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Beggars Can't

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I am faceless

Tattered by actuality

Heart thrumming in my ears

Blind to prospects

Voiceless ... soundless


Yet I scream, mute

Face to the sky, I wail like a fiend

Hailing the heavens like a forsaken angel

Above, the sucking expanse

A mocking roar of silence that drips, somber


And bleaches my bones black ... indelible.

Of those most dear, I brood

Ever-near, in my visceralities

The joy and regard that but their mention imbues

Sings through my blood like a brand


And buoys my spirit, steadfast.

They ARE my heart, after all

My essence ... my worth

Is this longing, then, but folly?

Should it NOT be the spur of my marrow


To hope for a shard's requital ... in love?

In tender, affectionate intent?

Or even in, dare say, (desperate) ... pity?

Even that, I'd surely embrace ...

Oh, yes ... even that.




* SECOND PLACE in the "Any Poem Won In A Contest In November" Poetry Contest, Laura Loo, Sponsor. *

* FIRST PLACE in the "Contest Number 355" Poetry Contest, Brian Strand, Sponsor. **

Copyright © | Year Posted 2017




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Date: 12/5/2017 7:46:00 PM
Congratulations Gregory on your fine win with your profound and compelling write. Spectacular!
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 12/6/2017 2:05:00 AM
Thanks so very kindly, Susan, I'm pleased you liked it ... blessings, my friend! :-) <3
Date: 12/4/2017 7:00:00 PM
Congratulations, Gregory, a great write. Hugs Eve ~`*
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 12/5/2017 6:13:00 AM
Thank you very much, Eve - blessings, Friend! :-) <3
Date: 12/4/2017 6:39:00 AM
loved the firs stanza, really caught my eye, great poem dear Greg :) thank you and congrats :)
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 12/5/2017 6:13:00 AM
That's very kind of you, Laura, and I'm so pleased you found my poem worthy to be on a list with such wonderful poets! Thank you so much - I'm honored and humbled! :-)
Date: 11/28/2017 8:11:00 PM
Yes beggars can not be choosers. is right. Congrats on your win. Have a nice evening my friend.
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 11/30/2017 12:30:00 AM
Thank you so very kindly, Darlene, the same to you, my friend! :-) <3
Date: 11/25/2017 7:54:00 PM
Just found this one Greg another incredible piece. Congrats on your win.
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 11/26/2017 2:14:00 AM
Thank you so much, Edward, that's very kind of you, my friend! :-)
Date: 11/18/2017 8:30:00 PM
Congrats on your wonderful poem and win, Gregory.
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 11/18/2017 8:31:00 PM
Thank you so much, Line - that's very kind of you! :-) <3
Date: 11/14/2017 2:46:00 PM
I really love this poem, Greg. It's unusual sense of time and space truly is pure creative genius. I can vibe w/this poem so much because there was a stretch in my pilgrim journey that I lived that life of a homeless soul. It actually was the most free feeling I've ever experienced, but it was an empty happiness, not being rooted to anyone or anything. You have a poet's rare knack to transport souls thru the curvatures of time. Beautiful poetry ... top-notch write. Love and peace always.
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 11/15/2017 7:23:00 AM
Blessings to you, My Brother - I have been in similar places myself, (and back-and-forth to Hell a few times more than the norm), so I can relate dearly ... we creative types tend to feel things a bit more deeply, don't you think? And sometimes that's as much of a curse as it is a blessing, though I suppose it balances out ... and most of us would not have it otherwise.
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 11/15/2017 7:23:00 AM
I enjoy our exchanges, my friend, and I pray someday we can sit down for a chat-or-two, and something special to wet and sate our appetites ... I picture bread and cheeses and a bit of Absinthe ... or perhaps just a cold beer and hot dog! The best to you, Sir Freddie! :-)
Date: 11/10/2017 7:48:00 PM
MY GOODNESS, this is so remarkable. I can't seem to create imagery that is very unusual, but you did that so well here with phrases like "bleaches my bones black" and "the sucking expanse a mocking roar" etc etc. So many well crafted lines in this deep poem, Gregory . I am glad to see this trophy win for you. VERY well deserved.
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 11/10/2017 11:22:00 PM
(I mean it's fun TRYing - I have a long way to go before I'm competent in that respect. Walt Whitman was the master of that - imagery and using words in different, unusual ways - and a musician whose lyrics are very much that way named Gino Vannelli - both masters of exquisite phrasing!)
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 11/10/2017 11:19:00 PM
Oh, thank you so much, Andrea - that means a lot to me! I love words, and love to create unusual imagery, but it also has to make SENSE to the reader, so I try and not get too carried away with odd or unused words, but use regular words in uncommon ways that STILL make a connection to the piece. I love ambiguity sometimes as well - phrasing words in ways that can mean different things to different people, but again, it has to make sense, or I've lost the reader. Still honing, but it's fun! Thank you so much, Friend! :-)
Date: 11/3/2017 1:58:00 PM
Congratulations on your win. Fantastic poem. Many wonderful lines. It has great flow and rhythm.
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 11/4/2017 10:42:00 AM
Thank you so very much, Frank, I'm pleased you enjoyed it - blessings to you!
