It Is All There


***** Can We See in Front of Us?

What’s up?
What’s new?
What’s the latest brew?

Do we know?
Do we care?
Do we want to fare?

Is there truth?
Is there Light?
Is our mind ready for fight, or flight?

Will we hide?
Will we explore?
Will we soar?

It’s all there.
It’s in front of us; all around.
It’s ours waiting to be found.

Only Time is against us.


Photo and Poem 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


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***** 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

Poem for Heady Dragonfuss: A Kite


***** Heady’s Flight

We thought we could: we thought
Fly a kite, yes, we definitely ought!

The kite, months ago bought, now unwrapped
Was a dragon’s head and small body entrapped.

Sun shining bright, wind whipping high
Made us declare, “Oh, let’s try!”

Into the car we three friends jammed
Amid packaged colors of kite closely crammed.

Kite’s crinkly crepe papers upon my lap piled;
Its yellows, greens, and blues remained undefiled.

Pam in front, Jane steering the quick miles,
While I in back, said, “Check this dragon’s style!”

We three were years since our younger lot,
Long since given past to marriage, kids, and pots.

Why now the cheering urge to fly and soar?
We knew, laughing, reciting unfulfilled family lore.

From car window to high sky our eyes fairly roamed;
We gasped, seeing the great white clouds like sea foam.

Car and pals rumbling to the flying field,
We were certain the sky and clouds would yield.

Could our bright dragon kite reach those heady heights?
A name, we hailed, for our object of potential flight!

“Heady!” Pam shouted, “for his wieldy head.”
And “Dragonfuss,” I said, “for the hassle if he goes dead!”

From the car onto the flying field we tangled,
Heady Dragonfuss among us, almost mangled.

Yards beyond the stone drive of the field of flight,
Heady’s wide, purple wings held folded tight.

We sprawled on the grass with parts of kite
Spread before us, a colorful, intimidating sight.

We assembled hooks and lines, labored with struts,
Tape, a silver reel, and a package of “What’s?”

Heady’s glaring eyes, black and round, were the parts
Of his design making us giggle: “Big as carts!”

Parts bonded, fastened, Heady was alive,
His mouth open, wings spread wide.

Eyes shaded against the sun and bright sky,
We ran, launching string to push Heady high.

Instead, crepe flew unfurled, a glassy eye popped, revealed
Pieces of Heady lying unassembled upon the field.

Dismay overcame mute surprise at knowing
Heady Dragonfuss’s parts all were showing.

Hooks and lines, wings of loose struts, all unreeled;
How could all Heady’s parts again become healed?

All the while, winds increased their mild gales.
We shouted, shifted, laughed like wild males.

Sitting upon the grass, silly over wings, struts, and glass eyes,
Bearing watching by arriving flyers more learned, wise,

We refastened struts, reeled in line: eyes wide
With childish wonder we soon thought to hide.

Heady was alive, blue and green and yellow,
Black eyes inserted, mouth open enough to bellow.

But would he fly? Ought we, really, to try and try?
Were we doomed to fleeting highs and long, sad cries?

Again, string to girder, plastic to multi-colored crepe;
Spirit and hope, not to cause Heady a faulty scrape.

Wind high, we cast Heady’s line up and off;
Gathered running strides, threw him aloft!

At each hearty launch, Heady failed to catch air,
twirling, twisting down; we called, “Don’t tear!”

Again and again, we tried; running, holding him high,
Until, collectively, we cried: “Dragonfusses cannot fly!”


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

Moon and Mind

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***** Moon and Mind

Many poets eloquently describe it a bit;
dogs pitch a baying fit at it.

If the “man” is there, steady and fair,
does it follow that this “man” is rare?

There are those who, blind,
are mad for it in their mind.

Some see a “man” in the Moon;
others just merely go into swoon.

Moreover, Nature becomes one with
the orb, casting tides of myth.

In the everlasting “man” of mind
does romance your soul find?

Does green cheese come to mind:
Or do you “know’st no wane”# find?

Man and Moon do capture attention;
surely both are lords of mention.

As real Men contemplate great potions,
Moon goes ’round with worthy motion.

While a dog is shortly Man’s best friend,
Mister Moon’s life was given no end!

#from the poetry of Edward Fitzgerald (1809-1883)


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

More Time Is Less

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***** More Time Is Less

On the diamond, I used to be
a flexible arm and astutely able.
Not so now; I am half of me.

There were many days in the past
when I could play all the day.
Now, sadly, I’m caught at half mast.

Just a little of me is ready now
for competitive foray and tell.
I wonder all the while, “How?”

Golf balls I used to send nicely low.
These days, they miss the whole green.
They disappear, flying anywhere as they go.

A basketball was cause to spend
a moonlit night shooting long.
How is it now I can barely bend?

Lend me legs, a brand new fancy pair,
I say, and watch me happily go.
Timeouts will be forgotten; I have no wear.

Tennis anyone? But can I still show?
Can I play one set and last?
Old Father Time will ruin my flow.

Nature is a demanding master
as she bedevils our norm.
She reverses us to a slow disaster.

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

Poetry for Military Personnel3

A soldier's salute to the flag in the snow.

A soldier’s salute to the flag in the snow.

***** Soldier’s Salute

Soldiers salute even in the snow;
because they are patriots, you know.

Through the dark of eerie nights,
soldiers salute their flag in fight.

Saluting the red, white, and blue
is a time-honored tradition, not new.

Every soldier knows the salute drill;
good ones revel in reverence, and thrill!

Friends of soldiers, not always of means,
nonetheless share their peace-filled dreams

of days when all may salute their flag
without an Earthly, struggling snag;

without those continuing days of fight,
but because of united, peaceful might.


***FLAG-FLYING Etiquette:
(1) — Never allow the flag to touch the ground or any other object while on display.

(2) — Salute the flag as it is hoisted and lowered, during the playing of the National Anthem and while saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Stand at attention with your right hand over your heart and your hat removed.

(3) — Display the flag outdoors only between sunrise and sunset, unless illuminated by a spotlight.

(4) — When displaying the flag indoors, always position it to the right of a speaker or staging area.

(5) — To place a flag at half-staff, hoist it to the peak for an instant before lowering it to a halfway position.

Flag Etiquette and Depiction courtesy of The Eastern Paralyzed Veterans of America.

Flag Etiquette and Depiction courtesy of The Eastern Paralyzed Veterans of America.




Poem and first and last photos from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg