poetry by Barry Bergstrom


Standing out by the barn
wished for rain hits me......
......two or three times every
two or three seconds

musty summer rainsmell
drifts up from terrafirma
assaulting my nostrils
with smell memories

and all smells earthyclean
as the moths gather
'round the light in the barn

and all feels heavy and dank
as the earth around me
swallows up the salty rain
and belches remembrance

But when the rain
stops.........with locked-up brakes
the terrafirma and my olfactory
cry out for more.........

yet the only sounds
are crickets in the field
......a sprinkler in the yard
...insects buzzing the light

with my memory
clicking off other summer nights
a data file full of 'em
one thousand seven hundred and twenty-eight K

The moths are in the barn
I think I'll sleep outside tonight
and take my chances
with the rain.

© 1987 Barry Bergstrom

Jazz radio mind thought

always there and sometimes

not but sonny stitt charlie

parker scrapple poem thought

eyes search......mind-fingers

cry delight sadness despair

all same time bop thought

© 1987 Barry Bergstrom


taxi driver
"como estas?"
"bien......todo bien, gracias..."

brass band hidden
from view
in grassy courtyard

ninety-five percent
humidity cannot hide
spread tones
pitch problems

"a donde quiere usted ir?"

"por alli..."

"yo querer desayuno......"

"y un cigarro cubano, por favor......"

© 1987 Barry Bergstrom


Sitting alone
atop this hill
breathe same air
that eagles breathe
hear marmots whistle
through cold still air
knowing I'm part Indian
with eyes that see
and a heart
that bleeds for this land
nearby lake sings alive
with fish for breakfast
cool clear stream above
flows with taste of ambrosia
reality here is a different word
than in the cities below
survival on the mountain
bounded by rules
the city cannot know
man must love mountain
as son loves mother
even though
mountain is stoic...indifferent
and just keeps standing
through mans life and death follies
sitting alone
atop this hill
breathe thoughts of
sex and death
blood and grit
love and life
and hear the oceans roar
thousands of miles away

© 1987 Barry Bergstrom


worked with a man
thick fingers
rubbing sticky oil
through tired bearings

engines as big
as apartments i had
smell diesel
valve cover
clean floor painted
sticky blue

galley food
more than seen by
whales that skim...
...impressed by our ship
even bigger then them

rhythm and timing
nonexchangeable terms...
the thump of
a motor the tune
of a drum

everyone has callouses...
...just in different places

© 1987 Barry Bergstrom


design by scott wilburn graphic design ©2005 photography by Dianna Clark