"To Cherish Thorns"

To Cherish Thorns

By michaelcahill

To Cherish Thorns
                                 by michael cahill

how heavy laden the river flows
burdened by sugar congealing
under the weight of disingenuous
offerings in tribute to reflections

                yes, the moon shimmers
                                and the glimmer is indeed
                                a dance reminding that chance
                                kicked a stone rippling
                                a perfect pattern of circles
                                carrying dreams to smiling shores

                even the sun, an uncaring furnace
                                appears to play along
                                leaving a trail of stars
                                foreshadowing the coming night
                                as it bids adieu
                                unintentionally dazzling eyes
                                on its endless journey

I don't wish to drudge home just yet. So I meander along the lakefront, consider the sunset ... celebrate quietly the moonrise, trying to make sense of it all. I can skim a pebble 'cross the pond-as before … before what? Before this.

beholding reflections seems a wheedle
a cowardly castigation of the authentic
as though real needs a cradle to rock in
fearing failure should the truth disappoint

                Oh, brave Orion, your belt belies a girth
                of unfathomable expanse
                your shoulder is unaware of your toe
                                you've not a discernable head
                                a handicap had the discerning
                                bothered to consider such things

and dippers great and small
from which nothing is ladled
for a vacuum holds no bounty

where is the majesty in a bear who doesn't growl
or the cuddles in a cub who doesn't squeak in mock bravado

I count stars
each unaware of the other
                                       failing math

note that each
counts me
failing reality

The night slips into reverie as do I. Dreams of nondescript meaning ride dots behind my eyelids. Sleep befalls unacknowledged. The sun ascends unappreciated and behind my back. I recall it sneaking away ... over there, at last glance … clever yellow girl.

oh my the glitter of glancing light upon the newly sequined squalls
that pound the castles long abandoned by their fickle kings'
endless ocean, ever aware that the longer the journey
the more poignant seems the metaphor … yet
though we are nearly the same thing
to consume you would kill me
you laugh splendidly and
beckon me forth
to join with

the rosebush in my garden once was grand
a million roses red beyond what red could be
years passed by and a thousand grew
still glorious and red--a joy to view
then just a few
and finally one
a perfect flower amidst a thorny tower
worth every wound and drop of blood
that caring drew
till finally a stem I still embraced
all that was left of you
a thorn to leave a wound to heal
and what that came to reveal
to me

I once had grandparents
                 and parents too

it is time to go home
this wandering and pondering
                     leads me


yes, I must go home
         where I once had a rosebush


Chapter 1
With Head Held High

By michaelcahill

With Head Held High
                                                                                    by michael cahill

Shall I rise to greet
                the grand new day?
       though spindled and sprawled
ridicule like so many
         carelessly tossed anvils
                                 weigh me

the right thing
the noble road travelled
                the "well dones"
                                and "good shows"
                                                echo in the canyon
                                isn't the wicked
                                     sneer of victory
                                                a haughty prancing preference
                                                                to this snail's arabesque?
                I have my honor
                            my precious pride
                                      my dubious dignity
you have...          the girl…           


Author Notes
Not biographical.

Chapter 2
If All Are Zealots...

By michaelcahill

Author Note:sometimes darkness pervades one's thinking...


If All Are Zealots…

"Affix your X to the bottom line."
"But I can write my name, sir."

courage came to categorize me
death scared me so
escape simulated assault
fighting back stemmed from blind fear
gratitude became the numb kudos tendered
how the heartfelt blanket covered me
                I did not see irony in cowardice run amok

justice peeks from under a garish patch
knighted by a serf's sword
lest the lord of the land tire
                my true nature reflects off ice cubes
                nestled in a needed libation
                only the cheers are missing from this celebration

prom kings look foolish in parades,
queens are what the scrapbook begs for
                recollections of manufactured moments
                spontaneity carefully planned
                                this is when that happened
                                understanding that it didn't happen at all
                                venues secured well in advance

                                                why pretend

X is my signature and legacy
yearning for true meaning remains a
zealot's cotton candy dream in the rain


Chapter 3
I'm Winter, Lest You Forget

By michaelcahill

I'm Winter, Lest You Forget

Oh! It burns!
Foul sun, winking at me in mockery
pesky crocus shoots piercing my fading skin
the purity of my white pristine blanket
bespotted with all manner of cloying color
such a haphazard array
Spring once again vomits forth
its insanity
Yes, you laugh now
and smile with the very teeth
that chattered in fear when near me
your flesh exposed now
to the weakness of a pathetic breeze
you did not dare expose an ankle
to my penetrating glare
how you dance without a care
for I'm no longer there
So, forget...
forget the months of blizzards bluster
when every sigh you mustered
turned to frost upon your lips
those endless nights of snapping tree limbs crashing
your nightmares screaming
crying with teeth gnashing, begging
for a simple warming ray of hope

Yes, forget me now, you no longer
have to cope with me
I've gone away
I'll watch as I'm forgotten
over Summer your joy's wonton
It's as though you've never
had to trudge through snow
your life is blessed
you have a whim and that is where you go
but comes the day the greening fades
the pretense fills your mind
for Autumn is so pretty
such splendor there to find
beneath the ground
you stomp upon so recklessly

I dwell

I choke the very roots of every tree
I start their hell
for every leaf will fall
and crisp upon the ground
For Autumn is the death of all the joy you've found
A single snowflake tickles as it lands upon your nose
you laugh for you've forgotten
that I've been in repose
I breathe in deep for I remember
every mocking squeal
and every oh and ah
you've had your time of silliness
to frolic and to feel
it won't be long
with rest, I'm strong
best go inside you don't belong
within the world I'm planning to rebuild
a frozen land of white where
all hope and joy is killed
perhaps you will remember now

I'm Winter

there's no escaping me
I will always be fulfilled.


Chapter 4
The Butterfly's Lament

By michaelcahill


The Butterfly's Lament
                                             by michael cahill

Yes I see the eyes that stare and know
I hypnotize with garish colors some defying
names or blinding thought with bluish hues
but too I see desire's inner fire
within a need that pleads
I must possess you
so as to brighten my dull world
My wings like flags
unfurled upon your wall as if it's
who's all the focus
imagining a world where you enthrall
the guests who merely marvel at your prize
Those lies hide deep inside you
and my wings reflect upon
your gleaming sweaty sheen
while you justify
your craving need to shine
by capturing my life and all the
glittered colors now imprisoned
you have gleaned
of my reluctance
to be touched
or let you near
my humble lonely life
when I was new
A speck among
a ball of specks
how soon I was imprisoned
in the darkness
of a tomb that held no light
a coffin
holding my life
and this was not my end but my beginning
I fought unknowing my fate
could I break through to find light
I only sought my freedom
from an endless blackened night
I clawed and scraped with one desire
a life where I could fly
I couldn't quit or I'd be fit to die
I wondered why a fate like this
would be bestowed
on any living creature,
was not some existence owed
Then a speck of light lit my heart
and hope sprung forth and strength anew
In little time I'd broken free
with but one thing to do
The sky was far away
from every hell that I had known
I leapt into the air and soon
touched all my eyes had shown
So no I won't be coming close
though clearly it's your wish
I know your longing for me
is a poison-bearing dish.
The sad part of my freedom
even as all stare
You see only colors
nothing more
You'd gladly once again entomb me
for you don't truly care
Perhaps you'll think about
my soul's lament
and where I came from
you'll recall
As for me I'll carry on
still entombed in my cocoon
although you see no boundaries
nor perceive the sky a wall



Chapter 5
The Gathered Ghosts

By michaelcahill

free verse
The Gathered Ghosts
                                      by michael cahill

You haunt and flaunt the breeze
and float about
you spooky dancers
I'll continue livin' large
I have visions that I see
just me


I see you there--sneaking round the corner
the gal who swore she'd die if I passed her by
I told her that I'd never be a mourner
it wouldn't be upon me if she died
okay, I cried or rather sighed
for there never was a chance
romance does not work that way with me
you see it must be real; no threat can make me feel

and Dad, I never knew you when the knowing could be done
one year, two years, five and twenty,
'till you passed this plain
I never hid or slid behind in sadness--unclaimed son
you had no role, no peace you stole, I gifted you no pain
you hover now what can I say
you're no more now than yesterday

Mom, perhaps your mind is hidden in that silver cloud
you've wings to seek what lies within
perhaps remove your shroud
your burden called me to my duty taken on
some say the good son
but there was no other one
I was there, that's all

I never was the key when you were living
I'm not the key right now to ghostly dreams
One day my spirit will join in
with shadowed masses
those who were the old,
are now the lads and lasses

as it's always been in life,
my path remains my own
when gone
I'll be
the ghost who haunts



Chapter 6
Suffering By The Numbers

By michaelcahill

Suffering By The Numbers
                the many
                the victims…

global hunger
oh the humanity indeed
                how vast the well to dip our concern
                                how safe our hearts when we view
                                                from afar

dare we with trembling hand
                touch the one shoulder
or with weary arms
                embrace the emaciated single soul
                                 but it involves us…

human suffering draws interest
           necks strain as blood is sought on the highway
                          windows roll up and our breath fogs the glass
                a marshmallow roast of togetherness

alone … seek another
                share hearts

suffer alone
                heal together

suffering is a numbers game


Chapter 7
This Page

By michaelcahill

This Page
                       by michael cahill

this page
so blank and bereft of interest
left to my design
a spinning begins to churn within
for a moment I pause
a bead of sweat forms
brows furrow
eyes squint
I consider the stars…
I shoot through the clouds skyward
inhale lungs full of galactic materials
then return and exhale them
liberally over the page
it glows and dances in glorious gavottes
as puzzles are posed
riddles revealed
and reasoning resounds
a reaction
do you approve?
are you peeved?
it matters not,
the page is full


