at my darkened door
Barry DeCarli Goshen, MA October 31, 2014
© 2014 Barry DeCarli


unable to will himself young again yet he imagined his reflection in those laughing eyes as her contemporary
language was no impediment to this conversation with eyes telling where words were too timid to go as heartbeats, palpitations of emotion, of discovery crossed continents like crossing a street
but once he saw his own warped reflection in the curve of a wineglass like a laughable distortion in a carnival mirror
the razor-sharp teeth of reality stripped this dream to the bone
Barry DeCarli October 4, 2014 On Swiss Air Flight #052 Zurich to Boston
©2014 Barry DeCarli

in passing

waiting at a crosswalk just near the morning-rushed Minzoni chaos Bus #1 pushes by the faint aroma of exhaust mixes with the sight of tempting dolci beyond the shop’s plate glass
a face in the bus window turning to view a waiting pedestrian both delving for just a second the eyes of youth and age meeting one past, now growing with the promise of tomorrow one future, receding as possibility fades a universe of space between them across the changing autumn air
the reflection on the heart’s fragile prism yesterday in the mirror of today a glimpse of everything momentary glitter and darkness
the beginning and the end
Barry DeCarli September 27 + October 1, 2014 Florence, Italy (at Casa Iris)
©2014 Barry DeCarli

the meaning

keep a pen and notebook next to the nightstand of your life be ready to record the scent of emotion a fleeting  idea the tears of trees an inkling of a dream the whisper of leaves
scribble down some crazy thought the wakening of a sunrise the song of the sky the promise of dawn the grey light of evening
milk the darkness squeeze the diary of your mind for just a bit of sense to find some sequence of wonder and worry laughter and love truth and tale
observe something or anything below the surface you’ve only been scraping so you can write down the  part you remember
some vestige of hope that glimmer of meaning so someone else might see
Barry DeCarli Goshen, MA September 11, 2014
©2014 Barry DeCarli

warning signs

warning signs for Stephen Huneck 
Dog Mountain gave up her saint, her soul today
the headline read Artist Huneck takes own life
oh, no I cried to no one in the kitchen as the paper unfolded feeling pain again from the deaths of each dog I ever loved knowing some instant sorrow sensing some loss that would not be explained
had some warning gone out a signal too weak to reach us where we all live here on earth no tower no satellite no transmission of urgency
emergency warnings don’t always assault us like a 4 X 8 fluorescent danger sign screaming
bridge out, take another route
some warnings are like a turning away
a silent, secretive tear maybe sent out as a prayer a dim beacon for rescue we don’t all build a 32 square foot notice of our pain sometimes, we only look away at some view we really don’t see sometimes there is no reading of this language few can hear or even imagine yet who has not headed into a time and space appearing from a distance in control but instead careening toward some lonely hell
but please don’t blame y…



prima che sia troppo tardi
listen to the whispers before the shouts come hear the silence before the noise
hear your heartbeat the song of your soul before you forget to hear before the shouts leave you deaf
listen ecoutez ascoltate
udari entendez hear
the whispers may say something you need to take in this sound of secrets for everyone, to everyone pour tout le monde, al mondo listen to the whispers ├ęcoutez les chuchotements ascoltate i sussurri
before it is too late
Barry DeCarli March 12, 2014 Goshen, MA
©2014 Barry DeCarli

ordering biscuits

meeting however superficially
then parting
feeling a loss suggested
understanding vaguely the value of day-to-day relationships
an inkling that ordering biscuits and coffee each morning was more than that
an intuitive dream a transcending reflection that we may know
far more than we understand
Barry DeCarli
©2014 Barry DeCarli

willow blaze

winter waits to steal this flame home fires will soon be burning
we will have to trade this illusion barter memory to recall such beauty
no weeping willow this year
but a blaze of punctuation ending this bland sentence of late fall
fiery yellow exclamations holding on easing us toward winter
no weeping willow
the life of the party the      last            one  to         leave
celebrating in color
bright torches mocking the brown, drab loss of green laughing, shouting
here I am, here I am
lighting the way home…

Barry DeCarli
Copyright 2010 Barry DeCarli
a bridge
there are things to reconcile to redeem to reclaim and to lose…
the past is racing to overcome its own memory surging recollection daring today
reach back, reach back
but there are things to risk and reasons not to to stay here today
is the bridge to burn or to cross
the life we spend is on the span
are we crossing
or going back
Barry DeCarli
Copyright 2010 Barry DeCarli
just two men talking
the bottom of his hood came with a trapdoor view
nah, laminate, smooth finish cleans up nice but plywood might have sufficed
9 square feet steel hinges 6 feet 5 inches to meet his fate doesn’t seem like a long drop too long for Eva Dugan in 1928 but mostly humane
thank god for that those short drops were torture
just ¾ of a second a short hurtle towards earth to snap vertebrae without that last torturous dance the classic hangman’s fracture
ever dream you’re falling?
Oh, yeah, I hate that. Don’t you?
hemp coiled seven times, American style waxed, soaped and greased knot positioned near the left ear a black cotton or denim hood kindly placed to shield witnesses from emotional pain physical distortion Saddam Hussein refused the hood to further scar his detractors
the Honorable Isaac Parker sent over 100 men to end of their rope
can you believe it I did read about him at least I know the end is here
yeah, there’s that
when one door closes, another door opens 
the heat …
Tapestry for Finley and Evan
there can be no greater sorrow than this with its cruel edge tearing the threads of a tapestry just begun, but our tears will weave new threads to those cut short to hold Finley’s place in our hearts as we remember the brightness of her smile, the symphony of her laughter, the clarity of her eyes.
her beauty and brilliance will not pale under today’s shadow. Finley’s memory will be shared as part of our own stories, with her dazzling colors running through, shining light back into our lives. the threads of Finley’s life will be woven into the tapestry of our lives. there, her blaze of purple and pink will shuttle through the fabric of our souls, lighting our way through this sorrow
brightening moments of the long days ahead
Barry DeCarli January 6-8, 2014 ©2014 Barry DeCarli

Barry DeCarli: golden

Barry DeCarli: golden: mostly we bury the body, the bones hair and sinew whether we believe or not, but wanting to that the soul has gone on is not there in ...