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Poetry

We spoke of you today, James Stuart Dunne,

Surgeon of the trenches. The swallows rose

And dived across the skies in tumult fun

In practice for their pyramids. Their great-

Great Ancestors had known you round Clonkeen

Preparing for your Internship. Your dream,

Soon nightmare broken, in the savage scream

Of salvage amputation. You set sail

Today, in August, Nineteen and fourteen;

The swallows looked the same, but saw the change

Through smoke, and noise and turmoil, and despair

Where broken men bewildered, found your care.

By rampart breach a Surgeon’s skill was known,

Where brave men wept for home, and home disowned.


One of a writer’s faults remains worship

of the bog-soggy ground on which he walks.

That ground is words and his holy idol

remains the dictionary on a shelf.

To the letter he wishes to be true,

yet a poet who wants to make things new

will forge fresh likenesses in the mirror

of words like a child making faces

that impishly, archaically appear

to resemble the facial expressions

of monkeys playing games with each other:

winking, grinning, mocking, and gesturing.

Unless the Monkey in the poet laughs,

Words will never become epigraph.


First frost of autumn on petals and leaves.

Summer is already a memory

lost in the cold fog of cloudy morning.

Time to pick apples, quince, say fond farewell

to desperate insects flitting about.

The sky will soon be a river of snow

And my mind will be as frozen as ice.

Boiling kettle will now be my best friend.

 

My grandson is more accepting of change,

which may say something about my own age.

It’s time once more to become a bookworm,

find warmth in the wisdom of other men.

Did I say wisdom? Does wisdom still play

a role in life on a cold winter’s day?


I read in newspapers that someone has died.

Sudden death seems to happen every day,

yet few people appear aware of this

as tv sit-coms and sporting events

celebrate victories or fantasies,

while thousands die each day in global war.

And just what is it that we are here for?

 

Some say we’re merely here to gobble food,

do laundry, cut grass, play video games,

or do jobs that robots ask us to do.

Few possess satisfactory answers.

As for me, I’m skipping out to sunlight

to watch blue passing clouds, ask butterflies

if they know why humans are so obtuse.


Sleep is the thinker’s laboratory

where people chat and mostly agree

on what is to be done in this frail world.

Conversation may be enigmatic,

but everyone speaks with shy eloquence.

Dreamworld rarely follows chronology

as one remains spectator to one’s self

acting in imaginary pageant.

 

No rules crimp the script of Dreamworld—

just about anything can happen there.

Dreamworld escape can be a pleasant place

where problems are solved to satisfaction.

Yet waking to sunlight with dew on lawn,

nightmarish confusion trumpets its horn.  


by Bill Keller in Poetry
Tue May 7th, 2019

I passed an orchard twice a day.

Never stopped, till I saw the way

The orchard springs to life: slender, small,

Tender greens with pink-milk petals.

 

But up close,...

by Kevin T. McEneaney in Poetry
Tue Apr 30th, 2019

Glowing, winking embers at poker-point

become swarming tea leaves in your cup;

cast of I-Ching demythologized

by devout, mindful meditation.

 

Daily horoscope lifts aspiration,

a prayer to a saint...

by Kevin T. McEneaney in Poetry
Mon Apr 22nd, 2019

Puddles stipple-drilled, dandelions closed,

cherry bush waving frail pink-and-white blooms,

that satisfying softness under foot,

aural breeze on ears, mallards swim in pond,

full planting moon rising over east hills

as...

by Kevin T. McEneaney in Poetry
Thu Apr 4th, 2019

I am an oak tree,

yet few will listen to me.

Back in the old days,

men knew my dignified ways,

treating me with love

as their eyes gazed up...

by Kevin T. McEneaney in Poetry
Wed Mar 27th, 2019

Sometimes I would walk down

Riverside Drive by Ulysses Grant’s Tomb,

stopping at Barnes & Noble

on Broadway and 82nd Street

to use their clean restroom.

 

Last year I...

by Kevin T. McEneaney in Poetry
Tue Mar 19th, 2019

When burrrring back of Old Man Winter breaks

like resounding crack of ice on white lake

and winds grow slow-mild like fervent whispers

in cool ear of close friend, then...

by Kevin T. McEneaney in Poetry
Fri Mar 8th, 2019

When I dwelt outside of time

spear-shaped leaves of grass

and the waving flags of maple trees

were a green beyond words

before I had many words

as the sun...

by Bill Keller in Poetry
Fri Mar 1st, 2019

It's white then black,
Churns, turns slack;
Salt and fresh
Part just to mesh;

It ebbs then flows,
Shrinks then grows – 
Fast warm,...

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