Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Salvo for Aleppo

O’ Khalpe, Hadad, Beroea, Alep,1
You have suffered, are weary White2 Friend,
O’ Ancient City where the Silk Road ends
Where White Helmets3 search scree for signs of breath;

Ahmed and Anya4 have been laid to rest, 
Admiral Grigorovich5 leaves the Black Sea,
Trump declares National Security,
Your state of being, is the next test;

From the Citadel the battle cry blares,
The soks6 are rubble, the walls caved to dust,
There are no safety zones, no peace in mosques,
Those who stay, bury, cloaked in grief and prayers:

No child of God should suffer this horror,7
Remaining souls drift, exist as shadows,
Soaking rags to thwart a menace they know,8
Where, Alep, is your balm, your tomorrow?

(Written April 2017)

1.  The various names that Aleppo has been called through the ages.
2. Aleppo is known as the White One because of its marble deposits.
3. Some who search the rubble for survivors don white helmets.
4. Names of the two babies found among the dead – the result of a gas attack on Syria in April 2017.
5. Admiral Grigorovich is the name of a U.S. destroyer.
6. Soks are the popular market stalls.
7 Part of Trump’s speech as validation for his retaliatory strike on Syrian forces.
8. This is what Syrians did to try to defend against another gas attack.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Winter's Farewell - A Poem

Snow lines the sill.

I wait
for the bees
to greet
the petite, purple asters
beside my worn, white fence.

I sense
the aching
of the dormant trees.

Once sticky pinecones
lay crushed
beneath the evergreen's
brittle, burdened limbs.

By Mary E Lohan

Monday, December 11, 2017

Grown - A Poem

blocks of seconds,
minutes, days,

You were born
perfectly timed,

I found a cause
in those newborn eyes

that tracked mine steadily,
with smiles sublime

and to think -- your age
was just days.

Now, you stand
years later

without reaching
for my hand

I'm in awe ...
Every day I'm inspired by

what you know,
what you love,

I used to hold you close to me

when you were sad

now you come to me,
circle your arms about me

when my smile doesn't surface

Boy, how you've grown.

By Mary E Lohan
For My Boys

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

December Ocean - A Poem

Don't be fooled

even oceans
so vast and

have tempo,

On the drive
to the beach

sunbathers gone
only lone fishermen

the ocean
beneath the bridge

to the island
is serene, flat

like blue glass
save for a ripple,

How many times
did I travel

this same passage
to spy an ocean


Yet today, she
is slow,

the waves breaking

the large waves
pushing forth

then spilling softly
into rolls,

Way out in the distance
boats ride her

It's an easy day
on the placid water

as gulls dive and bask
under a blue
sun-strewn sky

their wings taking them
far into the horizon,

then landing feet first
onto the giant's sleeping belly.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Un-Becoming - A Poem

How not to become
an un-

a prefix sans sun



By Mary E. Lohan

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Train of Thought - A Poem

It becomes you

The gelatinous translucence
spurs debate
which prompts silence
inwardly the gears turn
and the engines

We cannot escape ourselves
regardless of the category,

We have consumed
the fallacy
of what our lives should mean
as we go from tangent to tangent,
then back again

It becomes you,
the longer you think about it.

By Mary E. Lohan 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Forward - A Poem

Sometimes steps forward
appear backward
as if walking on hands
over an arched back

and sometimes Forward
is stationary and yet

to our human eyes,
we move as sloths
weighed down by

and yet to the Universe
we are but twinkles
of a star.

By Mary E. Lohan

Thursday, July 13, 2017

These Storms -- A Poem

I feel for storms
that deep rumbling, dischord
that quickly sweeps and cloaks
all that is bright and light

until they break --
releasing the torrent, 
        the black torment
in a swirl of din, 
                                        and sway
until all that was pent
is spent

washed away.