Chapter 8
Sunrise Sunset

By michaelcahill

morning glory seed
precious repose
to never soil
now the journey begins
a bottle set sail
a blue whale's whimsical tale
of magic pods to scatter
on the breeze of the silver wind

is the wind
trustworthy                   with suspect origin
and catspaw entrances
leaving evidence
                                       dna          less

the winking wind in the willows
clever and crooked
                          as if it could be measured
       for intent or intentions or deemed
       to have any or many or none
beluga cold from blue to white
                      an iceberg
                             a bottle
                                     a seed within
marshmallow science focus
the iceberg melts
the bottle is free
                the journey continues
                                the cork master is extinct


an echo
hey buddy
spare a dime for a cup to sup
a daisy grew
the acme steamroller
flattened the bum who picked in hope

                                                morning glory seed
                                in a bottle
                washes to shore
a beach of bottles
                that once bobbed
                                the Earth spins
                                                the bottles too
                                                                no pause
                                                                                to kiss


Chapter 9
The Envy Of Eagles

By michaelcahill


The Envy Of Eagles

Soaring eagle-
                    looks upon me
                                his wings dip
                                tributing my
envying my dreams


Chapter 10
Clarion of Clarity

By michaelcahill


Clarion of Clarity

Mystical mirror
      such a cruel crime
                you dare smugly reflect me?
                                I breathe and toil
while you hang there without effort

my fist should awaken a response
                your fist              
                just as quick
                                but mine is deadly
                you shatter
even as I smirk in victory
                                I see my defeat
                                                in bloody shards
                                                                airborne—a moment of joy
                                falling and then fallen

                I stomp you without sense
                                my bare feet bloody and sore
                but my portrait sparkles now
                                                is it wisdom that shimmers?
                                in the random geometry of my demise

I wall us in and banish light
                what will you do without it?

loneliness wins in the end

                                                I light a candle…


Chapter 11
Too Brilliant To Qualify

By michaelcahill

Too Brilliant To Qualify

in succession
from one up to nine
containing meaning and
flow if at all possible
to be honest, most of them don't
mean much of anything—anything

   satori with connected
                      or, is it?


within massive structure is the conundrum of delicacy
a flower petal is found at the bottom of a pyramid
it is removed and the pyramid still stands
where is the genius in that?
exactly, nature seeks whores in vacuums
yet, it is the vacuum that sucks

high buns. a tray to hold my brewskies and Doritos. Sentences short and choppy. Meaning sloppy joes all around. Wrap this up soon. Hold that train of thought. Toot, toot! Charlie says, "Love that Good N Plenty." Charly…. you've got the look I'd like to know better, livin', playin', lovin'… Shoehorns and snapping turtles, Love American Style, Homie.

salty ocean flows
to a welcoming shore


Cletus! Y'all gots ta read this:
"What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the sun."
Haw, haw, haw! Does yew believe it? Here I go… the speakin' the obvious dance!
Hell's tinklin' wind chimes, I thought it was King Lear floatin' through the winder with a candle! Take yore britches off, boy, we's a goin' ta town!


and finally we reach a point
where we come to the

which is this:


Author Notes Thanks to Picasso for attempting this painting. Yeah... it makes a lot of sense.

Chapter 12
Tickling the Sky

By michaelcahill


Tickling the Sky

off the cliff
                why would wayward wishes
                                               just            drift away…

like an indecisive feather
                        they aim to plummet
                straight into the heart
                like a feather
                                discovering gravity

you see it isn't feathers
                                like you all thought
                it's the ingenuity of using feathers

A bird of many colors walks the land
the forest dwellers dance in delirium
they whisper, "Why does it not fly?"

the shimmering bird catches the soft words
                                floating by on a slight breeze
                                                the breeze ruffling its feathers

blue ripples
red flashes
purple… oh my!
gilded gold graces the imagination
and grey doesn't matter
the bird whispers, "why don't I fly?"
the wind cannot help but hear
                                it has been waiting after all
                gravity grimaces

I kiss the pretty girl
love enters my life
the most beautiful bird in the world

                                             takes flight


Chapter 13
Reflective Thoughts

By michaelcahill

I stand at the ocean's door and bid the sea rise
I clear space
suitable for writing
                a table for pen and paper
                a coaster to honor all mothers everywhere
                a cup sits to the right honoring all sons
I clear a path to the horizon
                                it opens to
                                                mountains in the distance as a reference
                                the sunset changes … I'm undecided
the moon … now, hurry
                yes, moon's reflection … rise quickly
                                while the real moon floats          
                                only I know,
                                                                flying fish shy away
                                                                a dolphin leaps
                                                                                why so high?
another path leads to a wolf in a tree
the tree dances a tango
with another tree
                the wolf howls at the moon's reflection
                                the reflection shrugs
                                                and tips its hat
                my dog Kellie is on the moon taking a nap

I'm a poet
I have dominion over
the universe
know it


Chapter 14
No Particular Day

By michaelcahill

No Particular Day

There is only turning it off
                                         all of it
why is that so?
    you task me with inquisition?
without sense
    so you say…
    are you the master of pondering
    the answer fountain
    with southing waters of logical lotion
        drenching me
            flooding me
                                             drowning me with sincerity
    beloved precious life
                        there is no other
so you say

I don't want it
I don't like it
I don't want to live
        get it?
            it is without solace or reward
            pain requires medicine
I have your hand
I won't let go
I'll hold it till the pain goes away
I promise it will get better
you just can't see it right now
trust me
I care
"But, you aren't here



Author Notes

Suicide leaves the living with that horrible thought, "If I was only there." And there is some truth in it. That is why it hurts. But, it takes such a brief time to commit suicide. No one can be watched round the clock.

Chapter 15
Awaken In Peace

By michaelcahill

Awaken In Peace

I was angry for a while
when you stole my smile
you took it away
with you that day
the last man on earth
I'd expect to steal mirth
blame my humanity
to make it all about me

but, you know I need to laugh again
and remember those crazy days
that non-stop marathon
           that I understand
                                so much better now
                                                running wild for your life
                well, Chief
                I think you won a long time ago
                but, what does Sparky know
I'm laughing out loud
imagining you in Heaven
what a thought
you, Carlin, Dangerfield
Nixon, Lincoln,
                                Is that your staff or are ya
                                just glad to see me?
                   (Okay… that's why I'm a writer)

nothing to slow you down
the speed of thought
                you have that
but now there is no stopping
no dark hands grasping at you
                                pulling you down
                no voices that lie
                                telling you- you're no good
there's just a broken machine
in pieces, that puzzles you
you ask God, "Hey, Big Guy, what's this?"
                 "The measure"

"Measure? Oh no, Mr. Happy is getting scared!"
                 "The measure of good in a soul.
                   It climbs when you contribute
                   to the world and
                   it descends when you detract."

"Oh. Was I that bad?"
               "You were that good.
                Work with me, Robin.
                Do you notice anything different?"

"Well… I feel funny, ha ha. That's good.
I feel relieved… there was that waitress… well, you know
Your fault there… tone down the creating once in a while
I'm only human…
Oh. Yes! I see now.
I'm happy… WOW!
Does this last?"
"For all eternity."


Author Notes
Somehow Rest In Peace just didn't seem to be appropriate for Robin Williams.

Chapter 16
My Observations Of The Godly

By michaelcahill

My Observations of the Godly

These bodies pile high in Your name
such praise to You
we shout loud Your true believers
the Tower of Babel does not
                silence make
        the deafening din of righteousness
                is ear splitting with devotion
and the blood of the unholy flows
        and covers the ground in tribute
may the earth itself be an altar of sacrifice
        all to the glory of Your name
        glistening and glittering are our offerings
entrails, severed heads, disjointed limbs and entire bodies
piled to the heavens for Your perusal and blessing
we raise our voice in prayer to You:

Oh God bless our humble efforts in Your name
without You none of this is possible
every bullet fired
every severed head
every rotting corpse
is for You and to Your glory
we lie before You prone and humble as Your precious lambs
Your innocent children that You have said You love so dearly
Your presence flows through our hearts and souls
and into our very sinews
with this power we shall wipe all evil from the face of the earth
not one man, woman or child shall stand against our resolve
the very essence of truth and holiness from You flows through us
it guides our every action and thought
every swing of the mighty sword of justice in Your name
strikes true and swift through the necks of the sinful
may they rot in hell for all eternity
we send them there in Your blessed name God.


Author Notes
I could see no way to make my point strongly except to take off the gloves and condemn those that I hear speak this in the name of their God. Not all believers do, of course. But, there are certainly some rather loud fervent factions that sound just like this. I don't include the many true believers that spread nothing but love and peace. To them I wish complete victory. I count myself among them.

