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. 

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from head to toes

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (1)

when that feeling of fatigue

comes slinking by,

and sands of sleep are dumped

like waterfalls into the eye,

i find sleep.

and amid dreams and nightmares,

between now and then,

and somewhere lost in spaceless


i eventually awake -

my head upon a pillow in

my room,

my feet dipping into 

alhambra's pools

reflecting clouded skies

and racing birds. 

infused with happiness

i lay in waking bliss.

there are times

when i head through my days,

throttle full,

and flying through clouds

of dust and freedom.

and after enjoying those 

hidden curves and countless 

bumps, i find myself

in fields where napping

ewes and bleating lambs


i lay my head back

upon my tilted seat, 

and nap.

after several

jolts of head-pitching

and episodes of sunday-



i wake, 

my head resting 

in near-neighborhoods,

my feet plunging into 

the warm, salty

seas of mediterranea.

so smooth, so warm,

that salt-softened sea

has captured me.

i remember times when 

the body has challenged


and has for the moment lost -

in those times, i seek

my bed, i seek sleep.

i fall asleep,

in fevers,

wild rampant dreams,

steering me through

dark caverns,

bright hills,

pursued by long-necked

birds of prey,

chasing great



and i awake at once,

my head sweat-wetted

upon my pillow,

my feet submerged 

in rippling waves

of tagus flow.

rushes whispering,

larks singing,

sun warming,

and ancient gates


in my days,

i delight in familiarity -

and in my nights,

i search for faraway


to cool my travel-weary


dv 12 4 11


Posted on November 17, 2011 at 12:25 PM Comments comments (3)

it's been said

that the comfort of home

is a thing that nothing

can compare with.

the warm familiar smells,

the laughter of lighting,

the knowing.

all of this, and more,

so much more -

is what draws the heart

home again.

but now and then,

i like to put on my

walking shoes -

and prepare the carpet -

and fill the bags;

and set out for some

distant land,

or at least some distant


when dreams

of splashing

in ancient surf

fills my heart and mind,

nothing can keep me


or the thought of

walking on ancient

cobblestoned paths

barely wide enough

for a small


much less a droning



entices me on.

in the distant nights,

i hear them dancing,


clacking the castanets,

tipping the hats,

flinging the rough

ruffled hems with

precision steps and feet.

i hear them singing

sad songs of the heart.


amazing though it is,

my heart knows these



yes, when these

many things call inside my soul,

look out!

i may just be passing by

ready to board

some fantastic carpet



bound for the distant shores,

bags packed,

all things ready,

doors locked,

and heart running!

dv 11/11


Posted on October 26, 2011 at 1:45 AM Comments comments (3)

i know.

let's pretend we're on

a pirate ship,

bound for some far

eastern isle,

rich with cinnamon,

and sparkling with rubies.

i can be the cook,

and you can be the captain.

i'll make baked fish

with wine,

roasted roots,

and toasted seeds.

we'll eat risotto

mixed with slices of 

sweet tangerine.

and then,

you'll steer us safely

between rocks

covered in sirens,

craggy cliffs

hiding sure-footed goats.

we'll toss and pitch

this way and that.

in the end,

you'll steer us 

safely to a sunny shore

where i'll have 

crispy dark brown toast

covered in 

mango marmalade,

and sea oats

and dried gooseberries

swimming in cream

waiting on a table spread 

with rare

east asian silk.

and it won't be just chance

that you've guided us

to this land

where x

will indeed

mark the spot!

derb 10/25/11


Posted on October 9, 2011 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (3)

this morning,


before light had fully come,

i walked to my bedroom window,

and without pause,

leapt out into the 

waning night.

i landed on a cedar tree,

and peeked into a nest

and found


and nestled there,

wrapped in feathery comforter,

soft sleeping birds.

i found myself

chasing wisps of fog

through night-weary alleyways.

i danced on palms,

and tasted morning's

breath from a million

different fruits.

as stars winked out,

sleeping one by one,

i felt heaven's arms

taking away

the covers from 

my eyes.

and pushing me gently,

i turned toward

the rising sun.

distant lands 

nodded eagerly as 

sands warmed 


i am happy

very happy.

derb 10/11


Posted on September 10, 2011 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (3)

today i am posting a poem that i wrote while on vacation ten years ago. it's not about my travels, wonderful as they were. it's about what happened all those years ago - this is one of those rare moments in my life that is emblazoned upon my memory - one that i will never be able to shake loose. thankfully.  if you have not read much of my poetry, i apologize in advance - it may seem somewhat different than most you've read.

