Poetry: Joan McNerney

Joan McNerney

Take me
far away now from
this brutal countryside

Take me 
far away from cold eyes
and menacing looks 
of vinegar people

Take me
far away from braggers
of wide television screens
and new pick-up trucks

Take me
far away from rural 
America so I can breath
the sooty air of a great city


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.

tumbling though time
as I lay thinking
always remembering 

how this crapshoot of life 
crushed my dreams spinning 
me into an unlikely comedy

listening to a busy world
trains, ships, planes,
never ending hiss of cars 

revved up motorcycles 
loud televisions, shouts, 
radios, alarms, sirens

shifting memories
over in my mind trying 
to find some pattern

finally night, long, deep 
and black covers me with 
blankets of forgetfulness


took away spring
stole all the glory
throwing our gardens of green
into these hills of scorched grass?

dared to care
more about money
destroying everything in sight 
forgetting earth is our only home?

is so callous
to laugh at the suffering
of the sick poor yet pretend
to believe in a loving God?

began all these wars
making mothers cry for children
searching for their bodies
in the chaos of destruction?

robbed our hope 
and all our wonder 
burning heaven with dry 
lightning to pierce the sky.

are you
who made
the angels moan?

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,  dealing more trouble.

Light on his toes poised
to leap sky high. 

Ambidextrous in more ways
than one.  Juggling and
spinning spangles 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?

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