A poem translated to Spanish and published in Chile.

Clear Mind

For Aoife

She lies now in slumber’s

ballast, belly full and winded.

Future’s host of expression

that will have changed her

on wakening sifts through

wardrobes of history, her

holed sieve leaking paths

of guidance.

So many aspects she has

become in as many hours,

that adults will dance her

jig and tune so many calls.

Blessed Virgin thoughts

surround her, our impervious

growling pets await her. No

leaking tap, no gust of wind.

©Gene Barry.

Mente cristalina

Para Aoife

Ella yace ahora en el velo del sueño
vientre lleno y sin aliento

el futuro es un conjunto de
expresiones que la habrán
cambiado al despertar
al escarbar en los armarios de la historia
por su tamiz donde se filtrarán
los caminos de la orientación

en tantos aspectos se habrá convertido
en tantas horas en que los adultos bailarán su jig²
en tantas llamadas le harán

los pensamientos de la Santísima Virgen
la rodean, nuestra impenetrables mascotas
gruñendo la esperan

no hay grifos con fugas
ni ráfagas de viento.

©Gene Barry.

A poem translated to Romanian and published in Romania.

Mother

there is a frozen silence

both sides of our window.

Outside, a white sheet steals

the joy of herbs and plants,

decorates the half-worked

green climbing our un-finished fence.

Three electric poles are alive.

Daffodils are popping through

disliked  moss greens,

calves entertain electric fences

and woken tractors are feeding fields.

Inside, a voice is echoing your

granddaughter’s telephoned message,

stilling thoughts, and delivering

the cold news that you have passed.

©Gene Barry

Mama

E o liniște înghețată 

de ambele părți ale ferestrei.

Afară, o pânză albă le fură

bucuria ierburilor și plantelor,

ornând gardul nostru nefinisat,

acoperit de mucegai.

Trei stâlpi electrici sunt în viață.

Narcisele își scot capul

prin mușchiul cel dezgustător,

vițeii își fac de lucru cu gardurile electrice

și tractoarele trezite devreme hrănesc câmpurile.

Înăuntru, o voce repetă, ca un ecou,

mesajul de la telefon al nepoatei tale,

oprind gândurile în loc și aducând

vestea de gheață cum că tu ai trecut în neființă.

©Gene Barry.

A poem translated to Spanish and published in Mexico.

The Burial

In memory of my niece Clare O’Connor

who was still born

Time’s dose of uninvited turmoil,

engulfed their pre-planned world,

a silent unforgiving hew

within each triggered beat

struck harder as they walked

with their box of future memories.

Cheated,

no beat within.

A broadcast of childish laughter

moored closely,

un-captained.

No stolen spoon of jam.

Their anagram of wounds

quarried into their old-age and

brushing them helplessly adrift

through seas of detached empathy.

A cleft of unseen sorrow

kneading ceaselessly

and successfully.

Hurting.

No chiromantic map,

no dialect, no tell-tales,

the subterranean pedestal

dutifully beckoning.

As the feral child would

we stood and gawked

with unswallowing

lumped throats,

to see her walk

before she stood,

out of the world

she never entered

and like the familiar face

through introductions

I tell myself,

I know you Claire.

©Gene Barry 

El entierro

En memoria de mi sobrina Clare O’Connor

La porción de confusión inesperada
envolvió su mundo planeado previamente
un silencioso e implacable golpe dentro
de cada latido, se disparó

golpeó más  fuerte mientras
caminaban engañados
con su caja de recuerdos futuros
sin latido adentro


una transmisión de risa infantil
amarrada al muelle, sin capitán
sin cuchara de mermelada robada

sus anagramas de heridas se introdujeron
en la vejez y las acariciaron con impotencia
a la deriva, por mares de empatía
y desapego

una hendidura de tristeza invisible
amasando sin cesar y con éxito
                              doliendo


sin mapa quiromántico, sin dialecto
sin testigos… Un pedestal subterráneo
haciendo señas en obediencia como lo haría el niño salvaje
nos paramos y miramos boquiabiertos
con las gargantas hinchadas, sin poder tragar 

para verla caminar antes de que ella se pare
afuera del mundo en que nunca entró

y como viendo un rostro familiar en las fotografías
me digo a mí mismo
te conozco Claire.

©Gene Barry.

A poem translated to Arabic and published in Egypt

Letter to Hashim

For Huda Ghaliya

I am Huda and I scream

to you in the skies above

me, please do not leave

me alone to mourn for I

have dipped my tiny limbs

beneath the hem of death’s

door and trawled for those

same arms that hugged me,

for the sets of lips that were

mine to kiss, for that parental

safety net woven by my future

and my arms are empty.

I am the only day of our

week that lives on this beach

of trading on the edge of

another bloody empire.

