Wrath of the Phoenix


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Laugh at my misfortune, rejoice in my defeat:
Plunder that which I hold dear, for I am incomplete!

My foolishness brings you delight, my tears a source of glee;
Be careful though, for you don’t know, what price your victory.
The constellations whirl and spin, my time, now lost, will come again!
And who among you then will stand, when I regain the upper hand?

You say I’ve lost my vision; I’m blind to better days?
Perhaps, somehow, but even now, I’m breaking through this haze.
Be merciful, restrain your dance, my day will come again…
Watch yourself, you’ve had your chance; my star once more ascends!
And in its glowing light, my foe, my victory unfolds;
I’ll rise again, even though; my story now is left untold.

Laugh at my misfortune, rejoice in my defeat
Plunder that which I hold dear, for I am incomplete!

Your arrogance will catch you up and lay you at my altar;
Implore me now, in that somehow, I overlook this falter!
Be gone you fools, don’t stoke my fires
With your evil deeds, your foolish desires -
A brand new day has just now broken; I fear the worst, it’s true
With urgent speed, you should recede, I’m coming now for you!

I Am Ready


Old Man

The years have swept my face
carving time in deep crevices
thinning my skin with relentless cold
Like a child pushing milk teeth
my smile is likewise gapped
though my innocence lays broken
like this child’s backyard toys

These days, I pretend that I’m busy
that I’m working, that I’m writing
but I’m not doing anything
I just wanted not to look too artificial
in these my final fading days

I have known my moments of fame
where my words stroked the hearts of man
and my poems filled a woman’s soul
but all these things mean very little to me
I am so much into the finality of the now
the past is such a strange thing for me

Oh, loving her was an incredible journey
a wonderful everlasting treasure hunt
I found emeralds in her eyes
and sparkling diamonds in her smile
golden coins tinkling in her laughter
but like all treasure, she lies buried now
and I am castaway upon these lonely shores

My life is a dead space, a dead time
if you describe it in colors, a grayness
The seasons no longer cut by
snow and rain and sun and falling leaves
but rather, like clouds pushing darkly
against one another in a stormy sky
my days blend beneath a blotted sun

I know the number of my evenings are few
and my remaining mornings fewer by one
but I am tired, and I am alone,
and I am ready

The Poet and His Prostitutes


whore

He was a lover of street prostitutes;
not the sable-wrapped uptown girls
who sold their tight-toned wares retail,
but rather those working-class girls
perfumed by the sweat of their labors;
standing beneath broken streetlights at 2 a.m.,
in cheap, colorful makeup and Wal-mart lingerie,
with asses bubbling back and flaccid breasts;
those colorful painted whores of the night.
In his youth, he had been scorched by the beautiful
and he would never again have the fevered yearning
of lying with flesh more pliant and comely.
Street-walkers fed his pathos and filled his inner void.
They would let him kiss them on the mouth,
and wouldn’t complain when he couldn’t get hard
because of too much beer and whiskey.
They’d always wait patiently, filing their nails
and filling the silence with meaning-less chatter.
If he couldn’t function, they didn’t condemn him,
but would play with themselves upon request
so at least the failing of the hour felt sexy.
Most of all, they didn’t lie.
They wouldn’t tell him what a great lover he was
or offer up false platitudes on his endowment;
They used their real names and would share their coke
for an extra five, and he would pour them shots.
Sometimes, he would write beautiful sonnets for them
and they would be genuinely moved to tears.
If the sex was lousy, they took it in stride and didn’t bitch.
They didn’t conspicuously spit into folded Kleenex
or stuff their mouths with wads of spearmint gum
after he had come, just to lose the taste of him.
Rather, they swallowed because they, too, didn’t care
if they got one more filthy, fucking disease.
They were like him; defeated and empty,
just grateful not to be judged and discarded
like yesterday’s rotten fruit.

About This Site


“The Winter Bites My Bones” 

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Hi, and Welcome to My Poetry Blog,  

http://astore.amazon.com/wwwdlmchaleco-20

If you are an interested reader, or are a poet yourself, whether you have very little knowledge of poetry or quite a lot already, this website is mainly intended for you. The bulk of this site contains an anthology of my work from 1981-2013, but it also contains a few contributed surprises. Topics range from light, fun poems to the darker, more contemporary poems (the heart of the website) reminiscent of the two Charles’: Bukowski & Baudelaire.   It’s still young and growing, so check back often for new material.

