Friday, August 29, 2014

Life is but a Dream

Life is but a Dream

The starlight’s glance through my window,
Caresses sleepy eyes:
Colder than winter’s whitest snow,
Fire from indigo skies.

Slowly I swim to the surface,
Float on black ocean, bright
With a brilliant, starlit purpose,
A precipice of light.

Falling, I see with keen vision,
The story I will write:
Every daily decision,
The wrong steps, and the right.

I dream that my own existence,
Is a mere reverie –
A fantasy with persistence,
And what does that make me?

I wake, now a startled screamer,
Scared I’m not as I seem.
What if I am not the dreamer,
What if I am the dream?

Mick McKellar
August 2014

"Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream,
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream…"

Is it?


Be Reasonable...

Be Reasonable...

Life is sweet and must be tasted,
And seasoned with a touch of love.
Soul and savor are not wasted,
When then and now go hand-in-glove.

Past and present dance together,
Although their pas de deux is brief.
Where they meet it's stormy weather,
Prolonged exposure leads to grief.

Lies and secrets reap the whirlwind,
And truth denied gains naught but rust.
Those who dine on only facts, find
The musty taste of ancient dust.

Life is love and hope unfounded,
By the tales our senses can tell:
Belief in things unseen, grounded
In trust, drawn from faith’s deepest well.

Men of reason often plunder,
Our deepest mysteries dispel:
A universe full of wonder,
Where God and man together dwell.

Mick McKellar
August 2014

Science is wonderful, but should not blind us to the unseen wonder of the touch of God.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Minstrel’s Song

The Minstrel’s Song

Couldn't help feeling small at four feet tall,
For the other kids were a lot taller.
He thought, best they didn't see him at all,
And so he tried to make himself smaller.

But that didn't help, it made things much worse.
He had nowhere to run, no place to hide,
He felt that his life had become a curse;
Their bullying broke something deep inside.

He hated being the butt of their jokes,
Of black anger he had a full ration.
As he endured all the giggles and pokes,
Dark revenge became his bitter passion.

His school work suffered as he spent free time,
On devising dark plans in his bedroom.
He reveled in thoughts of his future crime,
Of encompassing his tormentors' doom.

His father had a few weapons, of course,
For hunting, and protection from danger.
Sharp tools for a young mind with no remorse,
Filled with hurt and pain, and fueled by anger.

Deep in the night before he launched his plan,
He lay awake as his heart grew colder.
He saw the dimmest shadow of a man,
Who reached toward him and touched his right shoulder.

A smile and a flash of brilliant green light,
Left his room fully illuminated;
Revealed a man, holding flame -- green and bright,
And who laughed at the fire he created.

The man’s costume was one that minstrels wore,
In the photos in his history book.
Then The Minstrel’s great voice began to soar,
So loudly, it seemed that the whole house shook.

As he saw his vicious plan playing out,
He saw his own face, with anger-filled eyes.
He saw bloody children scream, cry, and shout;
He felt his guns fire, he heard their death cries.

He saw himself die, shot dead by police,
As bullets tore through his flesh, he felt pain.
But the relentless vision didn’t cease,
He felt others’ pain, again and again.

He felt the sorrow that parents endure,
When lives that they treasure are ripped away.
He became a disease with no known cure,
A bleak malady that had come to stay.

He saw his parents, so devastated,
Their guilt amplified by loss of their child.
No longer victim, his actions hated,
Now forever his name would be reviled.

He’d reached the limit of his endurance,
His soul, in agony screamed in the dark.
He cried out, weakly seeking assurance,
He could turn from this path, so bleak and stark.

The bright green fire, so recently blazing,
Dimmed as the song of The Minstrel grew mild.
Sudden relief from pain was amazing;
Once again, he was just a frightened child.

Then The Minstrel sang a song of power,
Revealing the strength of his youthful mind.
He could use the skills he’d learned hour by hour,
To excel in life -- smart, happy, and kind.

The Minstrel smiled as he faded away,
The future he saw was one he could trust:
The boy would work hard, succeed from that day,
And would leave all those bullies in the dust.

Mick McKellar
August 2014

A successful life is the best revenge against bullies who seek to feed on weakness.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Walls of Heaven

The Walls of Heaven

He preached hellfire and brimstone to his flock,
Often shouting loud enough to deafen.
He boasted he’d make the Pearly Gates rock,
When he stormed the mighty walls of Heaven.

