Thursday, November 1, 2018




She had ambivalent feelings for him
loving the excitement she felt by his side
The same as hearing those high
electronic notes played by a musician
she had seen at a concert with
whole verses of poetry in his fingers as they
roamed over the strings --
whose music soared within her –pouring his
passion into her soul as it pushed her
closer to the crescendo in bright
ever-reaching-higher notes
Lifting her from her seat to stand and dance as
she flew toward the stage In her mind
– the sounds crashing through her in wild
abandon – an orgasm from the music
surging through her body in the same way as
holding her lover’s hand had once made her feel

How he leaned his head toward her
and smiled as he whispered tender words into her ear
telling her a poem with his eyes
Stoking the embers of desire with only a glance
Caressing her skin with gentle fingers
Playing with her as if she were a new toy

She lived for these times and wondered if
those were all they had -- if they were right
for each other – a perfect match –not dissonant
Then she remembered when
he had ignored her for his friends and
stayed out late with an excuse he needed fun
Or when he had forgotten to call her and she
waited for him to arrive
as she stared at a cold dinner in front of her.

This ambivalent feeling came and went
as he played his game of chance behavior
switching between attentive lover and lout
until she felt she couldn't’ stand it anymore
That if he had a modicum of decency he would
stop this behavior and come back to her –
her once gentle lover
whose smile played a riff into her heart

She wanted the music back in her life
The jimmy Hendrix sound that enticed her
and made her mind fly into a new dimension
Ecstasy translated into ascending notes
seeming almost to reach to infinity
Blowing away the bitter and replacing it
with the sweetness of a barrage of notes

She wanted him to be the musician
and pluck his strings as she rose to the sky
Copyright 2018 by Barbara Ehrentreu
Originally posted in The Garden of Poetry and Prose


The sky swirled in pinwheels slashed across it
with yellow orbs poking through the
midnight blue twirling as they shone
weakly on the peaceful scene below

Probably painted in the daylight
depicting the inner workings of this doomed artist
Perhaps this scene is not so tranquil
as it appears
with its sinister looking tower
perhaps hiding a darkling imprisoned there
for protection from himself

For this artist moonlight illuminated the evil
hiding behind a provincial façade
as he tried to make sense of a world
in which he could not partake anymore
as the aurora of his deteriorating mind
held onto the few grains of sanity that remained

What darkling inhabited that tortured man
as he struggled to continue his life?
The evil coursing through trembling fingers
as the blade found its way to
the soft peach fuzz of his earlobe

Maybe he caressed if awhile before
he grabbed at it and sliced --a revision no artist could truly want
The outward sign of his deteriorating sanity

Did the blood pool on the floor
reflecting the light in an aurora of colors?
Staining it forever in a painting of insanity
Brush strokes broadly covering his entire life
until the old one no longer existed and
vanished with his old persona
until the old replaced the new
and insanity reigned everywhere
especially in the calmness of moonlight

Serene turned to nightmare by the dark thoughts
trapped in his twisted mind
with no outlet except the paint on canvas
to carry the sorrow that had crept into him
erasing the old and transforming him into
the artist who carried a darkling in his soul.
Copyright 2018 by Barbara Ehrentreu
Originally posted in The Garden of Poetry and Prose


If only the rain could wash away the tears and pain
shed for so long the salt has caked upon my cheeks
And the taste of you is a remembered flavor
fading as the years go by - but the memory lingers
a pleasure never forgotten

And I remember the year we watched the parched earth
drink of the summer rain in a country we were only
borrowing for a few months and whose pink golden sunsets
remain in my eyes even to this day as you stood with me
as the rain vanished and the setting sun coated the
scenery with its rosy essence – a sumptuous feast for
our heat seared bodies as a cool breeze flicked over our skin

We vowed to come back but we never returned to that place
that lives in my memory as a magical adventure
And the sights and aromas of the streets linger too
Reminder of a time when we were enough

You were always the explorer and I content to walk at your side
comforted by your presence and willing to see the new places
to sample the exciting and tantalizing accouterments of each one
secure that you would be there always – to forge the path

Never realizing life could rain upon us and instead of a peaceful sunset
at the end of the day there would be a series of storms and finally
a whirlwind created by a disastrous tornado
rolling through our life and capturing you inside -
the one force we had not considered
At least I hadn’t thought of you disappearing without a trace
only memories left to fill the void

The rain of life came pouring onto us and you were not
to survive as the thunder and lightening ate away at you
until you were only a shell and finally disappeared -
as if you were the riverbank slipping away with the
force of the water

But you had passion and fire and all of that should have
sufficed – except the foundation had crumbled and
you could not be saved and quietly you were absorbed
by the overwhelming vastness of the sea as
your soul, it is hoped, winged upward toward eternity
Copyright 2018 by Barbara Ehrentreu
Originally posted in The Garden of Poetry and Prose


BARBARA EHRENTREU grew up in Brooklyn and moved to Queens. She has lived and taught in Long Island, Buffalo, NY and Westchester, NY as well as a year in Los Angeles, CA. She has a Masters Degree in Reading and Writing K-12. Currently she is retired from teaching and living in Stamford, CT with her family. If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor, her first novel, won second prize in Preditors & Editors as Best Young Adult Book for 2011. It was inspired by Paula Danziger for her children's writing workshop at Manhattanville College, and her second novel, After is now available in print. Barbara also writes poetry. She has a book called You’ll Probably Forget Me: Living With and Without Hal, which is a memorial to her deceased husband. Several of her poems are published in the anthologies, World Poetry Open Mic, several international anthologies, Queen, Prompted: An International Collection of Poetry, Beyond the Dark Room, Storm Cycle and Backlit Barbell. Her short screenplay, “The Kiss” won awards at film festivals. Barbara is a regular contributor to the Facebook page: “The Garden of Poetry and Prose” and Motivational Strips. She has a blog, Barbara's Meanderings, and hosts a radio show on Blog Talk Radio, Red River Radio Tales from the Pages, once a month. She is a member of Greenwich Pen Letters and SCBWI.

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