Tuesday, December 31, 2019


I hear you coming, 2020!
Your rumble rolls over frozen hills,
And tops the icy breakers of the big lake.
Your bleak and burgeoning song rends the snowy morn;
It shouts chaos and whispers promise.

I see you coming, 2020!
Your shadow creeps upon the shore,
An Eastern billow breaking the dawn asunder,
Shattering the wall of the night and the twilight's mist.
You herald sunrise, golden and gaunt and new.

I feel you coming, 2020!
Your building gale presses on my soul;
The rock of my home ripples, waves upon a pond.
I taste the liquor of your wind:
Orange blossoms and brimstone.
I savor the loamy breath of turned earth,
And the precious aroma of Spring’s promise,
Beneath the cold essence of Winter’s cleansing.

I stand upon my hill, arms wide and welcoming;
I await the sweep of your midwinter Mistral.

Mick McKellar
December 2019

Change is coming. I sense it in the fiber of my being.


Monday, December 30, 2019

Dream Walk in a Dark Forest

Brown bracken, dried, broken carpets my path
Underfoot, touching the night with soft sighs.
Falling behind lie frustration and wrath,
Left to evaporate, drift to the skies.
Slow and deliberate, gentle footfalls
Traverse the halcyon tranquility.
Stillness disturbed, sends forth clarion calls,
Telling the forest of trespassing...me.
My solo passage is free, unresisted,
Traveling, lost in my sequestered thought;
Sorting my blessings and problems, listed
In lights on the mental note that I brought.
If the quiet walk helps, I have no doubt:
The lights on my mental note will go out.

Mick McKellar
December 2019

I miss going for walks late at night, especially on a snowy, silent night.


Sunday, December 29, 2019

Letting My Mind Roam

I freed my mind from its moorings today;
I watched as it shuddered and drifted free.
Soon it had wings and was sailing away,
Joyfully free and yet tethered to me.
Soaring, it vaulted to unexplored height,
High above clouds where the sky becomes dark,
Thrilled with the bountiful joy of its flight,
Bursting with longing further to embark.
Holding its fair golden leash with my heart,
It seemed forever we drifted and flew,
Till at long last, when no longer apart,
We joined in near bliss, my life to renew.
My mind is, despite its years on the shelf,
Old enough now to go out by itself.

Mick McKellar
December 2019

A mind must be allowed to explore, to fly freely with new thoughts.


Thursday, December 26, 2019

Der Mensch Tracht und Gott Lacht

Weeks in planning and anticipations,
Our anniversary dinner and show,
With preparations and reservations,
Were foiled in the end by wind-drifted snow.
Our planet bristles with a daily dose,
Of "best laid plans of mice and men" astray;*
And often "these" will never lead to "those,"
But double back and go another way.
Though once, abundance seemed our true birthright,
The wisdom of the winner our bequest,
We fooled ourselves; our strategies lost sight:
What one consumes is taken from the rest.
A wise man conserves and a fool uses --
In the end, all men dream and God muses.

Mick McKellar
December 2019

Man plans and God laughs. It is a sobering thought.


*A nod in passing to Robert Burns.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

The Enemy of My Enemy

Daily, I battle the beast in my soul,
Giving better angels the upper hand.
How often I miss that ultimate goal,
Distresses me, and I don't understand
Why a little success and some acclaim,
Feeds a burning fire to take so much more;
Grasping what I can, without any shame,
And protecting all my ill-gotten store.
I have enemies now, who'll take my gain;
They have to be wrong, because I am right.
I seek friends willing to lie and cause pain,
If that's what it takes to finish my fight.
But I worry, as battle nears its end:
Is my enemy's enemy -- my friend?

Mick McKellar
December 2019

It's human nature, I suppose, to take more than your share. If someone helps you take a bigger share, perhaps you should ask yourself why?


Diogenes in Washington

Dirty wet snow soaks a garment, once white,
Tossed in a gutter with loose bundled sticks,
But minuscule movements near out of sight,
And whispered sighs, my attention affix.
A flickering lamp lay tossed in the snow,
Guttering flame near a sputtering death,
Illuminates a face that I know:
Wrenched in agony and gasping for breath.
A weathered old visage and ice cold eyes,
Focused on my worried, terrified face.
His withered hand grabbed me, to my surprise
He whispered a message of truth and grace.
“I tried to find someone that nobody can:
An ethical, honest politician…”

Mick McKellar
December 2019

The search continues...


Sunday, December 08, 2019

Ghost Rain

It’s cold and lonely in the desert night,
Many wanderers forfeit in the dark;
But a child’s shrill cry in the fading light,
Cries havoc, to all but the oligarch
Who profits from little ones’ tearful rift,
And their sudden complete isolation.
They are cast on a concrete sea adrift,
Their families gone -- an immolation
To the gods of hatred and prejudice;
Commodities destined to fail and fall,
From a deadly, but legal precipice.
Faith, home, family gone for one and all...
A ghost rain will fall from the highest height;
The angels cry in the desert tonight.

Mick McKellar
December 2019

I think the angels must be busy near the border tonight...


Friday, December 06, 2019

Upon Waking, Oddly

I got up at 8:45 AM today.
How odd it was,
To think of that as early...
Winter changes the settings and alarms
Of my circadian clock.

How odd it was,
That my toes felt warm,
Although they greeted the dawn
Before my eyes, in my cold room,
And beheld first light unclothed.

A voice whispered in pain
At the edge of my dream.
How odd it was,
That my house should complain
Of the cold, and ague from aging.

How odd it was,
Upon rising to greet the day,
That life should course, so vital and electric,
Through battered veins,
And laugh to see the dawn.

Mick McKellar
December 2019

Although each day is a gift of life, it's still thrilling and odd to wake up and greet it.


Tuesday, December 03, 2019


I plunge my hands in the soil of my home,
And I grasp at the core of my being.
Always I’m drawn, though I wander and roam,
To the feel of the place I am fleeing.
Although some claim to be autochthonous,
Indigenous, and a true native son;
Earth cannot be owned by any of us,
Though a sense of belonging can be won.
In truth, we but rent the place where we live;
Yeah, even the mortal body we wear!
It seems only right that we ought to give,
A bit of the soil for others to share.
We still will be home, still happy and free,
And a member of a community.

Mick McKellar
December 2019

It seems ludicrous for so many, in a nation of immigrants, to be so enthralled by nativism.