POETRY SPOTLIGHT: L E Barrett on the Human Condition

Hi, readers!  We have a real treat in store for you today, a poetry spotlight.  In these poetry spotlights today and in the future, we will be showcasing poetry by some very talented poets.  These poets have graced us with their presence.  

With us today is poet L E Barrett.  Here is a little taste of his poetry and his views on the human condition.


A dozen old pines
Standing very erect
Thirty feet or more
Prickly hairy limbs
Seen thru my pane
Reaching out to me
Or excitedly waving
To get my attention

No guardian Angels
This witch’s brew
Who often lash out
Inside stormy spells
Then turn Statuesque
As if only onlookers
Intent on a good view
At the Tyburn gallows

I have been noticing
In circular formations
Clusters of mushrooms
On pine needle beds
With ancient markings
Formed by pine cones
That could only arise
As a gesture of sorts

Yet they still fascinate
Give credence to tales
Hinted to by neighbors
Town gossip they say
Those potent specters
Inhabit the grounds
Witches of old roots
Seeded in dark times


Raise the flag for those Maine boys
Who thru rifle shot and steel blade
Stood like blue granite in the fray
Boys of rocky shores and thick forests
Betwixt Kittery and the St John River
Uncommon solders mustered to war
Engaged in preserving a frail Union
Boys of affable towns and isolated farms
With their heads and banners held high
Common men now nobles one and all

Raise the flag for those Maine boys
Who signed on to the 1st, 2nd, and 20th
Brave souls that came to know the fight
Thru Gettysburg, Petersburg and Newtonia
Every man tested time after time by shot
All too many to find a permanent rest
Under a canopy of wooden white crosses
In fields with moss covered granite ledges
Hearts looking back to a state they love

Raise the flag for those Maine boys
Wave it proudly and as high as you can
So those same Maine boys can see
That they are still our Maine boys.

After an abundance of frigid snow and slippery icy roads
Where often a hearth and fire act as a night’s beacon
As seen through frosty panes with large white brows
To snow encrusted children and fretful evening trekkers

Oh fiddle me a delectable tune with savory harmonies
Let a tasty lick with a respondent chord stay upon my palate
I love the music your tightly strung notes have awakened in me
For now I find I have an appetite for spring and summer too

Morning air still laced with the chill of a winter’s backside
Streams roaring with laughter as they escape their banks
Birds chirping as if they have not seen their neighbors in a while
Frosty morning sunshine as dazzling as light through stained glass

Oh fiddle me a delectable tune with savory harmonies
Let a tasty lick with a respondent chord stay upon my palate
I love the music your tightly strung notes have awakened in me
For now I find I have an appetite for spring and summer too

I know the spot near to the stream at the edge of the marsh
Where I ponder another years passing and another beginning
Where the damp earth laden with debris smells of potential life
As the crowns of fiddleheads emerge to take their rightful thrones

Oh fiddle me a delectable tune with savory harmonies
Let a tasty lick with a respondent chord stay upon my palate
I love the music your tightly strung notes have awakened in me
For now I find I have an appetite for spring and summer too.


I dream in Maine,
Of rosy red sunrises over the crests of rock-strewn shores
Splinters of light straining through stands of pine and birch
Dusk blanketing fields with loping deer and placid moose

I dream in Maine,
As the sound and motion of a Manhattan Street envelops me
In combat as I lay my weapon down and listen to the stillness
In endless rooms, bars, hotels, and where ever I meet strangers

I dream in Maine,
Of the mouths of rivers derived from streams down granite ledges
Huge lakes and small ponds surrounded by bush filled floating bogs
Lush green or multicolored hills with sweeping valleys dotted with farms

I dream in Maine,
At sporting events and concerts or whenever I share a glass with friends
On subways, buses, planes or cars with “Muddy Waters” on my radio
And Dear, even as I make love to you in the late hours of the night

I dream in Maine,
Of the smell of clam flats, apple orchards, campfires and pine needle beds
Cold snow on brimming shovels and giant snow piles aging beside the road
Gritty sand on my legs and as the chilly ocean’s tongue begins to lick my feet

I dream in Maine,
Not of people or events or concerns that consume me and my daily journey
But instead as a picturesque back drop for the seeding of all my dreams
A place radiating out of my soul and hidden behind my eyes, that I call Maine. 


Drove the old Ford out to the quarry
Sat on a rock shelf in the desolation
Looked down into the dark water
Sensed the silence of the moment
Then as if delivered out of myself
Heard the shrieks of young voices
Coming back to me from times past
Summers when I shielded my eyes
From the sun reflecting off the water
Boys alive in tanned muscular frames
Brown girls showing splotches of color
Recalling the endless acts of heroes
As youths leaped from high perches
Chiseled ledges down to the big chill
As icy waters drank freely our heat
Still feeling the water’s hard knock
As it rushed up to greet me as I fell
Lazy days of drying on granite ledges
With music and talk all around me
Detecting love’s bloom in every act
All of us totally free and alive in time
Unaware of life forces outside of us
Disposed to create new worlds for us
In the Ford as I pull onto the dirt road
I am keenly aware of where it all went

My Current Books

I currently have three books on sale through Amazon and Kindle; a collection of 63 poems ‘The Maine Poetic’, a collection of 13 short stories ‘A View From the Side of the Road’ and a new play called ‘The Shadow of the Soul’ which I hope to produce as a live play in the next year. I have recently completed with two other people a book on Maine’s iconic fiddlehead called ‘Fiddlemainia’ which includes pictures, a comprehensive narrative and 125 fiddlehead recipes which will be published this winter by Goose River Press in Waldoboro, Maine. I plan to publish another large collection of poetry in February 2014 called ‘Verses From Beneath Granite Ledges. Hopefully, I can follow up last year's writing projects with four or five major writing projects in 2014.

My Themes

First and foremost, I consider myself a Maine writer and though I tend towards the esoteric at times, I am grounded in a people and an environment that affects all my writing. Even in my short stories, I strive to find the universal elements of the human condition as seen from my unique background. In my poetry, I approach it from the perspective of a storyteller with an awareness that I need to wrap the poem up with a clarifying ending. My poetry comes to me as a complete thought that I later tailor to give as much meaning to the poem as I can. I feel sometimes poets become overly concerned about structure, grammar and style and fail to achieve the impact they envisioned with their poems. For me it is always concept, meaning and style. If it blurs the lines between styles of poetry or looks like an oddly presented poem, it still works for me. If just a word or two or phrase generates in the reader the emotion and feeling I am trying to generate, I have accomplished my role as a poet.

Poet Bio

The road began for me in Hallowell, Maine. It has taken me several times around the world. I grew up in a remarkably small Maine city on a river, at a young age I became a Marine in Vietnam, I eventually had both a military and government career, I fathered three sons, received a Bachelor’s Degree from Northeastern University in Boston, MA and a Masters Degree from the University of Maine in Orono, ME. All along the road, I wrote, I thought, and I wrote some more. So that before my days drain away, I will have said what I came here to say.





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