I would trade all spices here

today a world of olibanum

and ostrich feathers, I would

add my name to the menu

of slaves, I would tame a

thousand Buraqs and trek to

our future. But I cannot. For

Israel’s summer rain has lashed

death to my childish frame,

a burden your great grandson

will unleash, a memory I will

undress each day. But my

Boswellian roots I will anchor to

this blood-stained land that

Alexander failed to arid turn,

my tears I will trade for peace.

©Gene Barry.

Letter to Hashim

رسالة من هاشم

لهدى غالية

أنا هدى ، و إنني أصرخ

صرخاتي تتجه نحوك ، في السماوات العالية فوقي

أرجوك لا تتركني

لا تتركني وحيدة لأفجع

فأنا غمست اطرافي

تحت حافة باب الموت

محاولا ان أصطاد نفس الأذرع التي احتضنتني

و تلك الشفتين التين كانتا ملكي كي أقبلهما

لتلك الشبكة من الحنان الأبوي ، والتي حبكها مستقبلي

ذراعاي الآن فارغتان

أنا اليوم الوحيد المتبقي من أسبوعنا و الذي يعيش على هذا الشاطئ

شاطئ المقايضة على شفير امبراطورية دموية أخرى

كنت لأقايض كل الكائنات الحية هنا

هذا اليوم

مقابل عالم من اللبان و ريش النعام

كنت لأضيف اسمي على لائحة العبيد

كنت لأروض الف براق و رحلة مضنية في سبيل مستقبلنا

و لكنني لا استطيع

فمطرهم الصيفي قد ضرب الموت بغزارة على هيكلي الطفولي

عبئ ثقيل سيطلق حفيدك له العنان

ذكرى سأتعرى منها كل يوم

لكن تبقى جذوري البوسويلية التي سأرسخها في هذه الارض الملطخة بالدماء

و التي فشل الكسندر في تجفيفها

دموعي ، سوف أبادلها مقابل السلام

جيني باري

©Gene Barry.

A poem translated to Spanish and published in Mexico.

Rotterdam

In memory of Jim Barry

You dangled in an Auschwitz frame,

poppy full and gloating,

boastful as a medal earning child

and sniffing Merlin’s approval.

God’s Own Medicine nursed

its way through those same cells

that quenched the torment

Telemachus held for you.

The un-reaching, pock-marked

and useless long arms you wore

were drained of hugs and dying,

they offered not an opportunity.

Your unfortunate messengers,

thieved of instruction,

naked vellum, brimmed

inward with emotions.

You were repeatedly

scruples-free and mission-bound,

deep in this addiction

you refused to own.

Common in us three

tight bound siblings

was a traditional inability,

infant donated.

These airline tickets had

somehow merely flown us

back to our childhood,

contraband inclusive.

I pulled from our family

dictionary and served an ace

each time; my labelled tongue

an unapproved ambassador.

©Gene Barry

Rotterdam

En memoria de Jim Barry


Te colgaste en un cuadro de Auschwitz
lleno de amapolas, con regodeo
jactancioso como un niño
ganador de medallas
intuyendo la aprobación de Merlín

la propia medicina de Dios
se abrió camino a través de esas
mismas células que aplacaron el suplicio
que Telémaco te reservaba

los inalcanzables, marcados
por la viruela, esos inútiles brazos largos
vacíos de abrazos que, moribundos
no ofrecían oportunidad alguna

tus desafortunados mensajeros
ladrones del saber en pergaminos desnudos
rebosantes de emociones

estabas libre de escrúpulos y comprometido
con la misión de unión

y aferrado a esta adicción te
negaste a poseer

tan común en nosotros, tres hermanos
unidos, era una incapacidad tradicional

estos boletos de avión, de
alguna manera, nos llevaron de vuelta
a nuestra infancia
con el contrabando incluido

saqué nuestro diccionario familiar
y saqué un as cada vez
con la inscripción en mi lengua:

embajador desaprobado.

©Gene Barry.

A poem translated to Albanian and published in Albania.