Chapter 17
Seasons Pass, But One I Grasp

By michaelcahill

Seasons Pass, But One I Grasp
                                                             by michael cahill

Ah Spring, how aptly named
for I do
to and                      fro
gravity is merely a rumour to mock
a flock of seagulls beckons, I reckon
I'll join them, the ground seems dull
even this mountain peak a dream to seek
a snore, I sought, I reached, my feet
are fleet and need to run, oh my, the sun
                                        seems near
It's Summer now and how perfection pleases
every sense the smells and sights the life in flight
the trees reach heights all dressed in garish greens
with carpets, rioting colors anarchy reigns
and malarkey seems a sane response
even as the rain does not feel cold
the world does not feel wet
a leaf
clever girl… Autumn my dear. Was that you with a soft kiss on my neck
                                                        while my head was turned?
Yes… of course… most welcome… a walk with you and a talk
I know, I know… you have spoken of it before… it comes and I see the signs
that you are pointing out to me. The colors alert and then they fade. Farewell…
                Winter, I've been forewarned
all my compatriots have fled
fireplace reveries soothe
window scenes frosted smooth
                with you out here
and they in there
Now, I feel your grasp
and I must tell you
I will not allow it dear friend
I turn and I grasp you!
        We will walk along together         
                I will regale you with tales of
        Spring and Summer
yes, even tales of Fall
you are acquainted, but you may not know her
                                        as I do
as I speak
I see my breath invade the air
I am alive!


Chapter 18
In Thanks For Service Rendered

By michaelcahill

In Thanks For Service Rendered

To protect and serve
languish on land
           crawling thru bloodied muddied muck and gore
           for freedom's foundations
     jaundiced in jungles canopied prison
           gasping sand saturated breaths
                as the desert shimmers
     falling as wings detach unnaturally
     embraced by an ocean
     where you become
     another mystery
     of the deep
a hero's welcome
the loud brass sounds
hurting the ears
with intentionally loud praise
           cool breeze on a July freedom
           kind of evening
           the sky explodes with victory's emblems
           songs of valor fill the air
a worthless bum begs for a dime

Author Notes The treatment of American Veterans is this country's greatest shame in my opinion.

Chapter 19
Ashes To Dust

By michaelcahill

Ashes To Dust

lost without direction or impetus
is there hope
kill the bastards
our reasonable response

senseless killing of innocents

we fumble for answers
towers crumble
vengeance stumbles forth
dust covered
bellowing justice

festering and congealing within hatred's cocoon--unmoving
but slowly a stronger force melts the red-hot senselessness, releasing—

suicide bomber

with my arms outstretched
I embrace the moment
with my belief
our journey begins


Author Notes I couldn't enter the antonym contest, but I liked my little antonym piece so I expanded it.

Chapter 20
The Sun's Stunning Glare

By michaelcahill

The Sun's Stunning Glare
                                                   by michaelcahill

like the beckoning of an endless abyss
I hear whispers that will not cease
are you my only friend
this endless bottomless miasma of sorrow
attracting me like a vixen feigning innocence
wearing a sundress in front of a leering spotlight

shall I believe in your purity
while you seek the perfect viewing angle
the perfect tilt to your head
allowing the wind to gently fondle your hair
your dress rises … just a little
any more would be obvious

yet I couldn't possibly miss its ascent
up your tense and woefully bold thigh
you stretch your arms slowly skyward
I climb them with my eyes
imagining I am your fingers
with the privileges they enjoy

I've already learned the truth
I'm the fool who believed--
the lascivious crowd on the other side of the hill
imbibes in the libation of their perceptions
and you are a well of sustenance for them
without bottom             without end

the white dove circles you
an impressive symbol to display
but it doesn't coo caroo caroo
it cackles cruelly as I realize
it's a myth just like you
yet I'm the fool who starts rumors

I'm the liar
not you
I found a willing ear
to hear
this fantasy
an eager ear
so very near
the one attached
to me….


Author Notes
Missed the deadline on "The other side of romance" prompt. A piece about heartache or betrayal.

Chapter 21
The Dreaded Door

By michaelcahill

The Dreaded Door

I can hear it creaking
squeaking as though hungry for oil
a lubricating gel would help
the sound of it straining grates on my thinking
but, I have to push that door open
the answer is on the other side
somehow, I find comfort
in the cacophony of desperate contemplation
my mind trapped in a padded room
that doesn't absorb echoes
how is that?
in spite of the racket, the room is safe
what's and why's and wherefores
dance an unsynchronized dance
or perhaps, it is a simple riot
doubt, fear, anger, cowardice
trying to get in step
still the rusty door looms
I've opened that door before
oh yes, indeed I have
I've even entered blindfolded
I've entered drunk
I've entered in arrogance
I've entered in stupidity
                         decisions, decisions…


Chapter 22
Seeking The Shine

By michaelcahill

the carousel slowly turns

easy access
falacious colorful fantasy mounts
await a willing rider
children of all ages
find a cushy satin saddle

ponies with wings
unicorns with blaring horns
securely fastened
strapped in tightly
the journey begins

the envious throng
crane their necks
keeping an eye
on their lucky traveler
smiles saturate sensibilities

Satan polishes with panache
anticipation feverishly grows
he extends his hand
all grab for the
shiny brass ring

the carousel slowly turns

             the carousel slowly turns

                          the carousel slowyl turns


Chapter 23
First Kiss, Last Kiss

By michaelcahill


First kiss

Image result for young couple kissing image
her lips part
a riot of fear
grips my heart
a forward lean
lips serene
love's calm
sweet balm
calm is near
this is our start

Last Kiss
her lips part
a riot of fear
grips my heart
a forward lean
lips serene
love's calm
sweet balm 
death is near
this is our end

Image result for death bed kiss


Chapter 24
Par For Prey

By michaelcahill

Par For Prey
                                                                   by michael cahill

four score and something
once worked
two score
in a rigged game
98 bottles of whatever
on the wall
look into my eyes
sing the joyous song!

the high ground secure
armed and dangerous
glorious, victorious
sniper dreams now schemes
hilltops high-tops
penthouse telescopic
coyly philanthropic
injurious illusions
to the spurious masses below
to compassion's fashion faux pas

m                                        e
u                                   v
t                           o
a                    l
t                           v
e                                e
d                                       d


eyes relocated
one on the right
one on the left
like a silly wabbit


Author Notes
I think things have gone too far. The economy is not fixable. Whatever this country once was, it no longer is.


Chapter 25

By michaelcahill

Author Note:Biographical, Auto? Perhaps...


my heart is but an aching mass
and sorrow fills this dark expanse
        this chamber where my doubts
        like smoke envelope dreams
it seems all my screams are just for me
for I'm alone
                no one to hear
        clearly pity is my quest
        though it is self who heeds the tome
but I am twenty and I've all the days ahead


is it fear within or butterflies longing to fly backwards
fire chases me from dreams
before the truth of nightmares might reveal
graffiti carved walls close in
could, would, should
but I'm just forty-five with many days ahead
or so the hourglass pretends

I rush no more
for a hurry eludes me these days
it occurs but bones demure
with false disdain
        I applaud a beating heart
        and point out breathing
                with optimism
                my smile is loose and quickly closes
behind wise and thoughtful lips
more to come
it seems so
it seems so

Will there be a ripple in time?

                             I'll wonder in the days ahead

Legacy finished second in the contest "Free Verse Poetry Contest"


Author Notes

Chapter 26

By michaelcahill

oh the burden
of expectation
the hopeful eyes searing holes
through every dream I dare to
yes, with ease
but if you please my needs
lie elsewhere
yet you stare for you once were a
will I remove the sting of failure's ring
when all around you sing of my
rapid rise
will skies become a royal blue for you
if I

if I

the clouds are going somewhere
that much I can see
I envision chariot wheels turning and burning
the air with speed

and now I return
to your chagrin
you muster cheer
from wells of regret
I've none
failure only exists
when it matters
to you
the prodigal
son              returns
it began to rain
I've come home
from my journey
I never was a



Chapter 27
Always Yes, For the Willing

By michaelcahill



Always Yes, For the Willing
                                                           by michael cahill     

will I even survive this?
I see my hand and follow
from my fingertips
to yours
I cannot see where mine end
              and yours begin
it should delight
       and it does
              but as a roller coaster ride does
                     yet I know the outcome there
       the gears sounding with strain
       (though there is none)
       the screams when danger is an illusion
              the laughter
                     for that is the truth
                     is from a cliff
                     through fog
                     whose substance is a mystery
                           to a topography
                     filled with a dreaded unknown possibility--
                           sharp spikes of crystalline truth
                           waiting to impale me?
                           or a firestorm of unknown chemistry
                                  burning, perhaps, in a way
                                  my imagination cannot conjure…
I'm sure these clouds are tickling me
as an ocean filled with waves
of endless possibilities
awaits to whisk me
happily away
I needn't clasp your hand tightly
they have melded

a young person plunges forth unknowing, compelled
I, knowing,
still choose love
      in spite of it all


Author Notes
Inspired by an astonishing piece by I am Cat, "Elderly Snow". This isn't quite up to the quality of that, but I enjoyed spilling this nonetheless. :)

