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Poetry

February evokes mediations

on mortality: not only the cold,

but the bleak crunch of ice on fastened boot,

plumage panicky at the bird-feeder,

lowering slate clouds that appear endless,

bare skeletal trees, frozen local pond,

hungry sweaters gathering food and fuzz,

dwindling stack of logs by clanking woodstove.

 

Sometimes overcoming February

brings out the best in me as I shovel

mounds of snow into sensible pathways,

fill the stew pot with vegetables and herbs,

talk to myself like I’m in asylum.

The latter is what really keeps me sane.


We will all lay our heads down in brown leaves,

hoping that from our decay flowers bloom

over us, but much more importantly,

hoping that those who are younger than us

will embrace our memory with fondness,

seek to imitate or best qualities,

and inform their life with the joy we had

when we walked and breathed morning air at dawn.

 

I frequently talk to my dead parents,

even though I’ve little to say to them.

Likewise, I talk to numerous dead friends

with poignant content, longing for answers,

but that is like looking at a full moon,

knowing nothingness can be beautiful.


“Here’s the longest icicle you’ve ever seen.”

“Can I touch it?”

“Yes, feel its wetness.”

“It’s cold.”

 

The warmth of mid-winter meltdown

swells the heart with joy, optimistic slant.

Merciful respite from freezing.

Toes want to dance in mud.

 

Drip, drip, drip goes the song

as birds, frantic in wing, skitter

on icy mounds of melting snow.

Lungs retrieve confidence.

 

Yet I want to know

what a child thinks

of flux in this world

as he stomps in puddles.

 

But what can a child know

about flux, waterfalls of time,

those labyrinthine turns,

many-sided decisions a man must make?

 

Winter will soon return with cold blast

and its bone-shaking, bleaky chill.

Only wood enough for stove burning

can keep the heart warm and kind.


The bass provides musical foundation

for string and winds, prime springboard for rhythm

that propels the vector of instruments

to follow, build, dance with elegance.

Without good bass other players are lost.

 

The bass player is an unsung hero

who shoulders the base of a pyramid,

allowing others to sing unfettered.

A bass player is the soul of a band,

the psychologist of an orchestra.

 

Cool bass has unexpected energy,

dynamism beyond explanation,

the kernelled conundrum in a question.

Is not bass always asking questions?

Is it not asking you to dance for joy?

 

And does it not ask you sometimes to weep?

Bass can be a sad cave-sound resounding….

Don’t we all blink twice at a bass player

lugging his instrument at an airport?

Without bass our intellect cannot fly…. 


Is this really me making a snowball?

Or is it some routine childhood relic?

Showing my three-year old how to-do-it:

compacting snow, scrunching it into ice,

so that one can launch a circle to air,

or feel its splattering impact on cheek.

We toss snowballs like cartoon characters,

yet cold frost weighing on our nose is real.

 

The heated life indoors appears more real.

The woodstove becomes a philosopher,

wise with dryness, delicious warmth of air.

Impatient toes can’t get enough of stove.

An old man can’t get enough of childhood;

a child can’t get enough of the word would.

 


by Kevin T. McEneaney in Poetry
Sun Feb 7th, 2016

Striped brown chipmunk scrabbled into food pantry—

Bully cat Willie chased him through the door.

Once the thing settled amid canned bottles

Of pickles, jams and jellies, wee tin cans,...

by Rennie McQuilkin in Poetry
Tue Jan 26th, 2016

The Digging

 

It's that time of year,
the hedgerows hung with bittersweet.
Potato time.

How early the freeze, I'd say
if we were speaking. We're

...
by Jonathan Wells in Poetry
Fri Jan 22nd, 2016

His sandals were found

pointing south from the cave

next to his drinking cup. The vines

he’d staked tailed into the ravine

where the river was sinewy

over the rocks....

by Michaela Coplen in Poetry
Fri Jan 15th, 2016

where they were basically giving away food for free.

Of course that’s why we went there—each of us empty-bellied

and wanting warmth, the blood rising to blush

on our wind-chapped cheeks. The butternut squash soup...

by Kevin T. McEneaney in Poetry
Sun Dec 20th, 2015

Can there be Christmas without reindeer songs?

What about holly hovering above?

Flashing neon lights blinking at midnight?

Movies about Santa's green elves at work?

A well-done

...
by Kevin T. McEneaney in Poetry
Fri Dec 11th, 2015

Here’s my Christmas wish to God Almighty:

A ten percent raise in income, please;

A garage to put old tools and boots in;

A cat that doesn’t rake the spine...

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