by Joan McNerney  

Falling Asleep

Curling into a question mark
eyes shuttered
lips pursed
hands empty.

Dropping through
long dusty shafts
down into dank cellars.
Leaving behind faded day.

That last cup of sunlight
pouring from fingertips.
Lulled by rattling trains,
sighs of motors.

Bringing nothing but
memory into night.
Now I will     untie knots
tear off wrappings
opening wide bundles of dreams.

White Heat

This dry moment
we lay in sweat beds.

Limp flowers turned
into themselves.

Lightning scorches
skies with hot zigzags.

Will it ever rain, when
will cicadas be silent?

Memories of a white room
burning pains…shunts, stains.

A bottle bursts filling the
sidewalk with rancid beer.

Throat of bird
swollen, screaming.


Fog horns sound though
air soaked in blackness.
All evening long listening
to hiss of trucks, cars.

Shadows brush across walls
as trees trace their branches.
Gathering and waving
together then swaying apart.

While I sleep, stars glide
through heaven making
their appointed rounds in
ancient sacred procession.

Dreams as smooth as rose
petals spill into my mind
growing wild patches in
this dark garden of night.

How Trouble Grows

Trouble is patient
hiding around corners.
creeping through shadows
entering without a sound.

It starts as a seed blown
by careless winds and
covers your garden with
foul  brackish weeds.

Or sparks from a match
spread over fertile ground
becoming flames speeding
through the long night.

Trouble knows where you live.
You cannot hide from it.
Gaining a foothold, growing
fat feeding on your flesh.

Watch how trouble grows
inch by inch, molecule
by molecule coursing
through your veins.

Trouble begins as a whisper
day by day growing louder.
Stronger than your heart beat
becoming a thumping drum.

Soon you will forget
there was a time
when trouble was
not at your side.


Wearing designer clothes
and sleek jewelry,
she traipses along willy nilly
throwing  golden kismet
wherever  whimsy calls.

Some think luck chooses their
goodness or hard work. Perhaps
they were blessed at birth?

The wise know luck wears a
visor tripping over herself
favoring  both mean and lazy.

Luck has a toxic twin called
Misfortune covered with
gloom.  Dressed in dusty
rags, stupor-like he selects
unsuspecting victims.

Stomping helter skelter
clutching the throats of
both meek and mighty.  

Everybody who gets in his way
will be pushed down, their
muffled cries barely heard.

About the Author:

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous 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 Kind of A Hurricane Press Publications have accepted her work.  Her latest title, The Muse In Miniature, is available on and she has four Best of the Net nominations.