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Jun 2020 · 88
[Hu]Man Up
Brian McDonagh Jun 2020
I have no regrets
starting a landscaping job this summer
after responding to a newspaper advertisement.

During my phone interview
with my soon-to-be boss Jeff,
I learned that this seasonal job
meant working in a team of two.
Jeff said this guy’s name was Mel,
A man who claims over twenty years of experience
piping sewer systems
for the Martinsburg water filtration plant
on top of his continued seasonal work
weeding streets, painting curbs,
and waving to city neighbors.
I usually go along with what I’m given,
but I’m an inexperienced worker,
let alone in pairs of teams.
I also wasn’t happy about working with another guy.
I often think that any person I work with
Will be my age, someone I already know (heaven forbid I should be picked on doubly),
And someone else who doesn’t know the job either.

Not that I’m a full-time feminist,
but I haven’t had many enjoyable moments
associating with the guys
outside my family,
most men I’ve met
are largely competitive, pride-absorbing carnivores.

I was met with relief
when I found out my colleague
is a 72-year-old Mel who seems slow at first glance
yet I am barely able to keep pace with him painting and weeding along streets.

When I first heard my colleague’s name,
I didn’t stereotype.

I honestly assumed my coworker would be my age.
My mental picture of my colleague
was only half wrong:
He may be wrinkled and gray on the outside,
with a raspy voice that quakes his loose dentures on the inside,
but his attitudes and actions haven’t caught up with the times.
I occasionally see him
staring me down while I’m painting
to make sure I don’t overpaint or angle the roller
at an up-down stroke position.
And when I’m driving the company car,
he’ll calmly let out an “Easy there!”
when I’m only going 15 on a 25.


The saying goes:
“A picture is worth a thousand words.”
And a thousand pictures can grow
from one word:
Mel.
Last prompt of my two-week poetry lesson with Dawn Leas.  What a breath of sunshine and ray of air!
Jun 2020 · 87
An Alb That Does Not Sew
Brian McDonagh Jun 2020
I wanted to voluntarily give my time
in 2011
without any parental/outside influence
to build my own heart
and my own destiny.

I’m sure people have had plenty of dates
with Destiny,
leaving Fate to pay the tab.
What Destiny didn’t tell me
at age fourteen
are that churches that mingle together
are still different populations
with different works of focus.

In the Catholic tradition,
any Catholic can go to any designated church
for holy communion,
holding constant how anyone can attend anywhere.

I received more than the church
when I wanted to go to camps
with another church outside my family’s church.
Rather, I got a helping of obedience, discipline,
work, teasing, trouble, uneasy fellowship,
and a deacon who I believe was never true to the words
he preached.

This deacon, Dave Galvin, was not a personal
heart-to-heart person.
All he did, at least to me,
was assign me to loads of work,
answer my problems by pooling for other people’s answers,
and keep camps and youth of his church
[yes, not even being the lead pastor]
on as inflexible of a schedule as possible.

I almost think some days
he wanted me to starve,
because suffering makes him smile.
Most times around this minister
I would take my life as a failure
if I didn’t understand his instructions
Or didn’t have a faux homily lined up
in less than a minute
for a homiletics competition among
other high-school guys at the time.

He rarely smiled during services
unless the priest made a joke.
Gossip says that his family cheats
with religious obligations.
It wouldn’t surprise me
if this man’s family were another
cover-up story.

There’s no genuine fun with this man.
Being around his church and his mannerisms
almost trapped me permanently from recognizing life
outside being pruned as a seminary prodigy,
trapped as a Trappist.

And yet most people mimic him
and reference his motives and leadership.
Being the only one at most church activities
with Dave
from an alien church of another town,
I tried so hard to keep my mind from being controlled
and of being intensely Catholicized
to the point of breaking down.

Now, what I make of my former interactions
with Dave’s church
is meat for my resumes
and stories to recount.
I thought I was free-will from the Divine
not Dave’s puppet.
To be honest, I followed Grammarly's edits on some lines slightly before I published this poem.  Prompt 5 was the strongest prompt for me to write on...about someone that stirred aggression in me.  I may sound like an innocent church boy with how I word this poem, but the feeling has been real to me.
Jun 2020 · 81
Occupational Kin
Brian McDonagh Jun 2020
I have the greatest friendship
with a local Lutheran pastor
because of her willingness
to contribute her thoughts
for an article I hurriedly wrote and published in 2017
on the Protestant Reformation.
She also allowed me the next year
to vent and cry my social troubles to her
for four hours at her office,
like a mother addressing her child’s cry.
In the brief time I have known Pastor Karen,
she continues to be the most passionate person
about living life positively
and about praying for animals.
Pastors will talk creation
at services I attend,
but it’s not too often I hear ministers
set aside social intentions to specify creational matters
as a Sunday prayer.
Pastor Karen is such an important person for me to know,
Being the first woman and Protestant minister
I ever truly befriended.


