“The Middle Path” a poem by John Barrymore

During the Los Angeles Poetry scene of the late 1980’s into the early ’90’s, John Blyth Barrymore III was a staple poet and poetry supporter.

John Barrymore photo by Yvonne de la VegaAn actor, a director and educator, he writes his poetry in a matter-of-factually confessional style, drawing imagery that haunts the Angeleno ghosts within most of us. John’s eccentric humor that is a cross of slapstick and raunch, is unintimidating and honest, but at all times hilarious. As an acting coach the humor is in the title of his acting workshop: “Act Like A Barrymore”.

Drama-Factory-Flyer-Color (1)

Currently writing an autobiography, his memoirs are entitled, “The Sins of The Father” while “The Middle Path”, the following poem by Barrymore, is a quick look at what to expect in the forthcoming book from this multi-talented and iconic poet who states that his DNA is to blame for most of his adventures, short comings and attempts toward moderation. The famous Barrymore Family has for many generations been known for superior acting skills in the theater and early film.


John Barrymore‘s future theater performances are eagerly awaited by many as he is set to do in “Hamlet” as well as “Barrymore” by William Luce. 











by John Blyth Barrymore III

The middle path

is the hardest road

for a man to walk with grace.

I’ve spent my life

in a cold dark cell or else,

well, lost in space.

My heart full of peace, harmony, love,

greeting each one with a smile.

Or hanging out down

on Hooligan Street

with O.J., Erik and Lyle.

People would say

as I traveled their way,

“There goes John;

he’s sober and chaste.”

Or else they would point

as I lit up my joint and say,

“There goes John; what a waste.”

A fit vegetarian,

healthy of frame,

living on sunlight and seeds.

Or making my way

down to Tom’s Number 5

to score a cheeseburger

with speed.

Then back in A.A.,

at least for a day,

with a promise never to swerve.

Or down a dark alley

with a spike in my arm,

determined to fry that last nerve

It’s a struggle, my friends,

to live a moderate life

when your personality

leans to extremes.

Some said it was youth

but to tell you the truth,

I think that it’s mostly

my genes.

Nevertheless moderation’s my goal;

my resolve is unsurpassed…

(Hope springs eternal

in the heart of a man who

refuses to learn from his past).

Still this is my row,

though it’s a hard one to hoe,

and I frequently feel God’s wrath

When I come to that

three-tined fork in the road,

I’ll head for the middle path.

~ John Barrymore III


This post is from Los Angeles Poetry Examiner’s Friday Pick


Full Body Naked Scanner

Poem in response to report:
– Pilot walks off job after refusing to go through full body X-ray scanner at airport By Daily Mail Reporter

this is what your body looks like when on check        ewe.

Full Body Naked Scanner

by Yvonne de la Vega

A Samurai,
Neil Armstrong
a Jedi Knight
and Tony Robbins

were all directed
toward the gate each
ordered to step
through the
naked body scan
strip his self of every
before he entered to
grasp the steering wheel
of one thousand lives

the lives of his family
his ancestry
his indigene
the lives of countrymen
country women
children and diplomats.
the lives of a graduating class on their
study of the Nation’s Capitol
the life of a mother
her carry-on
of unconditional love
a beautiful daughter in
all of her romantic sighs
a beloved son
in his life’s journey’s start.

The lofty attendant in airport security.

Iron gilded in silver and nano
shadows of bureaucratic disrespect
lofty attendants
collecting Bic lighters
and eyeballing fluid ounces
have the sway of a social worker
meets rent a cop
today they have the power
tonight they serve
that enchilada casserole
they made once and 
now every Thursday
the monotony like
the sound of a metronome
a loud second hand
a casserole pan
a Sam I am
in the frying pan
a ringing phone
a television
and the smell of
that enchilada casserole.

Our lifetime achieving
heroic statures of
our good and our gallant

A Samurai
Neil Armstrong
a Jedi Knight
and Tony Robbins.

the lives they must host
in their hands and in their emails
in their hands and in their care
as they propel across the skies

heaven to heaven
to the throne of God
and back
taking the dreamers
to thier destinies
as destinations web across imaginations
such wondrous possibilities abound
due to the diligence
in honor and in
ultimate responsibility

the arena is waiting for them to strip

The Samurai’s face says nothing

Neil, searches for his flight pass

Skywalker calculates.
the force of course
is with him as he calculates
what effect the scanner may have
upon his light saber
that he will not
must never
lay vulnerable.

and Tony
smiles understandingly
the affirmations
the affirmations
the absolute positive affirmations


the Samurai
is ordered by the attendants to proceed in his gallantry and heroics but only after the naked scanner body search


the attendants were all beheaded.