I Carved a Wish and Let it Rot


Photo by Tianshu Liu on Unsplash

I Carved a Wish and Let it Rot

I carved a wish and let it rot
Do not make us a trite cliché
We wandered lives we both forgot
In overripe, fragrant decay

Do not make us a trite cliché
Your focus shifts, discarding me
In overripe, fragrant decay
Your hold on me, an empty plea

Your focus shifts, discarding me
I know that look, lived in its gaze
Your hold on me, an empty plea
Our history, beautiful haze

I know that look, lived in its gaze
We wandered lives we both forgot
Our history, beautiful haze
I carved a wish and let it rot

We wandered lives we both forgot
You flirt with him, turning the page
I carved a wish and let it rot
A labored pace, our passing age

You flirt with him, turning the page
In your heart, I am long replaced
A labored pace, our passing age
A sketched-out dream blotted; erased

In your heart, I am long replaced
It seems your wish has withered too
A sketched-out dream blotted; erased
Yet I still smile at dreams of you

It seems your wish has withered too
I carved a wish and let it rot
Yet I still smile at dreams of you
We wandered lives we both forgot

I carved a wish and let it rot
As all things end in their own time
We wandered lives we both forgot
Melodic memory sublime

As all things end in their own time
I wish you love and a full plate
Melodic memory sublime
We conjugate, entwined by fate

I wish you love and a full plate
As we are not a trite cliché
We conjugate, entwined by fate
In overripe, fragrant decay

We wandered lives we both forgot
I carved a wish. And let it rot.

Written for dVerse Poetry Forms – The Pantoum, hosted by Gina. Other poets’ contributions to this prompt can be found here. I probably veered slightly from the authentic structure of a pantoum, but I knew from the moment I read about this form that I wanted to tinker with it.

My thoughts on the origin of this poem: Nothing major. Wifey and I were discussing how our previous marriages and romantic relationships ended and how we often have moments of clarity when a relationship has tragically run its course prior to either party officially announcing the ending.

This part of a relationship is rarely a positive experience, as rarely do both parties come to the same conclusion at the same time. Someone always wants to hang on a bit longer, and that makes things rather messy.

This poem is a fictional account of an idealized version of one of these endings where both parties maintain a semblance of dignity and equanimity at journey’s end. I like to think that the couple in the poem remained good friends even after their romantic journey ended.

Feel free to offer constructive feedback if you feel moved to do so. Or not. No pressure, either way.


Dead Roses (A Collaboration with Tre)


Photo by Hans Vivek on Unsplash

Greetings, all.

My good friend, long-time collaborator, and sometimes editor trE conspired with me on another gem. I’ll let her take it from here:

“Barry and I have been collaborating for about a decade. If I think it, he can bring it to life. If he starts something, I can usually finish it. We have meshed well for such a long time that I was beyond myself with glee to finally see him get active on Medium. Every time we work together, it is fun to see where we are in our work at that moment. He is a great Writer and a dope friend. Thank you for reading.”

The poem is called Dead Roses. I won’t host it here this time, as it is already available on Medium and trE’s WordPress site. Please drop by her place and check it out. I always enjoy creating with trE, and this was no exception!

Cicada Shell


Image by author

Cicada Shell

Age makes me forgetful
and fudge-brained, I dread to say
or perhaps, greater advancements
and enchantments are at play

it only just occurred to me
a week into February
that this month highlights my history

cultural, personal,
and other mysteries

and yet I haven’t needed relicts
of my own humanity
as touchstones for skin-tone

I know I’m alive when she arrives
and our tactile forcefields interact

mysteriously melting presently
into history like a scribe’s ink
sinking into paper, as we seep

boring deeply into each other’s
borders and core,
thus is our union recorded,
soaked, and sodden

heartened, I held her tight
with all my heart and might,
firm hand, and soft as cotton

our pleasure’s-way
made the pressure-play
of looming Valentine’s Day
all but forgotten

after that, our anniversary will come
and go with a similar lack of fanfare
casually cast aside like sloppy rhyme
in the middle of middling poetry

she will spend our grand day
in Boston seeing a child’s play
for a weekend excursion with friends

as I continue sketching meaning
within uncommon Seattle snow
as it trends towards commonality

there will be a continent between us
and I cannot recall us ever being closer
nor a moment I have felt apart from her

perhaps age makes me forgetful, or
maybe pre-fossiled brain is less fussy and
savvy enough to cast aside frivolities
as a cicada sheds its shell to prosper

I just know it is unnatural
to fret over what feels elemental

we breathe and laugh freely
like nature casually
coursing through us

Blueshifted Music

Blueshifted Music

Somewhere in-between
procrastination and care
lives a unique skill

I enjoy moving melody
a half measure sooner
than the vibration hits the ear

anticipating the motive
prior to its motivation
breaking it all down just
before the breakdown

