Sunday, January 10, 2021

Cultish Behavior

To hide a secret, keep it in plain sight.
Inside a truth is where you hide a lie.
A deed de noir, if bathed in brightest light,
Leaves the palest of shadows few will spy.

An untruth, whispered, will seldom go far,
But if shouted often, becomes a fact.
An average schmuck can become a star,
If you make grand claims, then lie and distract.

Find something that folks are afraid to lose;
Claim the government's taking it away.
Tell them it is critical that they choose
To follow your schmuck, who will save the day.

A few will follow because they're afraid.
A few will follow because they are mad.
Anger and hatred and words loudly said,
Will give them direction they've never had.

But a schmuck is a schmuck, the truth will out,
And an angry mob may be the result.
Frustrated fanatics who scream and shout,
Are the fractured remains of a failed cult.

Though you scatter the fire, some embers glow,
Some remnants burn out, and others anneal.
Some embers are large, so their fire can grow,
But most are shattered, needing time to heal.

But mark my words -- This is wisdom, hard earned:
If you are not careful, you can get burned.

Mick McKellar
January 2021

Building a cult can be relatively easy if you follow a few simple rules and your timing is good. However, if your leader is a schmuck, incompetent, or just unlucky; a failed cult can be a dangerous thing.


Thursday, January 07, 2021

The Cost of Conflict

Shallow cries of war and vengeance
Echo and wail, through canyons
Of glass, stone, and steel.
Gaslight tales and smoke,
Obscure and obfuscate
The weathered and withered eyes
Of angry old men.

Will the threshing floor chafe,
When the sledge elects the grain
And rejects the chaff?
Will the chaff arise and
Falsely claim it is grain?
Shall the harvest make war upon itself
In resentment, in grief, and in rage?

Life will suffer.
Grain will be spoilt.
And the wounded will reign,
While the children mourn
For their dead fathers.

Mick McKellar
January 2021


Saturday, January 02, 2021

In the Bones of My Soul

When bright bursts of love enkindle my mind,
And my hesitant bonds have lost control,
My essence subsumes ev'ry thought I find;
I feel the fire in the bones of my soul.
When chill winds of freedom caress my heart,
And warm bonds of friendship my cries extol,
My bonds to my shadows are burst apart;
I savor joy in the bones of my soul.
When the quiet hours of a sleepless night
And slumber elude, minutes take their toll.
When sweet visions of fancy take their flight,
Gratitude gleams in the bones of my soul.
The architecture of my love is whole,
When I feel loved in the bones of my soul.

Mick McKellar
January 2021

It is good to feel loved deep in the fiber of your being.


Sunday, December 27, 2020

Working in Winter

Limed and frosty, his beard breaks the iced air.
Hollow and cranky, his voice steams and booms.
The knife edge of sunshine that slices fair,
Razors the shadows in dark, frosty rooms.
Early mornings are hard in the Winter,
Even when sun-dogs cavort in the sky.
Probing and sharp, each draft is a hinter
Of the chill companions that outside lie.
Sunbrowned from hours spent in the white glare,
Covered in layers, to keep life inside
Far from the gelid atmosphere's air;
Granting a body's warmth someplace to hide.
Such are the protocols and daily chores,
Of one who spends long days working outdoors.

Mick McKellar
December 2020

I have vague memories of working on projects that involved spending entire days out in the glare of sun on snow and cold creeping in every gap in my clothing.  


Wednesday, December 23, 2020

An Old Man’s Carol

An old man lay awake in his warm bed,
And wondered why it was he wasn't dead;
Pond’ring many a possibility,
To justify his own longevity.
As long awake and struggling, he lay there,
A passing Christmas angel heard his prayer.
"Dear God, I feel so useless!" was his thought,
He feared he'd lived much longer than he ought.
"My life is backwards from what it should be;
I'm always sick, can't help my family:
My loved ones, my responsibility.
Instead they have to help take care of me!"

The angel heard his heartfelt lonely prayer,
A carol on the crystal morning air;
And swiftly flew to aid a soul distressed,
Console a spirit hurting and depressed.
He hovered till the old man’s eyes had closed,
Until his breathing slowed, he softly dozed.
Then soft as baby’s breath, a bright sunbeam,
He stood revealed inside the old man’s dream.
“Hail, ancient one!” he cried, and then he laughed.
His merriment, ice crystals on a draft
That washed a spirit free of regret’s stain,
And made one feel alive and loved again.
The old man felt like he was but a boy,
Awash with love and peace and Christmas joy.

The old man’s eyes shone bright with happy tears,
His soul felt buoyant, free of leaden years.
His brown eyes locked with angel silver blue,
And instantly, with certainty, he knew
That long ago a baby came to Earth,
That God’s Son was the infant in that birth,
That stories of a heavenly home were true,
And he would go there when his life was through.
Until that time, he had one simple chore:
Return his loved ones’ love with even more.
The angel kissed his brow and flew away.
The old man woke and smiled -- Twas Christmas Day!

Mick McKellar
December 2020

My friend, the Christmas angel, is back and helping old codgers like yours truly to remember the meaning of Christmas and to find the joy of this happy season.


Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Propugnaculum of Gratitude

Lo! I navigate a roiling morass
Daily, the bite and burn of hatred rage,
Ever and always o’er all the compass.
My log wastes acid from every page.
I steer by stars seen but seldom nightly,
Often dimmed and obscured by fog of lies.
Yet, near the horizon, burning brightly,
Stabs silver, a dagger piercing my eyes.
I tack, close-hauled before a wind unkind.
I come about and pierce the veiling mist,
Past jagged shoals, the harbor mouth I find,
And sail to peace, by love and sunshine kissed.
Safe harbor built by change in attitude:
My propagnaculum of gratitude.

Mick McKellar
November 2020

Sailing on social media can be hard on one’s hull. The acid in those waters leaves scars that last a very long time. An attitude of gratitude can salve and save the ship.


Monday, October 19, 2020

Grey Destinations

In the earliest grey light hour,
Before I am fully awake,
My imagination has power,
My soul on a journey to take.
My heart, not a captive companion,
But willing compatriot muse,
A powerful friend with compassion,
True compass, I willingly use
To navigate grey destinations,
Soft shadows and whispering lights,
Where silently wait desperations,
That haunt my loneliest nights.

We wander among recollections,
And worries about what's to be,
Following innate directions,
From wisdom and empathy.
As dimly, grey light shadows breaking,
Awareness brings clarity bright,
Light shatters shadows with waking,
And gone are the ghosts of the night.

Mick McKellar
October 2020

Not quite awake, but not asleep -- you know the twilight land, filled with grey destinations and ghostly mists. This is the place we walk in another's shoes and ponder the wisdom of "what ifs."