Monday, October 31, 2022

Heart of Halloween

I paused when the porch light flickered and died,
And "Trick or treat!" squeaked from my lips.
I searched about for a place to hide,
I feared prey in a horror flick trips.
The house didn't give a Halloween clue:
No pumpkins or orange and black lights,
No paper ghosts with their paper "Boo!"
No pointy-hat witches in tights.

My  moon shadow drifted on unmowed lawn,
As I turned to start running back,
When I felt and heard the small cavern yawn,
As the front door opened a crack.
There in the light of an All Hallows Eve,
Stood a child in a princess gown!
Her hand gestured from a jeweled sleeve,
She was tossing a bright trinket down.
She disappeared as the door snapped shut,
And a stillness filled the night air.
I tripped and fell on my frightened butt,
As I got up and ran from there...

I went back to look on All Saints day,
To see the place I got tricked.
The yard was fenced and full of hay,
And the house was derelict.
I can't explain what happened that night,
The questions are short and cruel:
For mixed in my candy, shining bright,
Was a ruby-red, heart-shaped jewel.

Mick McKellar
October 2022

Just a quick trip down a darkened lane.


Friday, September 09, 2022

My Mourning Cup

I dedicate my morning cup to thee.
Slightly astringent, the Earl Grey
In my glass mug teases my tongue,
And the heady warmth of distant oranges,
Sing mellow notes… a counterpoint,
For the earthy melody of my tea.

Mea cuppa is a small salute, a nod,
To an iron soul in a velvet glove;
Gone from the shores of the great lake,
Gone from the magic isle,
With the silent peace of a sovereign servant,
Whose life was duty, bound with joy.

Mick McKellar
September 2022

The gentle touch of empathy, laced with steel,
is gone from the UK ship of state.


Thursday, August 25, 2022

Wambles and Griffonage

I toured the country of my life,
From jadeite forests, crystal green,
Near pristine rivers indigo, lavender,
And mirrored sky all white and blue.
But, such are will-o’-the-wish dreams
And happy thoughts from daytime naps.
Such tours are short for stumps,
And sad, old oaks with too much bark
And no bite.

The whispered shadow of afternoon sun
Breached the window’s dusty pane,
To brush its fire on vellum battlefield,
Where liquid thought begets griffonage;
Where wheezing bellows stoke
The Muse’s ancient flames.
Yet naught is heard but sips and wambles.
And rarely.
Oh! So rarely,
The blessed words come.

Mick McKellar
August 2022

It's been a while since I wrote about writing, and the battle to coax the words forth and aid them in telling their story.


Friday, August 12, 2022


When first I see the light of day,
Joy in my bones aches to reach out
For a hug, and for a moment, to play:
To wriggle and giggle and shout,
To laugh, and wonder what life's about.

Awake, onside life's dusty road,
I break my fast on shadow's bane:
The languid, liquid, light that flowed
Upon my face, and will again,
To long my love of life sustain.

Mick McKellar
August 2022

When I saw Sandy's photo, I immediately thought of how I greet the first rays of sunlight each day. Each day is a gift and that light can be so welcome, it can elicit a giggle or a gap-toothed smile.


Thursday, August 11, 2022

Good morning, Lord!

The shades of night were in retreat,
The shadows fleeing from the light,
And from the welcome, lively heat
That warms my heart and stirs my sight.

The Sun's sweet music touched a chord
Within my soul, and filled with glee,
I loudly called: "Good morning, Lord!"
And I could swear He smiled at me.

Mick McKellar
August 2022

Surprised and happy to wake up each day, I often say, "Good morning, Lord." I'd like to think God smiles a little when He hears my call. (Photo below was taken by my sister, Sandy Lapeer)


Monday, June 20, 2022

Aeolian Harp

Mystical music of Internet’s breath,
As driven before the fire of despair,
Self-styled harbinger of imminent death
And judge of opinions everywhere;
Swift master of joy in meter and prose,
Does a mortal hand your ├ętude design?
The dark harmonies your Muses compose,
Hint at a purpose not fully benign.
Sometimes, my soul seeks to dance to your song.
Sometimes, your dirge drips both venom and vice.
Is there a symphony of right and wrong,
Composed by humans, both naughty and nice?
Is the swift passing breath of countless posts,
An eerie wind harp played by trolls and ghosts?

Mick McKellar
June 2022

Often, when I am surfing the waters of social media -- near shore to facilitate a quick exit should that be necessary -- I sense a strange music permeating the prose or drifting among the bits and pieces of what passes for prose these days. Captivated by the music, I wonder if there is a purpose or a mind behind its eerie presence, or if it is a wind harp tuned to the passing of gas on the Internet.


