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Editor's Note



Three Poems
by Joan McNerney


Dream...the fox on Lake Ontario
Walking downhill,
feet warm as dark
earth is warm, warm.
Slender girl slipping,
wrapped round by slender
dress.  Stepping pass
trees, over moss.  Hair
blown by swollen summer
wind.  Sliding through
moving pattern of sun
on leaves.
sleeves of
Walking to the grass,
through the grass,
lush, long grass,
dancing on ankle,
the girl stops
frightened by a fox!
If a fox should see me,
should be near me and
I take off my slender
dress.  O how fast
the fox will come
showing his great red
face, staring at me
with pinched nose.
O the fox, leaping
into me.  I would be
captured without my
slender dress wrapped
round my swollen breasts.
Swans are swimming
on the lake.  Swans
swimming on Lake Ontario.
I will not be afraid.
If he were near, swans
would never swim on this
lake.  I will take off
my slender dress wrapped
round my slender waist,
find a hole in the lake.
The fox will not be in
the lake.  I will
stay with smiling swans,
swimming, swimming
across the lake.

The Subliminal Room
That weepy October
marigolds were so full.
I made an omelet with
them.  Do you remember?
All November, leaves
mixed with rain, making
streets slippery.  We
listened mostly to Chopin.
Leaves droop in September
too ripe and heavy for
trees.  I was careful
not to slip, dreading
when leaves would grow
dry and crumble.
Some live all winter
through the next spring.
Chased by winds, they
huddle in corners,
reminding me of mice.
I confessed to you
how I loved Russian
poets and waited for
a silent revolution,
revealing my childhood
possessed by rosaries
and nuns chanting Ave,
Ave, Ave Maria.  "Your
navel exudes the warmth
of 10,000 suns", you said.
We still live in this
subliminal room.
Jonah did not want to
leave the whale's stomach.
We continue trying to
decipher Chopin.  Your
eyes are two bunches of
morning glories.  Sometimes
the sky is so violet.
Will we ever live by the
sea, Michael, and eat
carrots?  I do not want
my sight to fail.  Hurry,
the dew is drying on the

As if you could come so swiftly
unnoticed like butterflies tapping
wild flowers with soft yellow wings.
Appearing before me quietly
while morning mist curls through
coolness of mint-green spring.
You walking over roads through
fields where tree shadows make
heavy slants against the sun.
As alive as day...saying my name...
filling me up with the taste of you...
kissing my mouth awake again.
By touch and whisper how we would
imitate long leaves weaving, undulating
and finally surrendering to silence.

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Blueline, Spectrum, three Bright Spring Press Anthologies and several Kind of A Hurricane Publications.  She has been nominated three times for Best of the Net.  Four of her books have been published by fine small literary presses. 

Copyright 2013, © Joan McNerney. This work is protected under the U.S. copyright laws. It may not be reproduced, reprinted, reused, or altered without the expressed written permission of the author.