Take Flight

She hurried them off to class today,

one by one - A kiss on each cheek,

a cap tossed to the littlest;

A cup of tea, now cool, finished;

And through the tired limbs of the cherry trees,

The sun came blazing through,

a heat on the kitchen table.

Behind the house across the yard

the puppy was having fun,

Dodging in and out of tall grass

and looking quite ridiculous.

The tolerant cat in hiding

looking hurt and punished,

Now and then looks up through leaves

and sees

Strange birds flying,

alighting in the branches and on the cable.

And in the air,

the birds sing lazily on warm wind.

How odd when metal burns,

when rock is cut with fearful force.

How sharp the smell of liquid fire

and black air.

A tearing open of the mountains of man -

A new lava forced into the hills,

a parasitic wasp,

Stinging again and again -

What terrible virus to take in!

And as sap falls

inside the trunk in winter’s blast,

Mankind falls in his own winter,

cold and vast.

The oceans swell and rivers surge

with salt rivers

from a billion glassy pools;

And the choking throats of humankind


From rocky cliffs and burning hills,

With purpose clearly understood -

And into the glassy eyes of God,

Strange birds

take flight

that never flew before.

How odd.

~derbehccke for September 11, 2001 © October, 2001

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Posted on September 1, 2011 at 4:45 PM Comments comments (3)

someone has shaken my cigar box -

the one i've kept my treasures in.

all neatly in order, it was easy to find them.

today, when i opened that box,

i found the marble, that "cleary",

jumbled among the walnut shells.

i found my heart mixing


with my thoughts.


somebody has shaken those treasures.

or something.

i feel utmost peace, and yet

a nervous twinge keeps pecking

at my heart.

i feel anger, and happiness;

despair, and flying hope;

irritation, and utmost peace;

sadness, such deep sadness,

and dancing, whirling joy!


how can this be?

in the same moment,

the same breath!

i'm pulled this way,

and that way.

the heart does not converse

with the mind - it yells for attention!


oh please, please my half-healing heart,



tonight, when the fog pushes

its way over the mattress of the plain,

come comfort me, and keep me warm

with soft mind-hugs and heart-kisses.

and don't worry -

i'll have a flask of wine

and we'll toast to

disorder and order alike.


through my sleep,

paint dreams into my mind,

such that i cannot escape.

such that i wish never

to awake.

and should i wake,

let it be soft birdsong alarms

and leaf-rustlings and

dripping dew that

pushes me over

that cliff-edge

into wakefulness.


slipping away

Posted on August 12, 2011 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (7)

sometimes when i think,

the numbers fall from my brain

to the ground below -

the words change places

and reason becomes faint.


is something that cannot be


and i feel like im slipping away...

in my wanderings,

my observations slow

when meditations free. 

the noticings become

the noticed.

few things in life

make showing books of 

ancient photos clear again.

there is beauty in clarity -

but clarity is slipping away...

my seasons used to be spent

wandering paths, 

building castles,

chasing friends...

and now i spend them


and watching the moon

trace arcs in the sparkling night.

this visitation, this slipping away...

i once felt afraid

of going away, of traveling...

the security of home

and life,

and beauty

fed roots in fertile soils.

but lately,

uprooted, this world

calls to me.

and like so many migrant birds,

i've found flight freeing

and felt footfree 

and fleeing those footholds,

i bind myself to slipping away...

8 12 11


Posted on July 29, 2011 at 10:05 PM Comments comments (3)

this day

of desperate longing

has brought my soul

so close

to You,

that as my eyes

are opened,

the lashes


against your warm

dry skin.


so close,

that my eyes

collect minute

memories -

tales told

in tongues

only my heart

can comprehend.


this vision,

this warm brown

panorama -

falls upon my eyes

like soft woolen

blankets fall

upon snow-cold



how can i not


knowing this


is mine -




derb - 7.29.11


bear hugs... for bearing with me...

Posted on July 28, 2011 at 6:35 PM Comments comments (1)

please accept a big bear hug for bearing with me.

there will be a domain change on this website shortly. it may or may not be available for the next 24 - 48 hours, so forgive any inconvenience it might cause.

the website should be much cleaner once all the transfers and tomfoolery have taken place.


until then, walk in peace, take many opportunities to relax, and take as many more opportunities to explore...



the comforter

Posted on July 20, 2011 at 1:45 AM Comments comments (7)

tonight i will wrap myself

in green willow leaves

and put off the weights 

of murky coats

and tattered hats.

i will shake off 

dust from a thousand steps

and free my mind

of wandering minstrels.