Tuesday, April 05, 2022

The Dogfight

One sparklin' Saturday, soft and sighing,
I decided that I would go flying.
So, I launched my Spitfire into the air;
My soul was aloft, without a care.

I saw my girlfriend and her brother, Heinz,
And their matched pair of BF 109s,
Both climbing rapidly, ever higher,
To fly with my solitary Spitfire.

Patty and I often flew together,
Spitfire and Messerschmidt in good weather.
Though Heinz often said he didn't like me,
I didn't think an attack was likely.

Then Heinz pushed his 109 really hard,
Missed clipping my left wing by half a yard,
Then rolled away quick as any I've seen,
To come again at my Supermarine.

I rolled my craft and I dropped for the deck,
Heinz dove and followed, thus courting a wreck,
For Spitfire's famous elliptical wing,
So much like a bird -- it could almost sing.

I broke from my dive mere feet from the ground,
The crash of his plane made an awful sound.
I heard Patty's plane diving from above,
And her scream of vengeance didn't say "love."

Her plane nearly hit me, such was her ire,
So I pushed my small craft ever higher.
As expected, her 109 followed;
The bait was taken, the worm was swallowed.

My Spitfire dropped in a full-power dive,
Her Messerschmidt came, fast as it could strive.
The Spitfire looped, an accomplished fact,
Done before the 109 could react.

My Spitfire's landing gear punched both her wings,
And she couldn't hope to dislodge those things.
So she had to land her disabled dray,
With mine riding it like a bird of prey.

As my model I silently retrieved,
I walked away saddened, and yet relieved.
Heinz yelled at Patty, and she her brother,
In the future, they could fight each other...

Mick McKellar
April 2022

I have no clue why I was dreaming about model airplanes, the Battle of Britain, and faithless girlfriends, but this crazy poem formed in my sleep. I only had to write it out and edit. What fun!


Monday, March 14, 2022


Rage and grief are second cousins
Once removed perhaps,
But relatives in blood and bone.

History, though written on the page
By conquerors and politicians,
Is savagely grafted upon the bones
Of survivors,
And burned upon the minds
Of blood witnesses,
And upon the souls of children.

Childhood ripped from the innocent,
Festers and grows
Among the weeds of savage gardens.
Bright memories of freedoms stolen,
Tarnish and darken.
The patina of acrimony,
And the verdigris of vengeance
Wait, in silence, clenched among the shadows...

Beneath your bed, Putin.

Mick McKellar
March 2022

Cultural memory can be a long-suffering and potent enemy. Putin's progress may produce his doom. He thinks he can rewrite history, but doesn't credit everywhere it will be written.


The Song of Another Monday

Gray Monday, scion of the week,
Wintry cold and tolerant
Of whispered plans and planned technique;
Please rescue me with wonderment.

Cold font of possibilities,
And frigid cornucopia,
I cried last week, upon my knees,
For rescue from dystopia.

I sing the song of chill Monday,
And as the dread weight I eschew,
Stretch forth my hand to grasp the day,
And gladly reach to start anew!

Mick McKellar
March 2022

I never understood the dread with which so many approach Mondays. It's a chance to begin again, to start a new week and discharge the detritus of the week before.


Tuesday, March 01, 2022

Putin Him Away

Vladimir, like Cheshire cat,
Lies smirking on his limb;
Sucking marrow, grease, and fat,
From bones of children killed for him.

His tiny orbs, his lizard eyes,
Grow darker with each bite.
He relishes their plaintive cries,
And loves it when they fight.

He thinks that he is Khan reborn,
To conquer and enslave
A peaceful people tattered, torn,
With one foot in the grave.

One hopes the world will understand,
The nature of his sin,
And lead him by his slimy hand
To jail, and lock him in.

Mick McKellar
March 2022

This came to me in the middle of the night and woke me up. It appears my nightmares are in Russian these days.


Tuesday, February 22, 2022

If I cried, would the angels hear?

I put on each new morning,
Like a clean shirt:
Crisp and fresh from the drawer,
Creased, yet not wrinkled.

I pull it over my head, and for a second,
It's summer and I am camping;
Waking in our golden tent,
Smelling canvas warming in the early sun.
Hungry for my breakfast of pancakes and sand.

As my head erupts from the collar,
My magic mirror catches my eye,
And laughs.
It shows an old, gray geek in a worn t-shirt,
The word "Survivor" shouting from its face.
Hair tangled as a tumbleweed.
Fingers too stiff for buttons, waving about
For balance, seeking comfort from a bookcase.

I pause as my memories and my years
Catch up with me.
I sit on my bed.
I cough, shake my head,
And wonder:
If I cried, would the angels hear?

