Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Conversations with Cancer

Hello there Cancer, my old friend.
Shall we converse until my end?
I like to think I know your ways,
Though, we play hide-and-seek most days.
I search each crevice, bump, and crack,
And fear to find you looking back.
I swear, because you’re such a fright,
I hear you laughing in the night.
I look behind me on the stair,
To catch you following me there;
And though you’re never there, I swear
I sense your presence ev’rywhere.

Oft we have fought, and battled hard --
Old dogs who share a broken yard;
Though we will take no other lives,
Neither can win while one survives.
Yet, my facade remains serene;
Our vicious battles rage unseen.

Shadow companion, hear my voice:
Conflict with you was not my choice,
Though I am happiest, it seems,
When I defeat you in my dreams.
But, nonetheless, whilst morning dawns,
When dew bedecks the sleeping lawns
And birds and bugs fill warming air.
You, cold companion, always there.

When I stare into the abyss,
When I consider all I’ll miss,
Because you siphon strength away,
Because you take your toll each day,
Because your fingers, bloody, red,
Sate appetite that must be fed:
I wonder, do you feel remorse,
As you begin each baleful course?

I talk to you, but do you care?
Are you impossibly aware?
Do any words, when I complain,
Mean aught to thoughts on other plane?
Do silent tears shed in the night,
Mean anything to living blight?

Know this, dark pestilence obscene,
If you can garner what I mean,
Because your silence, no reply,
Mocks both my courage and my cry,
My fierce resolve will amplify,
Until the day I feel you die.
When I your savagery outlive,
There will be nothing to forgive.

As promised vengeance draws e’er near,
It’s time for you to feel the fear!

Mick McKellar
April 2019

Diplomacy doesn’t always work.


Friday, April 12, 2019

Rare Velleity

Awake, I sense that outside -- air has bite:
Icy incisors slicing through the flow.
And once again my world is cold and white,
Fortunately, I have nowhere to go.
This turn of Spring to face old Winter’s ire,
Foul aggravation to us passers-by,
Is fear of facing Summer’s coming fire --
Embracing shadows rather than the sky.
With halting steps the sun resumes her reign,
Overcoming vast, chill proclivities.
Green voices soar in warmer songs again,
And bring the long, white season to its knees.
Vast choruses of Summer sing to me,
Overwhelming Spring’s rare velleity.

Mick McKellar
April 2019

An April snowstorm is common here, and yet it always feels wrong.


Monday, March 18, 2019

Mute Fire in the Sky

Stasis is more manifest,
And visible in light,
Than in the evening shadows,
Or in the dark of night.
Silence shared for all to see,
Courage and fortitude,
Make a stout and strong redoubt,
When all are brash and rude.
To rail against the clamour,
When all are fast asleep,
Is casting sacred arrows,
In vast unmeasured deep.
To rise with watchfires blazing,
Flames silent, leaping high;
Morning minds awaking see,
Mute fire streaking the sky!

Mick McKellar
March 2019

Sometimes a whisper, or the stoicism of silence, is louder than the cacophony of the crowd.


Saturday, March 16, 2019

Dust, The Gathering

Invisible, adrift upon my air,
Mounting up to the ceiling when I move
Over there -- from just about anywhere.
And yet, I do not feel my fairy shove.
I sense that I stir the air, a blithe spoon
To agitate the broth we fair inhale,
Then fouled and filtered, we share again soon,
To ripen and age, like an oft-told tale,
Released to drift and sail on currents soft,
And swiftly airborne artifacts collect.
Whilst fair suspended, they journey aloft,
Till laden all on distant shores are wrecked.
Flotsam, jetsam scattered to fade and rust,
And fain become the bane I know as dust.

Mick McKellar
March 2019

With my lung problems, a bother has become a bane.


Sunday, March 10, 2019

Weather Vain

Though my faintly steaming mug,
Is a welcome friend, to hug
    Close to me;
To absorb its heat, I think
Leaves an apathetic drink:
    Tepid tea.

Through a window rimed with frost,
I reflect on what is lost,
And consider what it takes,
To relieve my body's aches,
    Without heat.

It may seem so very strange,
That a sudden weather change,
    Causes pains.
Still I don't think it's hormones,
If I feel it in my bones,
    When it rains.

Wicked ravages of time.
Make me sensitive to clime,
    As it wafts
Where I used to have my hair.
There's a bald patch, sitting there,
    Sensing draughts.

As I hear the nightwind's cry,
Seek the moon's face in the sky,
    And its glow;
It grows harder to be old,
In the deepest winter's cold,
    And the snow.

Mick McKellar
March 2019

As I get older, winter grows colder...


Saturday, March 02, 2019

Dangerous Poesy

Words have a wicked sharp, dangerous edge,
That softly caresses, that cuts to bone,
That seals sudden breaches, that drives a wedge;
Whetted berm of a blade that poets hone.
To whittle at life until myths emerge,
To carve fantasy from biography,
Releases a deep-seated need to purge
The dust of turmoil, the fog of ennui.
But the prideful poet, a prince of verse,
(At least, in his fevered and frenzied mind,)
Can cut too deeply, too quickly, or worse
Disfigure life's story, abrupt, unkind --
Declaiming his truth as though from God's grace,
Spreading his dogma all over the place.