An Office Depot employee named Matt
remembers my name.
Matt gives business interaction
a whole new meaning:
The secret to his successful customer interaction
is the genuine tone of his voice:
Matt’s voice sounds as though
talking gives him purpose,
while he listens just as sincerely
Happily anticipating relatable life scenarios
from customers.

Skylar,
my friend who works at a homeless shelter,
gives inspiration to young adults like me.
She radiantly exemplifies job loyalty
As house-monitor every weekend.
I usually drop by to hand over donation goods
such as toys for the younger females of the shelter
and foods as peanut butter (a favorite!), alkaline water,
chicken tenders, organic raisin bran cereals,
and toiletries as toilet paper and Kleenex.
There have been times though
where I wanted to just see her.
I told her how I felt, once,
directly asking her in her office
while she was sipping her latte
If she’d want to meet up outside the women’s shelter
for a date.
Skylar informed me that my gesture was sweet,
but she prefers being single out of her own choice.
Skylar likes being single.
No blame there.
Each time I visit,
she’s either helping a resident,
cooking a meal for all in-house patrons,
or in her office
doing administrative work.
Though I don’t see myself as a rule-follower
when it comes to religious teachings
as fasting
or simple slip-ups
as tracking shoes in the house,
the way Skylar abides by company policies
Reminds me that even being a free young adult
has its boundaries
and responsibilities
on and off the clock.

I’ve heard it said
That the world is one big family.
I don’t deny that statement,
but until I meet everyone around the world, in the jungles,
departed, yet to be,
the family I have
are the ones who remember me.
I am a son, a friend, and a rewards member.
Out of a couple prompt options once again, I slelcted to have this poem be about inspirational people to me.
Jun 2020 · 80
Per Pulchram Vocem
Brian McDonagh Jun 2020
The best learning
comes from putting books aside
and discovering the public world
on the road.

A few years back,
I put my textbooks on hold
To take a trip to DC’s
Native American museum.

My favorite scene of the museum
was the wall
commemorating the Navajo Code Talkers
of World War II.
As I walked around solo,
I pretended that I was my dad
walking around slowly and curiously.

The moment I entered the museum,
I lost track of my campus group
among bustling tourists and museum enthusiasts.
But shouting for my mom
hours away
might have only made me
stranger than a stranger.

Crossing several lanes of traffic
in search of dinner
felt like a level of Frogger (Seinfeld reference).
I wasn’t expecting dinner and a show,
but apparently the show came first
when a man named Dan
intercepted my path to a McDonald’s corner restaurant.

It was no surprise that a fellow loitering the streets
would turn out asking me for money.
I hypnotically scoured my pants pocket
and unfurled an Alexander Hamilton bill
for Dan to confiscate.


Surprisingly, Dan refused a quick grab-n-go.
Coolly, and I kid you not,
He wanted to perform a service
Before compensation.

Dan apparently wanted to earn his money
By singing a song.
All I remember from Dan’s singing
Was how he sounded pitch-perfect,
Like a sincere American Idol audition.

The glitz, government, and grub
of DC
Will never beat the day
Dan and I met on a backstreet sidewalk.
I selected to base prompt number three here on a trip I took away from family.
Jun 2020 · 86
It's A Me, [Super] Mario!
Brian McDonagh Jun 2020
Bonjourno, paisanos!
Didn’t think I could say actual words,
right?
Most of us virtual protagonists
like Pac Man and Crash Bandicoot
don’t talk much since we are
systematically required to listen
to enemy plans and damsel-in-distress gratitudes,
to actively work to stay alive,
making it hard to breathe
and cough up a sentence or two.

Now that I momentarily have the freedom
of [legitimate] speech,
I’ll let you in on my thoughts
about comrades, enemies, and my abilities…

Most days I can’t stand
how a princess like Toadstool
keeps falling into the wrong hands.
Even us characters have a life
when gaming systems power off.
Most days I’m not the only hero
but the co-hero.
Though most times my friend Toad and brother Luigi
are scared of warding off intrusions,
they’re my only reinforcements.

My archnemesis Bowser and his army of koopa-turtles and armless goombas
aren’t too bright.
When Bowser acquires power-ups beyond
my virtual abilities as an inner-city plumber,
I scurry to find others who know
Bowser’s vulnerable spots
and who help me gain acrobatic abilities.

