Forsythia

Burn brightly in the rain,

send your rays across the field,

or sit silently, wait, and whisper

on the wandering breeze.

 

Set your golden lips,

the ones mimicking the sun,

and blow her yellow kisses,

lay them golden on her olive skin.

Prayer, Sunday Morning

Touch deep unto deep,

And scour my spirit

Of all derision.

 

Cleanse me of all

Circular thoughts

Of piercing despair.

 

Awaken my soul

To trust beyond reason.

To rest between the lines.

 

Settle me in the crux

Of Your mystery,

Grace and truth.

Stream of Consciousness

“It may be that when we no longer know what to do,

we have come to our real work

and when we no longer know which way to go,

we have begun our real journey.

 

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.

The impeded stream is the one that sings.”

― Wendell Berry

 

Stream of Consciousness

 

Maybe I’ve been sitting by the wrong stream.

Its quiet depth and broad shoulders

have me nodding off.

 

I sought peace away from the paradoxes,

away from the tinkering creek

of arias and punk rap rhythms

 

and water rolling over bands of rocks.

It’s time the sound of the shallows

penetrate the deep space of the soul.

 

I’m heading upstream, above the tributaries,

where water flows over pebbles,

and jigs off the impediments

 

like a singing tap dancer.

 

“To everything there is a season.” Ecclesiastes

Pondering Walden. For my son Nathan. A Poem

Happy Birthday Nathan. I am so thankful you exist.

Gerald the Writer

We live close to the 42nd parallel.
Hitch-hiking isn’t necessary.
My son and I could walk
to the answer of the universe.

This orb wrapped and warped
in time zones in which
we are set in the illusion
of stop motion frames.

Nothing ever stops.
The rain pelts and the planets
carousel the egotistical sun.
We are under it half as much.

Is Greenland’s melted ice
coming down and overflowing
our pond’s aperture?
Such a small lens it is.

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Monday Mourning, After the Sun Went Down.

It’s been three years and you are missed. Love you Mom.

Gerald the Writer

It is another Monday.

Most of the out-of-towners

have gone back to their life.

My son and I watched

a blood orange sun

disappear beyond the edge

of the earth.

Near the end

it appeared bigger

and sunk faster.

It was like the death

of my mother.

At the end we stared.

We counted her

freckles and wrinkles

and the rise and fall of her chest.

At the time it seemed like eternity,

but now the memory is a short journal entry.

It is like taking out a granite tablet

and jotting down her life in a sentence.

The beauty was fleeting

and we wanted to touch it.

There was once a big moon

as big as a get-well balloon.

There was a big sun

as big as a farewell.

© Gerald Allen Barrett and parentheticallyspeakingin3d, 2012.

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Slit

Infinity begins

just above the tree line,

 

where weighted thoughts

are cast,

 

and ponderings fidget

through the crack.

 

And the bright dead

leaves curl and roll.

 

Let us slip our enveloped

thoughts through

 

the slit of heaven

and earth.

 

Lord, hear our prayer.

Church On

Sewn, darned.

Peace in pieces,

sole friction

frayed heel worn.

Two step tension

slide or let it ride.

Dance with unmatched

socks over the cracks

in the sanctuary floor.

Invitation. Please Come In.

Come again, another year,

unfold your days

and leave a crease in each one.

 

Come again, another love,

lift your eyes

and cut tenderly our space.

 

Come again, Good God,

comb mercy through

our tangled ways.

 

Come again, breath stroke,

breathe in grace,

and exhale compassion.

 

Come again wholeness,

and bend low

in the present tense.

 

Come again Jesus,

even so come.

 

 

A Christmas Card From Above. A Mom Memory

At this point a simple dusting of snow would be okay with me.

G. Allen Barrett Poet. Writer.

She Scotch-taped them upon arrival.
The threshold couldn’t hold them all.
Between the living room and kitchen
the Christmas cards hung open like parted lips.