By Mary E. Lohan 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

To the Weary Self - A Poem (From "Four Folded Corners")

It's not over
although you're tired
and your bones conspire
to retire

Even when
they cheat you
work furiously to defeat you
refuse to meet you -- even halfway

There'll come an hour
if you stand and do not sour
when you shall reclaim your power
ten-fold -- I bid you,

By Mary E. Lohan 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Sine of Life - A Poem (From "Four Folded Corners")

Life is a sine curve --
slide and climb,
never constant
never satisfied
never fulfilled
always leading
to a "turn"
that makes you
feel something,
life breathing soft
upon your pores,
fingertips to lips,
prompting sensation
elation --
is the end
only to want
to start again
fall over the
edge and die
waiting for
the next tide.

By Mary E. Lohan

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Thoughts on the Steps of Butler Library - A Poem (From "Four Folded Corners")

And you couldn't have known me,
couldn't have loved me
like I thought you did
even though your kiss
was a gift each time
upon my brow

and now,
I think upon those times,
      how much of that rush
was me
reading between the lines
of our affection?

Under this vast sky
of deepest blue
amidst the flocked
cry of starlings
from atop these majestic
I am moved

moved by what
this deep blue sky
this flock of birds
these wispy white clouds
can do to me

and yet,
is it not I
who makes them 'moving'
lest everyone should stop,
gape and sigh
at this night's wonderful gifts

as I debate
whether there was love
and not just lust,
between the sheets
of you and I.

By Mary E. Lohan

Monday, May 8, 2017

What are They ... - A Poem (From "Four Folded Corners")

Photo by Shack in the Swamp Photography
What are they these Rubenesque drifters
that layer, like skin, this stratified sky,
     impartial to none, to above nor below,
but do cry

they that sit upon Heaven's shelf
     that cradle the daystar with their faith
and metamorphose into resplendent pillows
     where retired halos lay

they that melt, blending smooth as cream into dusk
     or fluff, like whipped thick egg whites
to be brushed in masses between the amethyst
     cadmium, lapis splashes of eventide,

can you decide?

By Mary E. Lohan

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Progress - A poem

points of

     high, low,

we plot for

itch for

By Mary E. Lohan

Monday, May 1, 2017

Nothing is Constant - Poem (From "Two of Cups")

Nothing is constant -
today's strength
is tomorrow's weakness
and the point,
forever shifting.

I have seen storms
that could drown
even you

yet, in my weakest moment
I draw strength
as a sail would
and fly,

if it were not you I'd be gone,
but I cannot just leave,
I will linger as clouds do
before they are swept
or blown away.

By Mary E. Lohan

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Our December (1994) (From "Four Folded Corners")

This New York snow
freezes cold
and all you do is pace
and flay,
say whatever comes to tongue
each gutteral flung
from your mouth
like blackened snow
     I lean against a parked car
under fire,
afraid to blow a sigh
into this ice-picked wind
that might sling back

     and yet, my silence
brings a death
worse than dying,

I too
have learned to fall from heights
so quiet.

By Mary E. Lohan

MOMA - A Poem (From "Speaking to the Darkness")

Cezanne - Still Life with Apples
The sun
kindles the sky

I dodge the New
York suits
the anthill scramble
of lunchtime,

pay the speckled lady
in the white, wide lobby
to broach the mazes
of these boxed halls,

the din of school kids
    spins then falls,

Gauguin - Still Life with Three Puppies
up the aligned
escalators we go,
lovers and others,
like me, alone, stroll

at the top, Marina
Abramovic --
B&W films roll

within a few steps
post-war tension

jiggling breasts
one feminine
face, aghast

     extended --

Picasso's Wives & Lovers
I retreat to spaces
less impeding --
the calm and familiar
floors beneath:

Still Life with Apples,
stippled, deep landscapes,
plumes of color,
Still Life with Three Pupplies,
why does Picasso's
Wives and Lovers
sadden me so?

I leave burdened
by their loss
of color, their heavy
lined faces
that have yet
to grieve

Until she bids me
stay --

The Girl Behind 
a Mirror with her
bright gestured

with so much to say

like Christina 
from her World*
reaching, reaching,
     Come back for me...