Chapter 28
Narrowing Pathways

By michaelcahill

Author Note:Mankind is not synergistic

Narrowing Pathways

I dream in color
it seems I was told
by someone old
that colors
splashed across the sky
and when I asked why
the meeting was called to order
and the elders walled every border
someone wrote words
and murder
became punctuation
superiority became
a matter of brute force
of course
a horse pulled a carriage
and a wheel spun round
and at some point
hunger became
the norm


light arrives from the past
to enlighten us
we in turn send light
hopefully into the future
Twas my eyes saw color—I gouged them out
I heard "race" … had my ears impaled
I knew in my mind black and white
and could describe them with
clear meaning to all
I cut my tongue
…but I am
just one


there was a first man
there will be a last
the rest of us
to fit


most cannot be tasked to bother

a select few


Author Notes
I have such little time for reviewing and responding. I am so sorry for that. I stopped posting as a result. But, I have to feed my addiction once in a while. I'll try to respond if you're kind enough to leave a comment. I always read and appreciate every word. Somehow I will make it up to you. :)

Chapter 29
A Treatise On Human Imprisonment

By michaelcahill


A Treatise On Human Imprisonment
                                                                                       by michael cahill


flowing hair with blue eyes glowing
knowing no escape
still I tried to run
       but the sun
rose every morning and found me
the moon always fled as though it were
              designed to do so
       (I thought we had an understanding)
              I could never get her out of my mind

just a dollop of real whipped cream
on key lime pie
made from scratch
that first bite

a young man of sixteen years
without fears
jumped the five foot hedge
surrounding the old Endicott Building
nary a leaf brushed
as the wind rushed over the top
fifty years later
a fearless old man
shuffles along

is the world I'm in
                                    what's in the
                                       vicinity beyond


Chapter 30

By michaelcahill

          so, dream your sweet dream
                     while a river grows from a stream
                                  and a nightmare rears
                                                            and struts the sky

                                                 Hi ho silver
                                                 my oh my

                   and where is high
                   when low you fly
                   without the will to try

                                                   and did you die
                                                  when she told you
                                     well, not baby, not tonight

                       is it what she said to you
                                 when you tripped the light fantastic
                       is it what she told you boy
                                 when she melted all your plastic skies

and deep inside where the demons lie
and you just can't help believe
                             that a dream is just
                                          a nightmare you think sweet

and still you cry
                        for a dream where you're the dragon.
cry for a dream
               where there's not a naggin
                                            doubt of what you're about

it's a world without that girl
            and within your world
                        no flags unfurled

                                                                  for you're alone

and the wind is not impressed
             a bow to the power of a love unknown
                                  a tip of the festive hat,
                                                           a feat of nature shown
                                                           to an audience of bones

a cyclone seeking wind
when nothing is within that roams

                                                did you not hear that she implored you
                                                that she could not afford you
                                                an entrance in a dream that you foretold
                                                for she is not the dancer in your centerfold

            she is the silver breeze
                                             that left you
                                                            blind and old.

what if a moment didn't mean
what you schemed and dreamed
                      in a vacant stare
                             that no one sought
                                                     to live?

what did you give?

a cyclone is a product of the wind ... it's whim


Chapter 31
Soul's Silent Sonata

By michaelcahill

Soul's Silent Sonata

My love, how I bow my head now
                   as I realize the mundane march
          I have allowed for us
                                                          for so long
                   da da da    da da da   da da da   da da da
when did that become the death tango with no flare
                   that I let compare to what was
                             a dance that never should have stopped
while the sun finally ceases to intrude
          its blinding interlude that puts me to sleep
                   just when "awaken" is the call
                                                          of whispering stars
and now the moon rises and for once
                                      I see it
                   I remember the
la      la             daaa       da      daaaa       loooo
                   la                       leeee                la la laaaaa                            
          I rise on the mist to meet you
                    over the ocean that moves
                                       only as we move
                                                           each limb
                                       directs each wave
                   at our pace         
we play each other
                   one glorious note at a time
                                                with focus
                             a soft caress
of every nuance required
          laa           laaaaa                     la     laaaaa
the universe is listening
it becomes new
                             this soul sings
                                                                   and this soul sings

 soul's silent sonata


Author Notes The Moonlight Sonata is a simple piano piece that most pianists are able to play. However, to play it properly and bring out the beautiful melody requires great skill. Love over time can fall into the repetitious sound of the sonata and the melody is easily lost if the skill is not constantly applied.

Chapter 32
Rhyming Orange

By michaelcahill

Rhyming Orange
                                                                          by michael cahill


this is where I truly            - am-

no one
every snappy and witty response
                flows forth like
                        butter melting in a saucepan

my inner intuitive instinct invokes inward introspection, I
                instruct ignorance
                        to                                 flee
        truth is the order of the day
                                on these pages

my truth as seen by me

poetry in my motion
my own notion of an ocean's dreams
                carried to shore by the waves
                my mind wills-  travel!

You, await the crash of angered-water on the beach,
        tense and trembling, terribly taut;
                I, holding your breath in the palm of my hand.

Open your eyes!
The wave rushes skyward
                (gravity holds no quarter in my world)
        through the clouds that break into song
                        in celebratory coloratura arias,    
                          washing over every planet
     in its wake
        I put each unique world in my pocket
                for safe keeping

The universe shrinks
as my
imagination consumes it

I roam over the range
clover's color I change
Still you implore, "range-rover,
in a field of
who are you?"

I am a poet.
as a poet-
I am


Author Notes To best answer the question put forth is to write something that is as completely in a form that pleases one's self as possible. This is what I would write for myself and most reflects myself and what poetry is for me.

Chapter 33

By michaelcahill

love does not recognize time's dominion
a moment and a decade the same
a year as a glance in contemplation
a kiss fleeting but immortally so
this faulty memory
where birthdays and holidays travel
        on capricious eddys of sparking electronic
                misfires difficult to unravel
sharpens to the picture of you

talking beneath a harvest moon
my finger gently to your mouth
your breath inhaled anticipating
forever passes between our lips
and now still trembling
I stand by a lamppost beholding you
all these years that have passed
gather in the moonlight together
my soul knows your souls answer
your husband turns and goes inside
your children follow close behind
you look in my direction unknowing
drawn by a force you cannot explain
                a force beyond your resistance
I put a finger firmly to my lips
I turn
                I walk away
                                     I prove it


Chapter 34
Winter's Concubine

By michaelcahill

Shy and vulnerable your pose, standing there naked
          branches trying to cover your shame
          but I blow them skyward
                   and see what I want to see
how lovely you look dressed in white my dear
          feigning virginity
                   though I have had my way with you
          night after endless freezing night
where are your fickle friends now?
no chirping or scampering or even a slick slither
                   how quickly they abandoned you
          as I swaggered down the path
only I am here now to caress every trembling stem
          feel the shiver of each kiss I bestow
you are mine my pet, every conquered bough
           It is my pleasure, concubine.



Author Notes minimal punctuation.

Chapter 35
Contemplating Lost Love

By michaelcahill

We wonder what is unspoken  
    what thoughts lie in waiting behind which words
The words with golden letters sparkle
    the ones with grey hide behind with hooks
They attach and flesh is torn scratching at them
Life is so awfully uncertain and imprecise
    for in life there is always give and take
But scales are rusty and bolts are hard to come by
    nothing weighs the same when gravity is a trick
Even in your own heart certainty leaves
    a lingering doubt dripping slowly and congealing
    in a pool where loneliness swims, waiting for irony
For there is always something broken when borrowed
    and then returned in life, coveting demands it
It is thought that in life we should reveal ourselves
    for death is too late the suddenly wise will say
Such cruel irony there, for revelation
    begs for clothing and a polite glance away
Truth in life is a cone with ice cream on the ground
The righteous condemn the germs and common pathways
The liar scoops it up like lightening without remark
    and takes a chance that sugar is worth damnation
Clarity comes with death
With death we finally find our measuring stick
We finally are forced to put aside
    the petty day to day business of living
    and realize we are all the same,
                   just human
We really do love
    just because we do
                           It is real when it sings
                           It is real when it dances
                           It is real when it is foolish
                           It is real when a thousand words
                                      can't quite describe it
                                                nor can a thousand more
And finally our grief
    becomes the only love
    that receives no response
                              and needs none


Author Notes Loss is all inclusive. Maybe when we were very young our girlfriend's parents moved to another state and there was nothing a fifteen year old boy could do about it. Or, maybe you have been married for forty years and your spouse and lifemate has passed away. Or, a story that is all your own. Loss is loss. Love is love. Grief is grief.

Chapter 36
Alone Smiles A Fool

By michaelcahill

Fortune smiles for the sake of irony, whether
it stops for a visit or not
Perhaps, it is a sense of humor that causes it
to catch your eye
then coyly glance away
making you doubt your own senses
How silly you feel when you wave your hand
and then bend your arm awkwardly
to scratch your head
pretending that your intentions were always so
just like her
the glitter girl
smiles for the many miles of maybes
that you dreamed of
Are they mocking you as though you are chubby?
but you are not the pie-eating champion this year
Winks for the crowd making faces behind you
vanishing just as you turn around
you are just too slow
doltish dullard
Dancing dervish, you are not
The polka won't be in style forever more
You dive off a cliff
and they all laugh
Your vertigo wouldn't even allow
a belly flop splash to get them wet
But, you aren't really afraid of heights
are you?

You are just afraid
Why are you smiling?



Author Notes The dandy feeling of being in love with a girl that couldn't care less about you and doesn't even know that you exist. Good times!!

