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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 sun.

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.

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