poetry, writing, family





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Where The Fenceline Runs
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by Dave Barber (Author)

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Lonely as a candle flame,

bouncing, turning

lighting for a moment’s window

then quick fade back to dimness.


If those carbons had choices

they’d burn slowly

surely and constantly

mating with oxygen

tearing off to live

as new –

(see what love does!)

A bound they can’t break

waiting for a tree

to swallow them

drop the carbon to earth

and start over again.



4 Jan 09

After reading an article on good/bad poetry,  I have to admit a bit of confusion.   I’ve read some current poetry that was just plain vulgar but was treated as great and I’ve read some great poets that couldn’t get out of the starting gate.  So what is it that makes one verse a devine inspiration and the next one crap?  Is it like a painting?  The beauty of a poem is what it brings out in you?  The emotions, connections, memories, thoughts?  To me, that’s the connection.  Each of these poems on this blog are the result of an event, poem, thought or realization that occurred.  I’ve shared them with the hope that they will mean something to you as they do to me.   And the response is positive, 95% of the time.  Sure there are nickpickers – word over that word, or form, sure I make mistakes.  But in general, they are heart poems.  

So, my poetry is ideas, thoughts, and day’s events in verse.  Sometimes a painful place I’ve been.    Sometimes, they are typed quickly before the muse grows tired and leaves.  Sometimes they are started and finished later.   I’ve read that good poets write, let them set for months and come back to them.  Maybe that’s my problem – with a few exceptions, they hit this blog right after they leave my muse.

Elements of bad poetry?  Well according to Mike Chasar*, they are predictable rhymes, figures of speech, predictable tropes and sonnet form.   I’m guilty of some of them.  He’s suggestion of a writer’s toolbox – set forms to write in and formulas is foreign to me.  I write as I  write – form happens as the poem happens.  I don’t necessarily write to one form.  But Mike’s point was that deadline poetry (that poetry written against a deadline) requires a faster draw, an ability to pull together form, timing, content in mere hours.   I have to admit,  I’ve participated in challenges but I don’t always feel this produces the best poetry.

I’d be curious what you guys think of this idea.


Dave Barber

19 December 2008

* Mike Chasar wrote the article in “Poets and Writer’s” magazine, Nov/Dec 2008, page 39 “Writing good bad poetry”

two girls meet,

High school greeting

two hops and hug.


Dave Barber

13 Dec 08

After the Day,

the cost sinks in

and payment plans

place themselves.


It’s a new year

less dollars

less heart-


the day after

needs to be



Before is -Eve

as if her gentleness

and apple error

made it before.


Let’s call it -adam

Christmas Adam

to realize our error

lie about the cost

and head out anyway.



9 December 2008

Cozy Winter’s Day

Little Tyger
is stretched into a kitty crescent
on top of the television
and could not possibly care less
what show is on

Nuxy the Dragoness
curls around the sofa
safe in the knowledge
that none of those present
can perceive her
(Well . . .
none but Little Tyger
and he isn’t talking . . .)

Its a cozy winter’s day
and the sky has fallen all around the house
thick clouds of grey and more grey
and for reasons that make no sense
the humans seemed to feel
that they had to go to other places . . .

Nuxy winks at Little Tyger
as she unfolds across the coffee table
(why do they call it a coffee table
they never drink coffee on it)
Little Tyger gives up a kitty yawn . . .
rolls over and contemplates
her iridescent scales

Quixotic as ever

William C. Burns, Jr.

Be careful of the questions you ask
you might just get the real answer
Be careful of the wishes you make
they might just come to pass . . .

Raven sitting:

on a Pinon Tree Branch

snow resting on his feathers.



Dave Barber,

5 December 2008

Cooking pies,

I’m mixing flour in a bowl,

snow deepening in the yard.


Dave Barber,

5 Dec 08

After the Typhoon,

adding I love you

to a letter.

Winter Twilight:

the wreath on the door

lifts and knocks in the wind.



Dave Barber

Christmas in New Mexico

5 December 2008

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