Marcy McNally "Five Poems"
Sausalito houseboat sitting,
alone, waiting, chilled, abating
the foggy, groggy morning,
rocking on the deck of creaking
boards in a dilapidated chair,
fragments of a soggy, buttery
brioche chased back with yesterday’s
Blue Bottle latte, I gaze at rippling,
grey water, swaying, as cargo boats
coast into the swirling bay and tall ships
glide swiftly under the bridge.
Flickering lights signal danger ahead
as they quickly fade from view.
Like you, like me, disappearing
that morning, in the mist.
Massive, the Golden Gate spans before me
as miniscule orange figures crawl along the
slippery walkways and climb, suspended,
endlessly patching rust and weathered paint,
amidst honking cars, billowing clouds, and haze.
Like you, like me, disappearing
that morning, in the mist.
Rock-strewn shores, lathered in foam,
curl around my eyes, as I remember,
uncharted in the sand, shimmering
autumn leaves drifting in windswept
waves, your fleeting, feathery kiss on
my damp forehead, your hands clammy,
uneasy fingers searching for a way to say
A foghorn bellows and footsteps fall; I turn
and slowly loosen my net from your heart hook,
another journey beckoning, as a drifting wayfarer
approaches, quietly shuffling along the waterfront,
waving his hand and asking for a weather report.
Like you, like me, appearing, that morning,
in the mist.
Devil’s Claw Narrative
Distant dust devils spiral across sacred land as whirling desert sands sweep
Tohono O’odham villages made of mud adobe and wood; wafts of mesquite
fires burning and pungent rain-soaked creosote fill the sunlit valleys as I tread
cautiously along the mountain path toward Baboquivari.
Majestic saguaro cacti, crowned with waxen, white blossoms, erupt from
rocky, muted land as a diamond-back rattler coils in the brush, seeking shelter
from blistering heat. Grunts and snorts resound as a bristly javelina savagely
grubs for gourds and roots. A hairy-legged tarantula scuttles over harsh earth,
slowly lifting a pointed appendage as though cursing the heat, as we, the desert
dwellers of Sonora travel barren land in search of solace and shade.
Climbing, ever upward, blistered by scorching sun, I reach my sanctuary,
a humble mound of rock and stone, that form the entrance to I’ioto’s legendary
home; a sacred place where spiritual ancestors guide me to higher ground, a hidden cave
clothed in red and yellow earth, slated deep in canyon rock. I bow my head and
beckon the gods to impart their wisdom, my ears and heart longing for ancient wisdom
to lead me along the good red road. The silence of the moment engulfs me, like
billowing white clouds envelop vast blue sky; I become pure and clean.
I can hear Heyoka’s laughter echo over this barren landscape as a hungry coyote howls
and the empowering torture of merciless sunlight builds my bones strong in ferocious fire,
forging my desires and dreams into desert destiny as the tarantula dances with pointed foot
marching toward the sun.
Arid skies pierce my eyes, my flesh and heart, as snagged, I, too, become desert prey,
the devil’s claw ensnares my ankle, tight as the pain of birth or the grip of death.
Tiny blood beads drop against the shifting sands.
My epitaph evolves as I rest, in silence, pensive, perched on my sacred sunstone,
watching a cautious foot move through dust, whispering in shade, dancing toward
The Garden of Eden
Leafy palmetto, erotic orchid, and feathered fern
conceal furtive hunger as Adam and Eve indulge in
frivolous pleasure, yet leisurely diversion soon becomes
exotic error as sybaritic pastimes elicit evolving betrayal.
Dark, unspoken nuances permeate the raw chastity of
tranquility along garden paths; malevolent thorns penetrate
decaying hearts, procreating false rapture as life surrenders
to death’s final dagger.
Deceiving dialogue tosses and turns as cunning confrontation
challenges Adam and Eve in the illusory margins of Eden.
The Serpent slithers, stealthily setting primordial traps,
entreating and provoking, in a masterful dance of pretense.
The enticing snake beckons; veiled in secrecy, proposing
dangerous covenants perceived only by those who tempt
the limits of paradise, seduced by desire, poisoned by the
twisted, tantalizing lies of malicious, misguided power.
Adam and Eve ferment, green with greed, eager and wild
for cryptic wisdom. Anguish drips, without mercy,
as ecstasy degenerates, slowly, sifted through a sinister,
subtle sieve, dismembering paradisal innocence.
Shadow selves emerge unaware, sublime into slime, distilling
floral nectar into foul, putrid fruit. The apple dangles.
Naïve teeth gnaw for illicit knowledge, lured into the guilt
of vile revelation, embarrassed and ashamed.
An apple and the insidious tongue of the Serpent vanquish
the once victorious Bullfighter as he lays his cape to rest
over Eve, banished and forgotten, dying slowly on the
ravaged edge of the once splendid Garden of Eden.
Striped skin zebra stuffed into apricot
sunlight, I walk into your black and white
bones, preparing a new myth in the
Dusk of Animalistic Pride, my tribal ritual
becoming an eerie tribute to the natural world,
to the realm of survival, as I carefully dissect
the sinews and tissues, precisely mounting
each delicate element with wire strand and
cotton thread, as calmly as you once surveyed
the Tanzanian hills at the setting of a wild
and orange sun.
callow, my naïve body, extends with floundering hands,
and foraging feet, creviced in soil, wet, tender, seeped
in soggy toil, scratching, digging, groping deep, into
sludge, mired, darkness, no light, me, barely visible,
barren, dormant, me, waiting in winter, muddied,
in bottom waters sullied, opaque and blind, probing
in shadow, searching, obscure, heavy, oblivious.
shifting into merging light, silken, rising,
from beneath, floating, awakening, emerald green,
surfacing, above, spring ascending, delicate, fragile,
untouched, shooting into becoming, shedding, i,
surrendering into bliss, a peaceful aqua paradise,
surrounding slender, translucent, cool leaves delight,
my skin, touching eyes awakened, fertile in velvet ponds,
my innocence, profound, evolving, transforming,
as the pink lotus, bursting into bloom, swelling sweet
yellow, sunlit center, sprouting to the sky, embodies
my rebirth, raw, untamed, natural, I, liberated, am.
Florida-based writer, Marcy McNally’s extensive communications career includes award-winning, international advertising, public relations, and marketing campaigns. Her poetry, short stories, and articles have appeared in numerous print and online publications. Recently published poems include “Homeless,” Vagabond Press, EXTREME Anthology, “Chekhov Reverie,” Willawaw Journal, Spring 2019, “Homage to O’Keefe,” Tiny Spoon, Issue 1, Spring 2019, “Crystal snowflakes,”Haiku Journal #62, Prolific Press, Inc., April 2019.