Two Poems

By Roy A. Barnes

Distressed at Sea


Time is my relentless bully

I'm assaulted trying to rest

       forever in those moments

where refuge was grasped to feel safe


The roaring waters never give way:

Trapped in a force that never

ponders its violence


The wrongs I quest to make right

fade over and over into the horizon,

as closure basks in elusiveness 

within each unforgiving current


The seconds keep raging ahead into

the cycles of the realities I dread:

locked doors of a future quenched

like the dry, endless desert sands

suppress a still oasis


For clippers keep sailing by,

then pass as I flounder about

weighted down in aimlessness


The Avenue of Dreams Unrealized

The avenue of dreams unrealized haunts:
I stroll through its neighborhood of beauty
during a windless dusk, where the sun's light
fades, mocking my state

I hear life's paces behind the shut doors
of stately dwellings from centuries past...
forbidden rations that I had no choice
but to be denied

Guilt tackles me, for I never lived up
to its calling to be cherished, esteemed
though my vegetative soul screams, trapped by
merciless forces

Like roaming a grand palace heaven-sent,
but its doors are all locked, yet memories
haunt me, seeing to my prosecution
forever and ever

The tall cottonwoods overhead canopy
my hopeless trek from the rest of the world
since I must go back soon to face darkness
(and its brash coldness)  

I look southwards to its distant rampart:
a mountain blanketed in evergreen
never reaching its other side, never
loving its splendor

This sacred path shrieked at my appearance
but the stillness in the air can't stop me
marching forward, robbing me of hoping
for a better fate

The scent of mulberry fills my nostrils
like raging regrets fill my soul with ghosts     
so powerless to escape its trauma...
my footsteps scare me

For hurried days wail by like gusts of wind
stinging my bare self