Resident Poet Joan McNerney

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, Blueline, and Halcyon Days.  Three Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Review Journals, and numerous Kind of A Hurricane Press Publications have accepted her work.  Her latest title is Having Lunch with the Sky and she has four Best of the Net nominations. 


I want to make scarves from the sky.
Since I'm not much of a seamstress,
here's hoping it won't be too hard.

To start I'll just pick up a fleecy
white cloud to cover my neck.

Maybe create a dove grey scarf
and cut out pale blue ones too. 
Make entire closets full of them.

At sunset I will fashion boas
of bright ruby and tangerine.

If lucky I'll find some rainbow
kaleidoscopes to wrap up in.

My midnight shawl will be long
gleaming ebony covering the
shoulders keeping in warmth.

I will list them on eBay and Craig's,
hang pictures on my Facebook wall.

Imagine, everybody will want them!
Would you like one too?
Better put your order in now.

Trees of Heaven

Those are tough trees
growing in slums.

With no need of rich soil
or pruning, they rise
in abandoned lots.

These are trees that
survive rubbish, rodents
noxious chemicals.

Not  easily cut down, 
they stand against
gaunt tenements.
Climbing skyward,
delicate palm leaves
flourish flowering pods.

Trees of Heaven give
children glimpses of bright
emerald each morning.

Stars play peek-a-boo
between their branches
through long nights.
Who has said a taste of
paradise is only for the rich?

Computer Game

I just click the awesome icon.

My mouse scurries in a manic race
to discover words or match jewels.

Tiles glow…a beaming box of eye candy
to pick and nibble as my score grows.

All the petty slogs and limps of
this withered day are beaten back.

I love my snazzy game name and avatar.
My world sits inside this small square.

I am winning.


Haiku Cats – take your pick of the litter


the gingersnap cat stares as
I get undressed.

What does this cat think
strumming his tail with such ease
to fugues of Bach?
Shut Eye
Black and white kitten
lying under clothesline in
soft circles of sleep.
Street Walker

Calico cat
curving corners
against the cold.
Free Throw

A tiger cat with
big green eyes
tosses balls of yarn.


Would you like to unwind
an afternoon at the lake?

Solar sparks spilling over us
in showers of golden sizzle.

Put on short shorts, skimpy tops,
stick our toes into oozy mud.

Breezes will shake treetops
while we listen to birdsongs.

Why not float on new grass
facing an Alice blue sky?

Read celestial comic strips
from mounds of clouds.

We can count sunbeams,
chase yellow butterflies.

Devour bowls of cherries
painting our lips crimson.

This noontime is perfumed
with illions of wild flowers.

Let’s go away all
embraced by the goddess.


Imagine to be a bird
slicing  air with wings.

Up up over that horizon
soaring through clouds
away from solemn earth.

Shining, shimmering 
far above this sphere
into  clear blue light.

Cutting through sky
gliding over oceans
eyes open all seeing.

Awake all day all night
brushing rushing
against the four winds.

Imagine to be a bird.

Thrift Shop

I descend clutching a
teetering banister to the
bowels of this holy place.

A sign welcomes me to
St. Mary’s Basement Boutique
where scent of unloved
clothing assaults me.

I finger grubby blouses
and skirts hanging limp
week after week unwanted.

Where is it? Hidden beneath
mounds of faded tee shirts?
Where is that swag I will
brag on for months?

At last I uncover something
beyond belief….a mohair sweater
snow white with pastel flowers.
A good fit, my prayer answered.

Retired ladies glance up.
They are volunteers filling
another empty afternoon.

The cashier consults her price list.
“One dollar” she says as I reply with
quick “thanks” fleeing blissfully.

When I get home, my bonanza
is baptized in cool water and suds
now reborn, lustrous and all mine.

Joan McNerney

Virtual Love

full of hyperbole
& alliteration drifted
into the wrong e-mail box.

There she met an erudite
rich text format file.
They became attached.

Her fleeting metaphors
lifted his technical jargon.
They were a word couple
spinning through cyber space
giddy with inappropriate syllables.

SeaScape  I

Hearing waves from a distance and
feeling sea breezes brush our faces,
it seemed a century before we
came to the ocean.

So blue and bright to our eyes
its rhythm broke chains of
unremarkable days.

Over cool sand we ran and you picked
three perfect shells which fit
inside each other.  Swimming away in
that moving expanse below kiss
of fine spray and splashes.

With clouds cumulus we drifted while
gulls circled the island.  Together we
discovered beds of morning glories
climbing soft dunes.

SeaScape II

Let's dive in ocean hiss swish
riding with blue whales, bluewaves.
Brush of foam and windy ripples
sunbeams chasing quicksilver fish.

Floating through our shining world
fragrant clouds, feathery clouds.
We weave one arm after another
wearing bracelets of salt pearl.


Seasons of Love

Spring Tide

Green I wore green
that night when we
danced how we danced
at the picnic during
lustrous and green.

Rainfalls flooded the
air where we danced.
You left whispering
sweet words
my eyes closed.

Sliding under green green
waters slipping sliding
over night
in nebulae
turning we dance
finding your hand
how we dance
this endless night.

Last Summer

Golden sunshine spilling
over cathedrals of trees
forest of summer.

Your eyes are oceans of light
beams of light soft beaming
dancing through rivers of memory.

