Sunday, November 17, 2019

Living Love Song

T'was the strangest sight in the dark of night,
An old man crouched in his chair;
His skin glowered grey, or was lit that way,
By the flat screen shining there.
His eyes, mouth, and nose -- a serious pose,
Were still and easy to see.
Did a thought bequeath -- that he didn't breathe?
At least, so it seemed to me.

But he was not ill, though he sat quite still,
His attention was transfixed.
My greatest surprise were tears in his eyes,
Moans and whispers, intermixed.
"My life has been long, a living love song."
He crooned in a husky voice,
"He launched an attack, and I attacked back;
I felt like I had no choice!"

He talked for a while in a breathless style,
About adapting to change.
"I'd always adjust -- I knew that I must,
But social media's strange.
The spirit's akin to striving to win,
Even though there is no race."
He said: "There can be no civility,
And no one can see your face."

"Many posts are jokes or indirect pokes
In the eye of friend or foe.
And much of the stuff is fake news or fluff --
F-bombs -- wherever I go!"
He said that he missed correspondence, kissed
With a touch of writer's tools;
And though there are posts graced by writers' ghosts,
Many spring from flatulent fools.

He sits there at night, in the screen's blue light,
And ponders how to proceed.
His gentle old soul and singular goal,
Focused on planting a seed,
That will grow to be a family tree,
To which we all can belong;
To open a gate, to flush out the hate,
And be a living love song.

Mick McKellar
November 2019

There is treasure in the measured response of well-reasoned correspondence. In this day of rapid retorts and sound bytes, I often miss the pleasure of the treasure in civil discourse and well-written prose.


Thursday, November 07, 2019

A Visit from Lord Dampnut

by Maudit Cybercurmudgeon (a personal parody)
(with apologies to: Clement Clarke Moore - 1779-1863)

'Twas just before Christmas, when all through the Net,
Spread stories of tax breaks and riches -- and yet;
Our cupboards were empty, our carpet threadbare,
Our stockings were darned with our daughter's hair,
The children were hidden, all under their beds,
While nightmares of cages danced in their heads;
And mamma slept fitfully, her head on my lap,
As I kept a watch for ICE and their crap,
When out on the street there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like The Flash,
Peeked through the shutters... and threw up my hash.
The lights on the slush and the dirty snow,
Gave a lustre of sludge to black jackets below,
When, what to my terrified eyes should appear,
But a black limousine, and ICE men drinking beer,
With a lumbering passenger, pallid and thick,
I knew it was Lord Dampnut, that old prick.
More vapid than beagles his sycophants came,
And he bristled, and pouted, and called them all names;
"Now, Smasher! now, Trasher! now, Masher all reavin'!
On, Vomit! on, Stupid! on, Rudy and Stephen!
Now tear off the porch! Now knock down the wall!
Now trash away! mash away! smash away all!"
As dry heaves before the wild hangover scry,
When they meet with a locked door, they blow right by;
So up to our door the invaders flew,
With AR 15s, and Lord Dampnut too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard in the halls --
The crashing and smashing of windows and walls.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
In my bedroom Lord Dampnut oozed with no sound.
He dressed all in wrinkles, with long, red ties,
And his clothes were all stained by ketchup and fries;
A bucket of chicken was strapped on his back,
And he reached for a drumstick from his greasy pack.
His eyes—how they squinted! his pimples—how scary!
His cheeks were like pork chops, his nose—a blueberry!
His droll little mouth was chomping chicken,
And the beard of his chin looked mangy and stricken;
The bone of a leg he held tight in his teeth,
And the grease it encircled his chin like a wreath;
He had an orange face and a protruding belly,
That shook when he walked, like a bowl of brown jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a malignant old elf,
He'd farted and smelled like he'd soiled himself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had plenty to dread;
He spoke just a word, they went straight to their work,
And stole all our stockings and money, the jerk!
And sticking a finger inside of his nose,
He left, like sewage down the hill flows.
He schlumped to his car, to his team gave the bird,
And away they all drove like a thundering herd;
But I heard him complain, ‘ere they drove out of sight,
"Say a word and we'll come back...tomorrow night.

Saturday, November 02, 2019


My tea steamed billows in frosty night air,
On its surface, the moon and stars adrift.
I lingered, as the silence held me there,
Awed and bewitched by this gentle gift.
A chill Autumn breeze stirred the ghostly steam,
And whispered its wisdom in voice so soft,
I felt as though I was caught in a dream.
My spirit burst free and drifted aloft.
A fleeting image flashed clear in my mind,
I swear it was me...standing far below:
A balding old fellow, seen from behind,
Gazing in his cup, standing in the snow.
Now, you may wonder what else I can see,
Holding my cup, gazing into my tea.

Mick McKellar
November 2019

I expected a lift from a cup of hot tea, but this was “uplifting.”


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Moments Along the Way

I often dream of blood, as old men do,
And fear my passing will go unremarked;
My inner fire gone unseen, never sparked
Or brought to flame, my words unheard though true.
I know in my head that we must all leave,
But my heart lives a secret fantasy:
That a tiny part, a flicker of me,
Will live on in passages I conceive.
I see in the faces of progeny,
Faintest shadows, tracing my countenance.
Their love of music, the way their words dance,
Grant me a measure of longevity.
I savor our meetings anew each day,
And treasure those moments along the way.

Mick McKellar
October 2019

We all seek our own forms of immortality, I guess.


Monday, October 21, 2019


The truth is: I did not push you away;
No effort of mine has set you adrift.
Although...I did nothing to make you stay,
And oftentimes distance may be a gift.
Our journey began as a search for truth,
Your truth or mine...we did not specify.
We moved in lockstep for most of our youth,
Until we no longer saw eye-to-eye.
You rush, I retreat, we battle each day;
The gale of our fight a howl in the night --
Our conflict is joined, our troops in array,
Our goals are in sight, we both know we're right!
Your vict'ry -- Pyrrhic -- I'll not let you gloat...
Go ahead and use the TV remote.

Mick McKellar
October 2019

Not all conflict is important...outside the moment.


Thursday, October 17, 2019

The Logging Road

A logging road in our great Northern wood,
Dipped and cambered over layers of days;
Softly remembering all that it could,
Of every foot that traveled its ways.
Hesitant footfalls that stalked in the dawn,
Following fleet, cloven anguish and fear.
Crushing and grinding of massed metal brawn,
Dragging dead bodies, silent and austere.
Tiny feet scurrying past in the night,
Darting and dancing, alive and afraid
Of the death that glides soundlessly in flight,
Or chasing someone trying to evade.
Remembering us as slowly we walk,
And noting our passage, but not our talk.

Mick McKellar
October 2019

I think that the forest remembers everything we do there and ponders it deeply and overlong.


Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Cold Comfort

Is life poetic? Is life poetry?
I guess the concept is one for long, slow
nights of reflection, and early morning
bursts of proud prose and of profundity.
Today is Tuesday and it’s grey outside,
with just a touch of mottled greenish brown.
White threatened yesterday, majestically.
It fell sloppily from a pewter sky,
and decorated the long, grey/green grass.
It did not stay long in the empty yard,
melting away swiftly as memory;
leaving a chill as welcome as regret.
My mind has no hold on either of these,
and Summer’s grass has no hold on the snow.

Mick McKellar
October 2019

Pondering the changing seasons is slow, chilly work.