Barbara Grace Lake

Poetry & Other Crimes


© 2021 Richard Lake

I am trying to convince my son, Richard to continue writing. When I read this one aloud I dissolved in a torrent of tears from the sheer power of his writing. Let me know what you think. Comments. Please!!!

Set me free

Release me from these chains
created by an image that never was
oh wicked slavery
that denies my humanity
there is no marble goddess
or burning inner flame
release me
to be human once again
to feel
emotions of hate, envy, fear, lust
and yes emotions of love and lost love
this is my right as a human
to feel everything and to learn from everything
emotions that set me free
to create myself in my mind’s eye
to be free
to hear heaven echo with my laughter
to drown the world with my sadness
unfettered by shackles of self restraint
of an shallow image of height and width
but not the depth of me
free at last
I may become the guiding flame you seek
or not
I may tease you, taunt you, drive you mad
so you become your own guiding flame
just so I can roast marshmallows
on the fire of your soul



© Barbara Grace Lake

I felt your touch
And murmurred in my sleep
I see you, but you’re gone
Then when I woke I looked
I looked for you as you were close
No farther than another room

Each night you closer seemed
Amid confused fatigue
I sleepwalked through each day
Then looked for you each night
To see you as as I slept
And looked again at dawn

Your presence gave me peace
But every morning gone
Instead of waking I would sleep
But no, your presence came to warn
And once again my body’s whole
I miss you Mom


I am sorry to have been off, and sorry to have given the impression of uncaring to my fellow writers. The fact is a growing exhaustion made it almost impossible for me to write either on or off line. That exhaustion was the first symptom of a failing heart. We, my doctors, the hospital and me, have stopped (or delayed) the current failure and with care I can live fully for another 10 years or so . . . . but who really wants to be 100 . . . . I’m 89 now. All I can do is be sorry I haven’t been attentive. I’ll try to do better hereon in.


© 2021 Barbara Grace Lake

I chose in care
A man experienced, serene
Brown eyes, black hair, a friendly smile
He welcomed me

Back then my hair was dark
Skin fair, but still unlined
I prayed he’d ease my current ills
And keep me well

Our visits few
Yet over time a nexus grew
Few doctor/patients know
That bond is ours

From knowledge into hope
No stronger bond of trust exists
To gentle hands I gave my life
He gave it back again

And over time
As always age will rob the young
Grey frames my facial lines,
His hair turned white

When did I get so old?
When did my doctor age?


© 2021 Barbara Grace Lake

I am her keeper
I warn, I nag I surround
If wounded, I will bleed
If wounded deeply I can die
I am her conscience
She leans on me for rightness
Though often denied
And often called by epithets
When I say no
The last of me will only be
When she exists no more
If I’ve done well
I comfort those she leaves
Who mourn for her
I am her keeper.


© 2021 Barbara Grace Lake

Please tell me when my radio
Became an unused derelict
Along with other disused junk
Its time gone by, another age
Like irons or my ironing board

I often take that iron out
To dust it off, then put it back
The record changer on the shelf?
Is dusted, too. No changing discs
Pandora does a better job

My bottom kitchen drawer contains
Mid many useful (idle) things
A whisk that stops on every turn
It won’t whip cream. Why keep the tool?
From Gramps’ old kitchen, ‘twas a gift

“Hey lady! You forgot ‘bout me.”
Said old and grumpy coffee can
Now home to every rubber band
Retrieved like some from broccoli stalks
The bands not broc for use again

We come to clothes, a few too small
Retained as they might fit next year
I welcome friends who help me sort
But shriek on seeing favorites culled,
“For Heaven’s sake don’t throw that out!!!”


© 2021 Barbara Grace Lake

How oft are we aware
Of stages in between
Of being hungry or replete
Or how much time we spend each day
Within an abyss of between

It seems we’re meant to never know
Each stage of in between
One’s having pain or full relief
Of being lonely or with friends
In craving life or living life

I’ve tried. In searching out my time
Those moments in between.
But Is it state or state of mind
Is it accessible or not,
A realm of life that’s never quite?

Is this a part of me?


© 2021 Barbara Grace Lake

In a new year’s hope
Restore man’s absent truth
May wisdom knight us

When reason blossoms
Ceding growth of sanity
The world rejoices

As in my garden
Orange trees bear golden fruit
They feed sustain us


© 2020 Barbara Grace Lake

Do wishes ever, ever count
Those made in cheerful certainty
That one year’s sadly, dreary end
Can bring a new untarnished day

A day in which all children born
Are valued for potential lives
In which all men are given much
No difference as to race or kin

Do wishes mine, or any man’s
Count seeking for a future world
A lack of poverty, disease
A lack of greed, aggression, war

My world of peaceful comity
Has not in aeons yet evolved
So do our wishes, even prayers
Reach only chaos deadened ears

Please God, indeed if there be one
Infuse each born as meant to be
With recognition of each man’s
Innate, mandated right to live

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