Sometimes We Just Sigh

Fingers brushing, feather light
with an occasional

from pure Zen breaths
to moist nape is a small reward
even a respite

sideways glances with near teared eyes
are pleasure poses

heart to heart, skin to skin and
sometimes we just sigh.

Beyond the Darkest Nightmare

“There’s imagined monsters invented in backyard tents, then there’s fiends walking on two feet wearing smiles, nice as can be, getting hints from the devil himself.”

We had our stories and monsters as kids, sitting mesmerized in tents with flashlights under chin trying to outdo each other with tall tales. Seems like silliness now, but times change and minds can rot like a bunch of bananas slowly turning black.

Who knows what starts it all maybe a drunken abusive father, touchy-feely uncle, neighbor or priest but values can dissolve like the top scoop of ice cream dropped from a cone onto hot summer pavement.

I see them in crowds, their eyes darting to and fro like someone real interested in a fast tennis match. Yeah, they’re out there alright, quiet plotting ogres who breathe deep sighs daydreaming about twisted fantasies, living vicariously through history’s villains, chomping at the bit to one-up them all.

They might be your next-door neighbor, your convenience store clerk or even that city or school bus driver. You can bet they’re out there sniffing the air, drooling like Pavlov’s dog. True evil sports a grin while figuring misery and death like a gourmet chef plans a six-course meal. Yes, there are jackals out there with thousand-yard stares, lurking, seeking to satiate a sick appetite; with motives that are beyond the darkest nightmare.

Friday’s Cold Rain

With forehead pressed against windowpane,
I watched drops coalesce and slide.

Warm breath fogged the glass.
I thought of you, wrote your name
and smiled.

Time respects no sentiment or deed, that is why
I live in the moment, with sighs
that disappear, eventually to blend
with ashen clouds.

I felt a poem growing from fertile plot
deep within my soul, where conversations and
emotions trickle down, quenching
growing words.


I have bled my spirit’s arterial flow
to the point of collapse,
I vomit the bile of my soul
sometimes, to my own disgust
but, I shall never regret
one dot or tittle, dark
or bright, poetic
or prosaic

because time begs it of me,
a clock ticks though
a dirge must wait, I sigh
fevered cantos

there are
volumes yet, to be

The Story of Big Bill Brandt: A Real Texas Twister

In rough and tumble West Texas where rattlesnakes big as mile-long cattle trains roam, where scorpions the size of, John Deere tractors scurry about is where a real legend called, Big Bill Brandt hangs his cowboy hat that could hold one hundred gallons of water easy, which comes in handy when a fella gets thirsty on a hot day.

Nobody knows how he came to be; some say a volcano clear across the world spit him out one day and Texas is where he just happened to land and another tale says he’s the son of a tornado and his hurricane bride who abandoned him and set him aside, but you know how stories can be stretched just a bit by old prospectors and cowpokes carrying on, but nonetheless, old Bill appeared and the following could be considered quite preposterous or at the very least just down-right bold.

He came out of a glorious sunrise one morning with clouds swirling round his head. A family of eagles setup house atop his hat as he rattled a few shooting stars in his hand like dice and threw them. Where they landed is where he took a liking, which was a rise that presided over a large scenic stretch of verdant rolling Texas foothills. So he stomped his whale sized boot and called that high hill home.

Bill built himself a ranch house, which was more like a castle, out of gold mined more than a mile from beneath his feet. He raises jackrabbits as big as cows that can out-buck any mustang or bull and they are tough on account of they don’t eat anything but cactus and tumbleweeds. He hired sasquatches as ranch hands and bunks them in a deep cavern, pays them in gold and as much tasty barbequed rattlesnake as they could possibly eat.

Today, Bill has him a garden where he grows enormous things like; Watermelons the size of African elephants, peanuts the size of grown armadillos, carrots the size of tall Georgia Pines, avocadoes big as pregnant walruses and by-god huge cornstalks that tickle the moon’s chin, why he even has fancy apple trees so colossal, he had to build ten story steel towers around them just to support the fruit, which are the size of basketballs.

