proud moments

bar noir

the old man’s face broke
his fall, his cigarette and
my concentration

Carrie Berry
© 1998

Bar Noir appeared in the 6th and (unfortunately) final issue of Canadian magazine, nfg. This was my first paid gig and on a ‘per word’ basis, the most profitable.

too many

there are too many people in this head
friends that weren’t
lovers that didn’t
faint others that can’t be defined
but won’t be confined
to their cabins

the passenger list is too long to sort out
can’t bother with making the effort to shout
“bugger off now or cough up the fare”

there are too many people in his head
the skeleton
dancers provide him
no answers while truth begets lies;
a jumble of flies
in the ointment

in judgement he sits but it’s so clear to me
there’s no chance of his ever getting off free
while he oversees the tribunal

there are too many people in this bed
old bodies, young bodies
undiscerned somebodies
piled high and deep
coming between us
precluding sleep

Carrie Berry
© 1998

It was quite an honour to have this poem included in the Literary Potpourri Anthology #4 (2002) by Lit Pot Press.

healing (for julie)

the mantle of authority
weighed purple on my shoulders
burdensome brocade
sapping strength and spirit
silvered threads and gold once
shining have lost their luster
her slender fingers find the tassel
loosing constrictive knots
sensuous stroking weaves
synaptic accord
tingles scatter as she
peels the weighty garment
drops it deftly to the floor
who is this lady in white?
I ask. she smiles at the
apparition standing on
the head of the dragon
as her fingertips invade the
tender and ticklish hairline
at the back of my neck
Kuan-Yin she says, smiling
she came to my sister
in a dream, you know
she was dying, in a fever
my Buddha held a bowl of
goldfish for her
do you want them? she asked
my sister said: yes, I do
then you must live
to care for them
she works her magic on
my scalp and I ask her
who takes away your pain?
I can massage myself,
she says, and smiles again
I am seduced by her
warmth and innocence
her faith in miracles
brings a certain
damp warmth
and I want to repay her
kindness with soft
kisses wrapped in
crisp red paper.

Carrie Berry
© 1995

This poem first appeared in the SilkCocoon’s White Wings Project in 1996. along with egg in a scarlet ribbon, a word play in one act.

a word play in one act