Mick McKellar
March 2019

Reminder: Pretty words may be dangerous weapons as well as powerful tools.


Friday, March 01, 2019

Gift of Legacy

As Winter's west wind mutters,
And toothless, bites my hand;
As frozen silence stutters,
Snow stings like wind-blown sand.
My feet mired in a snow drift,
I seek to touch your face.
My empty hand bears no gift,
Perhaps, a simple grace.

The gesture that I proffer,
One artless, pleading art;
In wrinkled hand I offer,
My silent, shuttered heart.
My gift remains extended,
And when taken from me,
A gift of life, unended --
Becomes a legacy.

Mick McKellar
March 2019

Life sparks thought. Thoughts become feelings, images, and words. Shared they become a gift. The gift becomes life and perhaps a legacy.


Monday, February 11, 2019

Writer's Block on a Monday

Why do I write in the dark of night,
In the downtime, when sleep should hold sway?
Why does my might recoil from that fight,
When I'm active -- enduring the day?
Why do my words just lie there like turds,
Stale and impotent as last month's rent?
Why do I save the whey, not the curds,
Preserved as though they were heaven sent?
Why do I press, my focus transgress,
To totter on wandering pathways?
Why does my best work fail to impress
Those friends who remember my good days?
The answer's sold in the dark and cold,
Where the once-bold grow tired and old.

Mick McKellar
February 2019

Some days the search for the profound is simply a visit to the lost and found.


The Gift Perilous

I apologize, my grandkids, again.
We are leaving you a planet in pain!
Our world of wonder is weathered and worn;
Our sweet promises are tattered and torn;
Our pilgrimage broken by profit's grift.

We were given keys to golden gardens;
Given second chances, even pardons
For wasting the fruits of our rights of birth.
But in poisoning the bounty of Earth,
We've set your future afire and adrift!

Often I weep in my pillow at night.
I dream that, somehow, we can put it right;
If we bypass greed, ignorance, and hate...
Do you think, maybe, we are not too late,
To save our precious and perilous gift?

Mick McKellar
February 2019

I was wondering what I would say to my grandchildren, to explain what we've done to their inheritance…


Friday, February 01, 2019

Keweenaw Spring

January's a long year,
February is dark.
March is full of snow fear,
April's so damn stark.
May will tease us often,
June's rain bugs will bring.
When July's winds soften,
Maybe we'll get Spring!

Mick McKellar
February 2019

I first saw a meme today which said: "January is a long year."


Saturday, January 19, 2019


The fire in my belly grows dim.
My chill flesh remembers
Bright embers, within.
Yet, as memory fades,
As the spark we fed
With each hungry breath
Drifts near death;
Famished, urgent, wishing
For the heartfelt touch of another mind,
For the God-food of intuition,
For the fuel of cognition;
We hurtle, to hie to conflagration,
And flare into wildfire of repartee.
We sing a song of solitude,
And lend loneliness its long farewell.

Mick McKellar
January 2019

Solitude is sitting silently in a boat on a sea of friends.
Loneliness is sitting on a yacht in a vast, empty parking lot.


Sunday, January 13, 2019

Each Road is a Wall

When roads rise up and seek to block our way,
When forceful flowers grow and bar our path,
When shrieking wind demands to have its say;
We'll taste the bitterness of Earthen wrath.
Too long ignored, the death of common sense,
Let slip the fantasy of greed's sweet taste:
A recipe that profit beckons, hence
The surfeit's rise in toxins, trash, and waste.
When life itself is bartered on the scale,
And children caged to bargain on the floor,
The Earth itself, enraged beyond the pale,
Will rise in judgment, crying out: "No more!"
Don't think to run...and thus avoid the test:
Each road is a wall, lain down for a rest.

Mick McKellar
January 2019

Some actions are so heinous that the Earth itself may take note and endeavor to remedy the situation.


Saturday, January 05, 2019

January Snow

The breath of Winter's frozen heart released.
Shifting, sonorous, soft blanket of death,
Your grasping samite desert unappeased,
As all fall prey to creeping icy breath.
Your susurration sings of silent sleep,
And icy dreams cascading through the night.
Your shifting dunes on silent cat paws creep,
To sift and drift o'er landscapes lost from sight.
You fill the land -- a vast and soundless sea;
As muted, faint, and hushed, your rivers flow --
And dammed, your frost spray stings, when passing me
On winter winds that always seem to blow.
Your coverlet of frigid, frozen fleece,
Gives all about an icy sense of peace.

Mick McKellar
January 2019

I said to myself: "Say something nice about snow!" Imagine my surprise when I received a reply...


Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Shall We Prey?

White is the winter of twenty-nineteen,
Wherein the wolves -- pale polemics faint hide.
Dancing in gales grey and circling unseen,
Gauging what cover the news squalls provide.
Gone are old coordinated swift strikes.
Gone are lost chances to weather the gale.
Gone are discussions and simple dislikes.
Truth is prey predators swiftly assail.
Blinded by silvery frost from the skies,
As wisdom whispers insight with a hiss;
Torn in the tempest, the whisper soon dies,
Caught in the monochromatic abyss.
Frightened to death, hear humanity cry,
Left in the dark as the maelstrom roars by.

Mick McKellar
January 2019

I sense that we, the people, are under attack and as I read the news, I see only storm clouds and shadows of fear.