I cannot leave
with one still to see,

a tourist
him, spright,
always a

his beard
blaring from
behind the glass

What a precocious
Always a flirt.

By Mary E. Lohan

*Christina's World - Wyeth
**Portrait of Joseph Roulin - Van Gogh

MOMA - Museum of Modern Art

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Halo - A poem (From "Four Folded Corners"

you are not dead
     although that might not seem as bad

four screws

with shaking hands
he drives them
     one by one
     into your skull
an erector set
of metal rods

a bone anchored
so heavy
you are unable to
lie down
without assistance

consider yourself
paralyzed  or
the host
of a tumor
to receive this honor

you don't cry
     not until
he bolts
your head to
the table
slides your body
into an MRI
     so narrow
your elbows
     rub its insides

how do you keep
your sanity
     when its about
      to leave you?


wiggling your toes
     you count and cry
pray you will not
     regurgitate and die

1, 2, 3, 4, 5.....

By Mary E. Lohan

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Mary E. Lohan ~ Poetry: LIC (Long Island City), New York - A Poem (2015)

Mary E. Lohan ~ Poetry: LIC (Long Island City), New York - A Poem (2015): It is as it was We move along the suspended track, winding through smokestacks, edifices without proper faces toward the banking towe...

LIC (Long Island City), New York - A Poem (2015)

It is as it was

We move along the suspended
track, winding through
smokestacks, edifices
without proper faces
toward the banking tower
the lone citadel of this
trash-strewn region

I have returned to
the borough of my youth
not out of want
but necessity
as this Barack era
has further stripped
the city of meaningful
work with benefits

It is as it was --
plentitude and barrenness
exchange greetings

I climb the stairs
to the office.

By Mary E. Lohan

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Mary E. Lohan ~ Poetry: Oceancrest B&B - A Poem

Mary E. Lohan ~ Poetry: Oceancrest B&B - A Poem: Misty darkness the thrumbing windshield wipers the flared "flow this way" mark on roads that look like arrows -- to us Americ...

Oceancrest B&B (2014) - A Poem

Misty darkness
the thrumbing windshield wipers
the flared "flow this way"
mark on roads that look
like arrows -- to us Americans

it sits back from the Atlantic
at the base of a stairway
an open invitation
to the Promenade

I have come to breathe
find myself once again
in the sunsets and panoramas
that inspire awe.

By Mary E. Lohan

Friday, April 21, 2017

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Instructions on How to Clear Your Troubled Mind - A Poem (From "Speaking to the Darkness")

Calculate the misdeeds, list them, itemize them,
affix bold headings like Blame and push through

don't bother being fair
fairness is meant for those you respect

don't bother being polite
rudeness comes naturally and is a measure of might

yes, calculate the misdeeds
list them meticulously, then cite the wrong and the blame

then wonder why this list
(although the names differ) is always the same.

By Mary E. Lohan

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Mary E. Lohan ~ Poetry: The Mechanics of Birth - A Poem (from "Four Folded...

Mary E. Lohan ~ Poetry: The Mechanics of Birth - A Poem (from "Four Folded...: They don't tell you      that you'll have to lie flat      on your back      hold your own legs      from behind your knees a...

The Mechanics of Birth - A Poem (from "Four Folded Corners")

They don't tell you
     that you'll have to lie flat
     on your back
     hold your own legs
     from behind your knees

and pull them toward you
     as close to you
     as your bulging belly will allow

and that he may criticize you
     for not knowing how to push
     for not taking Lamaze.

You've only known him
     as the small, gray-haired
     Russian    who barely smiles
     tells you you've gained too much weight --
     this being your first is no excuse.

They don't tell you
     he may deny you an epidural
     when you can't bare it any longer.

    you said you'd try
         to go Natural
    but that was before
    the labor peaked
         paralyzing you.

Or that
     he might wait too long
     and then,
          you'd have no choice.

Natural childbirth
     How can one push "wrong"?