Chapter 37
Intimate Obscurity

By michaelcahill

obscurity is relative
between dissimilar minds
        an unbreachable gulf
                of doubt
                and perceived disinterest
        we stare endlessly
        into something unfathomable
                looking for a raft
                to float on
                for a moments peace
and sadly we look for a leaf
                 impaled by a toothpick
        as an ocean liner steams by
                with millions of outstretched hands
                               leaning in peril to grasp
Not always obscurity my friend is it?
Is it excused blindness
                or simple failure to adjust
                                         to the glare?
                a forlorn and irritated soul
                sits on an abandoned ant hill
                starring at a blade of grass
                growing under a mushroom
                and feels empathy
                "Poor little thing growing
                 in the shadows."
        but, only the blade of grass
        has the vantage point to see
        "From here I see you are soft
        beneath your intimidating helmet.
        I'll be damned. I can tickle you."


Chapter 38
Our Ocean

By michaelcahill


               an empty sea of longing



                 to fathom tides and the clever toying of the moon

                               smiling and making the stars giggle

                                      they mocked us with their winking


               motion speaks of tiding reverie

                             we scan the vast waters with heavy sighs

                                      separated but of a kind

                                              dreams of sailing haunt our horizons



          a kiss awakens a sleeping princess

          a frog the handsome prince through adoring eyes

          a jolly laugh slips a child's hope down a narrow chimney

                     faith transforms the stiffest wood to leaping life


          a journey uncertain

                   whose destination holds joy or oblivion

                                   waves to ride to shore tumbling and shouting


               an abyss embracing separate sorrows unconnected


            in the deepest and most wide ocean

                          two souls entered the water

                                                   they sought only love

                                   the most perfect love in the universe

                                                    and they found it


Author Notes I like this myself.

Chapter 39
Predisposed to a Poetic Predilection

By michaelcahill

It can never only be
                 just a poesy meadow's walk-a-bout
                                     oblivion replaces mere fancy
Winter's blue's a desperate dirge drowning deluge
                a song sung sans serenity
spring's hope a delirious dramatic dream-state desiring
                mirthful melodious madcap merriment  
a summer to find the truest deepest love
                   a fall from the highest oubliette
                               back to a winter's longing cold embrace
I am but a humble poet my darling
I do not merely love you
I breathe in deep the entire cosmos
and exhale a universe repainted for two
Red blood flows in waterfalls skyward
                     blue sorrows become transformed and fall
               persuading purple-passioned pressured pleading

"Please! Never stop!"
A true poet believes every word written



Chapter 40
Stardust in Her Eyes

By michaelcahill

She sees me as a lustrous light of celestial origin
a blazing-blast, blistering-fast, free-flight beam
to thrill the sky's wide-eyed gaze

this little bright eyed boisterous boy
that spins and runs on Saturn's swirling rings
chasing marbles 'round and 'round against the wind

She thinks me powerful, an invincible protector
my flesh a shield from all danger
slayer of mythical-horned-armored-broaching beasts

this silly small boy that skims rocks
from shore to distant shore unseen
watching ripples write adventures
on the water's flustered face

She deems me the roguish romancer
with soft steel arms to faint
safely warm within securely spent

this foolish little boy that steals sweet kisses
laughing that she allows such brazen boldness
while standing on his head to just amuse

she proclaims me champion of her heart and soul
the one…the only…the everything

there is nothing that this lucky little boy
would not brave for
her, his beloved
blind with love
and stardust in her eyes  


2nd place ribbon photo: 2nd Place Ribbon 2nd.jpg


Chapter 41
When Love Died, I Died

By michaelcahill


Was it I that said goodbye without a fare thee well? No!
How could you not glance back with longing just one time
Even as your guilty footfall pulled you lumbering forward
Never once embracing truth to hang your head and tell
Leaving was your answer when I asked if all was well, you
Only left me guessing when I surely should have known
Vacantly I glared ahead a drone within a dream long flown
Eagles soared in solitude, as this fool just stared with empty eyes
Did you ever truly love me? Was there ever any truth?
I ached inside and still you strode away with all my pride, taking
Every shred of what I was that day, the day when love died
Don't think that I'll tell wistful tales. You lied, you never tried.
I wonder…

dream again? Hope's




Author Notes Acrostic with "I Died" repeated three times.

Chapter 42
la di da di da

By michaelcahill

so, I'm walkin' in this kind of tunnel
                strolling really
        that not quite strutting kind of
        ambling that tells you I'm better
                than you
        but, I'm not gonna rub it in
and I have this vague sense of
        bouncin' in the grey
but, it just seems too ancient  
        like someone would have constructed
                during the march of the fish
                                        to dry land
                if someone were around
and though the seal is tight
I have an uneasy sense
of water all around me
with some kind of telepathy at play
        conveying feelings without language
                        it's music, I think
                        but, there isn't a tune
                        there's harmony but, no melody
        and somehow the feeling of the song
                envelops me
        and now I'm thinking: "Oh Lord!
I'm supposed to be the melody!"
But, I'm not fitting in
there are so many parts
in too many octaves
        and I'm being drowned
        without water
        though feeling surrounded by it
                                        and off in the distance
                                        I hear a pretty voice humming
                                        "la la la" over and over
                                                so, I join in
                                        "la la la… la la"
                                and add a little "la" of my own
                and now I'm losing the beat
                and I'm singing louder now
                                "la la la…….la"
                                "la la la…….la"
        but, damn it, it's not connected to anything
        and it's not matching anything
        so, I'm becoming frightened and forlorn
and I'm just screaming now
filling the tunnel with some kind of
                echoing screeching wail of sorrow
                        and I'm falling apart
                                        cell                 by                    cell
                        and the tunnel is collapsing
                        molecule            by                m  o  l  e  c  u    l      e
and the water I surmised
is seeping in
drop by
and I'm in some kind of primordial soup
cells meeting molecules surrounded by drops
and though I am completely dismantling
                                I am still aware
                                        even while I bond with foreign particles
                                        and                   dri      ft
                                        in some ever expanding sea
                        I feel countless cells
                        brushing by me
                        sometimes crashing into me
                        and further diluting me
        and finally all I am able to say
        is that I am a part of this
        and I realize in every scattered piece
        that all of this is a part of me
and now I am back in the tunnel
a sense, no, a knowledge of water
                surrounding me
an ancient structure indeed
filled with melody
all in counterpoint
all one work
                                I boldly sing my song
                                I cry as I hear it echo
                                through the tunnel
                                growing as it joins
                                the work in progress
and now I'm still kind of amblin' along
a little humility, a bit of arrogance
'cause I know I should be
so, la di la di da to you my friend


Chapter 43
Dominion's Brief Glory

By michaelcahill

Once again, mighty forest, the battle is engaged.
Long have I rested, midst these silly fairies
and this foul pukish stench

These garish flowers, pretentious colors dancing,
like so many stupid puppets,

with tangled strings in the hands
of a drunken puppeteer.

And you, shall I bow my majestic, ancient,
oaken, kingly, wrinkled wreck?

with your leaves, once vibrant
and a defiant, grand green;

Without humility, how you displayed yourself, for all to see.
I am so sorry, my dear friend,
about your lovely riot of color.

It seems I have turned it the most unfortunate
shade of bitter brown.

Oh, dear me, I have shown a bit too much passion,
when I blew a kiss

and every last leaf went flying off your limbs
and are now lying

like a crinkled, crispy corpse upon the ground.
Oh No! It is not laughter you hear.
Just a trick of the breeze, through your immodest

and shocking naked boughs!

But, still you do not bend. Dear me.
I am most chagrined. What must I do, sweet friend?

I will horribly howl and hellacious breezes blow,
relentless, tormentious and crippling cold.

Still standing, you damn fool? I am warming up,
as you stand there, without the sense to run.

Feel my wretched, drenching downpour
on your brittle, skinless bones,

frozen missiles, hurled relentlessly
downward…..sideways striking vicious blows.

Finally, torrential downpours of snow
covering every trace of your miserable self.

Not a trace of you remains in view.

A white ghost stands where you once stood.

I remain alone and victorious over everything.
There is only me.
I have won.


Author Notes This was for the personification of winter prompt. I was too late. If you think I would have won, I am happy to accept cash or McDonald's coupons. I accept donations out of pity as well. Pride is for sissies.

Chapter 44
Stiletto Heel

By michaelcahill

I careen through the poisoned underground currents,
holding my breath
                       with vague trepidation-

For I choose this pathway, somehow.
It is seeping through my pores;
taking me in a more subtle way,
             with my respect, of course.

As I wish it after all my false denial.
As I feared in every cell.
As I couldn't stop anyway.
         And finally
                 I breath deep the destiny
                 of that first glance;
                 subdued by endless wasted denial,
                 weary of an ego dance avoiding defeat.
                 The façade of my hidden power

I fall to the ground.
As you walk by.
Your stiletto heel
pierces my eye.
"Sorry", you say
                  as you carry on.
                              My heart sings with joy
                                     for you noticed me.
                                                  You actually


Chapter 45

By michaelcahill

I remember being poetic
                long ago
when my heart was a cathedral
        made of organ pipes
                shinning brass tubes
        and angled glass
                refracting light
                into colorful dreams
        surrounding the melody
        and conveying it skyward
        with a pretty picture of a galaxy's lost aria
I remember being athletic
hanging naked
from a trapeze
in a leather collar
        scaring them
        and inviting them
        at the same time
                of course, they had to know
                                had to
I remember the giddy pretense
of a ginger bread dream
that I baked inside their thoughts
                and now
                I must confess
                I wish I could capture
                as clever a liar
                for myself
I am hungry
and alone


Chapter 46
Another Winter

By michaelcahill

Winter. Oh, dear friend, winter.
How endearingly long
have we solemnly spent
       our solitude silently together,
              as life doggedly endures
                     a stoic inspiration?