Sometimes there is a price that must be paid,
For untold years of bombastic railing.
As a flag flown too long gets worn and frayed,
His doughty voice, and his health, were failing.

Depressed and in doubt, he drifted alone,
On a dark sea of self-accusation.
Feeling the victim, each thought would bemoan
The events that caused his situation.

As deeper he plunged in the sea of doubt,
His vision grew increasingly dimmer.
The dark pulled him down, he could not get out,
He felt lost -- he was not a good swimmer.

In desperation, he screamed, thrashed around,
Silently pleaded, and prayed for ransom.
A green light carried him to higher ground,
Thinking he’d been captured by a phantom.

He opened his eyes, it was nearly dark,
He still sat on his sofa at twilight.
His fireplace cast shadows, eerie and stark,
And they danced in the emerald green light.

In his chair, a man, neither young nor old,
Sang a song that was soothing his heartache,
Dressed as a minstrel with a smile so bold,
He could feel all his defensive walls break.

The Minstrel sang about Heaven and Hell.
His words painted pictures so very real,
The preacher saw, even felt them so well,
He saw errors that he’d made in his zeal.

The pathways to Heaven are paved with love,
Not hellfire, not brimstone, not even gold.
Pearly gates are not waiting up above,
To be locked and leave you out in the cold.

The Minstrel sang on, there was so much more,
It seemed that he never ran out of breath,
As he sang the truth about Heaven’s door:
Our only doorway to Heaven is death.

Images followed of beauty and grace,
But nowhere appeared a fence or a wall.
He saw Heaven, he saw every place,
For there are no walls in Heaven at all.

Though he opened his eyes in twilit gloom,
No fire, no Minstrel, no song in the air,
As he looked around his old living room,
He could still hear and see The Minstrel there.

He remembered it all in coming years,
And though he never spoke out loud again,
His writings brought laughter and happy tears,
And for those who feared death, relief from pain.

Mick McKellar
August 2014

Walls and gates either keep people in or keep people out. Neither one seems necessary in Heaven…


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Wait for Me

Wait for Me

On certain days, they barely spoke at all.
She was reticent; he was nearly deaf.
But some things never need clarion call,
They’re understood, and that was quite enough.

Married for more than half a century,
They could communicate almost by thought.
She went shopping, he slept comfortably;
What he needed, she had always bought.

Most of their best, old friends had passed away.
Their kids did not live near them anymore.
So she was caught off guard that bright Sunday,
When she heard someone knock on their front door.

She called the old man, but he never heard,
And so she opened up the portal, wide.
The man she saw left her without a word:
A guy, dressed as a Minstrel, stood outside.

His voice, a baritone, deep, crystal clear,
Announced that he’d been sent by a good friend.
Then sang a little tune that calmed her fear,
Yet hinted that some things come to an end.

She stepped back once, and beckoned him inside.
He swept by her into the living room.
And as she wondered why she stepped aside,
Shadows of passing clouds caste all in gloom.

The Minstrel knelt beside her husband’s chair.
He sang a song so sweet, it took her breath.
And then she knew her husband wasn’t there,
His nap was interrupted by his death.

As desolation closed around her heart,
She felt something deep down inside her break.
As chains that held her Earthbound fell apart,
She heard a song that told her to awake.

Her open eyes beheld a wondrous sight:
The Minstrel and her husband sang the song.
His instrument glowed with a deep green light.
They beckoned her to rise and come along.

In a moment, The Minstrel stood alone,
And smiled at one remarkable thing:
By waiting till the other one was gone,
Their love transcended even death’s dark sting.

Mick McKellar
August 2014

Together forever -- what a wonderful thought!


Monday, August 18, 2014

Acts of Kindness

Acts of Kindness

A pile of rags in the backyard shifted,
A movement that caught old hermit Joe’s eye.
He’d moaned about how last night’s snow drifted,
Deep enough to make a younger man cry.

The children in town knew old hermit Joe,
And often would help him shovel his walk.
He was kind to them, never made them go,
And he listened when they wanted to talk.

So grabbing a shovel for self-defense,
He plodded through drifts to investigate.
As he drew close to his old picket fence,
The pile of old rags stood up, tall and straight.

Twas a man whose face could be any age,
Dressed in a costume of patches and rags:
Flashing a smile any pain could assuage,
His feet wrapped in cloth and old plastic bags.