You’ll see this blog enjoys a vast viewership (in excess of 41,000 readers) and contains up-to-date comments, but the web page itself is permanent.  Guest contributors are welcome to take advantage of this wide pool of readers. Please indicate if you’d just like to share, or if you are also looking for constructive criticism.  To have your work featured on this site,  email me your prose and/or poems to dennis.l.mchale@gmail.com.

Your comments and critiques are not only welcome, they are essential to the continued growth and development of my writing, and that of my guest contributors.  If you prefer reading articles that  range from contemplative to general musings, please see my weblog, Insights and Observations: Critical Meditations @ http://insightsandobservations.wordpress.com/

Thank you for visiting.  Happy reading and writing!

Dennis McHale

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The Impossible Manifesto


The Impossible Manifesto

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Do Something Impossible. This is a MUST read for anyone who has ever battled the infuriation of limitations.

The Impossible Manifesto is a challenge to push your limits, live a life worth writing about and do the impossible. More than anything though, it’s a challenge to stop waiting around for life to happen and do something. Anything

A Poet’s Affection


Measured in phases, the marking of time;
I lived four months, six months,
a couple of weeks before moving on.
There were no long-term relationships -
one night, maybe a week, perhaps two.

Love was too expensive for a traveler,
much too heavy to carry in a bag or box.
I put my days on paper, ending one story,
another poem filed away, me moving on.
There would always be another day,
another pretty face, a warm body
to hold through another cold night .
True love by the day or week, I could afford that.

That’s what I thought at the time.

I sold my poems, sad stories, many years ago.
I didn’t sell them for money;
it was always a trade , a fair exchange I thought.
The perfect and ideal love
burning so bright, but not very long.

Living for the Moment


Being how
our day ends now and nighttime lasts forever
Let’s cherish now
this fleeting hour, beneath this setting sun
It’s now quite clear
excessive fear has bound us all together
Let’s all draw near
and take some cheer before this day is done.

We’ll sing and dance
and take a chance upon tomorrow’s waking
We’ll pause and pray
that on this day, we find our full atonement
Take solace in
our lives within this moment of our making
The world may spin
unto the end, but the heart beats for this moment.

Broken Smiles


Behold, such sadness in her eyes;
sweet longing, deep sighing, for days gone by.
A single translucent tear descends,
etching a deep, meandering rivulet
through her softly powdered face;
betrayal writ in her broken smile.

She wears defeat with noble grace.

Alone within her cruel vexation,
Her despair drifts upon scented air.
I am entranced by this cheap perfume;
I cannot, I will not, look away.

Her emptiness devours me;
I am lost within her reverie.

A thousand questions knit into one:
What tragedy before unfolds?
Has deathly illness laid low a precious kinship?
Perhaps a lover, forever fore-sworn, now departed?
Promises shattered like broken glass;
cutting her dreams into ribbons?

She rises slowly, partly turns;
her glazed eyes lock onto mine
but for a whisper of a moment;
I offer nothing more of comfort
than my own broken smile.

Tears well within my intrusive eyes
and I look away:
My empathy is my undoing
and shame rises to paint my cheeks
a mournful blush.

I turn again and she is gone!

Years have passed
and still my broken heart
beats in imperfect rhythm.

Was she set before my vision
or concocted from memory’s revision?
Did she find her peace once more;
perhaps some comfort in our communion?
Even now I feel her sorrow
like a midnight fog rolling over me.

My tears have long since dried,
but my cry is eternal.

Promises


You ask if love’s forever –
A promise I can’t make,
But if I could, or thought I should
I would not hesitate.

I’d promise you forever
And then a day or two
If I were free to guarantee
Forever loving you.

But promises are born of doubt
A doubt that’s seldom real;
The love we know can only grow
In trusting what we feel.

Yet, I’ll promise you this moment
If words can still your fears;
Just hold me now and show me how
To love you through the years.

