Roy Wahlberg


(listen to the poem, read by Diane R. Wiener)

A thrumming in the air alerts
my eyes to the porch, where
a brief translucent blurring
of the air occurs,
and the unattended sweet-water
feeder is left bobbing
in the still air
like a red channel buoy
crying wolf in the dark
of its quiet background sea
of blue-spruce trees.

Back to Top of Page | Back to Poetry | Back to Volume 16, Issue 4 – Winter 2022

Of Poetry

(listen to the poem, read by Diane R. Wiener)

Like mother’s breath on a fevered brow
a summer zephyr leaned in low
to soothe the sultry evening
with the softest of quiet soughs.

It was a crowded prison yard
but still I sat and noticed
the smaller and larger things
and that single fact
made for the simple act —

of poetry.

Back to Top of Page | Back to Poetry | Back to Volume 16, Issue 4 – Winter 2022

About the Author

Roy Wahlberg, OID# 103429. Born: 11/20/1951. Life sentence: 1976. His brain later determined to have been so ravaged by early life disease, even hydrocephalus surgery was long denied as pointless (as it proved to be). Ultimately, however, miraculous “compensations” emerged from his brain deterioration and epilepsy treatment: the “Grandma Moses Effect” of late-life artistic drive. For him this took form as musicophilia, hypergraphia, and compulsive versification–the three stabilizing legs of his intellectual stool (both the furniture kind and his overall function, at times a bit scatological).

With autism, dysphasia (verbal deficits), and attention/memory scores in the bottom 5-7%, only through writing can Roy achieve a solid and continual sense of self–that essential ingredient of normal life that is otherwise entirely missing or only flimsily maintained. Halting and forgetful in speech, it is writing alone that releases his mind into smooth and tireless eloquence as the logical thread is held reliably before him by the medium.

Perhaps most importantly, writing allows Roy to find deep and meaningful solace in his almost unbroken solitude, instantly expanding his tiny cell from a lonely cage of despair into cognitive banquet halls filled with infinite imaginative possibilities, a doorway for the spirit, and an inexhaustible, cathartic feast of dream and reason. In many ways, and much more than most, Roy must write in order to truly live — making the writing, as he sees it (though happily so) practically ALL that exists of him.

Two-way email communication with Roy is possible through the website, searching for him as Roy Wahlberg 103429.

His mailing address is:

970 Pickett Ave. N.
Bayport, MN 55003