Mick McKellar
February 2022

It is both curse and joy to remember how it felt to be young, and to relive those feelings and sensations, only to rediscover the wear and tear caused by the sands of time.


Friday, February 18, 2022

Wrestling with Ghosts

Dim shadows of twilight,
Hide gay revelry:
A spirited frolic,
And tonic for me.

A quixotic ballroom,
Awash with starlight,
Twinkles and beckons
Across the dark night.

A fountain of music,
And a geyser of song,
Enrapture my spirit
To sing loudly along.

I tumble and tussle
With spirits and souls,
And share a timestep
With a saint, with goals...

 I wake with the sunrise,
Fatigued and dismayed,
And thinking that maybe
I shouldn't have stayed --

So long at the party,
With my unseen hosts;
Tap dancing with angels,
And wrestling with ghosts.

Mick McKellar
February 2022

Ever notice that your dream self can do a whole lot more than your awake self?


Friday, February 04, 2022


My eyelid tingles,
as the purple pewter wash
of the day's first light,
caresses its night-crusted surface.

Deep in the warm snuggle of my dream,
the ether rings.
Tintinnabulation of tiny silver bells
pierces the shell of my now-forgotten story,
spilling its contents into my waking thought,
and quickly draining away.

My fingers and toes grow cold,
as the great furnace at my core roars
and my damaged bellows draw new life
from the stillness of my room.

The curtain rises.
The tang of a new day engulfs my tongue.
The flavors of my dreams,
sweet though they be,
are fragmentary memories:
too soon savored and forgotten.

I greet the day with gladness;
I release my dreams with sadness;
And I pray to shun the madness
This day may send my way.

Mick McKellar
February 2022

Each day I awake is a blessing and an enlightenment.


Thursday, January 20, 2022

I Brushed My Hand On Heaven’s Dome

An angel whispered in my ear
Last night, as I lay down to sleep.
He spoke a language crisp and clear;
His voice, both powerful and deep.

The stars were singing through his voice;
A music ancient, and yet young.
My soul caught fire, and made a choice
To harmonize beyond my tongue.

My spirit soared with harmonies,
Beyond the walls of our small home.
I touched the Earth, the snow, the trees;
I brushed my hand on Heaven’s dome.

I sang the music of the stars --
The glory of the universe.
Until discord from constant wars,
From greed and hatred made it worse.

A billion voices cried in pain,
Two billion souls in anguish screamed!
The rich laughed loudly in refrain;
The Earth cried out to be redeemed.

The angel touched my shoulder, kind,
His voice caught once, it seemed.
Then soothing music filled my mind,
And told me that I dreamed.

Mick McKellar
January 2022

Every once in a while, I dream about angels. The lessons they teach are both terrific and terrifying, beyond the power of words to distill, describe, or debate.


Saturday, January 15, 2022

A Late Start on a Cold Day

I watched the day go from black to gray,
Through my window, rimed with frost;
And my hands felt old and stiff with cold,
From the heat they both had lost.

In the streetlight's glow, the blowing snow
Cast shadows upon the glass;
The umbras curled as snow danced and whirled,
As they traveled on -- en masse.

The moving storm sapped what little warm
I had, and drew it forth;
It sucked the heat from my naked feet,
And sent it winging North.

I knew full day was an hour away,
The West wind howled with dread.
I whirled around at that eerie sound,
And I shuffled back to bed.

I jumped right back in my rumpled sack,
A nest both soft and warm;
As I found my place in such sweet embrace,
I forgot about the storm.

The piercing light of a morning bright,
Sparkled through my window pane;
Shining on my clock, which gave me a shock:
I had over-slept again!

I prepared my ruse, an old excuse:
My road had snow drifts high!
Then my hopes were dashed, my lie was smashed --
As I heard the plow go by.

Mick McKellar
January 2022

I've lost count of how many times I crawled back into bed on a wintry morning, falling in love with the warmth and comfort of my bed, only to wake late and have to hurry to shovel or scoop the drive and get to work on time.


Saturday, January 01, 2022

The Remainder of My Days

Though hopes and dreams have faded,
Or gone their separate ways;
My heart remains unjaded,
And sings with joyful praise.

Our path is ne'er a smooth one,
Oft filled with stress and strife;
I face no challenges alone,
I share them with my wife.

Though evil breaks asunder,
Our path in fearful form;
I do not fear the thunder,
Together, we're the storm!

Although we loudly disagree,
In vast and sundry ways;
I want her to stay with me,
The remainder of my days.

Mick McKellar
January 2022

It's my fervent wish in 2022, that the citizens of our country take heed the lessons of a successful marriage. The noise and shouting are normal and compromise is the answer to most challenges.