I seek your company every year,
and silently applaud,
       as spring...summer...fall,
              rest within the strong cradle
              of your steely-eyed resolve.

Yet, for all my reverence and attention,
I have never seen it snow,
              till now;
                     even as I, myself, have entered
                     my own perceived winsome winter.

This is my very own spring and dancing summer
                     come to sudden life,
                           a pleasant surprise indeed.
                                  This is not relentless rain-
                                         stern and predictable,
                                  nor haughty hell-bent hail-
                                         rude and admonishing.
This lives in defiance of every law,
       foiling gravity's stern admonitions
              with but the softest chuckle and wink.
I know God is well-pleased
       with every Summer's spectacular riot of color
              and the smiles of all his children
              frolicking carefree in the abundance of plenty.

But, I know as I see these snowflakes,
down, in patterns designed by playful angels,
that this is where the Lord
       comes to play
              with me.

It is why I am not cold.


Author Notes
upon witnessing snow for the very first time.

Chapter 47
Mowing Balloons

By michaelcahill

words to soothe
            and smooth
                an aloe vera blanket
                to cuddle in

where is truth
in words measured
                and chosen carefully
                put in order
                to please the ear
the truth is in the thinking itself
                the endless downpour
                the mind's bedside vigil

if only I could lift off
                                the top of my head
                                and show you
                                                look at it!
                                                for God's sake!

                                that's what I'm trying
                                in such a tidy
                                kinda way
I'm talkin' bout
                                   a lawnmower mowing
                                   a field of water balloons


Chapter 48

By michaelcahill

It is honey
          and nightshade
          that coaxes
                      a butterfly to beauty

born a caterpillar
           hope grown in chrysalis
                                 takes wild flight


it is love
that transforms
the humblest of creatures
and adorns them



Chapter 49
Another Time and Place

By michaelcahill

Another time-
Another place-

            And where is the road
                        that leads there?
What device of time foretells when?
                        So weary of irony and pathos,
                        Nobility, a thorn in my ass,
                        Honor is some hat racks companion,
                        Character, my assassin.
There will be another,
(but, I want no other)
            some tasty dish, to erase
         your limited visage.

But, I'm already blinded by merengue,
            in my lemon whipped world.

You'll love again.
But, not like this,
         not like this.
                                    And now I understand
                                                stalking and peeping,
                                                a voyeur's predilections.
                                    Those are by-products of want,
                                                obsessions relentless beckoning,
                                                mocked and ridiculed,
                                                by your own joy,
                                                            insanely happy,
                                                in the midst of your tragic failed existence.
I sit at a table,
surrounded by elegance,
broke and eating breadsticks;
watching them eat my steak.



Author Notes
the unwanted encouragement from friends when your heart is broken. you know who you love. you don't want to love anyone else. at least not yet.

Chapter 50
Secret Worth

By michaelcahill

maybe being admired
          for your nobility
is the ultimate goal sought

but, the conquering hero
receives but empty cheers
riding the winds of envy
          cradled in silent and bitter tasting
          of course if you were there
          in that particular happenstance
          the cheers would be for you
                   you lick the urinal rim
                   to expunge that jealous taste
                   contemplating the cool waters beckoning
                             imagining your epithet
                             when they realize
                             their           sleight

and what of our reverence
          for your suffering
                    as all you sought is forfeit
                    all your just desserts
                    spoil in the burning valley
                             for want of a spoon?
but, aren't we all chuckling to ourselves
behind the stoic guise of pity?
          we somehow manage to avoid embrace
          for fear the jinx will rub off
                   a condolence by its very nature
                   only brings solace to the messenger

is there not a sweet taste
in a love unrequited?
surely we all sigh at the thought
                   or, maybe the remembrance
          but, what is more safe
          than a silent world of possibility
          where no door is opened
                yet, no door is closed
                       and endless journey imagined
                       rocked in the cradle of could've been?

but, in truth a thought has no weight
nobility after all
is just another word for inaction
inaction the cornerstone of cowardice
                             to endure your life
                                      without reaction
                                                or expression

how foolish to emulate the pallor of death
and accept the tip of a hat
as payment due for your effort
                   you don't get to hear your eulogy
                             no matter how elegant
you leave with your final thought
          a remembered victory
          a lie uncorrected
                             your private defining moment
                             known only to you

I'll be thinking of a kiss



Author Notes
a long warning for those that need it.

Chapter 51
For A Pause In Current

By michaelcahill

coastal eddy
trapped in some fiord
up north, where ice
accompanies every journey
even here a barnacle
       clings to frozen debris
       laying claim to a small piece
       of a large reality
              it sings its song
              and sends it out at random
              on whatever current happens by

and then the music of the ocean's dance
has a new counterpoint
to weave into its own melody
       a bit of harmony perhaps
       maybe a lost symbol crash
              in the middle of a crescendo
       or even a lucky three note solo
              in between movements
there's no way to fathom the current's whim
the currents are without feeling
       yet, we praise them
       and damn them
       and blame them
       and thank them
as if they knew
the havoc or joy they brought us

and some need
       to find reason and order
       begins forming a delicate web
       and we trap ourselves within
       even as we try to hold the universe
       captive for a moment
                     but, it never pauses
                                 never pauses
that is the tragedy
for a moment's pause
is all we require
       a brief peek at the puzzle
              a clear picture
              to fit our piece in
                     that damn nonsensical piece
                     so forlorn and mishapened
                           but, for brief encounters
                           with passing currents
                           on their way
                           as you are on your way
                      no pause
              never a pause
how noble the struggle is
when at best
futility is your goal
an endless search for truth
when there is none
finally you accept a world
       that never pauses
               never pauses
you realize
there is no puzzle
       only debris
and you are sorry for
the frightened little particles
that cling to each other
squinting at some picture
       of themselves intertwined
       proclaiming themselves
       the cornerstone
and then sorrow turns to contempt
and you pray for ice
for it seems less frantic
and there is order in some measure
but, the currents stop for nothing
              for no one
       never pausing
       never pausing

and insanity reveals its truth
              and meaning
       and you embrace it
       with gratitude
as you realize
that in all the universe
all the chaos
the hopeless maelstrom of existence
there is one
              that will pause


Author Notes I realize this is long. so, if you don't want to read something long or, if you don't care for something that doesn't rhyme please pass this by. no problem to any of my followers that find this to be too much. I had to write it. one of those things!

Chapter 52
Raining In the Dark

By michaelcahill

Unable to sleep I take to the darkened pathways of a cold evening
There is no destination and I fear no destiny as well
I just need to find solace
It is, I know, within solitude that comfort keeps
a lonely but patient vigil

It is not my fellows that I seek
for they are wrapped in their own longings and unable
to truly understand that we are singular creatures
No one could fully understand my mind and my heart
and I am too weary to appreciate intention
It is in a train whistle then that I find an empathy,
the relentless churning of a steel wheels mechanism,
that confirms my encompassing desire;
for that is my physical state.
It is your name whispered through a misplaced tree
that joins my vigil
It is the stars that are not in constellations
that understand the dimensions of a heart that seeks notice
within the vastness of another's soul
It is your eyes reflected in each drop of rain
your smile obscuring a jealous moon.
In truth it is an endless search for a horizon
that might lead me to you and a private moment
without payment due.

It is the darkness itself looking more solid in the absence of light
that finally offers to requite me in her name
Together the darkness and I console each other,
as we confess our love for her, and the light that she shines.
I may not have her.
The darkness may not have the sun;
and she is indeed that.
It rains in the wee morning hours only for me.
my tears are thankful for it.


Chapter 53
Paper Dolls

By michaelcahill

I'm riding a smoke ring
          walking in a circle
                       even as the circle wavers
                                             and starts to vanish
           but, it doesn't vanish entirely
           for I'm still riding
           still in a circle of sorts

I'm looking for a hole
to silently slip through
           my absence unnoticed
           my presence unmissed
leaving a faint smell of tabacco
on the cold blankets
where I once drempt

I'm looking for the smallest crevice
where I might turn sideways
and squeeze through
one finger at a time
            I find a slight line
            in a forgotten corner
                  I recall it with a vague remembrance
                  having drawn it myself
            it is the line between
           captivation and captivity
  I know I should've drawn the line in the sand
          but, at the time a solid wall
          didn't seem such an obstacle
 but, perception seems to sleep
 when you have a real need to perceive

I always seem to follow toy soldiers
even though I've always preferred paper dolls

I reluctantly fall into an uneasy sleep
laying uncomfortably on an uneven bed of smoke

 I dream of doors
 with handles
 that turn
            I dream of windows
            with latches
            that rise with a touch
                   I dream of a child
                   running in a circle  
                   for no reason
  I dream of myself
  running in a circle
  with no purpose   

I awake choking
in a smoke filled room
with no escape
without the caress of ignorance

I curse the architect
that builds a room
designed for captivity

I curse the light
in my eyes
and its mocking clarity

        I curse....


 even as I blow a smoke ring
 around your throat
 and dance on it


Author Notes
A frustrating time in my life. a feeling of being trapped in every way and every aspect of my life with no way out. feeling contempt for the world and myself with nothing to do but write about it.
This is actually a song.

