Poem – For an Old Lover

For an Old Lover

I can see your gaze on the horizon, steady,
not like mine as I drive alone
glancing at everything
                      that measures
how far I am from home.

The number on the trip odometer is a fraction,
nominal in the permanent measurement, scant
but significant, vital to the equation’s precision,
it itself a testament,
                      as you know

The eyes’ weariness serves warning for the midnight blues,
         but music waits in the cold morning
when I’m trembling close to you.

“And these are the days for roses, poetry and prose…


-O'Connell

Poem – Mount Corcoran

Mount Corcoran
		-Albert Bierstadt, 1877

The black bear waits
to kiss the water’s edge
Under fallen trees
		the trout nap together
and the waterfall
hums almost unnoticed.

Just a “mountain lake”
before the water dried:
From a hidden source
	the artificial light shines
on the sides
of white-capped triangles.

Under the clouds,
poor Al renamed his baby.

Under the approaching clouds,
cranes relax against redwoods,
rubbing against the aging sequoias.

The paintbrush dabbed lightly
before another application,
before the bassinet wails
asking to be tended.

Oh, let’s frame it.


-O'Connell

Poem – Simple Clarity

Simple Clarity
	For Jean Donnelly

Oh, Jean, it’s okay
If you do it beautifully,

My name’s rhyme
Nothing else should
Clarify so simple

The pen’s condensation
A long draught
The ink’s condescension
A first draft

The end product
     begins logic
Who creates
I know
           I shall meet—
The scholars—and
The daffodils—
At night the moon—
Diving into the—
Neither rosy nor
     prim is like—
My country is—cross

A young boy lying
Underneath crying
So much—
             —as such,
I will sleep
                 Near it.


-O'Connell