Barbara Grace Lake

Poetry & Other Crimes


Of Beloved Aunt Winifred Wells

© August, 1959, Barbara Grace Lake

[My cousin found this among some papers
that my grandmother apparently saved.  I’m
happy she saved this one]


Don’t grieve for me –


Don’t look upon my stillness with despair
for I have gone –


And happiness that had so long eluded me
I now have found and it
embraces me –


Be joyful for me –


Because the cares and trials of
worldly life are merely shadows
of meaningless memories –


And these too will pass –


And so your grief will pass from you
to mingle with the ashes and dust
of that which sheltered me –


Until the time has come when you
shall cross from life
to greater life –


And I will greet you joyously –


Then you will say to those who mourn their loss –


Don’t grieve for me.


© Barbara Grace Lake


What do you dream, how do you dream
Vignettes of persons passing by?
Astride grey horses snorting fire?
Across the sun, behind the moon
They’re going on.  I want to go.


My mother riding docile white
Beside my cousins Brenda, Bets
How gracefully they sit their mounts
Dense fogs are rising, I can’t see
They’re going on.  They tell me no.


They visit only in my dreams
As faces riding ghostly steeds
Dissolving as I try to see
They left a gift, a fragrant breath
They have gone on.  Their time had come.


On other nights, events are played
Each actor melts into the clouds
But just as these have parts still here
My role’s to live and love and give
It isn’t time to fly away,


© 2019 Barbara Grace Lake

At five when asked what’s wanted most
She’d never answer knowing that
Adults who ask would simply laugh
For children never know their minds


But I could answer now for her
That lonely child who couldn’t say
She’d want her father home at night
Both parents snug her tightly in


When asked again the child was 10
She wouldn’t answer knowing that
If more than book t’was way too dear
Another year, another day


What would I answer for her now
That girl away in boarding school?
She wanted more than life could give
A home in which to live.  A home.


At sixteen when her mother asked
She wanted clothes, the latest styles.
Her gifts were seconds, last year’s rack
Not fitting quite her size or life


When an adult the questions stopped
All felt they knew her mind quite well
She had career, they could not guess
What she’d most want if they should ask


Someone to love, someone to stay
A home, a home in which to live.
So woman married, children came
A life ideal thought all she knew


His roaming feet made mockery
Of sanctity and marriage vows
Alone again, the questions rose
What will you, can you do alone


Near ninety now, a life endured
Through heartache, blessing even love
Though not again a sensual kind.
Her needs the same as when at 10


Someone to care, someone to stay
A home to share in which to live.
Now home she shares with caring child
Those final questions answered, done.


I just received notification that I have 200 hundred followers!  Perhaps not all that much when so many have several to dozens of hundreds more, but it is a huge milestone to me.  Thank you so much, all of you who have read and even possibly like my poetry.  I am deeply grateful.


“If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”

John F. Kennedy



Jesus Christ

Luke [21:1] As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. [2] He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. [3] “I tell you the truth,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. [4] All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

Quote #2

Robert W. Service:

“It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out; it’s the grain of sand in your shoe.”


Quote #1

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.”

Rudyard Kipling


© 2019 Barbara Grace Lake

Why hair dyed green like crazed undead
As they come growling from their graves?
Why triple piercing ears and lips?
And nipples too? All torrid zones?
Does this new style evoke response
From any unrepelled by pins

Do you have feelings there friend asks
And were those feelings live before
You poked or cut and numbed the nerves?
You know when damaged, nerves can’t send
For brain’s response of joy or pain
We learned this in anatomy.

Now let’s get right down to the act
Your mate’s all hot and so are you
But clothing’s rudely in the way
So off with it and off with rings
My gawd!  You really have one there!?
I think a sex abort occurred


© 2019 Barbara Grace Lake

I saw within a seething orb
A chance that life might be sustained
Into its noisome, boiling stew
Of minerals, raw elements
I threw a seed, one tiny seed
The first and foremost building block
To grow diversely, form and mind
Plants, animals and later, man

Each tiny fragment, molecule
Minutely joins, divides, evolves
Creating new, rejecting old
Until the most adaptable
Survive the harsh environment
A fiery mass where species die.
I’m there, but do not interfere.
As nature always knows the way

Absorbing oxidating bath
Vast saline oceans swathed the earth
Birthed demons swimming ancient seas
Produced half leggeds from the murk
To feed on plants in marshy bogs
Some stayed on land became the sires
Of creatures status still to come
At genesis it’s change or fail

One change beyond world memory
Gave man awareness, reasoning
In truth, an almost astral power
If rightly used could help his kind
Instead man introduced misdeed.
Though here,  I do not interfere.
For man, his life’s in his own hands
Alone to cure the ills he’s bred


© 2019 Barbara Grace Lake


I’d never take full pride
Assume no credit how I’ve lived
That made me who I am
To life I’ve given, taken much
Good works and foul misdeeds
Traced murky distances between


I’ve lived near 90 years
Made many friends, some enemies
Contained within my frame
Are actions chalking phantom lines
Drab places time forgot
What have I done, where are my marks


Yet in my august years
I find that life awarded me
A virtue, grant unearned
A heart that loves is loved in turn
From life a precious  gift
Nor ever taken back again.

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