Aftermath

I sit stand lie walk
Bend carefully and slowly
The breast I need to suck
Within reach and yet too far

I starve for explanations as

My tears pull childhood wounds
Deliver those unappreciated images
That cycle past on three wheelers
The cyclist’s tongues saluting

Our narrow grass-centred road
Dressed in mountain ranges
Has become ugly and uninteresting
Mute birds and silent hedgerows

There is a wound in every vision

Logic is a popular school teacher
The perfect stocked exchange
Correct and right without answers
Reason is unpopular and unedited

And yet…a hug is a thesaurus 
That blankets every wound

©Gene Barry

Pasojat

Ulem në këmbë gënjeshtër shëtitje
Përkuluni me kujdes dhe ngadalë
Gjoksin duhet ta thith
Brenda mundësive dhe akoma shumë larg

Unë vdes nga uria për shpjegime si
Lotët e mi tërheqin plagët e fëmijërisë
Dorëzoni ato imazhe të pavlerësuara
Ai cikël kalon me tre rrota
Gjuhët e çiklistit përshëndesin

Rruga jonë e ngushtë me në qendër barin
Të veshur me vargmale
Becomeshtë bërë e shëmtuar dhe jointeresante
Zogj të heshtur dhe gardhe të heshtura
Ka një plagë në çdo vizion

Logjika është një mësuese popullore e shkollës
Shkëmbimi perfekt i aksioneve
E saktë dhe e drejtë pa përgjigje
Arsyeja është jopopullore dhe e pa redaktuar

E megjithatë ... një përqafim është një fjalor thesari
Kjo batanije çdo plagë


© Gene Barry

A poem translated to Dutch and published in Holland.

Apollinaireing

Nine years later you ask

Is this alright, honestly,

as if I was your personal

designer, best female friend.

I want to wolf whistle, to

up my magician’s sleeve

and present you with a

bouquet of your favourites.

I’m pulled instantly to our

wedding day, to those cardiac

moments before I hear the

‘Oh’ and turn, eyes leaking,

Larynx locked and accept

the fact that my world is

about to accept me.

No elephant in our room.

©Gene Barry.

Apollinaire-achtig

Negen jaar later vraag je

Is dit in orde, eerlijk gezegd,

alsof ik je persoonlijke

ontwerper was, je beste vriendin.

Ik wil wolf fluiten, tot aan

mijn tovenaarsmouwen

en je een boeket

van je favorieten geven.

Ik word meteen naar onze trouwdag

toe getrokken, naar die cardiale

momenten vlak voordat ik ‘oh’ hoor

en me omdraai, lekkende ogen,

strottenhoofd vergrendeld en aanvaarden

het feit dat mijn wereld

op het punt staat om me te accepteren.

Geen olifant in onze kamer.

©Gene Barry.

A poem translated to Irish and published in Ireland.

Closed Line

For separated fathers

I would walk to my gallows

once weekly and feed the rope

with single men. And witness

the gawking families

unilaterally waving the many

colours of unity’s insults.

They would do it without

moving or speaking. Without

even knowing the pain they

had infused. Marrow bound.

A line of useless drones out

of sync with family matters.

“Us” was parked in every garden

that wasn’t ours, dancing all

day in wind that ceased to live

in what seemed to be the only

lifeless garden. Rainbows of

stories sticking out their tongues.

“We” never did the feeding of

the nylon, nor the retrieving

of the cleansed. Eyes set down

from conversations at both

boundaries that were lent to

what we now knew as a family.

Everybody beyond our ditches

seemed to gel with the laughter

of coal bunkers and barbeques,

to continue the unfinished over

the flapping icons that waved

them inside their castles.

©Gene Barry

Líne Iata

 do na fir scartha

Shiúlainn go dtí crann mo chrochta

uair sa tseachtain agus chothaínn an téad

le súgán fear singil. Agus romham amach

teaghlaigh ag gliúcaíocht le drochmheas,

ceirteacha a gcuid maslaí á gcroitheadh

acu orm le gach dath faoin spéir.

Gan ghíocs gan ghuth dheintí é,

gan chor, gan chaint.

i ngan fhios don arraing péine a

chuir siad tríom. Go smior na smúsach.

Gamail gan rath amuigh leo féin

gan beann ar chúram clainne.

“Sinne” ina staic i ngach gairdín

nár linn, ag rince go fiata

i rith an lae sa ghaoith sin a

múchadh ina lios gan síóg.

Bogha ceatha a gcuid scéalta

ar ghob geabach a dteanga.

Níor dheineamarna na héadaí

a bheathú, ná an glantachán a

theasargan ón bpoll. Súile a

d’fhoghlaim teorainneacha na

cainte ón dtuiscint chúng a bhí acu

don teach, don teaghlach, don mhuintir.

Dhlúthaigh gach aon duine eile le chéile

lena ngáirí barbíciú, lena gcabaireacht

theolaí cois tine. Lasmuigh dár gcuid

clathacha lean siad orthu ag sméideadh

lena gcuid meirgí gan chrích

laistigh d’fhallaí a ndúnphort féin.

©Eoghan de Barra.

A poem translated to Dutch and published in Holland.

