Friday, December 19, 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
Lennon and McCartney
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 left behind

lives lived with his imprint on our souls

that is no small thing

Barry DeCarli
March 05, 2010
Revised June 17, 2011 & March 7, 2013, August 1, 2014
Copyright 2010 Barry DeCarli

Sunday, November 30, 2014

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

Friday, November 21, 2014


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

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

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 DeCarli
Ferrisburgh, VT
December, 16-18, 2011
November 11, 2014
Copyright 2014 Barry DeCarli 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

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

Thursday, November 6, 2014

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

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

Friday, October 10, 2014


to will himself young
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

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

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

Friday, September 12, 2014

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

Friday, August 29, 2014

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

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

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

don’t blame
for missing the signs

as we try to make our own way
other concerns won’t allow for


and sometimes
one voice seems
too small to matter

when the same mind’s made up
who could have heard the whisper
the shout
or the even scream
so long past warning

but like a light that travels across the universe
or an impulse across a synapse
his warning
still may come in time
to save someone else

Barry DeCarli
January 15-17, 2010
Ferrisburgh, VT

Copyright 2010 Barry DeCarli

Friday, August 15, 2014



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



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

Friday, August 8, 2014

ordering biscuits

however superficially

then parting

feeling a loss

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

Friday, July 25, 2014

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

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

Thursday, June 26, 2014

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

Thursday, June 5, 2014

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 of her touch
her breath salted
papaya and mango
just as her nose and lips
near his left ear
a sensuous gentleness
then the sudden lightness

a dream of flying

Barry DeCarli
March 01, 2010
©2010 Barry DeCarli

Sunday, January 12, 2014

 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.
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


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

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Available Now! Camouflage of Noise and Silence, My New Collection of Poetry

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