The food I eat
Provides strength and focus--
like mushrooms that make me grow taller, smaller, and lengthen
my lifespan.

I’m sure some of you wish
you could hop across wide crevices
or defeat troublesome figures.

Thanks to gamers and patrons
who adventure through space and evolving scenery
with me.
I hope in the midst of Rockwell-style art in motion,
you all take away real-life lessons.
Wahoo!
For this prompt, I had to choose a fictional character to write about in the first person.
Jun 2020 · 67
They Don't Mix
Brian McDonagh Jun 2020
Parties, sleepovers,
and making it to the weekend
were and are familial excuses
to pull out foods I drool[ed] over
such as fried chicken in the evening
and donuts in the mornings.

Another special fun-food excuse I recall
was a time my Granny and Pappy (maternally related)
patiently endured a three-hour car ride
to visit my family in West Virginia.

[The mystery of their visits
Is how my dad successfully shrouds himself
the majority of the time his in-laws so lodge.]

Something as simple as a supper
felt like a Cold War:
My dad and Pappy
seated at either end of the table.
The sour taste of the evening
wasn’t the skim milk I almost drank.
with saucy spaghetti,
But how my grandfather offered me
a disproportionate beverage
(I had a harder time rejecting offers, then)
and how my dad softly yet sternly
shook his head to my left
with a frowned mouth and anger-stirred eyebrows.

My dad would have been louder
about saving my stomach the trouble
had I not been fearful of loud voices
other than my own,
Whether with sarcastic laughter included
or loud with revealing words.

Caught in the middle as always,
I listened to my dad,
mentally recalling my last comsumable experiment:
When I swallowed rigatoni pasta
without giving the due mechanical digestion.
My stomach acid was angry with my pathetic transition
from eating pasta and feeling fine
to constant flushing behind closed doors.



My dad and Pappy don’t get along.
Years ago I asked my mom privately
why they only say hi and bye
at family gatherings.
My mom could only shrug,
saying how Pappy and Dad
simply had different views of life
that somehow can’t overlap
in harmony.
I’m not a peacemaker,
but I’d prefer not to be a sitcom family
of disconnection.

Suppose there’s a reason
why most grandparents
and their adult children
don’t constantly interact:
If they can’t homogenize their realities,
they don’t mix.
This poetry prompt I was assigned sought to dig into a family relationship to write about.
Brian McDonagh Jun 2020
This is just a brief commentary that these next six poems I post are from taking an online corresponding poetry lesson with a poet named Dawn Leas.  She's a poet of the times and has contemporary empathy for the writers of this millennium.  I mention this as well as these poems are based on her edits as well.  Enjoy.
Apr 2020 · 75
There Was Once...
Brian McDonagh Apr 2020
...A city here
That now bears ruins.
...A renowned ship
That has fallen asunder.
...Creatures so ginormous
And dominant
Not even today's technology
Could de-populate such wonders.
...A slave plantation
Along this grass,
Romping the dirt,
Doing much of the work for historically
Acclaimed inventor names of the time.
Where blood spurt and rationality
Could not be found across persons
Because of the rods and cones
That see different hues
Instead of similar traits.
...A person who walked here
That made a beneficial change,
Forwarding freedom, living and brotherhood.
Now where I sit and write
Will soon be a place
Where there was once
A home.
At one time history seemed to me to just be scribbles of notes and boring homework books.  With the capability of watching films of history put together and recognizing that there were peoples (especially indigenous) who lived where I am now is phenomenal
Apr 2020 · 75
Death Toll
Brian McDonagh Apr 2020
I wonder how people
Would get along
(Myself too)
If religious icons and statues
Didn't exist
And were never made
(Like thinking if technology shut down suddenly, to reference a friend).

Would that challenge minds
To dig up more imagination?
Or panic
About an afterlife being no life
Without post-apocalyptic relief
Through pictorial prognostication?

There's no cost to death,
Only a cost for living.
Death is an open-door,
Anytime and anywhere
Policy.
No charge.
No refund.

Does hope die
Out from a dying person?

I know a little about solely
Learning a job on the spot
Or opening a college textbook
Right before an assignment is due,
But conversion at death?
Doing anything for another breath
Is like wanting more water
When no longer parched.
Not in the best of moods today.
Brian McDonagh Mar 2020
This is the thought
That many I knew couldn't solve for me
Or that kept me wondering
About when I would grow
Taller:
How I should know better
(Take from every person who has reprimanded me to now),
How there are things I should be doing
At a certain age.

