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.

Often, in the Tabernacle of Us


You touch my face with the delicateness
of spring’s breath
and I swear I hear the heartbeat
of the universe.

Your smile is a songbird heralded sunrise
and I am the summer morning to greet,
my senses chime clear
as a crystal bell.

Now and again, our lips
are the melding of soft rose petal and dew,
or primal indulgence of
animals famished.

Often, in the tabernacle of us,
I worship our love with words in holy moments,
I give offerings mined from
deepest fissures of
my soul.

There Is A Sad Beauty In It All

As careworn August bids farewell,

A quick and rankled tally’s taken

And chilled rain falling does foretell,

September leaves will soon be shaken.


The birds all sing their austere songs

Though, somehow rudely made to comply,

Geese are forming in their great throngs,

I suppose soon they’ll all wave goodbye.


And melancholy dreams will come

As, October leaves turn regal gold,

The apple saplings will look glum

As, mornings seem to grow ever cold.


Yes, all will bow to autumn’s grace

And soon enough the long days will wane

As, November’s nip slaps our face,

The Sitka roses, will be found slain.


And so lions of winter will roar

As, December’s wraiths sprinkle frost,

Some will scoff at coming snowy chore

As, ponds and lakes are froze and glossed.


Chimneys will bellow and winds will whip,

Chickadees will shiver in trees,

And beside fires we’ll sip tea and quip

As, winter’s spell brings a deep freeze.


And then we’ll wake as if from nightmare

As, joyous chickadees all sing,

To find that winter has gone elsewhere,

Shooed away by returning spring.

Incarnations and Misconceptions

Source: Incarnations and Misconceptions

Termination (Villanelle)

I’ve dreamt of winter, it made me shiver,
I’ve breathed my cold breath upon a window,
The blood roses are starting to wither.

Sun peeked from clouds; it was but a sliver.
I think December is forcing a row.
I’ve dreamt of winter, it made me shiver.

I saw geese fly-over in a dither,
I’ve seen the chimneys starting to billow.
The blood roses are starting to wither.

For some reason, the squirrels seem bitter,
Jumping back and forth amongst the willow.
I’ve dreamt of winter, it made me shiver.

I heard the, Titmouse and Sparrows blither,
Highest mountain peaks already have snow.
The blood roses are starting to wither.

I swear I can hear a soulful zither,
A few hints of fall are starting to show,
I’ve dreamt of winter, it made me shiver,
The blood roses are starting to wither.


She Had an Alter-Ego That Needed Its Own Kingdom

“I hope everyone read their assignments!”
She made me nervously pick at my fingers,
bite the inside of my mouth like someone
who’s had too much coffee. Her beady eyes
saw all, she could see the lies before they came
out of your mouth. I’m sure someone wrote a
mystery novel about her or at least dark fanzine
about a high school English teacher who ruled
with a Cleopatra persona. Catcher in The Rye, To
Kill a Mockingbird, Watership Down, she knew
every word, every character, every setting. She
was bound and determined to make you a part of
her literary kingdom, “The classics are there to enrich,
to enlighten, to persuade the oblivious mind into
something more.” I’ve forgotten her name, but not
her words.

Oh, Beautiful World Bathed In Pain

Oh, beautiful world bathed in pain,

How are stars silent, hovering over

Your stage, why are the rains not as

Salty as mournful tears acquiescing?


Play the dirge of disheartened years

With sullied notes, a requiem as flush

As the palest lily, nowise flourished,

Lain within cold sorrow kissed tombs.


They, who are to answer for your strife,

Lie in misery, though dreaming unaware

With twitching fingers and eyes behind

Folds of skin that do not hide their fault.


Some are closer to Hades than Heaven,

These vessels wither under your wrap

Whilst unsullied yet pray, striving with

Vision, that has no need of fleshly cover.

Incarnations and Misconceptions

Does sun produce romance just because of its warm rays?
Does moon deliberately enthrall the heart to beg? These are
questions for sensitive minds who transcribe soul’s dialect.
Some bourgeois minds are often lead astray by words, they
eat them like pain-killers, hallucinate on them wildly like
magic mushrooms, ingesting them to escape reality, or to
live vicariously in them. Words reach out with tendrils
sometimes crushing, sometimes liberating they affect and
I bleed from a spirit very old. I whitewash nothing sharing
what must be shared, saying what must be said, painting in
nouns, syllables and emotive diction to simply express;
what is linked to past, present and future, concurrently.
Though I write of love it may be as far from me as the stars
though I write of hate, it is buried deep as earth’s heart.
Let not my words muddle you, let not my soulful timbres
snare you, but more so provoke, what needs to be felt.