Friday, July 24, 2020


Behind closed doors, and yards-cum-moors,
We haunt our grim redoubt.
We feed our fears, while bored to tears,
And dream of getting out.

We fill our sink with time to think,
But passion plugs the drain.
Our space gets filled, as pressures build,
The whole house feels the strain.

As mem'ries jog, the catalog
Of grievances expands,
'Til the terrain cannot contain,
The rage and reprimands.

We pace the floor, ready for war...
Will someone cop a plea?
Will someone wise apologize,
And set the captives free?

To live life well, we must not dwell,
But forgive and move on.
We all have debts, and sad regrets,
For love and life are one.

Mick McKellar
July 2020

Trying to stay safe and secured from the corona virus has its own dangers. We rely on time alone to relieve the pressures of constant interaction. Like it or not, we all keep score.


Sunday, July 19, 2020


Aeolus, your kin wreak havoc herein,
They argue and battle across our isle.
The season of Zephyrus can’t begin,
While Boreas blows down hill and defile.
Till gone when Aurora calls him back home,
The languorous zephyr grows lazy, warm;
Welcoming Notus to gather and roam,
His desiccated sirocco to storm.
Summoned in Exodus, evil to bring,
A harbinger of disease and of blight,
Wild shrieks and soft whispers of Eurus sing,
Accompany Notus to Autumn’s night.
This chorus of voices, this gallery
Of gods, sing of life and of death to me.

Mick McKellar
July 2020

The howling winds and crashing thunder overnight brought to mind the battles of the Greek wind gods over the islands in the Mediterranean sea. Lives of islanders and sailors alike were thought to be controlled by the battles of these blowhards.


Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Unseen Battle

His battle scars ranged wide and deep,
Haunting every thought and dream.
Oft fighting demons while asleep,
And once again, with dawn's first gleam.

Essentially, he lived alone;
His family were all afraid.
It seemed he never could atone,
For awful statements that he made.

He wandered lost in visions wild;
In dreams of darkness, death, and war.
He struggled, helpless as a child,
Amidst the scents and sights of gore.

The anguish of bleak memories,
That tortured him within his head,
Seemed fated ne'er to grant surcease,
And made him wish that he were dead.

The doctors gave him many pills,
They said would drive the dreams away,
And staunch  the shaking, and the chills;
Ague that filled his ev'ry day.

The medications fogged his mind;
They made him careless, distant, bland.
He missed the message to remind:
To wear a mask or wash a hand.

Too soon, he had a rasping cough
And fever, something gone amiss.
As if his demons weren't enough,
He'd met his viral nemesis.

He lay inert, his face unseen,
Behind the plastic tubes and tape.
His life's breath came from a machine,
His eyes taped shut, his mouth agape.

Within his coma, in the dark,
He heard a strange and welcome song,
Sung by a man, tall, gaunt, and stark:
Compelling him to sing along.

The Minstrel dressed in green attire,
He smiled a smile both broad and kind.
"Come warm yourself by my small fire,"
He called, "and ease your weary mind!"

That night, in ICU they said,
The staff reported what they'd seen:
Before the veteran was dead,
A flash of brilliant emerald green.

Mick McKellar
July 2020

I can only imagine how busy The Minstrel must be these days.


Monday, July 13, 2020

Midday Amber

Caught in midday amber,
in liquid fire from our star,
I sat in sunlight this afternoon,
and the sun didn’t run away.

Its tongue licked scars on my arms and legs.
Its glance knew joy in my bones.
The molten tears each sunbeam cried,
washed ice from my wintry heart,
soothed softly the iron ache,
of winter’s grip on joint and thew.

I soaked in sunlight,
adrift on golden waves,
as silver seconds rolled away.
I sought safe, shady harbor,
in the shadow of redoubt.
I prayed the ever-present beast
dreamt on, and noticed not my sin.

Mick McKellar
July 2020

Those of us with Graft versus Host Disease -- a side effect of a stem cell transplant -- are supposed to avoid the sun because its welcome, warm rays can damage ravaged skin and trigger various forms of skin cancer. A visit on our deck captured me for nearly 10 minutes in golden warmth.


Monday, July 06, 2020

Great Dream On A Great Lake

As I watched the lake resplendent,
And the sunset burnished waves,
My dream skipped independent,
Of how a proper dream behaves.
It touched the cold, dark vastness,
Swiftly leapt into the sky,
And burst free from the fastness
Of my heart -- without goodbye.

O'er the waters of a cold sea,
On the Northwind, flies a dream,
Of a country born to breathe free,
Shining faces all agleam.
Rainbow visages are cheering,
All are standing, hand in hand,
At long last, their hopes appearing:
Equal freedoms in our land!

Mick McKellar
July 2020

Ever have a sudden daydream, a searing moment when the beauty of your surroundings draws out a deep seated dream and sends it soaring? Happens to me more often now, given the constant barrage of dreaded news about hatred, bigotry, cruelty, and selfishness. I want Norman Rockwell to come back and paint for us an America that loves again.


Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Spending a Summer Day

I didn't watch the Sun arise;
I awoke as my room grew warm.
The blankets that sheltered my form,
Created a sweltering storm,
And forced open my sleep-filled eyes.

In air, treacle thick, warm and dense,
I gasped: a distressed, landed fish,
With only one desperate wish,
At once, drastic, dire, and delish:
To breathe freely in self-defense!

The terror of waking soon passed;
And oxygen-based life commenced.
As time was a-wasting, I sensed
It's measure becoming condensed,
And urgency moved me, at last.

I asked me: "What should I do
With today's teaspoon of time?"
Should I spend it seeking a rhyme
Or two, despite knowing that I'm
Old, and my "sell-by" date grows due?

The summer air whispered me true:
That sharing is love (as I guessed),
And time spent in writing is blessed.
So I cast about for a guest,
And shared my precious time with you.

Mick McKellar
June 2020

Time can't really be saved. It can only be spent wisely or wasted.  Thanks for helping me spend some precious time wisely.


Monday, June 29, 2020

A Simple Prayer

Watch o'er this heart of mine,
When night negates the day.
Let happy smiles define,
Those touched along my way.

Let empathy stay wrath,
Within my passing wake,
And may my wand’ring path,
Grant love for living’s sake.

And please, show those who hate,
The emptiness it brings.
I pray it’s not too late,
To pray for all these things.

Please let my dreams tonight,
Though filled with fantasy,
Be welcome in your sight,
And set my spirit free.

Mick McKellar
June 2020

I thought: What would a simple man pray for in these dark days?