Snow Day


Snow Day
“Put on your coat. It’s freezing out there.”
– My mother

I woke to the ticker-tack of sleet
on my bedroom window
in the middle of a school night
after the weatherman had predicted
several inches.

How could I sleep on this snowday eve,
more magical that Christmas?

Even in the dim dawn
there was doubt, despite
the unblemished layer of white
outside. Radio on.

Anticipation builds
like my Boo Berry cereal
floating in the milk,
as I listened to boring news.

This was Ohio in the good ole days
when weather was never the lead
and they wouldn’t cancel for just any storm.

Wilmington City Schools are closed.

I leapt from the kitchen table
knocking over my chair
thinking only of snow forts
and sled races while my mother
struggled to bundle me up.

Then bolt through the front door
and leave my coat crumpled on the ground
to be lost under still falling snow.

(Written from this month’s Visual Poetry Prompt.)


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rainy new year


rainy new year

let’s sleep in tomorrow,
a nice rainy january first,
ease into the new year,
groggy and dim.

let the rain fall
like expectations,
drenching the land
puddling the world.

let the flood wash
away our past,
clean the way
for a cloudless sky,

later. I’m not yet ready
to face the sun.

(Happy New Year? This poem came from the weekly Living Poetry Prompt.)

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Celestial Musings

20181223_205558I am proud to announce that two of my astronomy inspired poems were included in the Celestial Musings anthology just released. While it may be too late for a holiday present, poetry is always timeless and the proceeds for this book benefit the Charles W. Brown Planetarium at Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, in the heart of my ancestral flatlands where I first fell in love with the night sky.


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The Pudding on the Cake


Last night I hosted my annual Holiday Chocolate Open Mic at Matthew’s Chocolates in festive downtown Hillsborough. It was an intimate crowd of poets and an appreciative audience sharing wine and chocolate on a chilling evening. So, in that spirit, here’s my latest chocolate poem.

The Pudding On The Cake

The nuance of your fingers
wandering through my hair
is the pudding on the cake
of your kisses to my lips.

Yes, pudding.

I misheard the idiom as a boy
but I stand by the image,
a gentle chocolate pudding,
instead of that boring
melange of sugar and milk,
better describes the sensation
of your fingertips on my cheek
poured over the sexy dark cake
of your tongue in my mouth.

I imagine the avarice in your eyes
while I lick sweet deep cocoa
smeared on your forehead
and you nibble the soft ambrosial
crumbs stuck in my beard.

Oh, my bittersweet muse,
this is going to get messy.

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Lady Hawk on Wolff Poetry

Lady-Hawk-Poem-by-Bartholomew-BarkerOne of my favorite poems is being featured on one of my favorite poetry blogs, Wolff Poetry. Check it out!

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Donating a Pint


Donating a Pint

My blood looks like wine
as it pours from vein to vial,
a fine Pinot Noir
though with better legs.

I’d like a transfusion,
direct from bottle to arm,
bypass my burning stomach,
molten core of misery.

A nice Merlot will lighten
the mix flowing to my brain,
relieving regrets remembered
when I drink too little.

Like the Antichrist, I’m turning
blood into wine, one glass at a time.

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Allegro & Adagio

20181120_202540I just got my copy of Allegro & Adagio, Dance Poems Vol. II. It’s a beautiful book with hundreds of poems about all things dance. If you’re about to begin the annual frenzy of consumption, you should definitely consider this volume.

Not coincidentally, I wrote two poems in the anthology, both from my first book Wednesday Night Regular, Jane Avril at the Moulin Rouge 1893 and Like the Ocean.


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I’m looking for a sturdy girl,
one who can take a punch
to her metaphorical gut
when I require solitude.

One who won’t fall in love
because of a love poem
and won’t fall apart
when she’s not my muse.

One to be the center of my universe
for an evening, to be my toy,
content to sit on a shelf
until I’m ready to play again.

I’m looking for a sturdy girl.
I am the swine and she the pearl.

(From today’s Living Poetry Prompt.)

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Election Day!


If you haven’t voted yet, it’s time to do so. I’ll be heading to my polling place during my lunch break. You can read all about it at Oddball Magazine. They just published Blue Magick. Head over there and cast your social media spells.

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Blue Magick


Blue Magick

I call upon the spirits of light,
the angels of constitutional democracy,
of reasonable policy based upon science,
I humbly beseech you: Arise!

Cast out the demons of fear and corruption.
Break the curse of dark money, lies and hatred.
Free us from willful ignorance so we may cast
our votes as a spell upon our government.

Let us attend the sacred polling place,
dance naked ’round the voting booth,
sing songs of truth and good governance
that we may restore our fair country,

sliding my ballot into the holy box,
the Great Rite of Democracy.

(Have you voted yet?)

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