Monday, August 22, 2016

Reflecting Pool

Reflecting Pool

    As generous softness of sunlit waves,
    Traces a tender touch dance on the wall,
    Their simple serenity soothes, and saves
    A worried mind driven nearly to fall.
    The wonder of water — to bathe in light,
    Borrowed so freely from afternoon sun,
    All things of shadow, or covered by night,
    Or hiding in twilight barely begun.
    I gaze at the flickering tongues of flame,
    So energetic they might be alive;
    They call to my soul, they sing my true name,
    And they warm the garden where my dreams thrive.
    Their golden caress upon shadows cool:
    Stirs the magic of the reflecting pool.

Mick McKellar
August 2016


Watching light dance upon water and then reflect upon a wall or a window, has a magic all its own — that can bring peace and quiet to a mind troubled and fretful.

Mick

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Becoming

Becoming

At first, I stood alone on the bare hill;
All around me was blasted and laid waste.
I gasped, my eyes swimming, I stood stock-still
For a moment, and turned to leave in haste.

But the path that my old life had followed,
Was in darkness, or was no longer there.
I looked up to the sky and I swallowed,
Then I cried in fear and shattered the air.

I fell, I screamed, and I pounded the soil.
The curse from my doctor's lips I denied.
I grew angry till I felt my blood boil;
When it cooled, I collapsed, and simply cried.

Deep inside, a small voice: "You're not dead yet!"
A whisper emerging from inner void?
I gathered what courage I still could get
From my self-respect, so nearly destroyed.

Still shaking, I stood and I faced ahead:
A new path, challenging, rocky, and steep
Presented itself, but not where it led.
It was full of ravines that I must leap.

I noticed a small bench, off to one side,
Hidden in shadow and offering rest.
At once, I knew t'was a place I could hide
And wait for the end, a painless quest.

I almost sat down there, but then I thought:
"Why just wait with my mind shut and numbing?"
I began walking, though fearful and fraught,
To find out just what I was becoming.

Mick McKellar
August 2016


I was asked to write about some aspect of living with cancer. I remember the trauma of receiving the diagnosis and then the apparent failure of chemotherapy. Finally, I remembered having to decide whether to pursue a blood and marrow stem cell transplant, or opt for home hospice care till the end.

Mick

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Tending My Tea Garden

Tending My Tea Garden

Soft spring rain refreshes evergreens,
That shadow cast my stream of consciousness.
I hear silence, and wonder what it means,
As southwest winds repeat their whispered guess.
I pause to ponder why the welcome charms,
Of dappled sunlight on the em'rald stream,
Should make me feel at peace, with open arms
To gather in the pieces of my dream.
A dream of wisdom and clairvoyant sight,
Of gifts along the paths I walk, to find
Such truths as help me penetrate the night,
And light my way through darkness in my mind:
To see with clarity, but not harden
The soft sunlight, in my dream tea garden.

Mick McKellar
August 2016



Like most everyone else, I am assailed constantly by media broadcasts, by questions from those selling goods and those conducting surveys to help politicians sell me yet another bill of goods. It can be difficult to chart a path through it all and my sleeping mind seems drawn to peaceful and quiet places surrounded by life. To a peaceful tea garden in my dreams...

Mick

Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Myth of Earth

The Myth of Earth
By dark green bough and shrouded glen,
By lives of trees beyond our ken;
Within that vast botanic history,
There lies a dim forgotten story —

Of once-existing fields of green,
With dark-brown soil and water seen
And touched by man, yet not defiled.
And clean fresh air with fragrance mild —

Of pines and flowers all around,
And sunlight streaming to the ground.
Where joy and laughter, glee and mirth,
Were universal laws on Earth.

But times like these are myths to men,
And peace and love beyond their ken.
Look out your window — if you can,
At Earth, defiled and scathed by man.

Mick McKellar
1968 or 1969


I found a copy of a poem I wrote longhand, and remembered sharing it with Cathy Cole, Publications Editor at Michigan Tech in 1968 or 1969 while I was a student assistant. It was buried in an old book.

Mick

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Word Magic

Word Magic

I wonder at words, the magic I find,
And the power I feel, when I find one
That lights up the dark places in my mind,
As through a window toward the rising sun.
I shiver when words I use ev'ry day,
Sparkle and crackle with magical light,
As though attached to ancient lines of ley,
And I, the word wizard, dispel the night.
I smile when words dance to music unheard,
And they come to life on an empty stage,
To paint a story — bewitching, absurd,
As they caper across my empty page.
Though stories range from funny to tragic,
They all begin with precious word magic.

Mick McKellar
July 2016


We've all felt the magic of a well-crafted story as enchantment spins through our minds on the wings of magical words.

Mick

Monday, July 25, 2016

Pacing the Storm

Pacing the Storm

My thoughts are woven in words of wonder;
They flash and dance in lively lightning leaps.
Sometimes they burst forth — full-cloaked in thunder,
Or rumble, distant — as a rain cloud weeps.
Furious downpours spawned in crowded mind,
Flood the fingers and flash the fertile page;
And yet, at times, the darkness leaves me blind,
My phrases cast aloft in fear or rage.
The surging lightning leaps from cloud to cloud,
As mind-storms bathe the sky in anxious wrath;
Crashing on passion's anvil — long and loud,
And far below, the writer seeks his path.
His task is to pace the storm, full throttle,
And to capture lightning in a bottle.

Mick McKellar
July 2016


What is it like to write poetry? Sometimes, it is a wild ride!

Mick

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Light Within

The Light Within

Oh! The milk of life tastes so very good,
I can't help worrying I must be wrong;
For I daily drink far more than I should,
And my taste buds dance to its hearty song.
When loneliness threatens this life of mine,
Companionship offers a hearty glow;
Though daylight may hide its sparkle and shine,
Its warmth reveals its most welcome outflow.
As church windows shine a comforting light,
That warms obsidian shadows outside,
And music pierces the silence of night:
Beauty to leave despair no place to hide.
So from darkness and pain I am set free,
By the light and music deep within me.

Mick McKellar
July 2016


Some people bring their own darkness with them, and if fortunate meet those who shine brightly enough to dispel the shadows.

Mick