Poetry: Joan McNerney

Do you know how to make them?
They’re supposed to be light
bright and full of vitamin C.
Everyone says you just glow
after eating one.  My friend
had a shining recipe I kept
asking for.  Suncakes stop you
from being cold and lost in
I remember something about filling
golden pans with flowers seeds
sunflower seeds…bake at
high noon, of course.  If only
there were a suncake now to
have with hot cocoa.  My friend
is so lucky wintering in Aruba.
Who gave her that recipe anyway?
I’m the one who’s freezing!

12 Steps to Winter

1. Kicking up piles of foliage,
the wind tries to enter my house.
2. I can see my breath right
in front of me now.
3. Maple leaves, oak leaves, all fall
leaves tumbling through air.
4. Window panes clattering like
nervous teeth at midnight.
5. Frost pinches my cheeks, kissing me.
A cool, cruel lover.
6. Quickly, quietly needles of snow
embroider tall fir trees.
7. That must be my friends stamping
their boots outside.
8. As the kettle boils, aromas of hot
cider spice the kitchen.
9. Our favorite songs stream
through hallways.
10. Sparkling butter cookies melting
in our mouths.
11. A tiger cat with big green eyes
tosses balls of yarn.
12. Galaxies of snow stars whirling
every which way.

Wintry Bouquet

This December
during wide nights
hemmed by blackness,
I remember roses.
Pink yellow red violet
those satin blooms of June.

We must wait six months
before seeing blossoms,
touch their brightness
crush their scent
with fingertips.

Now there are only
ebony pools of winter’s
heavy ink of darkness.

Dipping into memory of
my lips touching petals
tantalizing sweet buds.
My body longs for softness.

I glimpse brilliant faces of
flowers right before me as I
burrow beneath frosty blankets.
Bracing against that long, cold
nocturnal of wind and shadow.


The watching clock
pinches each second,
holds a minute in
its hand...drops,
catching another.
Snow gently falls,
frost gathering upon
the pane.
As gulls
proclaim this
new morning,
the sun rose...
another golden flower!

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