You know what this means?
Fear doesn't die.
People like those family members and friends
I knew, know, maybe will know
Keep fear alive each time I should have done something,
Said something,
Thought something
At a given instant.

I've always had other fears though:
I would always like the bedroom lights turned on at night
To be able to see and notice movement;
During the years my brother and I shared a bedroom,
He liked immediate darkness at night so he could fall asleep.
When it's dark in a given space,
Not only is it hard for me to sense
If my eyes are open or closed,
But it 'twas hard and still is a question
Whether the moving particles pupils take from darkness
Are just optical matter construed in the air
Or ghosts and other dimension-flopping figures
That I can't make go away.

Other fears over the years:
I never liked being stung or bit by any insect,
But the ones I feared the most were the ones people told me not to worry about,
Like wasps or yellow jackets
Or spiders.
I can feel stung before even feeling a sting sometimes.

I was always afraid of balloons popping.
They look so innocent, but forcefully stabbing the air out of a full one
Chokes me on the inside and makes me jump
As if taking that sound as a bullet,
Felt yet unfelt.

Afraid of rooms with indentations or corners.
I may have had an illusory vision or two in my sleep
Of friends leaving me behind for whatever reason
To face a ferocious being alone,
Two fears right there.
The thing about corners for me
And not having a birds-eye view of geography
Is I don't know what's around them
Until I bring myself to approach and find out.

Fear of silent places.
Being home alone
Was an exciting thing for me
The first time my mom allowed it to happen with intent.
Little did I know the fear of a new scene
Would make me so nervous,
Whether home with one of my siblings or not.
Just like the one day after a piano lesson I had at Ruth's house
When my mom was running late picking me up
And it was raining,
So being at home for the first or second time one night years back
Had me wondering if my mom would return home at all.
Some days my mom can't get a hold of me on my cell phone
While other days I can't reach her.
How have people through the years
Remained faithfully confident that, whether some one they love
Would only be gone a few minutes...hours...days...years,
Another time being together would ever come around?
Be it the time before cars,
Before horse and buggy.

There's the fear I have had and still have
Of being lost.
Socially lost, not understanding society
Or the language of social interaction.
Not knowing how to score a date with a young woman,
Not knowing the right extent to keep her interested in me
And to let her know I care
Without taking up all her time,
But yet there's the fear within a fear
Of another guy like me preying in and leaving
With a person I chose not to chase after or fight for
As they say.

As far as being lost,
How do I know what I did and what I am doing now
Is right for my person to do?
Some days, even though my mother would put this thought to rest,
I feel like I should fill every pair of laboring shoes out there.
Few interests capture my attention
To last a career's length anyway to me.
And, even though I react as angry
When trying to find my way on streets,
Walking or driving, in a town or city that I should be familiar with
Or a new view,
I get scared thinking that others will think I'm stupid,
I will think I'm stupid
When I actually appear lost
Turning around embarrassingly.
I almost think that every car going by
Has its drivers going "Hmmmm...must be a newbie."

I have a moderate fear of heights.
I say that now,
But I could easily go back to fearing heights
As I may have years back.
Even the Mount Washington lookout from Pittsburgh
Had me holding my breath some times
Hoping that the top of the mount wouldn't start slanting
And my feet wouldn't slide toward feet down into concrete streets
And buildings.

I have a fear of friending young men.
I don't have a lot of the same interests as guys my age nowadays,
And a lot don't seem to find my humor inviting.
Every random word I have said,
Every attempt at light-hearted talk
Has left a scar on my previous self
Giving my present self the burden of explaining these scars
To those who notice them.
I also found it hard when a guy like me and around me
Would get all of the attention
Even though I wasn't much of an attention getter myself
And even now not really that much.
I was afraid, like the cartoon movie Home On the Range,
That another young guy would be that Slim,
That guy who would flip out his guitar,
Hypnotize all the "lady cows" to come to his ranch.
I find a lot of guys (I shouldn't even call them friends really)
Like to challenge me and question me
All the live-long day.
Challenge me to things I can't do
To see me fall.
Challenge me to the things I am good at
To watch me crumble in on-the-spot nervousness.

I fear church ***** instruments.
I never liked them growing up,
They were always loud especially in larger atmospheres.
I felt like hearing the ***** was like hearing the rhythm
Of music to words sung and directed at exposing my faults.
Although I think its safe for me to say
That I have sinned not in my natural way of life,
But also for other people so they wouldn't have to sin,
Like eating meat for someone too holy and devoted
But also not one to waste either.
When the God of the Israelites told Adam and Eve not to eat from One tree,
I don't believe he gave them a reason why,
He didn't say a serpent will then tempt you not to listen to Command and you will go to Hell.
Suppose just being afraid of such a Deity in the Christian world
Is plenty of reason not to rebel against limitations of food.

