In the Mirror

In the mirror I see a man
I ask who is this man
But I know
I know this man very well
But I don’t
He is new to me
As he is every day
He changes
He never is the same
New thoughts change him
Old thoughts leave him
And change him
His heart is broken one day
And full the next
Or broken one hour
And full the next
There is always joy
A freedom I don’t see very often
I like this person
And I feel for him as well
Love has not escaped him
It’s there in his face
Laughter has also been a good friend
It too sits there
I never know who I will see
When I look in the mirror

copyright Don MacLeod


The End of the World

Today feels like the end of the world, so

I’m pretending that I’m high.

It’s easier that way.

I refuse reality. I will not play along.


The boulevard is smeared with piles of Oreo ice cream.

A river flows on the edge of the street and

10 year old boys race popsicle sticks.

My dad’s truck splashes by, almost hits us.


My dad doesn’t wave because

there’s work to be done.

There’s always something to do,

even while the world is dying.


Nothing ends here
in the rush of the bitter wind
over the snowdrifts.

I have forgotten
the last call of the birds
as they left.

The rocks are bare
and sleek with white ice.

I stare at the ring light of ice
around the sun every morning.

The stars at night are endless.

The letter to me
from the one before me
says the winter goes on forever
and that I must stay.

But I need only my breath
as it leaves my body.
I no longer need
the weight of the earth
to travel.

I will build a ship
from ice
and the black pebbles
along the frozen river.

– Copyright Kay Winter

Full Moon New Year

Blow the bells toward magic
oaken and tangled
in the dark rim of trees.

Chime songs frozen in air
over the last snow of the old year.

Slow this cold night
silver children
of the full moon.

Be new
at the still pond

Voices of regret and hope
carried by north wind
to your wept heart.

Darkness in your limbs.

But there, just there,
do you see?

Lights glance
across the ice,
through the passing
of one year,
toward another.

Copyright Kay Winter

All That Matters

People jump off ledges


high above the street.


Dogs get crushed by cars.


People kill people


with guns,


with knives,


with their bare hands.


Trains come off their rails and spill destruction


onto the morning commute.


Mom is screaming at her children.


Dad is in jail for selling you know what.


Your pilot is badly hung over.


You can be replaced at work.


Your poetry is god awful.


So is the music you listen to


and the movies you watch.


Your socks don’t match.


You have crumbs on your shirt.


You didn’t wash your hands.


Your teeth hurt.


You smell rank.


A beautiful bird crashes hard into the window.


The model can’t keep food down anymore.


She’s coughing blood.


The president is an asshole.


We’re all going to die.


The doctor killed his patient


because he checked Facebook


during open heart surgery.


Mom and Dad are divorced now.


The children hate them.


The house is on fire.


He drinks too much.


She’s crazy on drugs.


Rich, white men pass laws to make themselves richer.


Someone shoots one of them in the face.


The sky glows danger.


The best player on your team just shredded his knee.


You slip and fall down the basement stairs.


Your arm snaps like a pencil.


Your 2 year old drowns in the neighbors’ pool.


All of this is happening,


all day,


every day.


This is the world we live in.


But I don’t care about


any of it.


All that matters to me


is this tiny, gray kitten






from the patio door.



A door seldom opens in the late Tuesday clouds
Up here in the tower.

None of us have wings, for all our celestial perceptions.

I want to fall backwards out of this life
into the city.

I have a white bag filled with tissue paper.

I don’t mind leaving nothing behind.

Take me to the silver doors,
with one last look at my reflection,
I will escape clueless
into the alley,
befriended by a tortoiseshell cat.

I want to fall backwards out of this life.

There is a place that I will make waiting.
The sidewalk will crumble behind me.

I will no longer be the legs ascending the opera stairs
ahead of you, no longer the complacent shoulder.
No longer the pieces you think
you put together.

I have earned this small violence.


Copyright Kay Winter