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?




Some people are crazy enough to wear

A wing suit and stand poised on the tip of

A Mountain and jump — with fabric outstretched

Between their arms and legs and body — and


They fly inches from the rocky edges

Plunging as the eagles do consuming

Miles of air passing inside and outside

Of alpine shadows falling on the slopes


Below — how divine the venture must seem

Flowing within a spectacle of such

Gigantic proportions — discovering

In a human form capability


For soaring with flaming sensations and

A beating heart — and with serenity?


Perhaps a

flying squirrel was

the inspiration

but where on earth did

the courage come from?


Read 1443 times Last modified on Wednesday, 31 January 2018 20:31
Barry MacDonald

Editor & Publisher of the St. Croix Review.
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