Fraiku: Jet Lag

I walk alien streets

Beneath clouds just crossed

Yet my head remains fogged

Posted in Dublin 2022, Poetry | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Fourth Thursday in November

Laughter rolls
in from outside
where cousins play

Laughter bakes
into the cornbread
where cooks gossip

Crying onions
bubbling gravy
crackling turkey

All parade to the table
where we hold hands
in fidgety anticipation

As grandmother blesses
the feast and chats with Jesus
while our tummies grumble


The poem above is a collaboration with my friends at Charles House inspired by some Thanksgiving poetry I read to them, including James Whitcomb Riley, Joy Harjo and, of course, Lydia Marie Child.

And at the risk of seeming like a sentimental old fool, I am thankful for you, my dear readers. Happy Thanksgiving.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

Milkshakes & Chilidogs Reviewed!

Dawn Pistorino posted a review of my chapbook of food poems today. I encourage all my readers to check it out and follow her fine blog. I love these lines from her review:

You will not find any anorexic rejection of edibles here. Bartholomew is absolutely shameless in his love of food.

And, being shameless, remember that gift-giving season nearly upon us: Milkshakes & Chilidogs.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

Fraiku: Bad Habits

Pull cork from bottle
Save in drawer for your collection
But never see you again

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , | 26 Comments

3 Experiments That Prove The World Is Flat Poetically

My car is jealous of poetry
because it fills the garage.

Rickety card tables and milk crates
are covered with beakers, books
and Bunsen burners bubbling
away useless words.

My hands shake as I pour reagents,
mixing the smoothest line
and with mortar and pestle
compounding a slanty rhyme.

But some nights, after my white lab coat
is stained purple, the place explodes
in a brilliance that blows open the doors
of perception
— and I sigh.


I’ve always wondered how many of you, my dear readers, actually read my poetry as opposed to just pressing the Like button in hopes of reciprocation. So consider this my experiment. If you’ve read the poem, do not Like this post. Feel free to leave a comment, if you feel so moved, but do not click Like.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , | 56 Comments

Fraiku: Me & Wolves

I write poetry
with the same intent as wolves
howling at the moon

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

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 lies, hatred and dark money.
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.


First published in Oddball Magazine on November 6, 2018.
Reposted since there’s a full moon overnight and Election Day is tomorrow.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , | 30 Comments

Fraiku: Twilight

Night falls on democracy
When the people fail to vote
Be the dawn


Vote early if you still can. Tuesday is Election Day.

Posted in Ephemera | 15 Comments

While Exploring Le Musée des Arcanes

While Exploring Le Musée des Arcanes

His eyes follow me around the cluttered room,
this portrait of a man from another century—
painted by a skilled hand, fine brushstrokes
though the artist neither signed the work
nor identified their subject.

I gaze into his eyes, this man in a stiff collar
who posed by gaslight before my grandfather
was born, and can almost feel his boredom
and ego, wondering how he ended up in a gallery
in a narrow museum amongst curios and taxidermy.

Isn’t it strange how portraits feel like mirrors
if you stare at them long enough? The background
spins and the light dims and I can almost feel
that starched white collar clutching my neck
and though I wasn’t walking, I trip into the frame.

And now my spirit, never stirring, never sleeping,
never blinking, still is waiting, still is waiting
for some other fool to stare into my eyes once more.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , | 23 Comments

Bartholomew Barker

Five previous unpublished poems of mine were featured on Susi Bocks’ The Short of It. Check them out!

I Write Her

Agata Samulska – Unsplash

Roses

I only pretend to smell the roses
when I kiss their petals with lips
chapped by twenty years of thirst.

I never expected to live this long
without you.

For the Bird who Smashed into my Window

All that remained airborne
was a solitary feather
on its final flight

Not understanding death
drifting down

Galileo

Poets have been howling at the moon
since before we invented language

Our ancestors gazed at the stars
noticed five among thousands
that wandered the skies like chariots

Astrologers and scientists tracked
Jupiter as he marched along
regularly retracing his steps
at his most glorious

No one knew of his four escorts
each brighter than the little dipper
until Galileo pointed his telescope
up — and revealed what had been hidden
by the Jovian glare

And I mourn for the eons of reflected sunlight
wasted on our puny human eyes

View original post 370 more words

Posted in Ephemera | 18 Comments