Windsor Knot

Do you remember how
to tie a Windsor knot
the way your father taught you
on graduation day
in eighth grade

the man who wore a tie
twice perhaps at most--
on the day he got married
and the day he was put to rest,
the same tie for both events.

Then almost every day for 40 years
you tied that Windsor Knot
because office attire required it.
Now you haven't worn a tie
since the day of your retirement.

You'll need that knot
twice more for certain--
as pall bearer for besotted
Uncle Pat and for yourself
the day you're buried.

Both days your Windsor Knot
had better pop out right
or the ghost you don't believe in
may drop by to show you
one last time how to tie it.

Donal Mahoney

Fractured Lullaby

My pen cries the saltless tears,
That my eyes have vomited out.
As the water moisturizes deep seated fears,
And my voice grows from whisper to shout.

The face in the mirror is eroded by,
Incessant outpourings from inside.
Sadness as wings born from the desire to fly,
Become shattered by miserable cries.

This song is on repeat,
The symphony replays in my mind.
Cascading feelings of being complete,
In futility, I struggle, hoping to find.

Please find me a place, where I may go,
To be free from...myself.
I see windswept images of frostless snow,
That litter landscapes of forgotten wealth.

Damn these intense emotions,
Of whom I abhor.
Be decimated by the vast oceans,
Of which filth constantly pours!

Surrounded on all sides by masters of illusion,
My back pressing slowly towards the wall.
I must wage war against confusion's delusion,
And pick up singed feathers from my latest fall.

So instead of giving in to despair,
I get on my grind and I fight.
Against my mistress in this sordid affair,
That gave relevance to shadows in the night.

It is when the darkness surrounds,
That one is guided to even the softest light.
Praying that an ounce of grace may abound,
And grant new vision to once blinded sight.

Straight Away

I’m withdrawn from the ball.
How tall do you have it.
Don’t breathe a word of it, get ready to receive.
What unfortunately doesn’t stick, leaves tire tracks.
I know the blackness all too well, get it to jell.
It was never safe in the first place, this place doesn’t need drama.
I need a spot to prance, make it your last chance.
Keep on guessing, it was never shown the light.
It takes real skill, who built it to fill adequate space.
A cardboard stance, don’t lance a lot.
Have it stand upright, give away your jewelry.
It is stern like that, it turns in either direction.
I have to crack up, no one raises the issues.
It is a vicious item, it is efficient too.
It is not an item up for bid, get rid of it.
Soon I’ll know the names, I feel uncertain about the future.
It should be calming, don’t have it stitched.
Put on your name plate, leave it weighty.
It doesn’t end particularly well for him, it pays to crumble at your feet.
Keep it clean, I like it lean and mean a killing machine.
No bones are showing, go trip the lights.
There’s no bouncing here, get one just in time for the weekend.
Fend for yourself. How tall do you have to be. I never liked it but it fits. I got it ripped out of my hands. It was never tipped. I’m off the auction block. Blocks for now. Life goes ticking away. I need a shelter. No more hovering about. I will forget to carry, it won’t be a long announcement. Pray when, get me when I’m least effective. This is nap time, time to bend forks. Get it screwed in. I’m sitting on pins and needles. It needs more needle work. My work is proven. I need it over scales.
You are free to sport what you like. Work the extra weight off. On and off again, don’t be late. Live behind the rusty gate. I have too many plates to round up. Don’t ever wait for me. I must be off. Go tripping, I’m a loose cannon. Don’t pay me any mention. Curb your thoughts, I need you at attention. What is its life span.
Does it span at all. Take temporary control of all of it. There’s too many tales flying around. Make it your town. It comes in bales. Keep hiding, not smiling.
No one has left yet. Drying out. It is so easy to forget. It comes with regrets.
Have it met, not often enough. It spans both ends. It is just like magic. Ride a tricycle. Trick a few. Bury it next, have jet packs. Straight away. You can’t win them all. I’m too stubborn to try, fry all night. I keep insurance, do you need a tally. I’m not able to cross, cross them all. Don’t be a challenge. It is never ending.


Anyone could tell
he's got too many tables
perspiration all over his life

Suddenly he begins to like
it, spinning on his heels,
a dancer, a majestic spinner

of salad dreams
and salsa songs

That is until the plates
come crashing down.


Some people, if they could
would burn the universe
down, grand pyromaniacs

I would like to think I am
the kind of guy who would
come behind the predator

Planting seeds of kindness
to grow into a new world.

Wilder Dreams

I've had wilder
dreams than this one
running down imaginary
to rivers that could not
in places that hover
with men and women
made of strange substance
whose eyes offer me
wisdom of the universe.


a word that makes
me think of running freely
from place to place

but, alas, I do not have
long hair to catch in the wind
nor the spirit of a child

to go bouncing here, there,


he owns this
small space
this bit of his mind

but does not
manage his whole
world very well

unsure of the proper
boundaries to keep.


they say he was inconsiderate
asking him their probing
questions, backing him in a corner
then complaining
when he was not kind
eager, compliant
with their demanding lips and gums.

Guess Work

you don't have to guess
just take the page

do not try to read between
the lines
impress others with
sophisticated interpretation

enjoy the way the words
roll on the line
coasting to a finish.


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