Monday 12 June 2023

Five Poems by Joan McNerney



Falling Asleep


Curling into a question mark

                eyes shuttered

                         lips pursed

                               hands empty.


Dropping through

long dusty shafts

down into dank cellars.

Leaving behind faded day.


That last cup of sunlight

pouring from fingertips.

Lulled by rattling trains,

                sighs of motors.


Bringing nothing but

memory into night.

Now I will     untie knots

                   tear off wrappings

opening wide bundles of dreams.




Fog horns sound though

air soaked in blackness.

All evening long listening

to hiss of trucks, cars.


Shadows brush across walls

as trees trace their branches.

Gathering and waving

together then swaying apart.


While I sleep, stars glide

through heaven making

their appointed rounds in

ancient sacred procession.


Dreams as smooth as rose

petals spill into my mind

growing wild patches in

this dark garden of night.



Lost Dream

I am driving up a hill

without name on an

unnumbered highway.


This road transforms into

a snake winding around

coiled on hair pin turns.


At bottom of the incline

lies a dark village strangely

hushed with secrets.


How black it is.  How difficult

to find that dream street

which I must discover.


Exactly what I will explore

is unsure.  Where I will find it

is unknown.  All is in question.


I continue to haunt gloomy

streets in this dream town

crossing dim intersections.


Everything has become a maze

where one line leads to another

dead ends become beginnings.


Deciding to abandon my search,

I return for my automobile…

nowhere to be found in shadows.


Finally I look up at the moon’s

yellow eye…my lips forming

prayers to a disinterested god. 





My mind is an ocean

where swimmers, surfers,

sun worshippers cavort.


Long salty hair

held between

their teeth.


wild flowered gowns

            …streams of silk

                waves of taffeta

                splashy lace.


They sail through

my watery face

combing my eyes

whispering in my ears.


Alone, under a pointillist sky.

Gulls flying around me.

Black waters touched by

moon of vague prophecy.


When I Was New


When I was new

and the world was new.


So many roads to wander

under a cerulean sky.

Forbidden fruits to savour,

forbidden lips to taste.


Full of promise, flowers

budding on the vine.

Their perfume covering

my fingertips.


I hurried through each day

alive with my songs.

The moon rose just for me and

stars burned just for me


Every morning brought 

sunshine to my window.

Another day filled with wonder

waiting at my doorstep.


Spring was greener then.

When I was new

and the world was new.

Joan McNerney has been the recipient of three scholarships. She has recited her work at the National Arts Club, New York City, State University of New York, Oneonta, McNay Art Institute, San Antonio and the University of Houston, Texas as well as other distinguished venues. A reading in Treadwell, New York was sponsored by the American Academy of Poetry.

Published worldwide in over thirty five countries. her work has appeared in literary publications too numerous to mention. Four Best of the Net nominations have been awarded to her.

The Muse in Miniature and Love Poems for Michael are both available on and Released recently is a new title At Work. This collection shows colourful but realistic snapshots of working women and men in their daily lives.











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