Forest of rivers
drowning in oceans of eyes.
Your eyes when sunset spreads
over sand dunes warm golden.

Stars gliding past heaven
as night explodes in
cathedrals of light.

We bed down together in
forest of memories
your body so strong golden
last summer with you.

Apple Time

Red yellow brown carpets
of crunchy leaves spread
out to welcome you.

You are coming home to aromas
of cinnamon and me.  I've been
waiting so long
to touch you
   feed you
   juicy apples.

Finally you are here.
Red giant stars
our names
in neons
for eons.

Winter Solstice

Ice blue mountains,
wind swept skies.
There are always these...

And you standing
silent as the sun
burning through
this day.
You are my sun
my heaven on earth.

You bring bright ribbons
handfuls of crystal
to fasten my hair.

Stay with me this
long evening.  I will
hide in your arms away
from ice blue winds.

We will be warm together.


I want to make an angel
in the snow though I am
old for that sort of thing.

That is something I have
never done.  A woman from
Vermont told me about it.

Nobody made slush angels
in Brooklyn…unheard of…
with no meadows to angel in.

We just threw hard packed
snowballs at each other 
sliding over icy streets.

Now I will take my pick
of snow.  Find a perfect
field of that lush white stuff.

I will lay down on a cool bed
flapping my arms up and down
to make sacred patterns.

Yes, I will angel away
over and over until finally
I fly off to heaven.

Want to wing it with me?

Special Delivery…for Jeanette

I sent my friend this divine
angel enfolded in two
heavenly blue envelopes.

At the post office, federal 
officials assured me my angel 
would not be mangled
by one of those machines.

Postal workers promised to be
careful  because you don’t fool 
with celestials.  They must not be
folded over, stapled or taped up.

It flew so fast to my friend’s house.  
Sailing over the mighty Hudson,
Susquehanna and Delaware Rivers. 
Climbing across the ragged Catskills.

We were both so glad  it arrived 
the next day. Happy to chat on the 
phone since hilly roads become too
icy for gatherings most of the time.

It was not surprising though because 
there is something most everyone 
knows for sure.  As a matter of fact, 

angels do have wings.

Effective Immediately

I want to become an
Ambassador for Rain!

Why the bad image?
Birds love rain. 
Tweeting through
dry spells for water.
They flutter from leaf
to bud for a sip.

It’s super creative…
feeding tree roots, wild flowers.
Without rain…no blessed
blue lakes, rivers, streams.

Open your eyes.  Rain clings 
to window panes, miniature globes
of splendor.  Listen as pitter
pattering skips over rooftops.

Consider your thirst for 
liquid pleasures. Gather up
in green reverie. Dance
barefoot on this emerald earth

joining me in jubilant chorus.

 I Believe in Trees

Those silent citadels
standing against long
nights of wind and cold.

Broken willow bramble
scratches a pale sky after
yesterday’s ice storm.

Each spring small buds
blossom as bugs and
butterflies orbit boughs.

Green new leaf fits
your hand so perfectly.
The future lies in your palm.

Birds reciting litany in woods.
Each rainfall the forest 
grows taller, more verdant.

Summer afternoons…trees
sashay in sunshine showing
off their emerald gowns.

Winds sway maple branches.
Leaves drop like butterflies
falling to the warm earth.

Red yellow brown carpets
of crunchy foliage spread

over roads welcoming us.

Wintry Bouquet

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

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

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

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

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

Blue your eyes

Blue your eyes
this edge of snow
in silent sky.
Brown eyes soft
tree bark patterns as
yellow flicks
sparkle in wintry sun.

And now it seems
your eyes are green
green as spruce
turning to grey eyes
glancing across as if
from a mountainside.

Your eyes two violets
hidden beneath frost.
Close your eyes
as sleepless stars
glide through night
in aerial ballet.

Black coal eyes
glowing on fire
red flames leaping
out of eyes burning

blue your eyes.

I Want A Writer's Block

A real writer's block.  After I'm finished
writing, I could run and skip down streets
with all the other writers on the block.
Compare notes, exaggerate and have fun.

Another good one would be a crystal block
on which the great master works are contained.
Stick it in a pocket and read it with my
fingertips.  Why strain my vision?

How about this?  A big block of ice cream
oozing pass throat filled with inspiration.
Or a chocolate block made from creamy images.
I want a writer's block.  Any or all of the above.


Do you know how to make them?
They're supposed to be light
bright and full of vitamin C.
Everyone says you just glow
after eating one.  My friend
had a shining recipe I kept
asking for.  Suncakes stop you
from being cold, lost in avalanches.

I remember something about filling
golden pans with flowers, seeds…
sunflower seeds.   Bake at
high noon, of course.  If only
there were a suncake now to
have with hot cocoa.  My friend
is so lucky wintering in Aruba.
Who gave her that recipe anyway?
I'm the one who's freezing!

Brightly burning star fish...
Do you wonder where you swim?

Wandering sky and ocean flying
floating now near shore line.

Many arms extended tugging
celestial weeds Irish moss.

Grasping glowing orange disc
climbing beds of coral coral.

Do you wonder where you swim
brightly burning star fish?

Joan McNerney

In Flight

A tree waves wooing
birds who fly from branch to branch
looking for a home.

Congregations of wrens
winging off to choral practice
stop at bird feeders first.

An outdoor concert.
Which is sweeter, the flute
or bird song in woods?


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