Friday, November 19, 2010

Still Life

The gleam of a small lamp
illuminates the quiet room.
The darkness beyond the walls
forms another wall, then another

The old man sits and stares
at the past with eyes wet
from weeping.

The scenes that roll through his mind
some sad, some happy, are all that
remain of the life gone by
like a vapor.

And all around the world moves on
with dancing, and laughing,
and war, and buying and selling,
and loving and hating,
and all that is important
for a moment,
for a brief and vanishing moment.

No matter to the old man,
having seen and done
and thought
and remembered.

Daylight fades, again,
as it always has does will
and with it fading recollections
collective electrical disturbances
in his aging brain only
less than dissipated
already gone
only remembered
for a breath
until that too
is gone

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Missing the High Country

Since my old hiking buddy and good friend, Bud Wilson, passed away, I have not had even the hope of taking a weekend hike in the Western NC mountains. I miss those craggy peaks, those windswept hills where life is put in its proper place. There is no room for ego there, nor worry, or anxiety. There is only putting one foot in front of another, looking for the next water source, and finding a good place to make camp.

Then, settling down around the fire, eating a basic meal from a can, every muscle, nerve, and sinew relaxes. You rest to the sound of the crackling fire and gaze at the starry canvas. It gets cool at night in the mountains, and you slide on your jacket, watching the fire worry itself down.

Then to settle into your sleeping bag, where it's warm and quiet. You may hear the wind ripple your tent fly as it sweeps over the mountain. Quiet and warm and relaxed in nature's bower. Sleep comes easy, and your dreams fly away miles toward the sky.

I surely miss it and hope someday I can find another old geezer, slow poke hiker to wander the ragged hills of Caroline.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Prince and Peace

In the mists of the long dead past
life arises
In the gleam of sunlight on the rose
life shines forth
In the smile of the young
life expresses love

In all the vagaries of our mysterious world
and existence
there shows forth, to the one who can see
the Love that saves

To open one's eyes is sometimes hard
To keep them closed is the way of the coward
Belief takes effort
Denial only hardness of heart

In quietness
The Word of God

Then the Truth will come like warm summer rain
and your heart is nourished and renewed
and you can be born again.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Gray Child

Copyright 2010

To the aged go the spoils

those miracles of daily life accumulated

those riches laid down and taken up

stored for the day when

the day when

And life its weary journey plods

and bodies fail and thoughts fail

and nights grow long and short again

and pain of heart

and pain of mind

reside in docile, noisy state

And somewhere deep inside

still striving

a stubborn youth must be heard

amid the cacophonous clamor

of arthritis, myelitis, and actinic nuisance

still inside, somehow despite the years

in that solid, quiet place

that ageless, static place

wherein attends the soul

and resides the dew of hope

of purpose

amid the stuff of dreams

that refuse to die

And light the suffocating darkness breaks

and upward reaches

the essence of which

the real man is made.

Friday, March 26, 2010

New Review of On Wings of Gentle Power on

By: Patrick Trammell, Vestavia Hills, AL

Powerfully Written, Beautifully Packaged, March 25, 2010

This review is from: On Wings of Gentle Power (Paperback) On Wings of Gentle Power, Barry Yelton's second book and first poetry offering, takes the reader on a slow, soulful walk through life's rich journey. Barry Yelton is a technically talented and imaginative fiction writer, as proven in his debut novel, Scarecrow in Gray. In this work, he reveals a man grounded deeply in his roots and his time. His poetry is artfully crafted, yet offers vivid imagery of life, death, the past, and nature. It is at times mournful, at times hopeful, but always grounded solidly in the human condition. A note on the photography of Al Past, which accompanies the book. Many poetry books use stock photography for decoration. Not so here. The photography in this book is as essential to the reading experience as the written word. A wonderfully crafted and moving experience awaits the reader.

New Review of Scarecrow in Gray on

By Patrick Trammell (Vestavia Hills, AL) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Scarecrow in Gray (Paperback)

In his debut novel, Barry Yelton artfully weaves the tale of Francis Marion Yelton, a distant kinsman of the author. Francis' story could have been of any private soldier on either side of the Civil War. The War we see vividly through Francis' eyes is of a world turned upside down. Plucked from a small farm at the tail end of the war, Francis suffers hardship, deprivation, and becomes all to familiar with the call of death and misery. At times gentle, at times violent, but with a code of honor squarely at home in 19th century America, we see a man who is all too human. Barry Yelton has done a masterful job of stripping away the cavalry sabres and mint juleps, and presented War as most live it. From a craftmanship standpoint, Yelton holds his own with the finest historical fiction writers. Indeed, the book is only historical fiction by accident. It hold its own with the best of recent Southern fiction. Worth a read, and worth more exploration of Barry Yelton's talents.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Listen to Me

Copyright 2010

I have no part in the enterprise of the day
long since has my voice
been stilled
by time

Yet voice should I give
where voice is not given
and hard lessons there are
to be learned
by those who walk in
sunlight's brief illusion

Man's bold suppositions
ring hollow in truth

eternal verisimilitude

gives lie to the
temporal, shallow dance of fools
we dance

from the place
that I rest
I can only reach out
with the arms
of the living
long since have my own
given way to corruption

Reach out though I must
through the words of a friend
and tell you, poor human
walk lively today
reach upward, sing hearty
for your day will turn dark
and the ending arrive
when never you expect

and never you wish

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Memory of a Loved One

My friend Jack Dixon, whom I met through the IAG group, has an entry on his website about his beloved wife, who passed away after a struggle with cancer. He wrote a poem dedicated to her memory and a tribute to her, and has posted a couple of photos of her there.

She was obviously a very lovely lady in many ways, and one can only imagine the grief that he has experienced since her passing. Jack is a talented writer, having written a vivid and exciting novel, The Pict, about an ancient people that inhabited the British Isles.

I highly recommend a visit to Jack's website and I highly recommend his novel. He is a talented man, and though we have never met, I count him a good friend. He has been very supportive of my work, and nothing is more important to a writer than the validation of other writers.

You can read Jack's tribute to his wife here:

Monday, February 8, 2010

New Review of On Wings of Gentle Power

My thanks to Floyd Orr and Lloyd Lofthouse of POD Book Reviews and more for the recent review of On Wings of Gentle Power. You can read the review on the PODBRAM site-

Friday, January 15, 2010

Reviews of On Wings of Gentle Power

My thanks to Janet Riehl, poet, blogger, and all around fine person, for posting the first review of On Wings of Gentle Power. You can find it on her blog at

Also, many thanks to Janet Elaine Smith, prolific author and IAG friend, for reviewing the book and posting the review to You can view it at

Ms. Smith's blog is at