He cradled an instrument on his arm,
Extending his other arm in greeting.
Joe asked the rag man inside to get warm,
And added kindness to the strange meeting.

The rag man accepted a cup of tea,
And a slice of buttered banana bread.
They sat and chatted most amiably,
Until Joe felt something odd in his head.

The rag man changed right before old Joe’s eyes:
His rags now a coat of bright red and green,
His voice now a chorus from twilight skies,
His eyes bright as any stars he’d seen.

The Minstrel stood tall and sang songs of love.
His instrument glowed with a bright green fire.
His song told of beautiful fields above,
And Joe felt his spirit lifting higher.

Because Joe’s spirit was loving and kind,
The Minstrel made sure he’d not die alone.
Joe’s body, abandoned, was left behind.
In only a moment, they both were gone.

The Minstrel returned a moment later,
And he moved Joe’s body into the sun.
He bowed to Joe as to one much greater;
Just before he left, he dialed 9-1-1.

Mick McKellar

August 2014

There is nothing so precious in this world as kindness to children or a stranger in need.

Word Shadows

Word Shadows

Every page, a blank, bottomless well,
A snow storm of infinite depth and size,
Offers the bold many stories to tell,
But remains blank to the timid and wise.
The foolish plunge in, get lost in the white,
And struggle to find the way back again.
The daring rely on much more than sight,
Intuiting paths beyond others’ ken.
They follow shadows, ephemeral, quick,
Darting and drifting through dim, snowy light;
Capturing thoughts, each exceptional brick,
Building exciting adventures to write.
A writer dances on many stages,
Partnered with shadows from many pages.

Mick McKellar
August 2014

I've spent many hours staring into the white emptiness of blank pages, seeking shadows of the words hidden there...


Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Will to Forgive

The Will to Forgive

The smell of blood grew rancid in his nose,
As slowly he crawled from oblivion,
To dance with the pain of repeated blows,
And peer through a veil of vermilion.

The coarse cold and damp of the dark sidewalk,
Grated his face raw and shattered his sight.
Laughter and taunts were the only small talk,
As young toughs stole his soul without a fight.

Their dying laughter was the only sound,
And it thickened the chilly, stale night air.
He lifted his head from the bloody ground,
And saw his ruined face reflected there.

At first the red fire of his anger flared,
To exact his revenge, he tried to rise,
And the retribution his mind prepared,
Appeared, a movie behind his sad eyes.

But “an eye for an eye” was not his style,
And despite the attack, his life was spared.
He sat on the curb to rest for awhile,
And wondered if anyone really cared.

He noticed his shadow dance on the street,
And turning, he found a small fire nearby;
Where a fellow sang an old tune, so sweet,
The sound of his voice almost made him cry.

The Minstrel’s right hand touched his broken face,
And instantly took his raw pain away;
Then carried him through green fire to his place,
And sang the long night into golden day.

He woke to the brilliance of morning light,
Piercing the windows of his humble loft.
No pain remained from the previous night,
And never before was his bed so soft.

His torn, bloody clothes were washed and repaired.
His bruises and scrapes were just memories.
His heart sang with joy, that the Minstrel cared
Enough, to sing and tell healing stories.

His attackers, he completely forgave,
And he searched them out to offer his aid,
To free them from bitter chains, that enslave
Them in shadows greed and misery made.

He found in forgiveness the will to live.
He shared his new secret every day.
When his mentor saw the gifts he would give,
The Minstrel just smiled, and faded away.

Mick McKellar
August 2014

Not all heroes need a gun and a fast car.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Legacy Trees

Legacy Trees

Gray skies wept on the morn you departed,
Watering our garden of memories;
Balm to refresh the seedlings you started,
Soon to be towering Legacy Trees.
These giants feast on fond recollections,
Rooted in the fertile soil of our love:
Their limbs bursting forth in all directions,
Reaching toward the mind’s golden light above.
Broad, velvety soft leaves of rainbow hues,
Basking in the glow of our reveries,
Cradle the newborn memories we choose
To treasure, as part of our life stories.
An abundant trove, a whispered reprise,
Deep in our forest of Legacy Trees.

Mick McKellar
August 2014

Visits by loved ones and new friends help our forest of Legacy Trees grow and become more beautiful. Awesome, with that special touch of awe!