Wayne-Daniel Berard

Christine in my Crisis

We’re sitting in the sunroom
the phone is constant
it rings it beeps so
much support “how
is your dad?” “there
for you” I get up from
beside you I don’t want
to interrupt your shows
from the kitchen I gaze
every minute of every call
back toward you your
profile defines both sun
and room being light
just by being and being
the one and every place
in which I dwell I’m glad
for all the others I breathe
because of you my constant
occasion the o in each hello


(This poem first appeared in the journal North of Oxford)





In Memory of 
(after Auden)

Earth, receive an honored guest,
Al Berard is laid to rest.
True, he could not interpret sighs
or understand my poetry.

But in the nightmare face of war
he looked straight on and swore.
And once returned, he dug
his heels in hard and snug

within the world he knew.
And when he learned a Jew
was his adopted son
he didn’t care a bit, just went on

being as he’d always been.
If there is sin in
changelessness, then each
and every poem that can reach 

a changeless page is sinful.
My father was a pin but full
of angels dancing in release, 
and there are rests in music, peace.

In the handmade clock of life
may its chiming be his wife,
gone before him full two years.
May these verses do for tears.





art of enlightenment

We walked to the
pond and the island 
the day dad died
I said “I think I’ve
found the meaning 
of life — Art. Merton
says it enables us
to find ourselves 
and lose ourselves 
at the same time. I’m
writing my best poetry
right now.” You motioned
toward the pizza box the
chipotle bag the bud cans
scattered beyond the over 
flowing bin. “You get 
those over there,” you 
said. “I’ll start here.”





Wayne-Daniel Berard, PhD, teaches Humanities at Nichols College, Dudley, MA. He publishes broadly in poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. His latest full-length work of poetry, The Realm of Blessing, will be published in 2020 by Unsolicited Press. He is the co-founding editor of Soul-Lit, an online journal of spiritual poetry (www.soul-lit.com). Wayne-Daniel lives in Mansfield, MA with his wife, The Lovely Christine.