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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 Kevin T. McEneaney in Poetry
Fri Jan 4th, 2019

Wan December sunlight, snow-covered hills,

pond semi-frozen, hollows mucky with mud,

stream reduced to etiolated rills.

Hauling in split wood amid squelching sludge

up to my wobbly ankles. Birch burns...

by Kevin T. McEneaney in Poetry
Mon Dec 31st, 2018

Declare a moratorium on common sense.

Let all multi-millionaires be homeless and hungry for a day.

Let roosters and chickens all have their say.

Televise the parade of Snowmen from...

Tue Dec 25th, 2018

A Messiah came, spoke of the Father

(with words of wisdom not heard since David),

becoming a martyr like Osiris,

Dionysos, and those who followed Him.

The Spirit-words of the...

by Kevin T. McEneaney in Poetry
Tue Dec 18th, 2018

That year it was a jazzy Christmas thing:

bebop in glass, iced sax, funk on the rug,

room vibrating like bell on slant hillside,

parquet floor bouncing like a white...

by Kevin T. McEneaney in Poetry
Wed Dec 12th, 2018

At Barnes & Noble the poetry shelves

sleep a thousand volumes of poetry,

yet with a few exciting exceptions

like Shakespeare, Pushkin, and Dickinson,

there’s just ink meandering on paper,...

by Kevin T. McEneaney in Poetry
Wed Dec 5th, 2018

The Gospel of Gauguin hung in the air:

all emptied their pockets or ran a tab

while philosophers sipped their black coffee

as Jukebox blared “At the Dock of the...

by Kevin T. McEneaney in Poetry
Wed Nov 28th, 2018

Hauling in logs before first sleet snowfall,

wrapping tarp about the pyramid pile,

huffing and puffing like a berserker,

ferreting out a splinter from finger,

waiting for the first flakes...

by Kevin T. McEneaney in Poetry
Tue Nov 20th, 2018

When young I had an insane lust for books:

novels, history, deep philosophy,

and especially noted poetry.

My bookshelves bend with grave biographies,

yet I cherish autobiographies

that I cannot...

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