I fear public speaking.
I love it, but when I do it
I hate it.
It's so odd to have words
And then have people-stares just eat them and leave you with Nothing.
I cried over public speaking
Because I thought I had developed this flawless reputation
(Yes, in freshman year of high school, I thought this).
I in no way am a Mozart-child prodigy,
But some adults and people pressured me to learn fast,
Which made me feel like nothing if I didn't learn as fast as a dial-up Computer.

FDR said that fear is the scariest thing to exist.
I don't disagree,
I just fear I'll never fully know that.
I have to be honest...fear is always on my shoulders.  You can tell me "It's okay" or "**** it up" all you **** well please but my body responds according to the person I am. Period.
Feb 2020 · 100
A Writer's Will to Journal
Brian McDonagh Feb 2020
Someone asked me recently
What drives me to write in a journal,
Just a page or two each day.
I have been waiting to answer this question myself
And was amazed that an outside social-media voice
Prompted my response.
Here's what I had to say:

"I want to remember the person I actually turned out to be at this point in time and not let poor memory resort to stereotypes to describe my 20s. I made a mistake I think not writing earlier because there’s a lot I don’t remember from the previous decade.  I want to remember the ordinary moments and to record where I showed my humanness and where I failed. I want to remind myself that, as swelled of a head as I can have most times, that I am human too and I’d like to be that person who has stories and moments that can relate to what people consider embarrassing or wrong so not to shame themselves for actions and words stumbled across by people left and right. It’s one thing to feel guilty about something; it’s another thing to feel like the world ended because of one moment, like how I have treated a lot of my own life moments."

I don't journal for myself entirely,
Yet I do take pleasure in that time of concentration.
To live in the present is the goal,
To live in the future is understandable,
But to remember how I lived in the past
Reminds me I have been human all the way up to now.
Haven't posted much in a while since  I have been occupied at Fairmont State's business school; hope this is something worthy to have on my poetry timeline let alone the entirety of this website! Peace
Sep 2019 · 175
Stone Cold
Brian McDonagh Sep 2019
A breeze
that disappears.
Just like
The uniformed
Army
Guarding a wreath
Of remembrance:
Flight 93,
9...1...1...
The bus kept going,
Passengers guessing
What the army officers
Could possibly be out
In the dragging sun for,
Motionless and focused,
Like the queen's guards.

Good deeds are worthwhile,
But it can take an eternity
To say "mission accomplished."
Walking to a flower shop,
Buying a rose,
Walking tens of steps
Of never-ending sidewalk,
Actually feeling lost.

I never found these people
And the memorial wreath.
I felt I had wasted my time.
Don't tell me to remember
If I know I thought about it.
Maybe frustration
Is the only way I'll learn,
But from here to the grave,
Remember those unsaved.
9/11.
Sep 2019 · 176
Choose Moose
Brian McDonagh Sep 2019
They wear big-*** antlers
That make you say "Oh deer!"
They got an attitude
That jolts them to fully charge...
But they don't get LODGED in your throat.

The international fraternity
Of the Moose Lodge,
Unfolding a new chapter each day!
A fraternity that works together,
A family that comes together.

A night of karaoke
At the Moose Lodge
Will make you forget
Your rough week ever happened

Charity of Moose, Moose Haven,
Conventions,
Many ways to be involved,
But only one moose to choose!
I just became a member of the Moose Lodge a couple months back, and thought it'd be necessary to mention the organization in poetry somehow. I've been to the karaoke nights too...those are FUN!
Brian McDonagh Sep 2019
Acquaintance: "Brian, if you ever need anything, let me know, okay?"

Brian's thoughts: "Sure, but you only say that to boast that you're a kind person. Sure kind persons don't always have to act right away, but I can sure as hell see you not being there for me.
I've had a lot of people say something like this to me, but I only know I'd be stalling their time or bothering them if I actually did ask for a favor or assistance.
Sep 2019 · 122
An Instruction of Act
Brian McDonagh Sep 2019
Without mutual communication
Concerning an act,
How do I know if
What I'm doing is right?
Or how do I know
Others are thinking
Of my same internal interpretation?
Also it is for the benefit of learning
To say a reflection aloud
Of a deed done
To better understand the done deed.

Without action,
What good are words
Or any language?
If words make things happen,
But if action speaks louder than words,
Get demonstration's megaphone
And put it at full blast!
I learn by doing,
I normally stare and pretend
I'm taking every word in,
Unless I catch someone's
Oral flaws.
I like to listen to people though,
But there are times where what we learn
And practice
Needs movement
And emotion
And exertion.