Fishing

They cycle the farmyard

the ready to fly crows

above hollowing out

bunkers of the dead 

while he recycles

cows vegetables sheep fruits

digs holes for traffic lights

becomes a life detective

from over the barrier

their memories get speeding fines

his broken head inking out

dead bodies decorating

and she barricaded

inside the curtained window

her harvested thoughts

gowned in his misery

the music of

useless half moons

holed buckets

the unadopted

dead animals

harmonising

©Gene Barry

Vissen

Ze fietsen op het erf

de kraaien, hoog, die willen opvliegen

hollen bunkers uit voor de doden

terwjl hij recycled

koeien groentes schapen vruchten

graaft gaten voor verkeerslichten

wordt een levens detective

van over de hindernis

hun herinneringen krijgen boetes voor te snel rijden

zyn gebroken hoofd vervend

dode lichamen versierend

en ze barricades opwerpt

binnen de ramen met gordijnen

haar geoogste gedachten

gekleed in zijn ellende

de muziek van

zinloze halve manen

einmers met gaten

de afgewezenen

dode dieren

harmoniserend

©Gene Barry.

A poem translated to Spanish and published in Chile.

Sanctity

for Charlie Vella

When I am older my love

and Zurrieq is sleeping

hoarsely, I will go to her

and ease her tiring larynx.

My skein of love

I will take and plant

each hank in a house

Barocci failed to influence.

A set of arms from each one

I will invite and let it hold me

and seduce a pair of loving

lips to steal a moment, or two.

I will waltz her medieval

streets with Ptolemy and at

the temple I will listen

to his Sunday Miscellany.

I will be a Vella for a day,

drink with Victoria and

sway my youthful arms at

A La Veneziana,

and when the pick is

whispering to be harvested

I will bend all day and sleep

in the safety of their Għorfa.

©Gene Barry

Santidad

para Charlie Vella

Cuando sea mayor, mi amor
y Zurrieq esté roncando
mientras duerme
me acercaré a ella
aliviaré su fatigada laringe

tomaré mi madeja de amor
y la plantaré en una casa
que Barocci no logró influir

los brazos de cada uno invitaré
dejaré que me abracen

seduciré a un par de labios enamorados
para robarles un momento, o dos

bailaré por sus calles medievales
con Tolomeo y en
el templo escucharé
su miscelánea dominical

seré un Vella por un día
beberé por la Victoria y
columpiaré mis brazos juveniles
a la Veneciana

y cuando la cúspide susurre
para ser cosechada
me postergaré todo el  día
dormiré en la certeza
de su Għorfa¹.

©Gene Barry.

A poem translated to Romanian and published in Romania.

Chewing her Cud

Without asking, he told me

that the old boat had tugged her

out to a place where the religious

fill their dreams, to where an audience

of repaired grandparents play.

I begged him to dismount from

the saddle of remorse he was riding,

to polish the parlour and dress each

room with favourites of flowers

and long ago visited photographs.

Dine with dreams I told him,

unpack the contraband,

swim in glorious memories and

reap the unseen sown by forefathers,

tend to memories borrowed from the future.

Standing for his first time he exhaled,

she was the bull’s red rag’,

he swallowed,

a Dante inferno and I

loved the bones of her’.

©Gene Barry

Cufundarea în gânduri

Fără să-l întreb, mi-a spus

că barca cea veche a dus-o

în locul cu care credincioșii

își umplu visurile, acolo unde strămoșii

sunt tămăduiți și se joacă 

L-am implorat să coboare

de pe spinarea căinței, pe care călărea

să dea lustru casei și să îmbrace

fiecare cameră cu florile ei preferate

și cu fotografii ce n-au mai fost privite de mult timp

Ia cina împreună cu visurile, i-am spus

despachetează sentimentele de contrabandă

scufundă-te în amintirile minunate și

culege cele nevăzute, sădite de străbuni

ai grijă de amintirile luate cu împrumut din viitor

Ridicându-se în picioare pentru prima oară, a dat drumul la cuvinte

”ea a fost capa roșie din fața taurului”

a înghițit

”un infern al lui Dante

dar am iubit-o dincolo de oase”.

©Gene Barry.

A poem translated to Italian and published in Italy.

Letter to Hashim

For Huda Ghaliya

I am Huda and I scream

to you in the skies above

me, please do not leave

me alone to mourn for I

have dipped my tiny limbs

beneath the hem of death’s

door and trawled for those

same arms that hugged me,

for the sets of lips that were

mine to kiss, for that parental

safety net woven by my future

and my arms are empty.

I am the only day of our

week that lives on this beach

of trading on the edge of

another bloody empire.

I would trade all spices here

today a world of olibanum

and ostrich feathers, I would

add my name to the menu

of slaves, I would tame a

thousand Buraqs and trek to

our future. But I cannot. For

Israel’s summer rain has lashed

death to my childish frame,

a burden your great grandson

will unleash, a memory I will

undress each day. But my

Boswellian roots I will anchor to

this blood-stained land that

Alexander failed to arid turn,

my tears I will trade for peace.