Nostalgia


 

In my mind’s recess, a soft caress
of memories and days gone by
A kaleidoscope of love and hope
And answers to the “Why?”

I fall within and live again
Those magic days bygone
My thoughts set free in reverie
Warmed by a setting sun

Another time in perfect rhyme
Now formed in my revision
I’m lifted up as I fill my cup
With reflection and a vision.

Within my dream, or so it seems
The best of times has past
Yet still somehow, I cherish “Now”
And tighter still my grasp

Outside my mind my thoughts unwind
And now today returned -
For yesterday is still no way
To face the future’s turn.

Process


Words fall like polished stones

tumbling upon the page with a splash

and I take no credit

for how they configure

A wind blows through me

and emotions stir

My only job is to give the wind

a voice and to put a new page

down when the old is full

Writing is less me having something to say

and more something which must be said having me.

Poet’s Lament


 

I’ve washed my life in an endless swash of
Smoke and cheap bought bourbon
I bathed my dreams in kerosene,
Set aflame in streets most urban.
My poets hand most still it stands
No words to ink most certain
My song is sung, my fall begun
Down falls the final curtain.
I wrestled with a weighty scythe
Laid low my expectations
And all for what? My final cut
Reveals no inspiration.
And yet I write, despite the fight
My hope not yet diminished
That still somehow, and even now
My legacy’s unfinished.

Vanity


Understanding you is not, contrary to your incessant belief, the sole purpose of my existence. You are whatever you are, while I, without pause, accept this. If I were to assume a constant analysis of you and the things you do as my pre-ordained purpose for existing, I would as soon take the sharpest of razors and pass it with pleasure one-eighth inch deep across my gullible throat.
Your vanity exhausts me. Is there not a moment within any given day wherein your every waking thought is directed toward anything, or anyone, other than yourself? If not, then tell me, do you ever grow weary of unceasingly caressing the image of yourself, as even lust-crazed men tire of their indiscriminate seductions of faceless women? Don’t you ever lie spent after a consuming bout of self-adoration?
Here, then, is my ardent hope and prayer for you: May you love yourself only to the measure that others may, perchance, find in the smoldering remnants of your self-delight a crumb or two left over upon which to nourish their love for you as well.

Lost Innocence


Like a child’s lost innocence
that time and nature steal away,
without the slightest reverence
or sympathy for child’s play.

So do we, in love’s all knowing
pay once more this price for growing.

We brush away our young one’s tears
when life becomes demanding,
and offer in those tender years
a gentle understanding;

Yet we as lovers, slaves to passion,
lose our touch for such compassion.

We dream as children, trouble free;
careless nightly visions
as children’s dreams were meant to be
before life’s cruel revision.

That lover’s can’t makes perfect sense
for dreams belong to innocents.

Our children have so much to teach
and we so much to learn:
that childhood beyond our reach
is innocence lost, and common sense earned.

Life must demand this sacrifice,
but still, it hurts to pay it twice.

The Hunger of Poems


I write because your reading feeds me
My pen exists because words need me
Each spill of ink, each drop of blood
A new branch grows, a new leaf buds
With every new verse, a piece of me dies
But for this poem to exist you must realize
It nourishes itself upon my very soul
Consumes and assumes me, makes me old
So please read slowly, my existence demands
A frugal consumption, this poem in your hands
When you have finished, with closed eyes pray
There’s a few words left for another day.

Defeated


I reached for fame, but my arms too short;
disappointment reached back and embraced me instead.
I pushed off fear and tried to be strong,
but the effort sapped the life in me, and I fell asleep.
I awoke with hope and drowned that with a cup of coffee.
My day is better spent walking silently, alone.
My thoughts bounce from the pinnacles of possibility
to the depths of despair, turning back and forth by the minute.
Restless yet spent, I stumble through each and every day
seeking only a moment to catch my breath (secretly hoping it will be my last).
Life is not fair that way. It will pummel you, but it won’t let you quit.
You have to do that on your own time, whenever that might be.
If I had the courage to end it all, wouldn’t I then have the courage to live it all?
You would think. On both counts you’d be wrong.
So until breath departs and sleep descends, I keep stumbling along.
If you see me in the road, cross the street.
The stench of defeat can wilt an angel’s wings.