Fifty – it’s sounds old. It sounds middle aged – middle aged? Like knights of old? Armor?

Well, I turned 50 today.   And I wonder as I look out with dimished eyes how this will change my outlook.  Will I have a different view of life?  How do you feel about life?



As I sat for a trim,
I made excuses why an old guy
would change his gray hair
“A splendor of age”
When it’s a young man’s game
why my memory fails me
and I start into a room
and return empty
why I talk of decades
that grade or last,
70’s or 80’s.

But she smiled at me
and I knew what that meant
to a tweeny-
that I was fooling myself
(We’re on opposite sides of the curve)
and I know where down is.

4 Jan 09

MawMaw called

looking for my wife

set to surprise her.


So I fished

my mind 

excuses lies-

it was empty.


Oh she’s out

I fished-



I could feel

the smile,


She knew

or didn’t 

but I could

feel the gaze

through the phone.



Dave Barber

5 December 2008

And now the downward years,
Arrive fast on the northward wind.
Sails unfurl, no port in sight
Dangerous shoals of illness wait.

Sail on, oh man, sail in,
Approaching storms of dread forlorn
Though you can’t see the other side
Turn your rudder to the gale.

The driving wind won’t forgive
It’s bitting salt will collect
And burn your eyes to a slit,
You can’t afford to release the wheel.

Until the grave, I see the harbor,
Long and calm, boots resting there.
An ancient dock stretches its hand,
To take my vessel to a sudden sleep.

22 July 04.

Dave Barber

On the day she died,

I helped Dad dress himself

in his favorite gray tie –

(everything is gray)


his trembling hands like

the stirred gulf waters

and gulls that won’t settle.


I breathed the salty air

down the street, the one

with lining cottonwoods,

toward the tiny empty room,

where she’s dressed in 

her best, old music streaming

through the crackly speakers.


I know that tune playing

I tell dad,

he nodds and winks,

she loved it, she loved it.


At the Service,

It’s a steep road

greeting no visitors

watching the deadlocked moon

smiling at the gulf

but I didn’t dare look

at the reflection.


Dave Barber

Natural Laws

21 Nov 08

Standing on the edge

is a strange place

watching the pepples fall

pip, peck, tick

down the incline

and tiny pieces of sand

falling to egyptian temples.


Next to others,

I’m fast 

or slow

others running marathons

dragging themselves to work

talking of retirement

like it was a last trip. 



Dave Barber

Knowing Getting Older

Ah, I love that smell of a new car.  When you first sit down, the odometer is on ‘000020.’  New!  The dashboard shines.  The gadgets all work, the stereo booms!  When you step on the accellerator – instant performance! It glides down the road, effortlessly, powerful, strong.  You feel free and strong.  You cruise the town to show off your wheels, don’t you?  All your friends have to see it.  Every chance you have, you are driving her, wiping off the slightest smudge, loving the way the sunlight glints off its lines.  It’s beauty in motion or standing still in the driveway.

Fast forward.

One hundred thousand miles later.  When you get it, it smells like last week’s McDonald’s run.  the odometer reads ‘100,020.’ old, just plain worn out.  The dashboard is cracked, faded and worn.  When you step on the accellerator, she pauses, coughs and moves out, still respectible but cautious.  She squeaks down the road over every bump.  You feel old and tired.  You park where ever you can because every dent shows, every scratch.  All your friends knows you’re ‘saving money’ for the next one.  It’s wheezes and spurts driving or sitting.



I’m that car at nearly 50.  I’m old worn out and faded.  My dash is cracked and degraded.  My acceleration is a joke.  I certainly don’t worry about appearance because when you dress up old you only have old in new clothes. When I sit I feel it.  When I move, I feel it.  Only trouble is, there’s no trade-in.



31 Oct 08

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