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.

Mick

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

Perspicaci-tea

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.”

Mick

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.

Mick

Monday, October 21, 2019

Conflict

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.

Mick

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.

Mick

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.

Mick

Monday, October 14, 2019

The Gift of Bruises

I stumbled, rushing, as today sped by,
Focused on one foot after the other;
Never looking up to admire the sky,
Perhaps too busy to even bother.
I stumbled, and then I began to sway,
A moment of confusion, however
I sensed that my end is not far away,
Knowing no road that goes on forever.
I stumbled, as though rushing to and fro --
My measure of living life to the max --
Had left me lost, with nowhere else to go,
And no idea of how to relax.
I stumbled, I tripped, I tipped, and I fell:
And the gift of bruises has taught me well!

Mick McKellar
October 2019


To stop and smell the roses, sometimes you have to stumble.

Mick

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The Light of Stars Long Dead

As I stood outside on a star-filled night,
Bathed in the luster of a trillion suns,
I sadly surveilled ev'ry point of light;
Knowing some were ghosts, but never which ones.
I treasured each twinkle that I perceived,
As a flickering flame from time long past,
Or a message in a bottle received,
Across a dark, airless desert so vast
It can't be conceived by one such as I.
Yet, I felt summoned to investigate:
Each tiny flash beckoned my heart to fly,
Where the answers to my questions await.
I stood in the dark, at one with the sky,
Knowing just like me, even stars must die.

My words are my star, my fire, my cry,
And glow with a fierce, ferocious light.
I pray they shine even after I die,
And twinkle in somebody's darkest night.

Mick McKellar
September 2019


I was just reflecting on why I write poems.

Mick

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Pocketwatch

Native Americans met on a path,
Walking the dust of the day from their feet.
One was bright as day, and one dark as wrath;
They both thought was “Bonne chance” that they should meet.
One old, one young, they conversed as they walked.
Tales were told: tall ones and some very small.
Hours went by as they walked and they talked,
And they rested on an ancient stone wall.
“Are you hungry?” Asked the much younger one.
The older man winked, looked at his bare wrist...
They laughed at the old joke, it was such fun,
But this time the old joke had a slight twist:
Hands in their pockets after the riposte,
Held cell phone and watch...and both thought: ”almost…”

Mick McKellar
August 2019


Sometimes, old jokes hold deep truths up to the light.

Mick

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Descent of Blessings

The liquid air was firm as ever wrought,
And silence smothered each begotten sound.
Darkness swaddled every random thought,
Angels took note, and gathered all around.
As sadness swelled beneath my coverlet,
And loneliness entrapped my heart inside;
I ached, a wounded spirit trapped, and yet
A refugee without a place to hide...
When wondrous light illumed my ceiling/sky,
And angels, countless as the stars of night,
Soft, silent choirs and seraphim that fly,
Succored my aching soul and filled my sight!
Each carried prayers and wishes without cease:
Gifts of grace and love, thoughts of hope and peace.

Mick McKellar
July 2019


Sometimes the outpouring of love and a tsunami of good thoughts can trigger a heavenly display and wrap a suffering soul in angelic care.

Mick

Monday, July 08, 2019

At the Mercy Gate

I think the leukemia took my tears --
Open desert, dry eyes see shifting sand,
To cover a river of children's fears,
And shadows of cages so near at hand.
The wailing wind mimics children crying;
Icy voices distant in cruel heat.
Loud harrowed cries escape spirits dying:
Brutal life, father of unjust defeat.
Torrid and airless, the place where they wait,
Stench of humanity stealing the air.
A lost chimera without advocate,
Locked out of paradise, left threadbare.
Mercy denied by those steeped in disdain,
Heaven's gates closed against children of pain.

Mick McKellar
July 2019


What must it be like, to flee with your parents, pain and fear behind, uncertainty and fear ahead? To be ripped from your only anchor in the world and be locked in a cage, with little food and no one to care? To swim in a sea of agony and sleep in a swamp of pain, the promise of security and freedom denied? Can you hear their cries among the ghosts of the night?

Mick

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Pythagorean Morning

I met a weary fellow,
Standing silent in the dawn.
His companion, dark yellow,
Was watering someone's lawn.

He yawned and shrugged and mumbled,
His canine friend did the same.
I said, "Hello!" He grumbled.
I pressed on, and asked his name.

At first, he hesitated,
Fixed his eyes upon his friend;
At last, "Damon" he stated,
As our dogs sniffed, end to end.

First, I introduced my mate,
My companion for walking.
This did not ingratiate,
And still he wasn't talking...

"What'd you call your furry chum?"
My own name I then proffered.
Still, he stayed profoundly dumb;
A sigh was all he offered.

Quick, a smile broke on his face,
"It's Pythias," he shouted.
(Ice broke in that silent place;
An outcome never doubted.)

I asked why he chose that name,
And what put him on that track.
I heard my new friend exclaim:
"Because he always comes back!"

Mick McKellar
June 2019


Storied names decorate the lives of many of our furry friends.

Mick

Friday, June 21, 2019

Early Riser

I awoke from my somnolent flight,
As morning began to devour night;
Cascades of words spilling forth so deep,
I gasped for air and couldn't sleep.

In the dim, unearthly chill and damp,
I moaned with a sharp, poetic cramp,
Struggled to focus my bleary sight,
And tapped away in my screen's harsh light.

Wan pewter light filled my window frames,
As I fought for words and thoughts and names.
Slowly my thoughts finally coalesced,
In a mind that simply would not rest.

I marshalled my sluggish, weary mind,
A writer's drive and finesse to find.
I saw my muse on a distant hill,
And beckoned her to come closer still.

Despite my efforts to wax profound,
My muse walked away without a sound.
I searched for reasons, but don't know them.
All I got was this silly poem…

Mick McKellar
June 2019


The early bird gets the worm, but all I got was Drang and Sturm.

Mick

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Song of my Soul

A noisome flood of stark demands,
Wash joy from weary, startled hands;
And braying beasts, their hate replete,
Draw Earth from deep beneath our feet.
To silence wailing, frantic fear,
Sing soothing words for all to hear:

The beauty of the human soul,
Is dazzling when a heart is whole!
It's voice quakes Earth and rends the skies,
The spirit soars, the essence flies.
Such power springs from sharing of
Pure truth and life and joy and love!

Prevailing wisdom seeks to prove,
That hate has more power than love;
That fear is rational and right;
That isolation shows our might;
And profit makes the world go 'round.
Yet, silence is a lonely sound.

The triumph of the human soul
Is attained, when a heart is whole.
It shakes the Earth and rends the skies,
And spirits soar, and essence flies;
Releasing power from sharing of
Pure truth and life and joy and love!

Mick McKellar
June 2019


Hate-filled speech and demands to hide in fear, behind walls and guns, makes my soul want to sing to the world about the true sources of power.

Mick

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.

Mick

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.

Mick

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.

Mick

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.

Mick

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,
    Bittersweet...
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...

Mick

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.

Mick

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.

Mick

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.

Mick

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…

Mick

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."

Mick

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Colloquy


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.

Mick

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.

Mick

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...

Mick

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.

Mick