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.


Wednesday, August 19, 2020

At A Loss For Words

My intuition strikes a pose,
A lightning bug at night,
That drifts on silent drafts of air,
Leaps in and out of sight.

Although my eyes track each quick flash,
Each foxfire silver bright,
And strain to read the message there,
But capture only light.

I pondered this phenomenon,
With all my inner might,
And realized the simple truth:
The message is the light.

Mick McKellar
August 2020

Sometimes, what I want to say is right in front of me, but I catch only glimpses, leaving me at a loss for the words. Looking so hard for a deeper meaning, I miss the message, flickering in front of my eyes.


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.