©Gene Barry

Lettera ad Hashim
per Huda Ghaliya

Sono Huda e grido a te
nei cieli lassù
… no, per favore, non lasciarmi
sola a piangere perché
ho immerso le mie piccole membra
sotto l’orlo della porta
della morte e ho gettato le reti
per pescare le braccia che mi stringevano
le labbra che erano
per me, da baciare, la rete
di sicurezza genitoriale intessuta
dal mio futuro
e le mie braccia sono vuote.
Sono l’unico giorno della nostra
settimana che vive su questa spiaggia
di commercio sull’orlo di
un altro impero sanguinoso.
Venderei tutte le spezie qui
oggi un mondo di incenso
e di piume d’ostrica, aggiungerei
il mio nome al menu
degli schiavi. Addomesticherei
mille Buraq e viaggerei verso
il nostro futuro. Ma non posso. Perché
la loro pioggia estiva ha frustato
morte nel mio corpo di bambina,
un fardello che il vostro pronipote
scioglierà, un ricordo
che svesitrò ogni giorno. Ma le mie
radici boswelliane getterò come ancore
in questa terra macchiata di sangue che
Alessandro non riuscì a rendere arida,
scambierò le mie lacrime con la pace.

©Gene Barry.

A poem translated to Spanish and published in Mexico.

Mining

Who, being loved, is poor? Oscar Wilde

There is an un-mined treasure pit

where Hammurabi’s scribes bend hourly

to tablet-etch the lush of their oneness;

it has no gates, just bridges.

Where he surfs every heart-filled wish

he dares to daily permit himself to dream

and she is a Picasso paintbrush

he lovingly paints his world with.

Where she is a Freudian archaeologist

delicately digging in the aftermath

of every unspoken mote her lover

has yet to broadcast.

Where they are a team of pit horses,

unselfishly delivering cargo after cargo

they willingly shovel out

to stoke this world they love.

There is a precision in their loving

that requires no maintenance.

©Gene Barry

Minería

Quién, siendo amado, es pobre?
Oscar Wilde

Hay una cueva del tesoro sin minas
donde los escribas de Hammurabi
se inclinan cada hora para grabar la
exuberancia de su unidad:
no tiene puertas, solo puentes

donde él surfea cada anhelo colmado de sinceridad
donde se permite soñar a diario
y ella es un pincel de Picasso
con que pinta de amor su mundo

donde es una arqueóloga freudiana
que profundiza con delicadeza en las secuelas
de cada mota tácita que su amante
todavía no emana

donde son un equipo de caballos de trinchera
y, desinteresados, entregan carga tras carga
con el fuego de la voluntad cavan para resucitar
ese mundo que aman

hay una precisión en su amor que
no requiere mantenimiento.

©Gene Barry.

A poem translated to Romanian and published in Romania.

Aftermath

I sit stand lie walk
Bend carefully and slowly
The breast I need to suck
Within reach and yet too far

I starve for explanations as

My tears pull childhood wounds
Deliver those unappreciated images
That cycle past on three wheelers
The cyclist’s tongues saluting

Our narrow grass-centred road
Dressed in mountain ranges
Has become ugly and uninteresting
Mute birds and silent hedgerows

There is a wound in every vision

Logic is a popular school teacher
The perfect stocked exchange
Correct and right without answers
Reason is unpopular and unedited

And yet…a hug is a thesaurus 
That blankets every wound

©Gene Barry

Consecința

Stau jos stau în picioare stau întins merg

Mă aplec încet și cu grijă

Sânul de la care am nevoie să sug

e aproape și totuși atât de departe

Tânjesc după niște explicații, în timp ce

lacrimile mele trag după ele răni din copilărie,

scot la iveală imagini fără valoare

care trec pe lângă mine pe triciclete

cu cei care pedalează scoțând limba la mine

Drumul nostru îngust, cu iarbă pe mijloc

împodobit cu mai multe șiruri de munți

a devenit urât și neinteresant

cu păsări fără glas și garduri vii tăcute

fiecare priveliște poartă în ea o rană

Logica e un profesor îndrăgit

bursa de valori perfectă

corectă și adevărată fără să ofere niciun răspuns

Bunul-simț e neîndrăgit și îndepărtat

Și totuși…  o îmbrățișare e o enciclopedie

care acoperă orice rană.

©Gene Barry.

A poem reflecting the aftermath of a mastectomy translated to Spanish and published in Mexico.

Redundant

These nights, his right hand

rests behind him longing for

that dedicated perch he

affectionately used while spooning.

She no longer jadedly manages

night, love you too

concentrates on the tears

filling the pillow’s pool.

Makes another note to

change it when he is at work,

where he will cry many

times in the deaf toilet.