"Breathe, hee hee hoo hoo," she says
"When you feel the need to push, do so,
and hold til I count to ten."
The nurse thinks she's helping.

She counts, but she's distracted.
Her counting slows down, is off beat --
"Hold it -- no -- don't make a sound,"
but I release off cue.

A failure at pushing
at giving birth to my own son.

Time to hold my breath, wait,
expel --

We're like two rhythm-less dancers
on the floor --
I'm up to 10, she's on 8
I can't wait,

They don't tell you not to moan or groan
beforehand --
wasted energy --
but you can't speak.

My face reddens up,
cheeks puff up,
vessels pop beneath my eyes.

Baby's on the brink of crowning

"You have to try harder," he says,
"He can't stay that way much longer."

And all I can think of
     because I'm muted in pain
is someone save my baby.

I scream, fuck the rules
I push and scream, I still can't speak
     Push, push -- help.

Within moments, he cuts me,
     and my son slides free --

He's wriggling but quiet,
I look at my husband and cry,
     "Is he okay?"

"He's fine... beautiful," he says,
     "Lie quiet."

In a flash, he is weighed
     I hear his cry,
and he's cleaned,

And his eyes ---
     opened wide.

He lies in my trembling arms
     a big, head-full-of-hair boy
eyes blinking through the balm --
     Hi, Mom.

By Mary E. Lohan

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

What Lays Hidden - a Poem

What lays hidden
begs attention
until one day
I utter
a mention
and all that
flies away.

By Mary E. Lohan

Monday, April 17, 2017

Nurse - A Poem

How very little can be done under the spirit of fear - Florence Nightingale

I lie on the table
striking a pose
for the ultrasound tech,
half on my back
right arm bent
over my head,

the doctor arrives,
a round older man,

a needle of lidocane
then pressure,
an extended buzz,

a breast biopsy is not fun,

still, it's the nurse,
who gets my

she has grabbed
my hand mid-procedure
is hunkered in close,
talking about "La La Land"
and other light fare

her attention on me
doesn't waiver,

"Squeeze my hand
if you have to,"
"I'm okay," I say

I'm surprised
how shakey I am

"likely the

she steadies me
stays with me,
wraps my wounds

we are like sisters
talking about boys,
altho' the topic is
about wounds
and infection

she sends me off
with an icepack, ace
bandages wrapped
tight about my breasts,
and advice,

and when I arrive
home, I am calm,

as if she is still there,
hunkered in,
holding my hand,

her spirit has stayed,

and I am less
and less afraid.

By Mary E. Lohan

Note: A very special thank you to Nurse Carmella at Ocean Medical Center 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

I'm Not One to Question God - Poem

I'm not one
to question God

after all,
against the odds
you found me

lured me with
your charm

..I can't help

but get lost
in your arms

think of you
from afar,

I know you
have doubts

while I have faith,

I guess,
it comes down to
"What are the odds?"

but really,

I'm not one
to question God

and everything is but
a breath in space.

by Mary E. Lohan

Friday, April 14, 2017

Love (It can be...) -- A Poem (From "Four Folded Corners")

It can be
     a shackle,
a surname you can't spell
     or pronounce,
a placeholder in a large bed,
     a reason to corner her and vent,

but what if it were
     a momentary,
meaningful embrace,
     a softly whispered word,
a butterfly kiss,

By Mary E. Lohan

A special thanks to Shack in the Swamp Photography for use of their beautiful images on my blog. 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Pink Moon, Old Moon - A Poem

Wispy white clouds
a golden, brilliant sun
slowly surrender
to twilight
and there you are
white wafer moon
greeting me

like you have greeted
my father,
his father,
my people,
all people,
since the beginning,

bearing witness
guiding tribes

     the pink wave
paints the Great Plains
under your nightlight,
     parents hide eggs
for children,
a Sunday delight

the prayers of millions
will be said
      soft and slow

for those delivered
for the One who gave up

within your sight.

