to the small poem and the quiet voice within

daniel barth | reflections upon the 50th anniversary of jack kerouac’s on the road


When I Die

Plant me out back in a wooden box.
Cover it with dirt and rocks.
On one stone write: He liked ducks.
That’s all. Mucho gusto. Mahalo. Good luck.

on a wire fence
nectarine blossoms


You have been named
Poet laureate
Of Ukiah, California.
That and $4.50
Will get you a mocha latté
At any café in town.

Kerouac Dreams

I saw the ghost of Jack Kerouac
At the San Francisco S.P. Depot
Walking up the track,
A lantern in his hand—
The universal brakeman on the universal freight,
That old conductor of the dharma train—
He’s come back, I thought,
It hasn’t all been told.

And it was down in New Orleans,
I saw him in Heaven in a Vision in a Dream.
Neal was with him, Allen was with him,
And Old Bill and Old Bull and Babe Ruth and Dizzy Dean.
They were standing, talking, drinking beer,
In the Far Lands, on an Island, west of here.
The moon was rising, wave after wave was breaking,
And their talk was music you would die to hear.

Daniel Barth was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. He is the author of Ukiah Haiku: Journal of the Year (Goin’ Prose Press) and Coyote Haiku (Secret Goldfish Press and lives in Mendocino County, California. His poetry, fiction, essays, and reviews have appeared in Beat Scene, Dharma Beat, Jazz Times, Review of Contemporary Fiction, Western American Literature, Whole Earth Review, Zeitgeist, Hitching: Tales from the Byways and Superhighways (Wakefield Press), and the much celebrated, highly sought, REFLECTIONS UPON the 50th ANNIVERSARY of JACK KEROUAC’S ON the ROAD, Heaven Books, 2007, edited by Ron Whitehead and Robert M. Zoschke.


  1. Robert M. Zoschke

    Beautiful send-up-send-out…Beautiful Blei Magic Fingers On The Typer Treatment…Beautiful Blei Eyes On The Image Lense Exclamation Point…Bard Man Barth doesn’t get enough credit…thanks…

  2. Judith Wiker

    “They danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I’ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn…like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars, and in the middle, you see the blue center-light pop, and everybody goes ahh…”’s to you Norb…

  3. Dan Barth

    Great site! Thanks for including some of my pomes. Love the duck photo.

    “Croyez en le contour sacre de la vie.”–JK

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