tonight i'll lay upon

great folds of blanket,

fresh-woven with flowered flax

and yarrow bloom.

i'll take away the mess of day

and put on the ink of night.

i'll forsake the logic

of the day's deeds,

the wisdom of the night

floods down over me

like great winged birds

tired from flight.

tonight, the surplus of the sun

dictates a freedom

of bright yellow light -

come dark cloud-grey path.

come still the flickering

in my eyes,

the racing of my brain, 

diminish thought and 

soothe the sense.

i'll set up my tent

just lightly,

against the black

of rippling pools,

and sing with crickets


and watch the moon trace

ever westward in the sky

until at last 

the stars recede

and planets fade.

just then, all day

will end, and the first

notes of that grand opera

will sound in heaven

and in my heart.

derbeh 7/11


Posted on June 27, 2011 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (6)

there is a side journey

that we all must take at times

in our lives.

that side journey

is a most valuable one.

along it, we replenish

our souls;

we renew our spirits;

we calm our fears.

it may be that you find this

side journey

to be a small and almost

insignificant path

barely noticeable off

that divine path we walk.

but when we need it,

we know it,

and we find it.

it's second nature to us now -

this path-off-path.

so, hesitate,

drink from clear pools,

and begin your side journey.

you will find that not far

along this path,

you will encounter forgiveness.

taken from the right,

you are forgiven -

taken from the left,

you forgive.

which luscious fruit you take

depends on where you are.

but, by all means, take!

when you have tasted

the fruit of forgiveness,

almost everything else tastes sour!

there is a unique area of this path

a little farther along,

so eat the fruit

of forgiveness while you are

ambling along the path.

take your time -

you'll want to savor every bite.


soon enough, you will arrive

at a place of forgetting.

some people say,

"hurry by this! skip this!"

but i tell you

that i've found

the most wonderful spring

to drink from here -

it's waters are effervescent,

and with every bubble

that bursts cold-hot

inside your mouth,

that item you've longed to forgive

or to be forgiven

is lost among the

flowers of your heart.

drink enough,

and you most surely

have begun this phase of life

with a fresh clean slate!

there are few things

in life

more cathartic than drinking

from the bubbly pool

of forgetfulness.


and when at last you've

finished with your side journey,

return to the Great Path,

and begin again,

and walk again

with renewed mind,

refreshed soul

and clean heart.

and take the rose

petals from off your eyes,

that you might easily find

those side journeys



derb 6/27/11


License to Love

Posted on June 15, 2011 at 3:10 AM Comments comments (4)

Have you received

your license to love?

It's a wonderful thing.

Presenting this to others

guarantees receipt of your love.

You may not be refused,

even a pass to the lowliest

insect would be happily


Try it out on those

you find difficult

to bear.

In this, that license

might just turn

a cavern of ice

into a pool of


And by all means,

be careful

where you step

after you use your

license -

More than one lucky

person has been

literally burned up

by love.


derb 6/14/11

it's possible

Posted on May 25, 2011 at 3:25 AM Comments comments (2)

i closed my eyes one time

and saw a bridge. 

as my head nodded,

my mind fighting sleep,

i heard singing.

i must have walked that bridge

a hundred times at night.

and greeting day,

i'd sit upon a rock 

and throw jade stones

into the sapphire waters.

now, i only see that bridge

in dreams i have


when i turn just right,

i can almost hear that

voice singing again. 

as i seek to fall into

dreams again, i search

for that place where i 

would sit.

how often i'd love 

to visit that place -

that haven of bridge-work,

near crystal sprite-flowing 

waters, amid jade-stemmed

sapphire-flowered banks. 


now is the month of maying...

Posted on May 2, 2011 at 11:00 PM Comments comments (1)
The May Magnificat

May is Mary's month, and I
Muse at that and wonder why:
Her feasts follow reason,
Dated due to season --

Candlemas, Lady Day;
But the Lady Month, May,
Why fasten that upon her,
With a feasting in her honour

Is it only its being brighter
Than the most are must delight her?
Is it opportunest
And flowers finds soonest?

Ask of her, the mighty mother;
Her reply puts this other
Question: What is Spring? --
Growth in everything --

Flesh and fleece, fur and feather
Grass and green world all together;
Star-eyed strawberry breasted
Throstle above her nested

Cluster of bugle blue eggs thin
Forms and warms the life within;
And bird and blossom swell
In sod or sheath or shell.

All things rising, all things sizing
Mary sees, sympathising
With that world of good
Nature's motherhood.

