Saturday, September 28, 2013

Daddy's Money

All the gold and riches Daddy made,
Have done to me, more harm than good.
The calling of a dollar, I eagerly obeyed,
But happiness was something, I never understood.

Oh how I loved the lime light, and the company of rich folks,
I, the prodigal son, who played so well, the part of clown.
I kept them all in stitches, plied with drink and smoke,
As I led my jolly caravan, all about the town.

Fast cars and faster women, were at my beckoned call,
Just a snap of my fingers, lay them at my feet.
Though I sat tall in my saddle, I was riding, for a fall,
Never could play by the rules, always had to cheat.

Once I had a wife, she was a keeper I would wager,
Had hair of silk and eyes that twinkled bright.
But my antics and behavior, seemed only to enrage her,
Then she left my gilded tower, when she finally saw the light.

But my pals, they still love me, because I’ve got lots of money,
When I foot the bill, They all tell me that I’m swell.
All the guys pat my back and the girls, they call me honey,
You bet, I’m always smiling, truth is I live in Hell.

I’ve never had a callous, upon my hands so soft,
Never spent a day, toiling in a filthy ditch.
I never saw the wonder, in the Moon and stars aloft,
Never had to work or worry, never found my niche.

The misery is killing me, Somehow it has to end,
I’m headed for oblivion, down the road I trod.
I need so much, but most of all ,I need a friend,
He’s been there all along for me, I found my friend in God.

Michael J Barker           2003

Spring Has Sprung

The weather’s still unsettled, The lawns are growing rampant,
And once again the trees all wear a regal crown of green.
The garden’s tilled and planted, basking stately in the Sun,
The birds all seem contented as they bathe and chirp and preen.

The cows are glad to graze again, encumbered with new calves,
And the crows are calling, mocking, from their perches in the trees.
The bull frogs boom in chorus from their pads down on the pond,
And the orchard is alive with the buzzing swarms of bees.

The spotted fawns bounce playfully, at the clearing in the woods,
The bucks are sporting fuzzy knobs between their twitching ears.
The evening air is laden, with the sweet smell of cut grass,
And the coyotes howl so mournfully as their daylight disappears.

And I am lightly leaning, on the hoe I should be swinging,
Watching herds of clouds stampeding ‘cross the sky.
Me oh my, how times flies, I’m afraid that I must leave,
My iron skillet beckons for a mess of trout to fry.

Michael J Barker  2013

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Walk on the Wild Side

Who knew?!!!!
I’ve always been
   a rule follower
Colored inside
the lines

  But . . .

Pleasures are few
and far between
     these days

So I thumbed my nose
at the FDA dictum . . .
Possibly . . . I flipped the big bird . . .

Cast caution right to the wind . . .
I licked the beaters
   from the blueberry muffins

I’m probably just as good
as dead!

That would be me . . .
The Hell’s Angel in the kitchen.
                   -Marcia Myers

Moving Back To The Center

The sun rises in the east window now.
It's arc above the ever turning earth
Overcomes the white goddess
As she recedes toward the north pole.
Wind swept hills are showing earth.
And my being is prying itself
Away from the pivot of a life past.

In the dark night wanderings
I find comfort in the now waning moon.
It's tinsel light filtered by the giant sprawling spruces Whispering a chorus in the north wind pulling a cold front over crusted snow Still grasping the dormant grassland.

My heart is re-filling, it's wrench-tight Tension has pointed my grief inward To the times within love's journey Marched along a trail of sensual attraction and awe.
I carry joyfully the memories, yet too

My sense of space is uncoiling
From the knot pulled tight by her last breathe And the silence that caved into darkness at her passing.
No 'Goodbye' wave, just a lesson in stillness.
No facial recognition, only the definition of one From which I humbly try to find a safe distance; As a fawn might from a disease stilled doe.

Now, with that hard earned space and endless time from the scene My senses tingle and begin like new, To report and sort the other sounds; The flux of scents in the ever moving breeze, The touch of my surroundings As I wade in again, brushing against The always changing skin of evolving earth.

At a point, the fear of alone in this new unknown Unwinds. No!  Sheds like old skin Showing a new hide, and I am encouraged.
I move farther out.
I cannot see her, but she is ever present.
The past and the future become now again.
I look at myself, begin to whistle and start to work.
Tess arrives from scavenging about; her job.
We play a while with her toys, now mine too.
And the day glows against the lingering snow.