Chapter 54

By michaelcahill

So, you think this might
be a good night
to open that door
and go in that room
and pull back that
worn out rug
and grab the rusty handle
of whatever they call
a door in the floor
and descend that
stupid splintered
and tritely symbolic
to that big

rocky cavernous

with that cobblestone
road that is only cobblestone
for the sake of style
that damn road that
waits for a
brave walk
to put a hint of wear
somewhere on its surface, anywhere
and then wind my way
round the bend
past the damned
photo gallery
with those insipid snapshots
of that pathetic construct
in the black hat
with the clever "I'm a mystery" glare
and the silent lips
that speak the same
volume and insight that a dark
photo might let you hear
and if you hear anything
well, you see, you're the
clever one for not a word
was spoken
and there is that child's
of the guy that posed
with that guitar
that all the children loved
for what would a child love
after all
and then around another bend
that worn out game board
and those game pieces
broken and scattered about unmoving
with those spotless dice
inviting play in a game
where only the winner knows the rules
and finally
close to the destination
that room full of echoes
in search of a solid surface
that search frantically for
validation from
a solid surface
a solid surface
without which an echo is not
and so they float about
the mindless ugly little
baby that opens its mouth
and screams into the
for all the air was
long ago used
and what must that scream
sound like?
perhaps a frozen ocean
balancing on a needle
that falls through an
endless glass tube
and slides on a single grain of sand
and lost
I jump
and hope that this is not
the final stop

Author Notes one of those ones that I fear someone will ask "what does it mean" However, having been asked several times, I shall address it a bit. the opening is simply talking about looking at myself which I don't like to do so it is a place that is very hidden away ie under a rug, down a ladder, into a cavern etc. and then I find personas that I have presented to the world that are not exactly genuine, me with my black cowboy hat tipped over my eyes at just the right angle, me with the guitar singing, me reciting poetry, setting people up by playing games where I would be what I thought they wanted me to be, and then I am alone for everyone eventually tires of not finding anything real and there are only echos of my own voice and I am like a child that is hideous and no one want to touch it and finally I am lost and desperate and just cry out with the only honesty I can find and hope someone hears me. that is about what it means and it is more to make the reader feel that then understand it in a real literal sense. thanks for asking. that was about a thousand dollar therapy session!

Chapter 55
The Flowers of Auswchwitz

By michaelcahill

                                 It is my hell
                                 That I revisit
                                                          The memory of it
                                               My life
                                                          That has grown from it
                             Shall I not despise
                             This field of wildflowers
                                        Riotous in colour
                             That dares grow
                              From this unholy ground
              It is a grave you decorate
                               Mass and massive
              It is a smile you invite
                                             And a sigh
                         Each tortured soul
                         With its very own floral headstone
                         There are no tears here
                         Where tears should be
                                      No regret
                                      No sorrow
                                      No guilt
                                      No indignation
                                                       It is as though we each
                                                       Are only single flowers
                                                       Clinging together
                                                                 Desperately drawing attention
                                                                                               From the graveyard

Author Notes this is not first hand knowledge. so, I am guessing what one who had been there might feel.
thanks to jennyindy for the artwork.

Chapter 56

By michaelcahill

the earth collides
with its reflection
and finally we realize
that the moon is a liquid
floating in a lake
disheveled by the breeze
but, never harmed
yet, we always look up
to find it
up into the frozen vacuum
trying to warm it
with some cloying romantic notion
and some unseen force
is sick with laughter
as the pretense of togetherness
wraps its greedy tentacles
around our throats
and gently squeezes
and we become light headed
and mistake our swaying motion
for dancing
and finally mistaking support
for an embrace
we declare that the game is afoot
but, that is all it is
in the bottleneck
hells yes baby
we's in love
and all our fluids
spill into the lake
making the moon shimmer
and finally we are a mixed up
twirling couple thing
that keeps sucking the being
out of ourselves until
they are identical piles of dust
stored in a coffee can
in some infinite warehouse
where we join the others
all in a row
we all was in love
hell yes
but, really we just got caught up
in the bottleneck
and why we traveled there
we will never know
I think it has something to do
with the tide

Chapter 57
Born Without a Belly Button

By michaelcahill


Born Without a Belly Button

"Arrested", says the power in the tower.
"Busted", says the cool cat cajoler passing by.
"Caught", says the trout, blameless, no doubt,
 despite the cry of the minnow with the hook through its eye.
"Escape", says the lifelong conniving schemer-dreamer,
"forego the blame and tilt the mirror anew".
Grandiose is the plan to save the world.
Hell on Earth is our potential should the skies
ignite, not in warming, but in a firestorm of proof positive.
Jabberwockies snicker snack in delight on crispy critters
knowing that the irony of myth has brought them to life.
Let the truth remain locked in the frozen tundra.
Millennia will march by before revelation. (they pretend)
No one shouts of doom unless seeking an audience.
Only a soothsayer speaks of "impending"; prophets portend--
Profits? Yes! Let's get back to the matter at hand. 
Quizzical as always, the children ask, "why"?
Response comes with resplendence: "be, Cuzz".
Should success suddenly be cast aside?
Thinking like that is thinking like that thinking.
Universal togetherness categorically identified,
verifiable cautious agendas optimistically shelved,
whateverness in cleverness displayed.
Xenocratic roundtable discussions about to commence!

Yes, a whale is a mammal. But it is certainly confused. No?

Zeus, please bring a little reality to bear…



Author Notes
xenocracy : government by a body of foreigners

Chapter 58
On the Cusp At Midnight

By michaelcahill



On the Cusp At Midnight

drunken sperm brawling down the chute
         (a hero is among them)
a clever sober drive to glory
a small but determined race to victory
                against all odds to be

                                the one

oh those poor ovum, ovulated under duress
undulating in tortured worrisome worlds
                of dementia
                paranoia creates a miasma
                suitable for impregnators in a stupor

                                there is
                                waiting for a genetic miracle

Dateline: San Francisco Bay
Mare Island Naval Base
(Alcatraz Island drools in envy)
January 19th, 1952
The chicken or the egg?

                                the Eagle, baby!

Alone and content on an unobtainable oubliette
a mountain goat of many colors
eyes the great sea said to be forbidden
                he jumps and flies without wings
                the wind is impressed and smiles
                the water is churning indignantly
                mountain goats can swim
                                            if they want to

Well …

Ozzie claimed to be an insurance agent
                    (a secret duck and cover liason leaning
                      against a cold iron curtain ... Marilyn never
                      showed. Imogene Coca was on a different
                      chanel and Cuba was an island)

and while the cat was away
Harriet made curds and whey
and therapy would be invented in the near future

                Michael was mistaken for a girl
                with golden locks and bluesy eyes
                it amused him
                as did insanity
                and various imperfections of humanity
                he appeared unaffected by the pressures
                                attempting to cook him
                                                (the debate steams ahead)

Then ...

Dead President and yeah, yeah, yeah
promotion to omnipotent twelve-year old
leader of the pack
he appeared unaffected by the maladies
                enveloping his world
                                (he laughs at the debate)

HIGH school wasn't for him
the crowd being stupid and he being smart
accepted by
he rejected
                in secret
(Purple haze, war the craze, I left the maze)

yes, the girl, always the girl

things with strings
things with keys
things with valves and buttons
songs to sing
words to write

                a world to mock
                laughing at
                and with

getting older
                uninterested in assessment
(or investment)

                                 and the girl, always the girl

time eliminated from the continuum
age, rules, comparisons
for others

but the childhood, the hard life …
the Responsibilities, 
the family with the willies...
the effects debated still
the smiles questioned
the still waters plumbed for depth
the explosion anxiously awaited
It has to affect

I, poet laureate of the universe,
laugh as I let off steam

disaster averted
Image result for mind blowing image

and the girl, always, always, the girl


Author Notes

Dad an abusive alcoholic, mother insane.
figure out the rest. :)

Chapter 59
Why I Divorced a Writer

By michaelcahill


Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of sexual content.

Why I Divorced A Writer

He called this dirty talk:

"Hey baby, how 'bout some enjambment?
This time I'll give you some alliteration!
I even brought a cork for my assonance.
Oh yeah! Feel those dangling participles slappin'?

I'll be back, Honey. I have to take an onomatopoeia."

Not one comma for me. Split my infinitive? Ha!
Yep, divorced him and his Heroic Crown!


Author Notes

This is all just stuff I heard. None of this is auto biographical. NONE of it ... really.

Chapter 60
Perseus and Medusa

By michaelcahill

Perseus and Medusa

Medusa young celibate
                beauty fair
committed to paths
                straight and narrow

Poseidon she found enticing
 and rare
                how she wanted him
                                                                in her marrow

jealousy flourished
                and curses were thrown
                                her hair turned to snakes
                                and her eyes shot red

if ever a soul viewed her
it was known
she'd turn them to stone

But relief can arrive
                                guised in irony
Perseus had tasks to complete
                and her head was a prize
                for his epiphany

she sought death
he obliged

To Perseus she'd been
                                a deed to extol

from her view
                'twas mercy freeing her soul


Author Notes Yes, the staggered lines are intentional. It's a technique in free verse to draw the readers eye across the page. It highlights certain phrases and is designed to encourage pauses for reflection.
I realize that some find the technique distracting. If so, just read the words in order and try to ignore the format. Words are words.

