Thursday, 11 February 2016 13:42

December Poems 2015

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As civilized as a sword can make us —

Hasn’t it a cultural achievement

To fold the steel in layers and forge it

With a hammer and anvil and hone the


Blade to lethality to inscribe it

With vows of victory and to wield it

Requires a warrior’s training to

Surpass the enemy’s might in battle


And all to no benefit without a

Supporting ethos infusing courage

In the warrior? As civilized as

We may be in the midst of savagery


Haunting the human animal forcing

A defense of gentle accomplishments.


And there are methods

for instilling compassion

and benevolence

in the midst violence

in the human dilemma.



Light and leaf — sun and sky — mind and sky — with

My eyes open I see the natural

Cooperation composing this world

And I wonder at the magic of it


That my skin absorbs the light just as a

Leaf absorbs the light just as the sun fills

The space surrounding the earth with light and

Somehow turns it blue — and have you noticed

How we live subject to the natural

Drama of the sky ceaselessly moving

With clouds and rain and wind and light and have

You noticed how the mind ceaselessly moves


From happiness to discouragement to

Confusion and also astonishment?


Too seldom do I see

too infrequently notice

the churning magic

composing combinations

and ceaseless transformation.



It’s a modest dining room a smallish

Round table and in the morning I make

Coffee and have a bowl of cereal.

Maybe a conversation an email


Or an expression on someone’s face from

The day before has left an impression

With me and so I consider what they

Are thinking and how they are coping and


What I should do — I didn’t understand

How to direct my energy when young

How to discover what needs attention —

I come to my breakfast table as to


A reliable sanctuary and

Continuously find intuition.


Solitude is good

regularity helpful

quiet conducive

for the cultivation of

insightful understanding.



I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of

Playing the sleepless poet rummaging

For significance and sacrificing

While everyone else is sleeping and I’m


Stubborn and I’ll pay the penalty in

Taxes for not having health coverage

I’ll stop taking trazodone my magic

Sleeping pills because I refuse to pay


Hundreds of dollars just to consult the

Doctor once just to update prescriptions

So I went to the pharmacy looking

For non-prescription drugs and I talked to


The pharmacist and he impolitely

Asked me so how much coffee do you drink?


Could it be the pot

of coffee I drink each day

lifting me up in

the morning making me buzz

keeping me awake at night?




There are some people crazy enough to

Put on a wing suit at the top of a

Mountain and jump with the fabric between

Their legs and arms and body so they do


Fly by the precipices inches from

The rock so like a gliding eagle the

Miles of air and the ins and outs of the

Alpine shadows passing far beneath — how


Like a God it would seem to be part of

Living a spectacle of gigantic

Proportions finding within a human

Form a capacity for soaring with


Excitement and with the experience

Discovering perhaps such joy and peace.


Perhaps a crazy

fellow was inspired by

a flying squirrel —

so he made a wing suit and

climbed a precipice and plunged?




I love the morning sunrise transforming

An open sky and casting a shine on

On the snow covered ground with the squirrel

Tracks and the sides and the roofs of the homes


Brilliant because I love to see clearly

Because my thinking is uncluttered and

A natural optimism rises

As if the frictions and complexities


Of yesterday dissolve in the blue sky

And the renewing power of the sun —

But soon my thoughts will assume the burden

Of problems needing solutions and of


Driving emotions and relationships

As I engage with my difficulties.

As if I’m reborn

by the transforming sunrise

as if I’m a child

again liberated from

problems needing solutions.



Read 1168 times Last modified on Thursday, 02 November 2017 16:42
Barry MacDonald

Editor & Publisher of the St. Croix Review.
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