Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Lost Card

Ancestral voices led me on a chase,
From comfy repose to a cold, lightless place,
On a moor so ancient that none could find ,
This abyss that sequestered in my mind.

Though certain the old ones would want me found,
Would make sure that saviors abounded around;
I felt abandoned, forgotten, and lost,
Perhaps a rescue had too high a cost.

I stumbled along on a gravel path,
Through a garden's neglected aftermath,
To a wrought iron gate, with a latch gone slack,
And a glass veranda dusty and black.

The gate squeaked just once, and not very much.
The place came alive at my slightest touch:
Dust sloughed away and the glass gleamed so bright,
I needed a moment to clear my sight.

A building, so beautiful and immense,
It overwhelmed me, and it made no sense.
It stretched right and left, far as I could see,
On the lintel it read "Grand Library."

I knew right away I'd been here before;
I entered through a revolving glass door.
A crystal ceiling, mahogany walls,
And travertine floors gleamed in thousand halls!

Elated, I ran to indulge myself.
I grabbed a book from a nearby shelf.
The cover said "Dune," a favorite book,
I opened the cover and took a look...

Nearly every word had gone away!
Some pages were white, and others were grey:
All books, scripts, or poems that I could see
Were gone, were just empty pages to me.

I wander the halls sometimes in my dreams.
I wonder if all is lost as it seems.
I visit my white room when pain is hard,
And pray I find my lost library card.

Mick McKellar
April 2021

The first time I revisited my grand library after the chemotherapies was a scary dream and a sad reckoning with human frailty.


Monday, March 22, 2021


Waxing wry and dry I juggle phrases,
To communicate what my mind conceives;
From dark, heartfelt slams to empty praises,
From fiction to truth that my heart believes.
Yet our tongue is delicate, so fragile,
A phrase can shatter, or turn in your hand.
Poke becomes lunge, piercing those not agile
Enough to parry or beat or to stand.
Shattering, jagged fragments of wordsplay,
Rend and tear with mortal ferocity,
Leaving remise or feint, defense or delay,
A riposte too late -- mere loquacity.
A thought or a breath after such a churn,
May just leave our world and never return.

Mick McKellar
March 2021

The seeming anonymity and safety of social media can lead to unintended harm.


Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Hack Attack

Each hack breaks my will, my joy, all my best,
Lost wind tears breath from my struggling breast;
It pulls at my eyes, that can no longer tear,
And my ears hear my fears soaring swiftly near.
Raw, rasping rattles of strained, painful breaths,
Offering lung tissues solitary deaths
As they flicker and fade with each exhalation:
Curious carnage of forced expiration.
Flecks of the conquered, as expulsed issue,
Collects on the soft, white breast of a tissue.

Comes a pause, and with it a sudden hope,
That the long strangulation has run out of rope.
Hope that is dashed once again, as if willed
By a demon, the storm clouds gather and build.
Lightning soon strikes an elusive trigger.
With each round, the storm’s force grows bigger and bigger,
Till the trigger, obliterated at last,
Signals the storm has finally passed.

Mick McKellar
March 2021

Someone asked me to describe the experience of a bronchiolitis obliterans coughing attack.


Sunday, March 07, 2021

Love, Enough

Winter’s ice and snow sheds its crackling voice,
Humming to music by early spring's sun,
Dawn breaks, and invites nature to rejoice;
Another of God’s wondrous days has begun.
Bright morning light teases my window pane,
Slowly erasing the frost patterns there.
The glowing awakens my brain again,
My eyes follow motes adrift in the air.
The tatters of night are all brushed away,
Worries and shadows forgotten and gone.
The golden promise of a brand new day,
Grants my heart hope and gives voice to this song:
“Although we’re not rich and times can be tough,
We've all that we need if we love enough. “

Mick McKellar
March 2021

Waking up. Sunny morning. Warm bed. Life is good!


Sunday, February 21, 2021

Long Cold Night

Naught is sharper than Winter's wicked blade,
Whet upon dagger's teeth cerulean,
And tempered tough against the midnight shade,
To test one's tempest heart-fires truly on.
To wrest one's comfort, cozy and certain,
From blast and bluster, piercing and stinging;
Demands a fierce flame too bright to curtain
Away, and sets one's very blood singing!
Vigorous, powerful, life is so bright,
Its precocious beauty inflames the soul;
Saturates the spirit with living light;
And excites the heart its song to extol.
The music, the flame, and the life alight,
Defend this soul from the long cold night.

Mick McKellar
February 2021

The light of life and music of the soul are my prayers against the long cold night.


Saturday, January 16, 2021

Let The Giant Sleep

A giant sleeps in hearts and minds,
Of people in our land;
Awakening when prudence finds,
That danger is at hand.

We cherish our autonomy,
(An independent lot)
Our wealth and our sovereignty;
We keep the things we've got.

Our freedom and our liberty,
Are often on parade.
We like to stand, alone and free:
An icon, strong and staid.

But, threaten our democracy,
With violence and strife,
Then menace us with anarchy,
And take innocent life,

Harm the helpless, hurt a child,
Intimidate the poor;
Take images of all defiled,
And share it more and more;

And you may stir the giant's ire,
His vengeance and his wrath.
Beware his purpose and his fire.
Beware his righteous path.

Americans, at heart, are fair,
And when misfortunes smite,
They care, they help, they give, they share,
Until what's wrong is right.

But, if that danger's an attack
On what they think is right,
They'll quickly take the battle back,
With all their righteous might.

So, hold your protest peacefully,
And share your thoughts so deep;
Retire your mob, mute the bully,
And let the giant sleep.

Mick McKellar
January 2021

There is a sleeping giant within the people of the United States of America. It awakened on December 7, 1941, with a roar heard around the world. It stirred again on September 11, 2001, and I swear the Earth shifted slightly in her orbit. The giant is wondrous and terrible to behold, and it cannot be controlled.


Sunday, January 10, 2021

Cultish Behavior

To hide a secret, keep it in plain sight.
Inside a truth is where you hide a lie.
A deed de noir, if bathed in brightest light,
Leaves the palest of shadows few will spy.

An untruth, whispered, will seldom go far,
But if shouted often, becomes a fact.
An average schmuck can become a star,
If you make grand claims, then lie and distract.

Find something that folks are afraid to lose;
Claim the government's taking it away.
Tell them it is critical that they choose
To follow your schmuck, who will save the day.

A few will follow because they're afraid.
A few will follow because they are mad.
Anger and hatred and words loudly said,
Will give them direction they've never had.

But a schmuck is a schmuck, the truth will out,
And an angry mob may be the result.
Frustrated fanatics who scream and shout,
Are the fractured remains of a failed cult.

Though you scatter the fire, some embers glow,
Some remnants burn out, and others anneal.
Some embers are large, so their fire can grow,
But most are shattered, needing time to heal.

But mark my words -- This is wisdom, hard earned:
If you are not careful, you can get burned.

Mick McKellar
January 2021

Building a cult can be relatively easy if you follow a few simple rules and your timing is good. However, if your leader is a schmuck, incompetent, or just unlucky; a failed cult can be a dangerous thing.