Their magnifying of each its kind
With delight calls to mind
How she did in her stored
Magnify the Lord

Well but there was more than this:
Spring's universal bliss
Much, had much to say
To offering Mary May.

When drop-of-blood-and-foam-dapple
Bloom lights the orchard-apple
And thicket and thorp are merry
With silver-surféd cherry

And azuring-over greybell makes
Wood banks and brakes wash wet like lakes
And magic cuckoo call
Caps, clears, and clinches all --

This ecstasy all through mothering earth
Tells Mary her mirth till Christ's birth
To remember and exultation
In God who was her salvation.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

a numbering

Posted on April 25, 2011 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (0)

a void in time, 

a zero.

to rule the day, a sun,

a one.

to rule the night, a moon,

a one.

together, indicating time,

a two.

in godhead, triumvirate,

a three.

and points to count by, per hand,

and in the octopodian land,

unlucky baker's dozen,

a morose gun salute,

direct-dial to spain,

an emerald anniversary.

and so on,

and so on.

if there be more to this

nonsensical nim,

ask him.


the donkey

Posted on April 17, 2011 at 11:25 PM Comments comments (1)
When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born.

With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil's walking parody
On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will,
Starve, scourge, deride me I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools, for I also had my hour,
One far fierce hour and sweet,
There was a shout about my ears
And palms before my feet.



have a most blessed palm sunday!!!

this dance

Posted on April 16, 2011 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (3)

i think

this dance you've invited me to join

is beautiful.

there's just one problem -

i don't know the steps!

but as i watch you

so effortlessly glide

across a floor

made of sparks

and shooting stars, 

it all becomes clear to me.

there are no steps!

when did the music

begin to sound like 

birds laughing

and rivers exploding over cliffs?

i've missed so much

of this dance -

trying to watch too many things.

trying to observe and 

follow, and mimic...

in one moment,

i lose my sight,

and turn around 

and turn around

three times - 

and when i stop, 

there are no more dancers -

no more sparks,

no stars...

only Divine music,

echoing through my soul.

with this echoing,

this rhythm,

how could i keep from

stepping from the edge

of violin night

into the bright trumpet



morning sea view

Posted on April 12, 2011 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (0)

wakened by the plaintive song 

of mockingbirds singing duets.

gauzy black curtains breathing

in and out, in and out...

blowing cool 50 degree breaths

on my bed.

i look out,

and see the sky,

and blue meets brown

and brown sees blue,

the ocean's hue. 

what great reflection life brings.

a bit of fog,

torn from the great blanket

skips by. 

i consider how very blessed

i am to be able

to see this, experience this.

of all the gin joints 

of the world,

i walked into this one.



Posted on March 23, 2011 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (9)

sometimes it seems 

like it's a very long ways

from one place to another,

like from your heart to your hands.

but don't give up -

keep your feet planted

on the back of that giant tortoise

called patience - 

and you'll get there all right.

the distance between the mind

and mouth

too often is accomplished

too quickly - take your time on this 

mountain road -

it is trecherous, 

dangerous with its ice and curvy road.

it's better to arrive 

safely in the future

than to arrive in an unknown

and unwanted land.

give care when assessing the

mileage between the eyes

and the stomach.

this road always is far too easy

to go quickly.

i always thought this path should be 

more difficult to follow.

in fact, this road should be

closed most of the time.

but coming back to the road

from your heart to your hands - 

how i wish we would meet

on that road! 


violent dreams

Posted on March 17, 2011 at 7:05 AM Comments comments (3)

just when you think

the moon behind gauzy clouds

has spread calm about the world,

and draped poisonous fires

with her wet-sopping cloak

of rain, 

somewhere a spark 

of the lonely world's dark

caverns, shoots forth.

even though it is peaceful to think

that sleeping in soft

meadow-beds of fern

and bright gentian

will last forever,

somewhere lurking

just beneath your pillow

is a soft rumbling,

ready to jolt you awake

from your rest.

when our minds

receive images 

of terrifying nature,

let loose from her jail of calm,

all we can do is 

stand by and weep,

wringing our hands

and wondering, why...

horrified by the destruction we see.

thinking somehow,

how is this possible?

just yesterday, i was 

asleep at my coffee,

my head resting on one hand,

as i peered out over 

the vast and calm seas.

and today,

i am running for my life

from waters so terrible

that i cannot recognize them.

this madness must be a dream!

as the moon pulls

her shrouds over her

and over her

until no one can see

the pain in her eyes,

we look again Eastward

for new light

and Please God,

new calm and peace.

with rest comes

new wisdoms.

let our Eastern family

and Western family

unite in our rest

and respond in our wisdom.