The Faces of Love


***** Love Is the Thing

Love is the thing,
the thing we are, or not.
It’s a fling, a ring, or
it’s dried ink and rot.

Just as Love can
raise you to the heights,
it can wreck you in a heartbeat.

Why are Love and expectations
so intertwined,
so far apart?

Best we leave them
to rightly seek their
own paths within humankind.

More powerful than a locomotive;
faster than a speeding bullet;
able to leap buildings in a single bound;
pressed to overcome all adversity.

It’s Super Love.

It’s unsinkable, though sometimes, unthinkable;
craved, yet at times a subject of such
utter, lonely, harsh remorse;
easily attainable, more easily lost.

It’s Super Love.


Poetry 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

Poetry for Military Personnel2


***** Fly Her High

Today fly the flag high;
that’ll bring a reverent sigh.

Blue as blue, and red and white;
raise her to a glorious height!

Honor those who for her died;
they evermore will not hide

from our hearts and our souls,
as they are remembered for tolls

of death and bravery in our wars,
and for the sacrifices they bore.

Remember them with this flag of “night”!
Let nothing honor deter, but pray of their might!


REMAINING Flag Flying Days in 2013:
November 28 — Thanksgiving Day
December 7 — Pearl Harbor Day
December 25 — Christmas Day


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

Poetry for Military Personnel


***** A Soldier’s Neighborhood

I heard you came home the other day
to a country that doesn’t greet,
and now you can’t make a living;
you’re reduced to begging on the street.

Your Mom called; I offered to do what I could,
cancelled a day’s work to come your way
before beginning my travel, after “Mom”
told me for employment you’d pray.

As I walked the steps to “Mom’s” door,
I looked over the old neighborhood and
had a cold fear that those dreams
soldiers many times have, had left their marks

on a soul I was beginning to fear
may never recover, as “Mom” said.
Where on earth could she be now?
Was the day just getting too heavy?

My second knock went unanswered, too.
I’d use the key from the planter; better.
A quick look around inside told me
no one was about; but I saw the letter.

It said “Mom” and stood upright on the mantel.
I suddenly thought of our childhood,
when our single moms so often had to meet.
Your mother ever staunchly withstood.

Mine would deliver a searing speech,
screaming,”What are the rules, you two?”
She’d glare us all down, into us rip,
“The street’s not the place to play!”

but my mother never won the war of words.
She’d jerk me to our door across the street
and exclaim to the listening neighborhood
I’d play no more with “that lady’s son”.

The next day, we’d start it all again,
snickering between ourselves as friends.
My mother said we’d never be smart, but
yours, our “Mom”, never predicted such ends.

I went to college while you chose war.
We drifted apart, made new lives and friends.
I wrote to you without receiving answers, but
the neighborhood days didn’t entirely end.

I had wondered every day if you were safe,
recalled your braggadocio and your strength.
But were the frightening nights hot, or cold?
And did the raining bombs make you shake

with fear you endured? I’d never know.
And my wife died without your knowledge.
The Army became your final home, and
I remarried, gratefully gained two sons.

My mother died while yours flourished,
so I came to her, our “Mom”, when she
called and said you’d been wounded and you
were anxious; she worried you’d flee.

The neighborhood looks the same today,
except for the house I left years ago.
At the opposite curb, your house is empty.
You’re missing in the neighborhood flow.



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

Riot Diet


***** Riot Diet

I wanna be much more less of me,
and tomorrow I’m gonna start to try.
I don’t wanna die a heavyweight,
and I’m not gonna tell you a lie.

I wanna stuff in more white bread,
but I’m not gonna give in to spread.
I wanna be much more less of me,
and I’m gonna start drinking tea.

I wanna be like those thin ones over there,
and I’m gonna be ready for high sacrifice.
I don’t wanna live like an ugly glutton, so
I’m gonna button down on the thin advice.

I wanna get back to my high school weight,
and I’m gonna be the perfect, shapely mate.
I don’t wanna carry these extra pounds, so
I’m not gonna be an excessive eating hound.

If I’m gonna be me for eternity and more,
then I don’t wanna cook for you at all.
Matter of fact, I’m gonna find a new loving you,
and I wanna do it even if it’s a major brawl.

I wanna, and I’m telling you very plain,
so don’t think I’m gonna sit around blue.
I wanna step away from all temptation,
and I’m gonna do it if I have to eat glue.

I wanna be as clear as these fabled lines.
I’m gonna learn a new fatless way to chew.
I wanna be thin by the time I’m twenty-one, so
I’m gonna have this diet done by eight. Whew!


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

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Lost Love

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***** Lost Love, East and West

He’d long abided in Vermont’s winters;
she arrived from Ohio in mid-May.

There never was a doubt,
fiery first meeting to end,
they would lose a final bout.

They were as different as night
is to day, as marble is to clay.

New Englander, Midwesterner,
in love after second glance, were
doomed to a romance’s chance.

They never could survive, even as
Autumn’s sunset touched their lives.
Still, they plunged together.

Days relinquished Autumn hues,
dwindling into snowy December;
they moved to May, ignoring clues.

Differences of mind fired red-hot
in their aching heart of hearts.

Their arguments were unrefined,
struggles of strength beyond reason.

In Green Mountain winter woods
their babies were born, a blue-eyed
son, a dark-haired daughter to mourn.

Days went gray around the child
who remained, not the cause
of their loss, but neither the cure.

Their deep love, unstable at best,
could not somehow last the rest
of the year of their daughter’s death.

Their agreement to part was hard
fought, as any of their days of rage.

Love’s cruel loss, their choice
from the start, closed before the ebb
of another May. All was past.


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