The Blue God


The blue god of war

    is so strong

he can twist trees

with the tip of his tongue.


You better not defy him

              scream at him

              lie to him.

He’ll explode and beat

      the hell out of you.


He lives on nothing 

   will die for nothing

   makes us children

   shivering all night

   crying in empty winds

   turning our tears to ice.


The blue god of war

    is so strong

northern winds bow to his will.


He doesn’t dig

           your moaning

           and groaning.

You better shut up or he’ll 

make mincemeat out of you.


He laughs at everything

has respect for nothing

makes us afraid to fight

when he spits in our faces

turning our tears to ice.


So we watch in silence

waiting for the coming light

when he will hold us

in his burning hands

and we will be born twice

    once by fire

    once by ice.






His insignificant fingers

search coded panels

buttons cool smooth

attached to glowing screens.


But isn’t that power

general motors

general electric

or maybe major, major holocaust?


So admirable

the admiral

can sweep our planet away

in less than half an hour.


Another fact to live with

we can all blow up

in flames.

At any instant

galleries of murdered faces.


All of us born with this

strange dilemma.

Why do anything

when everything is wrong?

Our hearts caged in fear.


The eyes of the dead

are glassy and surprised

staring with open mouths.


Yes and always there is pain

of what could possibly remain.

Perhaps some slabs of concrete?

Is that all we have been building, buildings?



Occupant Apartment 2 D


His days marched in place

days like tin soldiers each one 

pushing the next aside. 


Hurry, hurry before it is too late…

inside a gaping hole to be filled. 

More and more of the surface 

of his life was covered by dust.


The hallway gave off a musty odor.  

Night after night, lights burned.

Busted dreams heaped in boxes.

Black marks covered floors.  


Less and less energy to clean up. 

His body betrayed him, both his

bones, his breath betrayed him. 


One edge of his room spoke to 

the other. His fan purred all summer,  

basement furnace heaved all winter.

This incessant sigh gathering dust.





Maybe it had been too 

much helping her mother.

She hurried home after work.

with medicine, carrying bags of 

groceries, rushing to cook. 

Endless cleaning, piles of wash.  

She arranged medical visits, 

wrote checks, handled mail,

balanced accounts.  


Then there were all the little things.  

Turn up the radio. Turn it down.  

Run out for candy.  Pick up newspapers.

Find something cool to drink.  

Make something hot. Every day

her mother’s health seemed worse.  


Visiting her in the hospital,

Gloria consulted doctors.  

Trying to digest complicated 

medical terms coiled in 

convoluted sentences.  

Straining to interpret arched 

eyebrows half smiles, mumbles.  


Everything led to dead ends.  

Sorrow stabbed at her with 

its blazing knife.  Finally 

there was nothing left to do

but light candles in church.


About the Author 
 Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Blueline, Spectrum, three Bright Spring Press Anthologies and several Kind of A Hurricane Publications.  She has been nominated three times for Best of the Net.  Poet and Geek recognized her work as their best poem of 2013.  Four of her books have been published by fine small literary presses and she has three e-book titles.