In her dreams she will be

younger than 13 again;

in her wedding dress,

hugging her adult children,

climbing the Sydney Bridge,

leading her Pilates class,

with mam and dad in Rome,

captaining her basketball team,

swimming at their new villa,

losing herself to the anaesthetic.

She is awkwardly lighter there now,

a new weight resting on her shoulders

toppling her into an unfamiliar world.

When the doctor spoke of reconstruction

she ran into bricks and mortar;

their shed that had been flattened in that storm,

her father’s unfinished coal bunker,

her favourite brother’s patio,

the pouring of their first foundation,

their holiday home in Sardinia,

built a wall around her unexplainable pain.

©Gene Barry

Redundante

Estas noches, su mano derecha
descansa detrás de él, anhela
esa percha que usaba
mientras la acariciaba cariñosamente
pero ella no sobrelleva el hastío
buenas noches, también te amo
se concentra en llenar con sus lágrimas
la piscina de las almohadas
agenda cambiarlas , cuando está
en el trabajo, donde él llora
a escondidas en el baño para sordos

en sus sueños ella tendrá 13 de nuevo
llevará su vestido de novia
abrazará a sus hijos adultos
andará por el puente de Sídney
liderará su clase de Pilates
estará con mamá y papá en Roma
dirigirá su equipo de baloncesto
nadará en su nueva villa
se perderá a sí misma en la anestesia

ella yace más ligera ahora
un nuevo peso descansa en sus hombros
la hunde en un mundo desconocido

cuando el doctor habló de reconstrucción
se topó con ladrillos y mortero
con el cobertizo que había sido aplastado en la tormenta
la carbonera inacabada de su padre
el patio de su hermano favorito
el vertido de sus primeros cimientos 
la casa de vacaciones en Cerdeña…
su memoria construyó un muro
alrededor del dolor.

©Gene Barry.

A poem translated to Romanian and published in Romania.

Call me Granny

She was a holed ark

lying in that grave not yet dug for her.

A readable Ulysses.

Her own black and white parents

had been childhooded in a courtroom,

sisters ate guilt for supper.

I often cried for her begging lips

-when I lived in my small frame-

and watched a pedestrian of excuses

daily march from that mouth.

A finger-wagging hand

holding her still and she living in

the moment of a graveside kneel.

In between the misunderstood prayers

she subpoenaed deaf relatives who were

useless as a liar’s excuse.

Once, let us not nanny dance around the particulars

she screamed at no audience;

another new testament I asked myself.

So when dirty, not tired

she bathed in a bath of punishment.

After all,

               families are only for photographs.

©Gene Barry

Spune-mi mamaie

Ea era o arcă găurită

așezată într-un mormânt care nu fusese încă săpat pentru ea.

Un Ulise pe care puteai să-l citești.

Cu părinții ei în alb-negru

care-și petrecuseră copilăria într-o continuă judecată,

cu surorile ei care serveau vinovăție la cină.

De multe ori am plâns pentru buzele ei care mereu cerșeau aprobare

–  când eram mic –

și am observat cum un șir de scuze ieșeau din gura ei,

ca niște pietoni mergând în marș, zi de zi.

O mână cu degetul arătător ridicat

o  ținea nemișcată, iar ea trăia

ca îngenuncheată pe marginea mormântului.

Între rugăciunile înțelese greșit

își chema în ajutor rudele surde, care erau

nefolositoare, ca scuzele unui mincinos.

Odată, hai să nu ne mai împiedicăm în detalii precise

a strigat ea la un public absent;

un alt nou testament, m-am întrebat.

Așa că atunci când se simțea vinovată, nu obosită,

ea se scufunda într-o baie de pedepse.

La urma urmelor,

                           familiile sunt doar pentru fotografii.

©Gene Barry.

A poem translated to Spanish and published in Chile.

I Am

I am art in Amsterdam

A Picasso paintbrush

A child’s empty pocket

Compassion at a funeral

I am pithy in your emotions

Second wind at extra time

Confidence at an interview

An appropriate spare button

I am rain over Africa

An ENT resident in Bhopal

A kitchen apron

An antidote at hand

I am steadfast in loyalty

Hope in the OR

Acceptance in a family

A blank canvas

I am clunky in expression

A recently found memento

A broadcast of good news

When you love me.

©Gene Barry

Yo soy

Soy arte de Ámsterdam
pincel de Picasso
bolsillo vacío de un niño
compasión en funeral

soy tu fiel sentir
nuevo aliento en la oportunidad
repuesto de botón capaz
confianza en la entrevista

soy lluvia en África
residente de la ORL en Bhopal
delantal para cocinar
antídoto a la mano

soy un ancla en la lealtad
ilusión en el quirófano
lienzo en blanco
unidad familiar

soy torpeza en la expresión
memoria recién evocada
emisión de buenas noticias

…Cuando me amas.