Yep, he’s got it made with; bubbling springs of root beer surrounded by rock candy sarsens, honey delivered each morning by clouds of bees humming a tune, rain clouds that spit at the snap of a finger, a bed of roses to lay plum comfortable on and tasty cigars the size of them U.S. Navy torpedoes.

Yes sir, old Bill’s got coyotes to sing him to sleep each night with crickets as a string symphony and yodeling roosters big as ostriches to wake him up every morning with a fresh pot of coffee the size of a water tower and a plate of eggs and bacon so big, a thirty-piece band could march around on it.

Bill spends his days meandering around his sizable plot just strolling and pondering such things as; “Maybe I’ll rope the next meteor some night and ride ‘ye haw’ across the heavens! Or maybe I’ll go searching in the ocean’s depths for that, Poseidon fellers treasures and such. Then again maybe I’ll climb that far-off Mount Everest I’ve heard of, break me off the tip-top and bring it back for a souvenir cause it would sure look pretty in my backyard.”

But mostly Bill tends his ranch and farm high-fiving the sasquatches as he comes around whistling so loud that; dogs a thousand miles away yelp and bark which is at night where they are. Yep, he just moseys around smiling ear to ear, which is the distance of a city block, sometimes he kicks up his heels he’s so happy and when he lands, why the skyscrapers in New York City shake just a little.

Bill’s got him a pet too, a giant tarantula called, Fuzzy who likes to have his belly rubbed. Fuzzy plays fetch just like a dog too, why once old Bill threw a thirty-foot rail of freshly hewn young oak so far, that Fuzzy stayed gone for the better part of a week before he returned jumping, screeching and carrying on as if to say, “Again, again, throw it again!”

Heard tell Bill likes to whittle and he’s real good too, why he once whittled an entire bridge for some fancy Royal family from London hundreds of years ago I think, and don’t you know, it still stands today! Yeah! Bill’s real handy indeed why he once helped these fellers dig a real long and deep ditch somewhere way down south in, Panama I think, yeah, he knocked it out in a day like it wasn’t nothing, then scooped up a couple hands full of that pacific ocean and got things moving real smooth like.

But now days, old Bill he just stays on his golden hilltop whiling away the hours shooting boulders into the sky with his sling-shot he made from a giant Sequoia Tree, some boulders come back a year or two later, I think them brainy Scientists call them, ‘comets’ or something.

I heard tell that once every leap year February on the third Saturday, which isn’t his birthday, on account of he simply just doesn’t know when he was born, Bill has one humdinger of shindig! Why he invites; Paul Bunyan and of course his ox, Blue, that big fella that lives on top of that beanstalk, the Jolly Green Giant, yes all these folks and their kin too!

They sing and dance up a storm all night around a bonfire so big some think it’s the sun coming up early! And some say you can hear what sounds like thunder a coming and when they get to spinning and two-stepping hard on occasion, a few big twisters get slung off into the raucous Texas night that gives them ornery big old scorpions a real headache, which makes them hissing mad!

The Canola Fields

Alberta seemed a world away
that summer of ’93, serenity hung in the air
like incense

everything looked like a painting,
like a plein-air masterpiece

and misty mornings quenched flora
with maternal love.

An owl, in rustic barn loft window
fat and content
gave animatronic blinks

there were cows grazing on long grass,
heads between weathered wood-
rail fences with languid looks

worn signs on side-road posts, never replaced
or painted because, locals know
where they’re going.

There were kilometers of highway hemmed
by vast fields of canola flowers

blooming, blinding in midday sun, glorious
aspen gold highlighted on nature’s
canvas, slathered with a base
of fresh avocado green.

Copyright Michael J. Donnelly 2017

Critical Thinking and Just Letting Go

Life and death, yes and no, get it done, make it
so, make it quick, form equations
make it click.

I am an open canvas, drifting, not sure about
anything, committed to nothing;
and so I exhale.

I could exist nowhere, which is somewhere
in-between; tick-tock, closed eyes
and dead stare

nowhere, is a fantasy destination afloat where
incense gathers and humming
Zen chants mingle.

My spirit could suspend in a cosmic eddy, there
I would dwell, tomb silent, zero divided by
zero; a dream within a dream.