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."


Saturday, October 17, 2020

Artem Publica

Clouds chase the Sun.
Racing on windful wings,
Scudding the sky,
Blocking the warm arms of the Sun.
Casting cool shadows against my eyes.
Welcome in Summer.
Annoying in Winter.

Clouds chase the Sun.
Taxing the golden rays,
Harvesting a bounteous revenue,
Storing liquid assets.
Drawing deeply from the Earthly well,
Basking in heavenly waves of light.
Saving for self.
Saving for all.

Clouds chase the Sun.
Reaching to touch the source,
Seeking the cold edge of space,
Caressing both soil and sea.
Flashing and booming when sated and grown,
Feeding both soil and sea with their own.
From all in bounty.
To all in need.

Mick McKellar
October 2020

Is governance a natural phenomenon? Should it have the grandeur and innate art of the clouds, our sculptures of the sky? Does it bring balance and beauty and wonder and majesty? Is it merely out of balance when it becomes a gateway to greed? Tough questions.


Thursday, October 08, 2020

I Want Only to Understand

Today, God, I want only to understand.
My inner tears fly silently,
Cat's paws on old shag carpets.
The ache and heat they carry,
Hovers just behind my eyes,
But the well is dry and the flood won't come.

Dissonant waves lap upon my shoreline.
Voices ancient and green as Spring,
Crash and thunder, wail and wonder,
Distant as the horizon and beneath my feet.
Storm...storm and crushing cascades
Of anger tear the sky.

Today, God, I want only to understand!
Your gifted world dances a dance
Of darkness, spits words of ancient iron,
Blades of bitterness and spite,
To shred the wondrous land,
To poison the virtuous sea.
I feel alone and abandoned.

Mick McKellar
October 2020

Sometimes, I don't pray for change but for understanding.


Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Bargains With God

“Americans don’t know how to dicker.”
Said every movie I ever saw.
We just pay full price because it’s quicker;
We never bargain, a grifter’s catspaw.
When someone is sick, or injured, or lost,
Be it me or you, family or friend,
We pray for a deal, no matter the cost,
Negotiating how crises will end.
Promesas are made, hallowed vows are sworn,
Well-intentioned pledges are on the board.
Many heartfelt sacrifices are borne
On the wings of prayer, set before the Lord.
Though generous offers are sent above,
God doesn’t bargain, His answer is love.

Mick McKellar
October 2020

With the pandemic ongoing, even worsening, frantic prayers offering heartfelt bargains must rise to the heavens constantly. I believe the Lord always answers prayers, though the answer may not be as we desire.


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Winter's Voice

Where I live, the night winds whisper my name.
In my sleep, I hear their voices, their tears.
Through the night, their song wavers, yet the same
Deep message, echoes ever down the years.
From my birth, I was aware, not a child.
Second sight, my mother's gift, it knew me.
I can sense, in dark moods and motives wild,
Fear and hate, as they strive to rule coldly.
Winter's voice, screams its vile, gelid malice.
In my dreams, run the darkest dogs of war.
Then my mind, grasping venom-filled chalice,
Seeks a pit, to discard it evermore.
Sensing death, I choose life, my only choice.
I reject fear and hate in Winter's Voice.

Mick McKellar
September 2020

My mother said I was born an old man. She may have been right, as I swear I remember hearing the same messages I hear today, tales of terror and hate and fear and anger. Love is weakness. Empathy is powerlessness. Justice is vengeance. It was evil then and is evil now. Collect it, contain it, and discard it. It is Winter's Voice bringing death.


Saturday, August 22, 2020


The Firebird darkens the desert’s breast,
As foul and dry blasts the fair mountain breath,
That carries bright embers, to shining rest
Upon a parched land now burning to death.

The sea of the East spawns more mighty beasts,
A-prowl on waters that lap battered shores,
Weary from previous fury and feasts,
Once again battening windows and doors.

Silent, invisible, floating on air,
Lingering death walks unheard and unseen;
Launched by a loved one or those who don’t care,
Claiming their right to be selfish and mean.

While the great mass of humanity strives,
Fails to find hope, communication,
Or solutions for sharing, saving lives --
Now dying in quiet desperation.

Mick McKellar
August 2020

The day's news is heavy with foreboding and dread. Desperation fairly poured from the screen as I read. A hew and cry for leadership radiated between each line.