Just like with every action
I eventually need some level of a break,
And with every still-based working
Moving becomes a break from stillness.

But stare off in homework and assignments
And grow weary of your fitness regimen.
If there's no temporary escape,
Who can keep their act to words
Or their word to act?
There are days when I prefer to study or do mental work over physical work (even though physical work still needs to be done anyhow), but all the same there are reinforcements for a reason in life.
Aug 2019 · 934
Trouble-Peace
Brian McDonagh Aug 2019
I hate it,
Firmly hate it,
And have hated it,
When I feel I have to answer
For people constantly.
Once is fine,
But a thousand needs a heavier
Addressing.

Arms folded,
People look around the room,
Nothing happens.
Don't we realize
We have more power
Than the scary proctor's
Presence?

People, listen.
Me, listen.
If you think you're going
To passively make a difference
In life,
You're *******.

No one wants to get in trouble,
It's a psychological withdrawal from privilege
As much as physical.

But think of all the people who "got in trouble"
To make history what it is.
Wouldn't you agree that most historical
And acclaimed/notorious events
Around the world
Took place
Because someone
"Got in trouble"?

If Jesus didn't "get in trouble",
Would Christians and Jesus-followers
Feel the faith of salvation
As strongly
Had Jesus not thought his words through?

Would Nelson Mandela
Have sent a message
To the apartheid crisis
Had he not
"Gotten in trouble,"
Handing over
Most of his rightful life's longevity?

Would protestors
Have overthrown rules
And unprincipled ideas
Or even made new ideas known
Had they not
"Gotten in trouble?"
****** revolution,
Women's rights,
Addressing racism,
Achieving justice from unruly assassinations,
World War II,
Kent State shooting.

Would brilliant minds and workers
Have achieved their roles in life
Had they not experienced
"Troublesome" times?

It's important to get in trouble,
Rather, most times,
It's the only way to a resolution.
If we never stole that cookie
From the cookie jar,
Yelled at mom or dad,
Failed to study,
Called someone a nasty name,
Fussed over mom or dad
Helping to dress us in early years,
Misspelled words,
Missed goals
Like soccer, basketball, football
Goals.
If we never drove
Along a road restricted,
If we never hopped a fence,
Tossed a ball in a neighbor's yard.
If we never procrastinated,
If we never cost our team(s)
The game, the victory.
If we never felt behind,
Overslept, dragged.
If we never whined about work,
People, transportation, relaxation,
If we never pouted about not getting
What was desired,
Or if someone forgot what we said,
Or the other way around
In however long of a time span.
If we never admitted...

Now this can be the biggest trouble:
Keeping reserved can alter time
In larger ways than we realize.
Point being, if life were perfect
Up to a certain point in time,
Then no one would know
How to react positively
To an error.
One of the underrated reasons
Why all the good things are
How they are
Is because of errors
Molded over time.

People will react
To reactions
As if they shouldn't have happened:
"Why are you crying? Stop crying!"
"Quit arguing with me!"
Yeah, I've had emotions come out
Plenty of times.
But I don't want to care if people look at me the same or not,
Change comes in many forms,
And change isn't always pleasant

Errors are obviously obvious
Everywhere.
But how can we know how each of us thinks
If there's no conflict or tension?
I am not saying I am for trouble,
Just find peace in troubles of all sizes.
Maybe we/I should come back to the basics more often
To understand the trouble sort of peace.
I hate being embarrassed or feeling that way. I know it's a human way of reacting, but I've erred over a billion times by now. Shouldn't I feel different?
Brian McDonagh Aug 2019
Jittery, jittery,
My skin knows
When I don't know
Where I am.

Acting like I've been through this
Lands me between
Amateur and professional.
Pick your choice.

Round one...
Rules, regulations, and blood
Pin me on a cushion.
(Squeeze)
One pump of blood through a tube,
And squeeze again.
I can't shake the feeling,
The feeling shakes me.
There goes
Some of me to restore
Hope and vivacity.

Two...
I know how everyone
Has their own definition
For them...
But really?
Twirling the hairs on my chin
Just to remind myself of masculinity?
Puh-lease. It's gotta go.
I don't care if my razor is a manual,
My "beard" never looked right anyway.
(Strokes along shaving-cream spots)
Owwwwww!
I had to apply cream twice
To shave the hairs in the under-corners
Of my jaw
And to clot the blood
For just two figurative seconds.
Paper towel after paper towel after...
The trash is red,
The tile floor has blood circles
Forming a macaroni path
From my dorm room to the sink.