Postal employees carried double heavy loads then.
Stamps were less than a dime
and tongues licked each one.
They arrived all through December.

The cards lined up and I thought
my mother was a curator of sorts.
She put them up for display
and passersby would thumb them open.

Beyond the Currier and Ives images,
beyond the glittered Santa beards,
beyond the bright star over the Savior
were cursive words at the bottom inside.

Greetings from around town and around the country,
hand written in indelible ink from indelible friends.
Aunts and uncles too, grandma’s and grandpa’s
shaken scrawl etched in the lower corner.

She sent them out too,
Her cursive swirled inside like flurries.
Her words beautiful, quiet,
and ending always in ‘Love comma.’

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Twelve Step Program. A Christmas Morning Story.

Back then on a dead end street ten children waited. Marilee’s children sat on the steps. A dozen steps split in half by a landing and a window. The morning light weakly slipped through the windows and the lights on the tree succumbed to another Christmas morn.

The children’s buttocks wiggled as they giggled, touched, bumped, and jockeyed for position. They tried to hush their tones, but not totally. Loud whispers, flatuitous verse upon the flat steps, and nudges with “stop touching me” utterances. Just enough noise to rouse the sleeping Santa at the bottom of the stairs to the right. Poor ole Santa fell asleep a few hours before.

A gurgled “not yet!” whiffled itself around the corner…then more sleeping.

So they sat and she snored.

They fidgeted and she took cleansing sighs.

They creaked the steps with flat bottoms buttocks and she swallowed the sugarplum fairy like a hair ball.

Their imaginations would bounce off each other like the little white dot jumped a top the Sing Along with Mitch songs on T.V. They knew underwear, socks, and pajamas lay under the tree, but what toy off “their list?” Which present of the urban sprawl under the tree would be non-essential individualized enjoyment?

The stairs imprisoned them like Babes in Toyland. They dragged their tin cups of impatience on the railing slats as if they were made of iron. Their bodies staggered on risers like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, yet their voices didn’t evoke yuletide inspiration, rather a squawking plea for parole.

Their impatience gripped them. A committee formed on the landing to appoint a scapegoat. Someone had to directly ask the exhausted Merry Marilee if they could descend. They chose Carol. The baby. The spoiled. The cute. The Cindy Lou Who of our who’s who. Surely Santa Mom would be sympathetic to her soft cry for freedom.

Her miniature voice tumbled down the first flight of stairs… “Can we come down yet?”

Silence.

Then a rustling and their fidgeting stopped, and ears perched and leaned. Out from the North Pole staggered an elf in a nightie. Red was her bed head hair as she passed. Her cat’s eye glasses aided her one open eye to the coffee pot. The flick of her cigarette lighter twice meant she was officially awake. The fridge opened and shut, and cupboards knocked a few times. Then she strolled past again to fetch her robe. Some thought they saw a smirk and a sleepy twinkle in her eyes.

Their eyes popped…hands almost clapped…and then nudging, touching, and scooting down the first flight of linoleum steps.

She came out of her den, grabbed a cup of coffee, and sat in her box seat in the living room.

Silence.

“Alright, you can come see…”

They did see. Not her face glowing, but lights, sagged stockings, sleds, stuffed animals, and candy canes hanging from the branches.

They did see. Not the whole picture of her thinking and choosing and remembering sizes.

They did see. Not her exhaustion and sore muscles.

They did see, and now they see from their own box seats. They stopped by her North Pole later on Christmas day to appreciate the memories she created. The collective memories became greater than any doll or set of army men. The gift of joyful ambiance is far above any “thing” given. Each memory is a step on which to sit and wonder, like a child, how she did it.

Again, this year the memories sit under each of our ten trees. All my siblings and I will miss talking to her and stopping by for mincemeat pie on Christmas evening.

I wonder if there is mistletoe in heaven. I hope so. I hope she will be waiting there for us with some hanging over her head as she smirks, then purses her lips.