I steep her tealeaves
several heartbeats before
her heart skips into
craving its honeyed warmth

I trace the groove
that draws her taught
and leaves her slack
before our moves

I’ve always been a
Thursday kind of guy
for in Thor’s mighty voice lies
the promise of weekend bliss

Friday’s a branded catfight
among the past goddesses

my goddess draws breath
as mine was easily lost

exhaling clairvoyant will
into her deepest wishes

I melt snow-sculptures
before they’ve fully amassed
in her driveway

I live in the tension
in a contorted face
before the cry

don’t mistime me as sadist
for hearing the cry is still both
jarring and frightful

but the building crescendo
is everything

living in this way,
using my singularly
blueshifted power

in half-measured strides
into our future

keeps me in pace
with our present

This poem was shared on Medium as Blueshifted Music.


for my dearest intrepid


Photo by Steve Shreve on Unsplash

for my dearest intrepid

you and I are more different than alike
born under the same sign in different
eras and regions, our intertwined fate
indifferent to lineage, chromosomes

we share no bloodline, only profound love
for your mother and sister, and yes, still
I instilled my values upon your heart
hoping you’d call upon them in moments

of your greatest need, of unseen hazards
dovetailing with the inexplicable
born from my inevitable absence
(we rarely have say in Final partings)

we have differences and share likenesses
both from broken and imperfectly-stitched
families, mended by golden-lacquered truths
my truth lied in helping you stand alone

but while I drew strength from isolation
you forged alliances with other hearts
each heart fortifying your own backbone
foreign course, yet I admired your route

your unique journey led you to a path
not so different from mine; I know it well
a quest to find answers from a father
leading to an absence of resonance

while I can’t truly know your emptiness;
for it is a similar, but different
flavored void than my own quest for my Truth
if you never knew it before, hear me

I will end this crime and tell you the Truth
it’s what he should’ve told you long ago
and what I should’ve known you long needed
for you (as you are right now) are enough

you are you; your differences are beacons
as lighthouses, cutting light from darkness,
rock from sea, known earth from cosmic secrets
I pray our similarities guide you

strengthening, enlightening your journeys
without fogging your way towards your own Truth
for, you see, my dearest, intrepid son
we are more alike than we are different

Liberating the Moment


World outside my kitchen window.

Liberating the Moment

She missed it earlier
but examining the November storm
from behind the sanctuary of
coffee-sweetened kitchen window,
before the late-fall deluge wiped evidence,
wispy-warm poems rose
from every chimney vent
clear to the far tree-line, each
an ascending esoteric-buttressed declaration
of internal warmth and acceptance.

She smiled,
squeezing me extra tight
as the rain shushed the trees,
shooed the expelled steam-dancers,
obscured the looking-glass,
embracing the roof overhead
with white noise.

We observed the rain in silence.

Seizing the moment
would’ve been ideal; instead,
we let it breathe,
the evergreens and barren trees,
the chimney vents and fogging panes,
she, embraced by me,
all exhaling in equanimous unity.

Another one for toads.

Quantum Entanglement (The Lovers)


Photo by Rhett Wesley on Unsplash

Quantum Entanglement (The Lovers)

In a blink
all he thought he knew

With a wink
all she thought she outgrew

On the brink
all their fates knocked askew

With a kink
all the cosmos curled a screw

by indifferent ether Déjà vu

Written for dVerse Quadrille #68: Winkle, Winkle, Little Poem, hosted by De Jackson (Whimsy Gizmo).

I wrote this before coming up with a title for it. I got my title from here.

Mid-Fall Brunch

Mid-Fall Brunch

October breeze brings arctic bite to air
Leaves leave their moorings upon knotted crust
Shadows stretch further north with greater depth

Autumn sound-tracks in jazz with folksy depth
I steep our tea; honey-kissed, clears the air
She preps the pastry; flaky, buttered crust

Her hand brushes mine, piercing well-worn crust
We speak-easily; a bottomless depth
She smiles, I forfeit breath, gulping our air

We fall for our mid-fall, air, crust, and depth.

Written for imaginary garden with real toads Fussy Little Forms: Tritina, Imagined By Marian. This is a tricky little form, but it was also fun. I may try a few more like this.

Each Day with Your Acquired Taste

Each Day with Your Acquired Taste

Expected you to execrate
and say “Yuck!”
repulsed by my
weak-willed brokenness.

Instead you dig in
for seconds and thirds,
gripping my hand,

may not always save the day,
but often they
inspire others
to save themselves.

Your grit compels
broader palettes.

Written for dVerse Quadrille #66 – Yuck it Up, hosted by De Jackson (Whimsy Gizmo). Others contributed to this prompt here.