By Mary E. Lohan

Your Eyes: A Poem (From "Two of Cups": A New York Poet in Galway"

When I revel
in your eyes
I die --

become one
with the moon
and sun

rising and falling
with your every

By Mary E Lohan

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Mary E. Lohan ~ Poetry: Bissjon (Lovanger, Sweden) - A Poem

Mary E. Lohan ~ Poetry: Bissjon (Lovanger, Sweden) - A Poem: By happenstance, I am here beneath this forever sky that stretches beyond memory candy pink haze vanilla and blue hues of light u...

Keanu - A Poem (from "Four Folded Corners")

You linger

a twilight sky
full of stars
cannot compete

all is quiet

except for the rustling of leaves
stirred by your breath

as you move
between worlds.

By Mary E. Lohan

Bissjon (Lovanger, Sweden) - A Poem

By happenstance,
I am here
beneath this forever sky
that stretches
beyond memory

candy pink haze
vanilla and blue hues
of light until dusk

a yellow cottage
sits at the gate
of this quaint hamlet

purchased from
the quiet dairy farmer
who tends to the lengths
of land and hay

has plucked me,

from the bustle
of New York
and dropped me here
at the Northern most
reaches of the Earth

closer to the Mongols
than ever before

We drive to the market
foraging for food
amongst the foreign
letters and staples  --

sandwich cakes topped
with seafood are a sight
to behold

English is a visitor
that comes and goes

We pay for bags
and jump into the
rented Volvo that
runs for miles upon miles
on diesel

travel over
smooth, perfect
highway roads
guarded by
camera traffic

pines line the way
abound like skyscrapers
in a huge city

they fall away
to expose an expanse
of farmland

the sky
looming large, vast
and limitless

in winter
these roads are
refuges from the
swaths of snow drifts
that engulf feet and legs
with a crunch

in spring
these wildflower
lined paths take you
through emerald
and gold seas
straight to the
gate of

By Mary E. Lohan

Monday, April 10, 2017

For-word Play - a poem (From "Four Folded Corners")

I know you like me
     when I dress up in punctuation
flaunt my vowels,
     strut my diction in a standard font,

Who needs a negligee, Baby --
     I've got words.

By Mary E. Lohan 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Mary E. Lohan ~ Poetry: What Made Me Cry - A Poem (From "Four Folded Corne...

Mary E. Lohan ~ Poetry: What Made Me Cry - A Poem (From "Four Folded Corne...: It wasn't boarding the plane with my preschool child, his face reddened from crying, from not wanting to leave Dad from fearing ...

What Made Me Cry - A Poem (From "Four Folded Corners")

It wasn't
boarding the plane
with my preschool child,
his face reddened
from crying,
from not wanting
to leave Dad
from fearing the new,
the unknown,

or holding my toddler
for seven hours
in the airport
on the plane,

or that I made
several trips
to the onboard
to change
a Pamper
to play
in the sink
to change
a Pamper
to play
in the sink
to accompany
my older  son,
to change
a Pamper
to play
in the sink,

It wasn't
arriving in Ireland
worn down
from contemplating
the state of us
of our marriage,

it wasn't the nights
of struggle
trying to get the kids
to sleep
without you,
in a pitch black
back-country room,

together --
a toddler
and preschool child
with battling bottles

it wasn't
from feeling alone
or unsure,

it wasn't
the returning flight
leaving us additional
hours to fill

or that my mom
was overtired,
having not slept
from an excursion
to the pub
the night before,

it wasn't
the added trips
to the bathroom
to the plane's kitchen
or me following
one son, after another,

or holding
the smaller one
on my lap as he
played with someone
behind me

or that I hadn't slept well
in over a week,
or that I couldn't sleep
on the plane,
although I had
been awake
for more than
24 hours

it wasn't because
I sat on the floor
while the plane
was in the air,
so that my sons
could lie down
using my seat
to stretch out on,

     it was the passenger
who approached me
as I sat on the floor
beside my toddler,
     who leaned into my ear
and whispered in a soft,
kind, reassuring voice --

"You're such a patient,
wonderful mom."

By Mary E. Lohan