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Best Poems Written by Barthwell Farmer

Below are the all-time best Barthwell Farmer poems as chosen by PoetrySoup members

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Happy Cremation Anniversary, Auntie

Home from a chemo session, uncle lights up
a cigarette and collapses
to the slick plastic that covers your chaise
lounge, auntie. He thumps the upholstery
with his legs and elbows for blood
to circulate again. A flake

drifts. Dehydrated lips, uncle
inadvertently kisses ash. Cushions
puff up, deflate. Uncle floats
smoke rings to prove he still has breath.
Your bulbous urn ruptures his rings
on contact where curvature

casts uncle’s warped reflection, all mouth and smoke,
as he would rise to reach your urn on the mantle.
Uncle slouches back, watches his sports channel.
I head out with his hamper

and forget to check pockets before washing clothes,
his soggy receipts - - once grocery lists? - -
and tissues, torn apart, clumped up, fake snow
I have to scoop out of washing machines.

Absent-minded tasks at the laundromat, auntie,
where you’d bend in pain. Lint trays reinstall
fluff. I snap
and snap airborne dryer-flakes off towels.

Copyright © Barthwell Farmer | Year Posted 2022



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A Cooling Off

candelabrum jewelled, my neighbor fingers flames snuffed out on perfumed sticks candelabrum fueled, I'm jilted once it's tilted waxing my toupee bug-eyed reflective, buffed elevator floor wax, I fume toward the roof comfort yields its flight a high-rise where pigeons peck seedy sunsets bald hairs on end build up this evening, winds race gray clouds whipped in lightning streaks candle-smoky clouds, timers light the streets with lamps sizzling in fresh rain it's time my neighbor walks to work, construction stops across the street she's left the lobby dodging high-rise run-offs, drains, and piped in drizzles six stories above her, we're disengaged as two, frail, neighborly bursts pierced rain seems to wane her glance up, glanced off walls, dropping floor to floor a walled-in pipe thumps still, my elevated wall faces cement trucks mannequin hard hats switch off a rotating tank and wolf-whistle her, my draped petrichor, billows stirred up what it can of bug spray's ledge dust

Copyright © Barthwell Farmer | Year Posted 2022

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It's Not My I Can't Cry If I Want To

One eye opens quicker than the other, so cute,
but who'll spearhead you home, me or the Neanderthal
host? Party goers head for the exit.
I seem to have sat down on a preset remote;
your laugh echoes the empty house mute.
White rain is a flat-screen,
crystalline-chilled, melting pixels.
Your other eye, I swear, winks at the storm.

A breaker, somewhere, thumbs a ride to the red zone.
Shadowy reflections of his indoor lighting
vanish from his TV
and abandon the glass of his aquarium.
Goldfish swim undisturbed
above the sediment of jagged, tiny stepping stones,
footholds for drunks to surface when bubbly

as with our host, brushing 'gainst you.
He toggles your dress by its fished out price
tag. Not my place to scan,
I blink like a readjusted lens off focus.

He sets us both out on the porch;
he's done with milking you to compliment him.
We're Banner milk bottles, side by side on the stairs.
Rain pelts milk-shiny, glassy sides. You shiver instead of going
numb and bottled up in reflections

Copyright © Barthwell Farmer | Year Posted 2021

Details | Barthwell Farmer Poem

One Looks Up

Monochrome winds fantail snowdrifts.
Fleck-churned sparks maw feathery flights
and a howling backdraft
spikes matted fur.
Pawing winds spring traps clenched,
injurious icicled haunches hollowed.
A smothering whiteness whistles

through yellow teeth, a smoldering
witness from snow that isn't snow,
(one homeless person's jaw drops, he looks up,)

I wolf down yogurt that drips off the plastic sides,
whitening the Los Angeles sunshine
where some homeless rest on the reflective sidewalk,
all but one, the nimbus of his mouth quakes.

Copyright © Barthwell Farmer | Year Posted 2022