Barbara Grace Lake

Poetry & Other Crimes


Barbara Grace Lake

I grew up during the Great Depression and World War II, joined the WACs at age 18, later married, had 5 children, divorced, and worked in law offices for over 25 years, all the while writing a bit of poetry. I had a short but successful career writing articles for magazines and newspapers, but became tired of constantly trying to impress yet another editor. I've now gone back to my first love, poetry. And that, my friends, is mostly what you will find on my blog, "Poetry and Other Crimes." I sincerely hope you enjoy it.


© 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


© 2020 Barbara Grace Lake

When coming to a long day’s end
Those times of aching barren thought
My body motionless beyond
A twitch responding to a gnat
I look for comfort in My Chair

And when my mind devolves into
A sodden mass of unlit cells
Incapable of anything
But basic of all human needs
I find warm comfort in My Chair

My Chair most patiently awaits
It meets, absorbs all troubling times
Reducing fever, losing dread
Then on one day you look for me
My Chair might have absorbed me, too


© 2020 Barbara Grace Lake

What angst, what anger and despair
In struggling to obey cold laws
Like suffocating, phantom clouds,
Unyielding, joyless, deathly pale
Imposed on man, alleged from God

Could any man know mind of God?
Each wise man quotes a sacred scroll
But all are over-writ by man
“If ye have faith, ye will believe.”
Each shaman huckster’s faith insists

But if you’d listen not to priests
One voice is heard within your mind
It often lays your conscience bare
If God exists, this word’s from Him
No anguish, or demand for shame


© 2020 Barbara Grace Lake

Of all I know or sense or feel
There’s nothing in this world
That makes me feel so small
Of no importance, trivial
As when a friend is facing death

My issues do not, cannot count
But still for those I plead
My enemy is strong
I ask relief from suffering
But mine is pain not end of life

Those plead are young, deserving more
I’m almost eighty-nine
My tale’s both long and full
Still helpless, passively I watch
As silent they reluctant pass


© 2020 Barbara Grace Lake

Where has it gone
The thought I had a minute past
So fleeting, so ephemeral.
A problem solved?

Where do thoughts go
The ones I can’t retrieve
But nag from closets dimly lit
Within my mind

Perhaps a poem
Bright awesome in its clarity
It might have been a work of art
If ever found

And while I search
Continue on some lesser thoughts
Like words in ink I put to page
Assembled here


© 2020 Barbara Grace Lake


A wall exists, it lies within
And out … wherever stone or will
Call rigid cold design, despair
Of all unseeing darkened lives
Enbalmed in poisonous fetid air

Escaping home across the wall
Fair domiciled in comfort ease
All working lives left at the door
Gone cubicles, conscripted hours
Of fallow slogging industry

Now free for comfort, favored chair
Forget, forget the world outside
Inside restore an angst-free life
Enjoy good dinners, spousal joy
Alarms too soon will shatter you


© 2020 Barbara Grace Lake


By accident perfection found
For those who love our neighbor’s fare
Oh yes, say Viva Mejico
And, yes, say Viva Barbara
This recipe is mine to share

We start with one, one-quarter beef
Of course you know the meat is ground
Rough chop a medium, half large
Of what? Oh yellow onions, please
Now brown together with the beef.

Well is that all? No, no, there’s more
A can fire-roasted chilis, mild
Again a can of olives, sliced
One cup of shredded cheddar cheese
For topping, set aside as much

You’ll need a cup of sauce prepared
But save for later more than that
In just a minute you’ll see why
Two teaspoons jalapeno chopped
(Use either fresh or from a can)

Now salt and pepper, mix it all
Here’s where you change it to be yours
Add more of this, and less of that
Leftover rice, or last night’s beans
Just throw them in, they’ve found a home

Your sauce should cover bottom pan
Then in tortillas roll the mix
Be sure you keep the cut side down
When drizzling sauce on every roll
Please cover sparingly.  Don’t drown

Now for your supper’s finishing
A liberal touch of shredded cheese
Your enchiladas need some time
Say forty-five (45) in three fifty (350)
Take fork in hand. Your dinner’s done.

Bon appetit

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