One could play connect the dots
On the sorry face of mine.
I looked like a quiet ******
With each rub and dab I ran
Along the blood eruptions,
Not slowing for me to catch them.
Blood gravitated
Toward the skin inside my shirt collar.
If life really is a game,
I hate this round, match, etc.
Bound by ethics
To clean the ruins from the battle of hygiene,
I had to at least see
If a paper towel could suction
To the blood tears on my face
So I could use my hands.
Catching my look in the sink mirror,
I looked like a desperado
Wounded along a tight bandana,
Around a mouthless casualty.

I guess the Anglican insert of "******"
Makes some sense,
Since most things come about
Through blood and words.
Sometimes for me
It can feel good not to feel good
Just to remind myself I can still feel
The world around me.

For all that blood does and for the many times
It leaves the body,
It's too bad it can't escape
It's own cells.
Ugh I wish a manual razor were easier; I wasted a whole roll of paper towels trying to keep my face together lol! And yeah my first time giving blood was this past Wednesday.
Aug 2019 · 203
Now Forever
Brian McDonagh Aug 2019
Inspiration, devotion,
All linked to the same faith
That tunnels through obstacles.

Live in the present
Because you cannot get stuck there.
Tense is fleeting
And presents are on their way!
I never really think about how time doesn't stop because I'm in a pickle...it continues with the relief that I'll untangle myself or be untangled one way or another.
Aug 2019 · 292
Even the Wrongs Belong
Brian McDonagh Aug 2019
It doesn't feel right
To be angry,
To be sad,
To have envy.
We want to just have
Peaceful, happy living.

But they are called emotions for a reason:
It's not just the happy and hopeful,
It's also the dark and scary,
The distracted and tired.

It has been said
That the body is a "field of sensation."
A field may have an abundance of the same produce,
But different sections
Can receive different presence.
Presence...

Living in the present
Does not mean that everything will be fine,
Yet also does not necessarily mean vice versa
Either.

When a wrong isn't done toward a party,
When wrong is only pumped inside the body,
The body feels balanced and cleansed
For when the happy feelings return.

If foxes have holes
And birds nests,
So wrongs share a duplex with rights
In the body's quarters.
After all, did not life
Originate from darkness itself?
Again, I'm not spot on about how I see the world, but just based on what I hear. I mainly derived this poem today from going to a meditation session today and feeling how, even if I wasn't fully centered for those five or ten minutes, that the meditation still continues to offer something.
Aug 2019 · 488
Debtor Than Better
Brian McDonagh Aug 2019
Here I am
Spending nights at school.
Seeing scenes and sights
That are everyday
But that I don't see every day.
I feel like I need to return the favor
For feeling good.

Oh wait...

I am in debt already.
Even though there aren't signs
Everywhere
Telling me that my grace period is fleeting,
I know the consequence of feeling good
And doing something for me.

Where there's good felt,
There's a bad waiting to co-mingle,
Such is the yin-yang
That shapes a circulating balance of events.

I sit to stare at a nice small brick waterfall outside
The education building,
But I'm still walking debt.

I jog around campus
Air crisp, the sun only seen by final red luminaries,
The feel of the seasonal conversion
From summer to fall...
But I'm jogging debt at this point.

I enjoy my meal plan food,
Good-tasting food I'll admit
In my own opinion,
Getting my fill of a surrounding
Variety of eats...
But each step is a step toward the realization
And back-hunching weight of debt.

I enjoy sitting at a swivel desk
At all my classes
And meeting and talking with new people...
But all at the expense of debt's presence.

I have my own room and
Free ride on the public transit...
But knowing that someday there will be a price
For all this.

The pleasure of seeing campus' sexiest women
Will also crumble
At debt's feet...

Debt to friends,
Debt to pay back the school
In currency and by achieving
The education I am pursuing
And hope to keep with.

Listening to music
While running the track,
Shooting hoops,
In my dorm,
Lifting weights,
All to the tune
Of D-E-B-T.

Again, it's all worth it though.
As of today, this is what I've been craving,
What my spirit sought as freedom.

Loans, debt,
Reimbursement,
Costs, expenses,
Purchases,
I escape these words in fun and fascination,
But I will feel the fleeting effects.
Fun makes time fly
And debt is never late.

But suppose there was no debt at all:
No debt to self or anywhere or
To anyone besides.
If exchange was only a fantasy,
Then there would be no incentive
For the societal life,
And freedom may as well
Be isolation.

Debt gives me something to work for
So that life isn't just handed to me.
There are things I should avoid,
But if I can't,
That doesn't mean life ends,
Rather here would be an indication
That my life story isn't supposed to
Achieve the norm.