Date: 11/1/2017 10:19:00 AM
"Above, the sucking expanse, A mocking roar of silence that drips, somber, And bleaches my bones black ... indelible...Should it NOT be the spur of my marrow, To hope for a shard's requital ... in love?" I really like how your poem ties back in unto itself and took the liberty of pulling this nugget within that truly spoke to me. You skeletal symbolism hit deep. Dare I say, this is a fantastic and inspired psalm.
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 11/4/2017 10:41:00 AM
That's very kind of you, Michael, and such a wonderful comment - thank you so much, my friend - I'm glad you enjoyed my poem! :-)
Date: 10/31/2017 2:14:00 PM
Congratulations on your First Placement Greg. A profound experience! : )
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 10/31/2017 10:26:00 PM
That's so very sweet of you, Connie - thank you so much! :-)
Date: 10/31/2017 12:14:00 PM
"Face to the sky I wail like a fiend" some really amazing lines with excellent word selection, your vocab is off the charts good Greg. Congrats on another great win!
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 12/1/2017 8:41:00 PM
There is SO much beauty in simplicity, and to write simply and still be profound and have impact, is even MORE difficult - using just ENOUGH words, and in ways that are creative and descriptive. Those are the masters that can do that, and I so admire it. I doubt I'll ever approach that level. You say things very directly and beautifully, John, and that's what makes your work stand out ... that is, to me, the most important thing, especially with lyrics.
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John Hamilton
Date: 11/1/2017 10:31:00 PM
You make a good point, I think you're right, it takes more than big words to make a great poem, I like to keep things simple so no-ones ever accused me of complicated writes! ha!
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 10/31/2017 10:25:00 PM
Oh, that's so kind of you, Brother, and I so appreciate that ... you know how important word usage is to me, and I thank you for mentioning it. Grand or "unusual" words are often used to dress up poetry, or make it sound more profound or creative than it is, and often it's done in ways that are poorly applied or incorrect, and it's rather transparent what the author is up to. I'm just a beginner, but I TRY very hard to use unusual words that ADD to the piece in a substantive way, or in a creative way that makes the reader's mind go in unexpected directions, not for the sake of sounding extravagant or profound. I think most people see through that stuff, and the internet is jam-packed with poems that are stuffed with big, unusual words that do absolutely nothing for the poem they're used in, and just make the poet seem rather inept.
Date: 10/31/2017 9:54:00 AM
So emotional, deep, and well-written, Gregory. Congratulations on your well-deserved Trophy win. Sandra
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 10/31/2017 10:05:00 PM
So pleased you liked my poem, Sandra, and I thank you very much ... blessings, my friend! :-) <3
Date: 10/31/2017 8:06:00 AM
Very well written with an abundance of beautiful figurative expressions. I enjoyed the flow of the meter to, the questioning spirit. Congratulations on a well deserved trophy, my friend.
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 10/31/2017 10:00:00 PM
Thank you so very much, Janis, that's very sweet of you ... I'm so pleased you liked this one, as it is very special, and written for people very close to me. Blessings, my friend - I pray you are well! :-) <3
Date: 10/31/2017 4:49:00 AM
Came back to congratulate you on your awesome win, Greg! :)
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 10/31/2017 9:57:00 PM
Very sweet of you, Dear Friend - thank you! :-) <3
Date: 10/31/2017 12:59:00 AM
Congratulations, Greg on fine win.
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 10/31/2017 9:57:00 PM
Very kind of you, Subimal - thank you! :-)
Date: 10/31/2017 12:28:00 AM
Deep emotion... congrats on your well-deserved win!
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 10/31/2017 9:56:00 PM
Thank you very much, Line - I greatly appreciate it! :-)
Date: 10/30/2017 6:03:00 AM
This is such a poignant write my friend! What a fabulously dark poem, so full of sadness and pain that I felt each and every twist of the wrist within this piece! I especially loved this vivid line, "and bleaches my bones black...indelible," what a spectacular line that is! What a magnificent poem my friend, Great Work!!
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 10/31/2017 9:54:00 PM
You're so kind, Russell, and I am so thankful for your comments and friendship - very glad you enjoyed this one, I thought you might appreciate the dark edges! Blessings, Bud! :-)
Date: 10/29/2017 11:15:00 PM
I cant tell you why, I cant put my finger on it, but this resonates, and thats what makes it great poetry!
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 10/31/2017 9:52:00 PM
Thank you so very much, Arthur, I so appreciate your kind comment ... coming from an amazing writer like yourself, it means a great deal to me! Blessings, my friend! :-)
Date: 10/29/2017 9:15:00 PM
Don't just settle for anything. That will not always bring happiness or love. You only settle if it is the real thing and not before that. Well expressed, Greg! :)
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 10/31/2017 9:51:00 PM
Thank you so much, Julie - you are so right, my friend - the REAL thing or nothing ... I don't want a part-time love, but rather a committed, deep, profoundly romantic and true love. Blessings! :-)