The tether hangs loosely.
And the weight of being alone is lighter-- A balloon in my hand signaling solidarity-- A need to belong comes in like a tide at my call.
I move in and out from within myself, cautiously Trying on things alone:
Like a different than usual hat, or
A memorable tune on an abandoned mandolin.
Even sometimes, the thought of being loved again Ripples gently through me as I watch long from my window The shadow cast by the budding naked birch
Strolling past.   My self silently re-emerging at the center.
-Ron Crete 2013

Friday, March 30, 2012

Poetry Circle in Sherwood, Under the Trees

We will host small monthly gatherings at our home in Sherwood, Oregon each month, during the winter of 2011-12; typically  with 8-12 people who, either write an occasional poem, read poetry occasionally, or are interested in a poetic manner of thinking. We will gather on a Saturday evening from 5-10 P.M. when enough people have contacted us via email. This is a private gathering by invitation.

If interested, please email us with some background information for you, a contact email, phone, address, and reasons you are interested in attending a PoetSpeak Salon. If you have a recent a poem of your own-or a special poem you treasure, please paste it into the body of your email. We encouraged brief poems that, essentially, fits on one to two 8x11 pages.

A literary “Salon” hails from ageless practices of  people meeting to share, discuss and critique art, community and life  in a safe environment while enjoying some good food.

PoetSpeak Salon is a great opportunity for discussions on livable communities, environment, trails, parks and similar passionate issues, viewed through a viewing glass that 'somehow it all has to fit together like a piece of music, a great song-or, a poem in a manner that allows all of us to understand".

We provide home-made soup and bread, and a relaxed environment, with a cozy fire place. Participants are invited to bring fruits, wine, cheese and similar morsels.

Participants are, generally, a mixture of active artists, their friends and spouses, as well as other creative and proactive people; students, 6-12 are welcome when accompanied by a parent or teacher. Occasionally a musician will sing and play.

We pronounce the word “Salon” as “Saloon” to  emphasize, in part, the relaxed atmosphere and our   casual attitude to literary endeavors. Poetry, and art in general, ought to be " Useful, Enjoyable and Accessible."

Artists are invited to bring a folder of new work and be prepared to share their work with the group, reading one poem at a time. This forum emphasizes listening and suggests silent approval or brief, positive comments, rather than analysis. In the interest of historical continuity, each event will have 1-3 writers who have attended previous PoetSpeak Salons, or have performed at a PoetSpeak performance. It is our intent to support and nurture new and occasional writer of any age, gender or background; young people are encouraged to attend with a parent.

Other creative people invited are musicians, song writers, painters, teachers, philosophers and community activists who may briefly share their passion in the context of comments to a poem, a song or a piece of music.

We will confirm your attendance when sign-ups reach 12-20  interested people, and remind you 7 days before event to see if you are available. We will, at our discretion, invite 6-10 people that appear to share interests, background or passions in a context we feel will be safe and enjoyable. If you have a spouse or friend that is a good listener and a soul mate that you wish to bring, please let us know. If you are unable to attend the first scheduled gathering we will contact you for the following month.

Please email PoetSpeak with your comments; put the words PoetSpeak Salon in subject like along with your full name

Sunshine Window

After the storm
I stopped
for a second,
or two . . .

In through the sky window
a pale, clear wave
of new sunshine.

It danced
across the kitchen counters,
snug up over cupboards
and touched
the green jungle
of plants . . .

Waiting there, patiently
to be reconnected
to the circle of life.
                               -Kurt Kristensen

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Little Women

yawning through fairy land
my backyard
little girls conquering fears
and women
leading the way
with a hand
a hip
an its ok

to go
off the trail
its a little steeper
on the way down
you will end up
just a little

a little giggle
in your pockets
its that easy
to warm up

you will run
far too ahead
and fast
but stop
when necessary
god's light filtering
city and woods
meeting in the valley
fairies exist
mamas are a village
the end

the beginning 
                               -Liz Getty, Portland, Oregon

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Have you ever wondered about
the attributes of a great help mate?
He’s the one who actually listens
            when she talks.
She hands him a hammer
            when they’re building shelves.
He bags the groceries
            while she pays the cashier.
He holds her tightly
            just because he knows her need for it.
She lets the silence hang
            while he puzzles out life’s newest challenge.
He calls home to let her know he’ll be late—
            he knows how she worries.
She doesn’t make a big fuss about
            the muddy footprints, or the toilet seat left up.
He hands her a drink as she walks in the door
            from extra hours at the office.
     And she thanks him for his thoughtfulness.
They snuggle on a regular basis,
            just because it feels so right and good.

Help Mate: Helping each other with no
        expectation of reciprocation.
            It’s done out of love.
                                                        -Evy Kristensen, Portland, Oregon