©Gene Barry.

A poem translated to Japanese and published in Japan.

Circumnavigating

Kazumi familiarises herself 
with words with new meanings 
too big for her little mind to reason,
– nano-sieverts – caesium – irreversible –
asks honest questions about 
unfamiliar shaped vegetables 
and queer fish with familiar names.

Since Fumio lost himself to suicide
her sickening mother dresses 
Inari with luck-bringers,
frequently pulls her family back the 
102 years to his birth;
hides the emotions they daily discuss,
leaks tears for his wasteland.

In dreams her grandfather visits upturned

boats where he trawls though 
memories of catches and colleagues lost,
loses himself to small-boy memories
played in child-friendly fields.
On Monday he will lose himself 
to another unwelcomed anaesthetic.

Meanwhile the masters strategically 
seat themselves in the furniture of denial,
where decency is an unused noun
begging to be honestly served.
They sing press-conference tautologies
and blanket each other in minimize,
their verbal guns loaded with excuses.

©Gene Barry.

世界一周

かずみはなじみます
新しい意味の言葉で
彼女の小さな心が推論するには大きすぎる、
-ナノシーベルト–セシウム–不可逆的-
について正直な質問をする
なじみのない形の野菜
おなじみの名前のクィアフィッシュ。

フミオが自殺したので
彼女の病気の母親のドレス
幸運をもたらす稲荷、
頻繁に彼女の家族を引き戻します
彼の誕生まで102年。
彼らが毎日話し合う感情を隠し、
彼の荒れ地のために涙を漏らします。

夢の中で彼女の祖父の訪問はひっくり返った
彼がトロールするボート
漁獲量や同僚の記憶が失われ、
小さな男の子の思い出に身を任せます
子供に優しい分野で遊んだ。
月曜日に彼は自分自身を失うでしょう
別の歓迎されない麻酔薬に。

一方、マスターは戦略的に
否定の家具に身を置く、
ここで、品位は未使用の名詞です
正直に仕えられるように懇願する。
彼らは記者会見のトートロジーを歌います
最小化でお互いを覆い、
言い訳を積んだ彼らの口頭の銃。

©ジーンバリー

A poem translated to Romanian and published in Romania.

Working Days

In the warm hospital car park,

under the high sun that was

oblivious to the occupants of

the discharging belt of taxis,

cars with shiny blue permits

newly perched on their

dashboards and the special

transporters and ambulances,

I sat filling out my most-important

paperwork I believed would

shortly will be cast aside as one

would a useless cigarette end?

I watched them arrive

mostly in pairs,

just the odd loner

strutting like a hired gun.

Defiant.

Others left me wondering

if there was a corral of

redundant friends and families

working, sitting, sleeping

in ignorance.

The automatic mouth of the

clinic swallowed repeatedly,

spitting out the lucky ones

like distasteful kernels.

Eating from the topped up

feedbag of mixtures;

bargaining and fear mostly,

the odd acceptance a tasty bite,

denial a regular

and all wrapped carefully

in a variety of medical appliances.

The patens who guided, lifted

pushed and poked wore

their new faces, repeatedly

administering encouragement

to a posse of deaf ears.

They came wrapped mostly

in quickly purchased ill-fitting

PJs, nighties and dressing gowns,

all lost in their new undersized

frames and in the importance

of the moment.

Nine weeks later, the days

shortening and the sun kissing

the horizon a few hours earlier

I was back again

carefully nursing him along

the conveyor of inevitability,

my mask a perfect fit.

A bag of irrelevant fashion

hanging from my left

shoulder and he who

gave me life

leaning on the other.

The two of us

babbling, babbling, babbling.

©Gene Barry

Zile lucrătoare

În parcarea fierbinte a spitalului,

sub soarele înălțat sus pe cer, 

inexistent pentru ocupanții

taxiurilor din șirul care descărca pacienți,

pentru cei ai mașinilor cu permise albastre, strălucitoare,

fixate recent pe tablourile de bord,

și pentru șoferii de la transporturile

speciale și de la ambulanțe,

eu stăteam și completam cele mai importante

hârtii, care eram convins că urmau

să fie imediat aruncate într-un colț,

ca niște mucuri de țigară.

Mă uitam cum sosesc,

cei mai mulți în perechi,

doar câte unul singur, ciudat,

mergând țanțoș ca un pistolar.

Sfidător.

Ceilalți mă făceau să mă întreb

dacă nu cumva exista undeva un țarc plin

cu prieteni și cu membri ai familiei, toți de prisos,

care stăteau, dormeau, își vedeau de treabă,

în ignoranță. 

