Living in the now


*****Nature’s Man-Made Disaster

In waters thick with sinking oil, black oblivion bows
Nature’s lovely creatures struggling to live in their now.
How has Man caused such sorrow?

The gorgeous Gulf Stream waters by Nature still glow,
but oil gushes by hours into their sacred flow.
How can it continue so?

Gallons of crude force the Pelicans and pretty birds
aloft; black-oiled, wet wings send them back to Earth.
How will they prevail?

Living in a midnight of oil, rescued Pelicans now
by day get a washing of Dawn soap, and how!
But will they see their tomorrow?

Oysters that used to be many for a living,
now sink to a murky grave, void of giving.
Can Man correct this wrong?

Shrimp float up from the water onto the Louisiana shore;
fish no longer breathing increase the deaths by many more.
Which can live in their now?

Watery creatures to watery, briney deaths continue to go.
Recovery, generations away, will never be better than slow.
How can Man claim no foul?

Can turtles swim in their now? Nor do oily birds usually rise.
Nor is it Nature’s true lot to exist in danger of Man’s lies.
The Gulf’s sad now remains still.

Nature’s Man-made scars over many years spontaneously heal;
feathered, shelled, finned souls grievously wronged can’t appeal.
Man, too, must live in his now.

No time now for Man to argue, name-call, and assign blame.
Cries from Nature’s own to live in their now remain lame,
unless Man reaches deeply to rise.


Poem and Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg


She and Me

***** She and Me


Humans love their dogs, it’s
true; mine was a caring child,
and I a Newfoundland mild.

In early months, I eagerly ran,
but her frailty halted play
in an overly vigorous way.

She was fanciful and sat alone,
plain, weak, but never dull.
At my side was she, just to mull.

I was larger and black, and
loved to run, fetch, and catch
even when she would shut the latch.

Left to run from the yard, where to?
She likely would fairly stew
if I chose to pass through.

Besides, where would I go?

Lying still, she seemed to contemplate
for hours; as I grew, I knew her ways
of hide and seek from very bad days.

A walk to her was reason to think
and pray. I would willingly go,
then we’d come back so very slow.

The sweetest personality, a smile,
She’d call, “Here, girl”, as my friend.
Every day I hoped we’d never end.

But I knew a twilight ever called;
that life was weak and small, and love
would wane through a whisper from above.

Something evil was amiss for her,
it seemed; let me not be afraid
before that time to come, I prayed.

Because where would I go?

So many nights now are very long;
she shivers and shudders an eye
while I ask myself faintly, “Why?”

When first we’d met, I admit
I roamed a dirty, sheltered cage
while she was free and thrice my age.

Soon it was clear as sun is to
the growing rose; after we’d met,
Newfie black, girlie white, we were set.

Days we’d walk and talk and play;
never in doubt with her low giggle
as I would do a shake and a wiggle.

I’d thought that first day to give her a whirl;
to be her Newfie in a lifetime borrowed!
Now I only hope she’ll wake upon the morrow.

Because where would I go?




Poem and Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

Broken Bones



We watch them farely glide
Across tracks of flying dirt.
Seldom do we really surmise
Any soon will be grievously hurt.

Reality’s lessons now should suffice,
Warn us all of the unending
Strife of their facts of life:
Their hearts ever will try, unbending.

Hoofs and hearts are buried here and there,
Signs of long bones broken short
Of the wire to which they tear
Without quit, neither hesitant snort.

Brave G.W., fillies Ruffian and Eight Belles
Misstepped, stumbled, stopped, went out
Before we were ready; it tells
That we still need to shout about

Thoroughbreds and their tenuous plight,
Creatures of training, however, frail
In their expected, difficult fight
To please while we pursue bragging tales.

Rewilding, too, died, and this for
England’s George VI and Queen Elizabeth
In the stakes of their royal lore.
He now is Heaven’s uplifted gift.

Sublime Barbaro, several years gone,
Never met the Preakness Stakes wire.
Slipping under foot, his last song;
His lasting legacy, never to sire.

Thoroughbred broken bones, our own woes;
We lead them to an unrelenting gate
To vanquish their contemporary foes
While we admire strength, mindless of cruel fates.

Ours, they proudly go, ready, able,
Prancing to the start, not knowing
Varied agendas upon owners’ tables.
Nickering they go, high-stepping, blowing.

Shall we stop the trend of bones
Broken as we send them to act
Out our own fantasies and tones?
Or finally, willing, face fatal facts?


Poem and Drawing from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg


IMG_1221 (800x600)

***** Oiled Pelicans

Man’s eternal pursuit of the mighty buck
in the stark midnight of oil’s imparted hour
has caused all of Nature to drown in muck.
An exploded rig departed from its bower.

Man’s fretful dilemma comes to mind
as the birds sway heavily to and fro,
and the upright animals only find
their friends of Nature cannot grow.

Pelicans in dangerous, dreadful woe
can find no single heroic master
of calamity, no champion, or foe
to change this, their multiple disaster.

As the Gulf Stream waters do flow,
circulating the Pelican young away,
their parents remain with an oiled glow.
Without wings, or recourse, they must stay.

When, alas, the rallied winds blow,
and the calm seas wildly rage,
will the birds, the Pelicans, go?
Will the young ones come of age?

Crabs, turtles, creatures who crawl
will long be doomed to fall,
while Man engages in a brawl
to set the blame to law.


Peom and photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg


IMG_4320 (800x600)

***** Mothering

Nothing is about holding on.
All is about letting go:
You know.

Could I hold,
I wouldn’t scold.

Could I screen,
I wouldn’t scream.

If my dreams for you
could be true,
I need not be blue.

If all were pure joy,
you would simply be
My Toy.


Poem and Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg