Adventures Across the Barricades

adventures approaching and across the mysterious barricades


Please forgive the sporadic nature of these entries. During the journey, it's sometimes difficult to find a resting place. 

view:  full / summary

cold heart

Posted on June 8, 2016 at 5:25 PM Comments comments (0)

as far as i know,

nobody announced that today the hearts

of mankind

should turn cold again.

it seems that this was the message

that people received this morning,

upon awakening

into this beautiful, rich world.

whoever is spreading this message,

please stop.

stop and consider

how much better it would be

to shout the message,

"Ignite your hearts! Set them on fire!!"

derbeh - june 2016

A Fate

Posted on October 20, 2015 at 5:40 PM Comments comments (0)

A fate better than death;

as the season surges,

the green of life submerges

into depths of brown

and green

and gold.

i'm told

that nothing gold

can stay.

i've seen that happen, 

as i remember -

but as in May,

but not September; 

and October's hues

are met with gazes,

far from views

of pleasant verdant places -

all orange, washed in 

browny brine,

and faceless gourds,

all stand in line.

just waiting - waiting.

they'll have their time,

their moment fast

when children file

farce-faced past.

A fate -

worse than life, but 

better than death;

a timely month for frights

and chilly, comforter nights.

dv - 10/20/15

The Great Poets

Posted on August 1, 2014 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (0)

a great poet does not search

the great corners and valleys of the earth

to find the most beautiful peacock plume

which he will pluck and lovingly sharpen

to become a quill to write words.

he does not scour the highways 

for the finest parchments

made of compressed dried bright flowers

and expensive grains

that will be the canvas upon which 

he paints his words.

instead, he will take a burnt twig

on the edge of fire

and scribble those words 

that come leaping like sparks from his heart.

he will find a dried palm frond

or some bit of dried discarded

leather, where he will put down his words

and then

he will hide them.

a great poet does not investigate

and search the great literature of time

to choose the words that will evoke 

the most sadness, or joy, or anxiety,

or melancholy.

he uses the valve of acceptance

to open the reservoir of his heart

so that the words may flow 

like beautiful ripples and frothy waves

tumbling into eternity.

the great poet never solicits

favor of his work, or even criticism

from those more learned. he 

does not beg feedback; but rather,

those words, however common and plain,

will fall upon the fertile minds

of those whose heart-fields have been 

plowed, and crushed, and pulverized

into rich root-food. there they will take root,

and invite that person to dive 


into light.

derbeh   august 1, 2014

But in Her Heart, ...

Posted on April 21, 2014 at 6:30 PM Comments comments (0)

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

April is in my mistress' face,
And July in her eyes hath place;
Within her bosom is September,
But in her heart, a cold December.

Thomas Morley, 1594


Posted on April 9, 2014 at 6:45 PM Comments comments (0)

there are times, 

in my life as corn,

that my rows aren't 

perfectly straight.

they are crooked,

full of odd corners.

and when i think about it,

the kernels are not always

perfect, but dented.

how fine the silk feels

through the husk of my 


grind or pop me -

it doesn't matter.

as long as my life

nourishes, i

am cornpletely


derbeh - april 9 2014


Posted on January 30, 2014 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

it's a tug of war

in the sky tonight.

a game of hide and seek,

a time of deep breathing.

when air is dense,

like grey syrup,

i step onto the shore

and walk in the dew-wetted sand.

there is a feel

to the air,

inside my lungs,

as i gulp great giant gasps...

this liquid air, so soft,

like clouds inside me.

the feel of new-lamb-soft-silken

wool. i found God in vapor.

so odd a dry-desert-child

would grow to be such

friends with earth-end dampness - 

as it rolls on cotton wheels in from 

the sea.

dv  jan 2014


Posted on August 4, 2013 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (0)

i looked at the sky


and became a child.

once again, with my crayons in hand,

trying hard to stay

within the lines,

i closed my eyes,

and with disastrous lack of care,

chose outrageous colors

and began to paint.

in front of my closed eyes,

there appeared washes

of melted colors,

blending, contrasting, complementing

the other colors.

my fingers dripped


of hot 

sky-waxy tint.

how often i've looked at the sky

and wanted to paint again and again,

until the grey gesso

of background blanket had washed away,

but how seldom i can find

that box of colors.

so, in these years,

i don't look for that box 

to cover the sky,

i simply wait

and keep my eyes

at sundown, 

turned to the west.

it is there that i hope

for my vision to break

through the grey of sea.

what wonderful sights

await beyond the mist.

come, colors,

and destroy my grey

and alight my dreams with your 




dv 8 3 13

two violets

Posted on June 15, 2013 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (4)

two violets

here and there;

two violets 


two to make

our lives more sweet -

two to dance

to our same beat.

two violets

here and there;

two violets

in our care.

two to speak

when we are sad -

two to join us

when we're glad.

two violets

from worlds apart;

two violets

in our hearts.

two to join us

in the dance;

casillas, yildiz,

jones and vance.

sheikhani and 



will do.

our sisters,

dancers we have 

met - 

violeta and violet.

two violets

come and go - 

two violets,

too soon,

you know.

to my dear sweet violets (Khatcherian and Solis) who were taken from our family this year.

6 15 13


the wind through the seasons

Posted on April 15, 2013 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (1)

as the wind moves

through the seasons,

so our lives move.

gusting, retreating, 

swirling around blind corners,

drying dew in meadows.

at times stopping,

and falling silent.

sometimes sleeping.

and sometimes i see

my life take flight

through open windows 

flying aimlessly 

through broken clouds.

pilot me, o my Great Friend,

and steer me 

toward Heaven's gate.

unclip my wings

and watch me soar.

derbeh april 15, 2013

A Month to Grieve

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 11:00 PM Comments comments (1)

i had to have

a month 

to grieve.

wild things,

calm things,

my things -

each taken 


it has been a year 

of pain -

of hurt -

of loss.

my heart one day

ran away.

she hid beneath

the hedge.

sighing, weeping.

there was no feeling

for a month.

and then 

it came to me -

like the scent of

fresh-peeled orange

on a warm 

summer wind.

my heart!

as i sat beneth

the cedar,

i watched the

tears throw

outward into the dark

and pass beyond

vast distant stars -

i melted into my earth,

pulled vines over my eyes,

and slept.

and slept - 

for a month of heart-grieving,

and an eternity 

of dreams.

derb for 9/11 (10/9/12)

In the Turning

Posted on August 13, 2012 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (1)

in the time of turning,

among yesterday, tomorrow and


a tune, so low,

so humble.

an insect-song

so nimbly played.

a cricket's tune,

and set to text,

a wonderful bright


the words, most perfectly 


the music,

fit perfectly to the words,

as if

by some great force 

of turning,

this whiligig of dance,

this hurdy-gurdy

momentary madness,

has wafted to earth,

and compelled by

warm rising notes,

the stars rush


edging close to hear

this fantasy of dance

and music,

all in the Time



dv - August 2012

How it Was That I Was

Posted on August 8, 2012 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (0)

i slept.

i cried.

i laughed.

i felt no pain.

i crawled, i grabbed, i reached, i climbed.

i ate bananas. i drank apple juice. 

I walked, ran, skipped, jumped through

many long youthful days.

I drank cool water

on hot days

from water hoses.

Hunted lizards, caught scorpions, 

sun spiders, horned lizards

and rode bicycles through rain-deep

summer storm ponds.

Crept silently around

and hid in salt-cedar corners

during warm summer nights

of hide-and-seek.

Made daily treks

barefoot across hot

asphalt rivers to swim

and play at the pool.

Played on hot lawns

with hot tongue-drooling pets

until it was time for bed.

Laid down at night,

and activated the force field

around my bed,

protecting me from the 

cooler-vent bees.

Awoke to cool air

and cold tile

in mornings buzzing outside

with blackberry bees. 

These were some early moments

of who I was.

dv august 2012

Gauze Windows

Posted on July 29, 2012 at 1:05 AM Comments comments (4)

free-wheeling dragonflies

turn circles in the noon-hot

humid skies.

forever-humming bees

run round the nectar-heavy

orange blossoms.

where was it

that i dropped my heart?

somewhere among the pads

of lilies wet

with warm-willow waters

bright spark-feathered


swim in and out of 

pools of light.

and my heart sings clear.

i find it

resting under

cool shady limbs

of fern.

i see the writing

of wise ancient 

men and women

scattered across 

its surface.

i see below

as clear

as ancient streams,

like reading


through gauze windows.

derbeh - july 2012

pine nest

Posted on April 26, 2012 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (1)

a warm sip

a cool breeze,

the sight of you

through willow trees,


play life-harp melodies

in the orchestra

of my heart.

a soft couch,

a gentle rain,

your soothing voice

to ease the pain.

when time weary

days give in to

time anxious nights,

and free-winging birds

take casual flight,

i sink into 

my bed of pine

and forest leaves

and watch.

and see the 

whiring world come near

and by,

and near again.

these are the days,

the days of pine-scented


the days of belief,

of truth,

of happiness.

if you can find

a mountaintop


place a nice mat,

and then dance.

dv 4/12

Just Jump!

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 8:10 PM Comments comments (2)

i sometimes come across

that bit of trail,

that little way of path

that seems to lead

to places 

loud with life.

A place where

rocks sit atop each other

balanced and showing

a way.

Something inside me 

tells me to go

the opposite way.

When you get to the edge

of that cliff,

where it seems

that the other world

is only a ledge away,

just jump!

And then when you 

open your eyes,

and discover

clouds have 

borne you up,

sigh and be thankful

for losing yourself in life.

DV 4/3/12

Twelfth Prime

Posted on February 25, 2012 at 10:20 PM Comments comments (2)

Thirty days hath September, 

April, June and November;

All the rest have thirty-one.

Excepting February,

Where sometimes,

It's days are counted 


This leap-day,

Do twenty-nine wonderful things,

And then please share!


Posted on February 13, 2012 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (3)

the light

from a Turkish lamp

hangs glowing

in the corner of 

my mustard 

and olive room.

and i wonder 

how tiny particles

of light

fly through the night.

my heart beats


knowing there is 

strength and power

even in the smallest

venture - the tiniest


a Master

once observed

the joy

of sowing light

in darkness.

this morning,

i was most deeply priveleged

to watch the Sun

sow light.

our clouds,

the lampshade.

my heart,

the switch.

dv. 2/13/12

remind me

Posted on February 6, 2012 at 8:55 PM Comments comments (3)

there are times

in my wanderings

that i am


to run here,

or walk there,

or climb this,

or hike that.

when all i want to do

is dance.


in moments

of utmost frustration

or mind-boggling


i want to 

run away,

or hide,

or climb

a tree,

but what i need to do

is laugh.

it happens

on occasion

that i am asked to 


about something

that i love.

and i talk,

and talk,

and talk, 

perhaps instead

of pray.

when i am in pain,

and soothing

is all i want,

i seek balms

and touch,

and warmth

and ease.

what i really need

is patience.

if in some time,

there is movement,

and suddenly 


remind me.

remind me

to run

through fields

of warmth and touch

and ease, 

and fall upon

my grassy bed

of patience.

remind me 

to dance,

to laugh, 

and to pray.

dv 2/6/12

Merry Christmas

Posted on December 26, 2011 at 3:15 AM Comments comments (2)

Merry Christmas 2012 to all readers and travelers...


You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

solstice and equinox

Posted on December 18, 2011 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (3)

walking on the path,

and coming to a corner,

looping again back 

upon my own tracks.

hiking lofty mountains

and reaching the apex,

descending again

to familiar realms.

observing the clock

pendulum swing

back and forth

and forth and back.

new coats,

and molts,

new shadows,

new sun.

all part of this wonderful

and fantastic dance

our heavens 


we tire of cold,

we tire of heat,

we tire of daylight,

we tire of night.

and for this,

and for us,

our heavens dance!

and what a perfect


what perfect


this balance,

this wonderful

rejuvenating balance!

we join our beloved

winter, spring, summer

and autumn in 


these angle points,

when we think of 

the alternative,

we tire quickly.


we sink back 

into the dance,

and suddenly,

we are alive 


dv 12/15/11