June 11, 2020

“Silenced,” The Poetry of Joan McNerney

“Silenced,” The Poetry of Joan McNerney
What is never spoken of and pushed down 
becomes mold crawling over hearts. 
Strangling our voices, it scuttles through  
corridors, tunneling, warping each day. 
My body . . . this swollen thing carried by  
legs too thin and crippled to uphold it. 
Pushed down, tightly clamped in now 
full of pain, gasping for each breath. 
Smothered, silenced. 

street corners 
enveloped in 
exhaust fumes 
slate-like formations 
wait for light 
to change 
her carbon dress 
his face of ashes 
crushed within 
this granite body 
we eat grey food 
pulling empty 
air through narrow 
passageway to 
ink stain train 
along blurred 
landscape of city 
inside myself 
searching a 
one clear line 
of perspective 
which distinguishes 
buildings from 
streets & points 
to where 
the synthetic 
sky ends 

Sick sick sick 

of my silence 
the universe is 
a labyrinthine in my  
ear ear ear. 
I am deaf from it 
there is no sure 
melody in these 
crazy strains. 
Deaf deaf deaf 
dumb blinded 
loosening mind 
for just one moment 
to a maze of human 
dilemma absurd. 
Gone gone gone 
everything is 
senselessly gone 
running thru rooms 
marked no exit 
crying out in 
no voice. 
Dance dance dance 
on the barbed wire 
of time feet raw 
raw raw bleeding 
blood blood blood. 


This grey day unrolls before us. 
I want to scream out against 
flat skies, tear up coarse air. 
I am put through my paces 
with long lists of minutiae. 
Acrid weariness crawls up spine. 
My eyelids droop shut. 
Today marches forward. . .another 
tin soldier knocking yesterday aside. 
Each night coming faster, faster. 
Winds blowing stronger, stronger. 
Cats howl in cold circles as 
ragged leaves cling to boughs. 
Raindrops fall like black ink 
under small pools of street lights. 
Darkness gathers close. . . 
my shadow, that long black 
silhouette slanting down  
follows me into the long night. 



Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in many literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Poet Warriors, Blueline, and Halcyon Days.  Four Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Review Journals, and numerous Spectrum Publications have accepted her work.  Her latest title, The Muse In Miniature, is available on Amazon and Cyberwit.net.  She has four Best of the Net nominations.  This is her first feature on The Fictional Café.

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