Fallen Leaves

In passing, my uncle John said she is gone.
She was such a sweet siren-song
In my youth — and oh so strong.
How can it be…that she is gone?

My buddy Jim succumbed to a disease.
We fell in with each other with such ease —
A true brother in spirit all lifelong.
How can it be…that he is gone?

My sister…always looking out for me.
She could even find me up a tree.
Big sis, a guardian angel all along.
How can it be…that she is gone?

My parents, they doted on me.
My mom bounced me on her knee.
My dad and I golfed all day long.
How can it be…that they are gone?

All of them — gone, gone, gone.
How can it be…that all are gone?

All Poetry — Henry Barnard

My Story

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A Sail Away Adventure

Henry's Views

Catboat Reflection

I was only 15 years old but adventurous — what 15-year old isn’t?  We were all sailors.  Twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the yacht club would hold races for a fleet of Beetlecats to go round buoys on Waquoit Bay on Cape Cod — a large, 3-by-1 mile bay that lets out through a rocky jetty to Vineyard Sound.  I say “we” because my buddy, Jimmy Johnson, used to crew for me in those races.  We were a team.

That bay, though large, was extremely safe, as there were few locations on the bay that were deep, and all locations were very visible to the surrounding houses, but mostly because it wasn’t the real ocean — which lay just beyond the rocky jetty.  The ocean was where unpredictable and potentially dangerous things happened, but the bay was “safe” or so it seemed.

I got the idea one day…

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Bird Songs

Henry's Views

You see them with their binoculars, walking into the woods and trying to catch a glimpse of their favorite birds, if only a momentary glimpse — birdwatchers.  For sure, there are some really breathtaking birds to see, and we are not even talking parakeets here.  Two of my favorites are the Yellow Warbler and the Northern Cardinal, which I mistakenly call the Red Cardinal and is forever associated with a professional baseball team, the “Cincinnati Reds.”  To see a bird dressed head to toe in all yellow or all red is certainly beautiful but even a little bit startling.  Like nature itself is just showing off — brazenly.

Bird watching, no doubt, is one of those wonderful hobbies that has the power to give you a little vacation from yourself, as you immerse yourself in the forest and in the “hunt.”  It’s hard to think about bills, the taxes you…

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A Twinkle in His Eye

Henry's Views


A solitary old man sits on a bench,
His cane resting at his side,
His doleful eyes glance about the park,
But, restless, do not dwell for long.

Then he hears children playing with a beach ball,
And turns to see them standing in a circle.
The ball darts back and forth between them,
Kept from touching the ground – the challenge.
Their voices excited, laughing, shouting, urgent, gay –
Merriment of youth.

A tall girl hits the ball with a tight fist.
But it shoots straight up and gets snagged by branches —
The ball now suspended and out of reach.
Squeals of excitement and angst from the children
Proclaim their predicament.

A smile flickers across the old man’s face…
A twinkle in his eye.

All Poetry — Henry Barnard

My Story

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