Chapter 61
Bottle Cap

By michaelcahill


Bottle Cap

I wake up with cuts--
with ridges
a mystery to a groggy mind

another drunk night
another fight
with no one

I'm sure the sun would smile
if I deigned to draw the drapes
my hand sweeps under
that foreign land
under the sofa
a bottle cap
it's green
with red splotches
I know those blotches
were inflicted by some fool
(I use my sleeve 
to sop up drool)

this bottle cap
I know I've seen it
once before
a peppermint schnapps top
but of course--I remember
it's that cap
from days of yore
before my core became sore
I was a fool with a bottle cap to blame

I recall it put up no resistence
when I slipped my fingers
gently round it
and began to twist
it wasn't long
before I cast it aside

it offered no protection
for what it proposed to
seal within

well, that is just 
a memory unremembered
that she told me
most unkindly
wasn't my finest hour

my friend, this bottle cap
you did me no favors it seems
and now I place it on the table
and when my brain is able
I'll fill it with the good times
we once shared
but it might be night
and I feel like a fight
the guest of honor
has arrived



Chapter 62
To Gather No Moss

By michaelcahill

To Gather No Moss

the stillness of the river
stirs the butterflies
inside this stone
amongst the many
the clinging has already begun
and moss grows
we tie together
and start to tether
as though the current
were a bad thing
an evil thing
this bed here
this bed we dig into
where we lean
against each other
and pretend
we are one thing
this bed is not for me
I leap for the current
even as I hear the cries of
and sure, maybe a whisper or two
regrets my absence
but it's the space and the buttress
that most bemoan
I see a bend in the river
and make my escape
rolling ever on it seems
the moss fades as do the
memories of it growing
the trap is no more
I find myself alone
in the sand
nothing grows on me here
nothing binds me
I've found what I sought
and endless time
to contemplate it


Author Notes
"A rolling stone gathers no moss".

Chapter 63
Love's Sweet Accusations

By michaelcahill

Love's Sweet Accusations

Hopscotch, monkey bars and merry-go-rounds--The stained off-white swimming pool at the city park.
But why are you late? Mom drove by the park. The pool was empty. The merry didn't go, the bars had no monkeys and scotches didn't hop … a lie? untruth? deception?

the need for
      explanation, accounting, evidence,
      interrogation, scrutinizing, investigation, castigation, toddler incarceration, supper deprivation
      guilt early with curly locks to hide behind so they don't find the innocence destroyed
sweet child at play
conniving feigned innocence
mommy's sweet boy

Wedded Bliss:
and freedom rings  O O
one for me and one for you
I do, you do, we do two
the bridesmaid winks
we're on the blink
I swear to no avail
it's raining--no it's hail
I'm turning rather pale
I'm in my father's jail!
Well, I got a girl just like the girl
only the start dear heart
every move and word heard with every meaning
and every gesture leaning gleaning every possible
nuance and influential possibility of damnation
figured and deduced from what I didn't say or do
or what I might have could've did if I'd had the chance
regardless of what I say
that doesn't matter anyway

wedded bliss
my sacred vow eternal
cell door ajar


Seeking Love:
lesson learned
I won't be burned
a leaf's been turned
some joy's been earned

I love you
oh, the bliss!
                       but, what about this?
Ah, love's sweet accusations….
They do not sway me

Image result for lovers under the moonlight


Chapter 64
Just A Thousand Oceans

By michaelcahill


I ponder oceans
but not their depth for that is known
to me and surely known to you
                and yes I've considered
                mountains tall piercing Heaven
                knowing you are of its fabric
it is miles considered
on this lonely beach
and how to breach
the vast expanse of circumstance
                the waves roll in
                                and offer not a ride away
                                away to you
                                where I know you've built a castle
our souls dance in the mist
far out to sea
where no one need be privy
                a sweet embrace
                                that is only beautiful
such is love
when the oceans
do not approve


Author Notes

This is me and Tori Amos. I'm sure she'd NOT be pleased. :))
Not exactly sure what the song is about, but many of the phrases
strike me as ones that pertain to the feelings I'm expressing, so
here it is.

Chapter 65
And Sometimes You Just Fall In Love

By michaelcahill

And Sometimes You Just Fall In Love

words can lie
they can manipulate and cajole and deceive
if that is the intention
of their invention
men know this all too well

but then words can climb
                an ascension
                                when they flow without agenda

a heart that empties
a soul in flight
a mind in thought unencumbered or slumbered

                in innocence, a like mind might encounter words
                                and see--
                                a heart
                                a soul

pure and simple strands of truth
that weave into a tapestry

it is a covering unknown to any but this lonely heart
shivering in the dark and finding the surprise of sudden


                sometimes boys are reached just like that
                before the more foolish parts of them

                                  can speak

maybe a poem
maybe a story

but sometimes
you can fall in love
just like that

                in secret

Image result for man alone in the dark


Author Notes

Apologies for the sound quality, etc. This is all I have. I had this little tune I was tinkering with and the phrase "A loss for words" in my head. So, I started playing and this is what came out. Overly long, choppy, sloppy and noisy, yes. When I get discovered and signed by Geffen Records I'm sure I can improve on it. :))

Chapter 66
A Fickle Majesty's Rule

By michaelcahill

A Fickle Majesty's Rule


Finally, the searing sneering sun sinks from view
and you join me, friend and companion
your smiles dance across me shimmering
I fear the sun pays not the slightest attention to us
                he gazes out, I imagine, unaware we are here
                                perhaps we are too small
                                                for such a grand showman

ah, look, upon the beach
they embrace as though nothing in the universe

                                      but them       

come closer, dear lunar friend
help me to reach them with a little tickle

so lovely to see
let me serenade you with my song
the roll of my waves
the slap against the sand
the churning as I mix with the shore
and the whoosh and echo of my presence
as I retreat
the haunting mystery of melody from farther out
whispers of things unknown
truth lost in the fancy of a fickle breeze

your every sigh and intimate moan
enters my crests to be conveyed to parts unknown
another beach, another shore, other lovers
a song for them in perfect tone


why oh why do they not remain here at the shore
what more could they wish for

but they forget these nights as though dreamed of

does the sun anger them and drive them mad

                how well I know anger
                                the sun does irritate
                                intrusive and relentless
                                                nary a moment's peace
                                                yes, a friendly cloud to shield
                                                but the sun squeezes and worries
                                                                it to tears

                I rise up in frustration
                                futile, for she never leaves
                                but an evening's respite      
                                                always returning
                                                her power never diminished
                                these fools frolick
                                                feeling a frisk dominion over me
                                                I strike you down with a swift
                                               reproach for your discourtesy
                yes, the shore seems distant now, doesn't it?
                                my cool embrace not quite so inviting
                                                my wonders lie below
                                                your whimsical ponderings
                                                                your coming recompense
                                soon you will lie on my floor forgotten
                                                rotten as I roll by
                                                never shall I mention you again
                                                nor will I allow your discovery


Fools! You think me serene?
for I am wont to be so on a summer morn
torn will you be
forlorn should you be sworn
by the foolishness of your own mythology
I am no myth
is that not enough for you
a mountain that moves at my whim
to engulf you for my own amusement
your vessels so grand
splinters and twisted metal
                to decorate my floor
                seen no more
                                not even a bone survives

yes, sit by my shore
in the moonlight
I allow it
for now
it pleases me
however …. 


Image result for tsunami wave


Chapter 67
twin chairs rocking

By michaelcahill

Idle longing-- envisioning
lucky smoky-room encountering
endless daydream erupting
raptured entwining

sighing ...

            twin chairs rocking


Chapter 68
Souls Know

By michaelcahill


surely, though a whisper in a prison,
souls know only truth,

words that aren't words waft on the wind.
and the fickle currents
bow to their will and intent
for the impish breeze does have one master.

the soul speaks;
the heart and mind listen,
and for a moment
all is known in certainty.

a sprite without a name
can only dance a joyful turn.

would that the heart harken purely
to the music
but hearts are healing places,
and wounds in the most delicate places
heal slowly and scars impede
a smooth touch confused by resistance.

the most well intentioned kiss
stings when applied to a bruise;
the most-tender caress
grates across an uneven surface;

words not even known to be careless
grip tightly to a meaning
unknown but to the rhythmic beat
suddenly interrupted.

being foolish, we solicit definition
and ascribe blame
or declare innocence
when neither need be considered.

the inexplicable retaliation
to the warmest smile
garrotes the tongue
and inflames it.

venom forms in the empty well
(a space heretofore unknown)
and spews forth in a surprise attack.

war commences in
the most peaceful of valleys.
and the burn obscures
the idyllic landscape.

the soul pines in



love becomes a word
to bandy about,
   its expression
   paralyzed by the folly
   of awareness.

it is real,
though encased in regret
and twisted by the past.

to set it free,


Image result for souls entwined


Author Notes

I told myself I'd stop posting. Something told me different.
This looks to my liking in classic Fanstory if you've a mind to switch over for a moment. :))

Thank you Rama Devi for pointing out the little details that elevate this piece so much!!

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