Western Voices: Joan McNerney


Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, Blueline, and Halcyon Days. Four Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Review Journals, and numerous Kind of A Hurricane Press Publications have accepted her work. Her latest title is Having Lunch with the Sky and she has four Best of the Net nominations. 


Traces of lace cover walkways.
Snow so white it almost blinds us.
You came with a spectacular glow.
I became awed by this splendor. 

Everyone was so captivated
by your charm, wit, words.
We wondered if the sun rose
and fell under that magic.

Pure white snow turns gray
from exhaust fumes.
Hardening on roadsides, icy
frost plunge cars into ditches.

Deceived by your wicked smile
and simmering blue eyes.
Tricked by razzmatazz.  Only mud
and freezing rain lies underneath.

Some thought the fault was mine.
How could this have happened?
There must be something else.
Something I have hidden away.

Caught in claw of memories now,
regretting the trust given to you.
But I will never be betrayed again
even if hell freezes over.

The Joker

That playing card running wild
with royalty. Blending straights,
changing suits in a flash

His checker board waistcoat
bedazzling us, making us
dizzy with longing.

Then again meaningless,
muddled in the deck. Another
bad hand,  dealt more trouble.

Light on his toes poised
to leap sky high.

Ambidextrous in more ways
than one.  Juggling and
spinning bangles in air.

A picture of deceit…
slippery smile plastered
over his mask.

Cowering yet flushed with
treachery.  Sly yellow eyes,
green spangled pantaloons.

What trick is he up to now?

Circle in the Square

A perfect square of queens
but ladies can always
ease into close circles.

Beautiful queen of hearts
wears  lavender with rosemary
in her ruby red hair.

Yet knowing she is most
highly valued, queen of spades
can quickly begin bickering.

Diamond queen very showy
wearing her wealth thinking
jewels set her a realm apart.

But lucky, sweet queen of
clubs so friendly, so happy.
Everyone loves her.

Now they gather in a circle
horrified by mad kings so
ready to march in battle.

Feeling sorry for shuffling
jacks who have no choice
but to follow royalty.

Wistful quiet ladies who
know how the deck has
been stacked against them.

Gathering to converse
about the insanity of warfare
fearing how it will all end.

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