Gura automatizată a clinicii

îi înghițea pe toți regulat,

scuipându-i afară pe cei norocoși,

ca pe niște sâmburi amari.

Rumegau, fiecare din traista legată la gât,

plină cu amestecuri:

cel mai adesea negociere și teamă,

acceptarea cea rară, o îmbucătură hrănitoare,

negarea, ceva obișnuit –

și cu toții erau bine ambalați

în dispozitive medicale.

Cei care le aduceau patenele și împărtășania îi îndrumau,

îi ridicau, îi împingeau și îi așezau, purtându-și 

figurile cele noi, oferind

încurajări în mod repetat,

la o grămadă de urechi surde.

Ei soseau, de cele mai multe ori, înfășurați

în pijamale, cămăși de noapte sau halaturi 

cumpărate în grabă și de mărimi nepotrivite,

cu toții pierduți în corpurile lor noi,

micșorate, și în importanța

momentului.

Nouă săptămâni mai târziu, când zilele

se scurtaseră, iar soarele săruta orizontul

cu câteva ore mai devreme,

am revenit,

conducându-l cu grijă, 

și duceam pe roți inevitabilul,

cu masca mea, care se potrivea de minune.

O geantă de-un model oarecare 

îmi atârna pe umărul

stâng și el,

care mi-a dat viață,

se sprijinea de celălalt.

Amândoi

vorbind fleacuri, fleacuri, fleacuri.                                                                                                                           

©Gene Barry.

A poem translated to Hindi and published in India.

Love’s Diastole

We strolled the beach repeatedly
omnipotent in our unity, 
promising to keep promises.

There was no drain to 
ease the falling rush
from our un-sluiced silence,

just terraces of breaking 
aches rushing clean and
easy over the Minoan earth.

Your eyes a team of plough horses
tugging at the roots of joy
bedded in absence

and I plump with confidence
jirbled rough unsteady words;
a quell I thought.

A swell of history fought 
our falling tide as love’s vice 
held us firmly;

plans and dreams of children
flying themselves into
a fourth dimension.

©Gene Barry.

लव का डायस्टोल

हम बार-बार समुद्र तट पर टहलते रहे
हमारी एकता में सर्वशक्तिमान,
वादे निभाने का वादा किया।

कोई नाला नहीं था
गिरती भीड़ को कम करो
हमारी संयुक्त राष्ट्र की चुप्पी से,

बस टूटने की छतों
स्वच्छ और दर्द
मिनोआन पृथ्वी पर आसान।

आपकी आँखें हल के घोड़ों की एक टीम है
खुशी की जड़ों में tugging
अनुपस्थिति में बिस्तर पर

और मैं आत्मविश्वास से लबरेज
jirbled असभ्य अस्थिर शब्द;
मैं सोचता था।

इतिहास की एक तलवार लड़ी
प्रेम के कुल के रूप में हमारा गिरता हुआ ज्वार
हमें मजबूती से पकड़े रखा;

योजनाओं और बच्चों के सपने
खुद में उड़ रहा है
एक चौथा आयाम।


© जीन बैरी




A poem translated to Spanish and published in Mexico.

Bonelocked

For Pasha Chernobyl 1999

No one has seen the walls

that hover around you,

shields that only land

occasionally in polluted

fields of adulthood.

Birthed by deaf ears and

confused and troubled as

your country’s barriers.

Your birth year blew you

you a second violation,

nuclear, a shock to torture your

family now summoned to

live a querulous-free life.

Is there a poet of gratitude

lurking in your twisted frame

burying volumes of antiquity;

those beasts that

bite you after binding?

Is there an Olympian caged

within, breaking ribbon after

ribbon? A podium tenant

riding heroic cantatas.

A screamer without an

audience. Are your trips

as grey as a funeral

procession or as pleasing

as a lap of honour.

©Gene Barry

Bloqueo de huesos

Para Pasha, Chernóbil  1999

Nadie ha visto las paredes
que se ciernen a tu alrededor
escudos que, a veces
tan sólo aterrizan
en contaminados campos
de la tercera edad

— sordo de nacimiento y
confundido, atribulado como
las barreras de su país

tu año de nacimiento fue
volado por una  bomba nuclear
un shock que torturó a tu familia
ahora convocada a vivir una
vida libre de quejidos

¿hay allí un poeta de la gratitud
que acecha tu armazón arqueado
y entierra volúmenes antiguos,
bestias que te muerden
luego de tu cuerpo atar?

¿hay un deportista olímpico
enjaulado adentro
rompiendo cinta tras cinta?

tal vez un inquilino del podio
montando cantatas heroicas
o un gritón sin público

son tus viajes
tan grises como un funeral
tan amenos como la honra.

©Gene Barry.