Parenthood and Summer Nocturne

Two short poems by Donal Mahoney


Bluejay pounds a black
sunflower seed against a branch.
Tiny beaks to fill.

Summer Nocturne

Beneath a full moon
this silent symphony
fireflies in the night


Home Fragments

A Poem by Susan Dale


My mother’s eyes
My father’s shroud
The breath of home


Behind curtains of darkness
The candles of truth burn
into time


Reaching out to find
to touch again
An ever-elusive phantom


Colors escaping their forms
Floating free
Falling rosy-red
Into the heart


What has met
To cross my mind
Lingers long
Memories of home


Fingers of time
Pointing to the heavy scent
Of home


Pawprints across the night
Lead me to the
World of all things


Looking back
With half-closed eyes
The smoke and mirrors
of remembering


A place I search to find
In my mind


Walking the chalk lines
Of daybreak
Taking me home


Trickling down
Memories of home


In a world saturated with dreams
Carrying a song
Of forever

Before Michael Brown and Freddie Gray

A  Poem by Donal Mahoney
Who celebrates 
the birthday of a tree?
Birds and squirrels, perhaps,
but not Michael Brown 
and not Freddie Gray
and not Rufus Jackson, who was
hung from a weeping willow in 1863.
Rufus stole an apple pie
cooling on a window sill,
a farmer’s wife said
She told her husband about it 
when he came in from threshing.
An uncle found Rufus
and cut him from the tree.  
His family buried him 
behind a willow not too far 
from a barn in Mississippi 
where two men took Emmitt Till, 
a boy from the city, in 1958. 
Both men said Emmitt had
whistled at a white man’s wife. 
The two men beat Emmitt, 
gouged an eye out, shot him 
in the head, tossed his body 
in the Tallahatchie River, not far 
from the grave of Rufus Jackson,
said to have stolen an apple pie, then 
hung from a weeping willow in 1863.