Tuesday, January 1, 2019




Who am i
what is inside of me — that intangible part
is what you see
and because I occupy this space
I have the right to be here and be me

I don’t need to do anything but be
The simple act of this is enough
for you to respect and honor my presence
as I am unique and spread the aura of myself

As you should be honored for who you are
the special glow of your sweet life
should be all one needs to revere you
The flowers of your accomplishments
are not needed for this accolade

Respect is a given
and it brings its own baggage
You feel its power as it showers you
with a feeling of peace

Who you are is being accepted and revered
You are the shining light of the moment
You don’t need any tangible evidence —
only the knowledge you are safe,
secure in the moment

Life doesn’t always bring this experience
raining down on you with the despair
of disrespect and the betrayal as you
struggle with the desperate feelings
encountered when respect is gone

Shame and contempt are its disreputable bedfellows
as disrespect slinks around and slimes you
into a feeling of powerlessness
As bright and sweet as the fragrance of respect,
disrespect carries a vile and odorous existence
which seeps into your very core and lingers
creating a sad countenance for all who are
in its throes

You will know respect for its kindness and care of you
It will lift you up and sweep away the remnants of disrespect
But sadly, some distrust may live in pockets
until respect brushes them away with its concern
and once again you can stand in the delightful presence
of your own happy existence
Copyright 2018 by Barbara Ehrentreu


Autumn came to stay
Weeks before it made
a short visit — leaving it’s suitcase
full of crimson and gold to paint
the leaves behind in summer’s coat tails
It left when the winds
grew warmer and days were
sunny and summerlike

Yesterday it returned
carrying its timeworn luggage
and settled in the foliage
depositing hues mixed together
by nimble hands as the leaves
began their inevitable journey
towards their demise
as autumn dressed them in burgundy, orange
and muddy yellows
awaiting the moment
when the scenery became a kaleidoscope
of autumn’s majesty — lemon yellows and bright crimson
blending in a wall of light

Seeing this beginning reminds me
it won’t be long before “all the leaves
are brown and the sky is gray” as The Mommas
and Pappas sang so many years ago
when I was a young untested woman
eager for adventure — yearning to escape
from the cold and snow west to a warmer climate
as I heard the words “California dreaming”
never realizing I would return soon
to familiar scenes — for the autumn canvas
was deep in my eastern soul
Copyright 2018 by Barbara Ehrentreu


Typed on old fashioned typing paper
hidden for years underneath old poems
folded in a manila envelope behind them
and unnoticed — there it was
a message from you — from beyond the grave
forgotten and almost tossed away as useless trash
were words written by a much younger man
whose heart lay on the paper — vulnerable and true
words typed at a time when love was fresh paint
for us as we tried to navigate this new experience

My heart — at last patched enough to endure the pain —
leaped as I read those love words from you to me
and I saw how we had been in sync with our affection
and as I wept for the loss of you in all iterations
I especially mourned this bright eyed and fresh faced
youth who had swept into my life and found a spot
where he could find peace and happiness
with me — he wrote of my presence “…One pillar stands unbending.
That pillar is you….”
while at the time I had no idea
this was his thought —for he was my strength and always would be

Words penned over 50 years ago -brought to me as a godly message
on the new year — tears streamed for never being able
to hug you for this gift.
Copyright 2018 by Barbara Ehrentreu


Sometimes life is not fair
unfair to the unformed naive one
who came into the world
with so much love her parents
thought it would be enough

Fair of face and attitude and full of grace
they marveled at the joy they felt
as she grew to a certain age perfect in
every way except one — the most important
in the muscle used to power all of us

And yet they kept faith and begged to the heavens
she would be mended and be back in the path soon
They waited and prayed and entreated and found a
way to help this tender little girl to be whole again
Putting their faith in the skill of the doctors who
transferred life into her with the new heart

For a year she was a normal child and her family
believed she had overcome and would be there
forever in the comfort of her family’s arms
until as her family’s hopes soared for her future
her future disappeared and so did she from this
mortal world

Now the gates of heaven are welcoming this new angel
and I only hope she will be able to run and play
on the marshmallow clouds with abandon
her spirit soaring as it never could on earth.
Copyright 2018 by Barbara Ehrentreu


BARBARA EHRENTREU grew up in Brooklyn and moved to Queens. Currently she is retired from teaching and living in Stamford, CT with her family. 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. If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor 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. Her second book, After, which is also available now in print, considers what can happen to a teen when her father becomes ill with a heart attack. It is based on her own experiences when her husband had a heart attack and the aftermath of what she and her family experienced. She is preparing the sequel to If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor, Who Is Jennifer Taylor coming soon. 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, Queen, Poet’s Attic, Anthology II, World Poetry Open Mic, Prompted: An International Collection of Poetry, Beyond the Dark Room, Storm Cycle and Backlit Barbell. Her screenplay, “The Kiss” has won awards in several film festivals. On Facebook she has become a moderator for the group, Motivational Strips and posts every other week in The Garden of Poetry and Prose. Barbara has a blog, Barbara's Meanderings, and she hosts a radio show on Blog Talk Radio, Red River Radio Tales from the Pages, once a month every fourth Thursday.

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