Maybe the debt can be forgiven,
But only at the debtor's expense.
I'm loving school, but I always worry about getting in over my head.
Aug 2019 · 162
Expiration Irrationale
Brian McDonagh Aug 2019
Some new can be the same
And some same can be new.
New can be same
If there are the same results,
The same viae
To arrive at the same loci.
Things are different though
All the same.
What happens when I stare at a waterfall for a while.
Brian McDonagh Aug 2019
Might as well be the law of demographics
In that people who are favored in some places
Are not going to be cared for in others as much.
The news is definitely a place...
After all: North East West South,
More than one place to correct a leading message.
It's easy to get haughty
And to just as easily plunge to distress,
But the body needs to feel both
To remember it's mortality.
It's so weird watching the news and seeing how political candidates are disliked or liked in a majority scene, whereas I go to work and people adore the person being mocked, jeered, etc. What a wacky world haha but I love it!
Aug 2019 · 72
If Only They Could See
Brian McDonagh Aug 2019
Not just another side of me
Or everything I've done
And hear everything I said
Far from ear's reach.
But I'm the one that thinks,
As soon as I pass the security check
At every place in Washington D.C.
That I forgot to pull something out of my pocket
As a security precaution and protocol.
I pass scanners, but I think I'm that villain
That tricks the bomb-sniffers,
Without lifting a finger,
Into thinking that there's no harmful instrument on me...
When I hypnotize my memory
Thinking I passed GO
When I should have stayed at the STOP....

Other cases outside reality: TV shows and movies.
Oh my god!
What I would do sometimes to cut the middle of most plots
Just to twist heads,
Open eyes,
Slap faces,
Just to uncover who's on justice side
And who abused justice as a disguise.
It really bothers me in movies when I see the good guys being deceived as the villains. Almost like when I played Paper Mario and how Doopliss slyly switches figures with Mario, and Mario is converted into the shadow aperture. How confusing sometimes!
Aug 2019 · 95
From Farewell to Fairmont
Brian McDonagh Aug 2019
I've stayed in hotels and other traveling accommodations before,
Whether for a day or two,
A week or two,
Even staying at relatives
Like Granny and Pappy,
Places I'd never want to leave.

But now I am somewhere that's my place,
My room, my community:
Fairmont State.
Can't wait to start over
And try school again
In a different town
With a brand new attitude.

Some tasks may still be
The same level of difficulty,
Like making friends,
Timing and sharing,
Getting to class and hitting the books,
But I think what'll keep me from dropping out this time
Is the hometown support of friends, family and other neighbors,
Like a major athlete going for the gold
To return to the people that nurtured such a yearning.
Some say life's not FAIR
When most pay a FARE,
But if I can FAREwell,
I can FAIRmont.
So happy to be back at school again!!! Majoring in business with marketing!! Hope to be a better student than how I began a few years ago!!
Jun 2019 · 780
Join the Club
Brian McDonagh Jun 2019
I
Taking advantage of the milestone age,
Prowling the night by myself,
I pull into an unfamiliar stone ring of parked cars,
Locked the car, and walk-clinked against ground-level stones
Until I pulled the handle of the main door
To my first bar/club entry.
Hesitation and nervousness showed up
When I presented my license identification to the bar staff...
But if they let me in at all,
Suppose I don't give off an adolescent vibe anymore.
Seeing my work boss rock out with his band bros,
Freak Show, turned me from nervousness and silence
Staring at a random TV channel
To responding to Jamie's audience calls,
To dancing like my mom, Robert Barone, and anyone I could think of,
To dancing with other people I never met,
One woman swooning over my self-initiative to dance at all,
And resulted in clogged eardrums
Rock and rolled
Give it time,
This side of me is awakening.

II
After circling Berkeley Springs
And realizing I passed up Hillbilly Heaven bar
[I mistook it for a car dealership],
l crossed the street into a new-to-me adult audience realm.
Outdoor setting, speakers and techno-colored lights,
A mechanical bull available for riding,
*******,
Rock music,
Women grinding each other playfully to the music,
Busts that only my eyes could see to believe,
All under a starry curtain of a sky.

III
Closer to home,
The parking a trick
That took one circular trip to land a legal spot.
Another unroofed setting,
Downed three Sprite sodas,
Pretending to make a pavilion stake
a stripper pole,
dancing slow up-and-down,
Dancing the same stand-still body-rocking moves each song
Only to support the music being brought by Freak Show.
I sat next to a Dr. Pepper co-worker
Who laughed dangerously the entire night I saw him.
I shook my ***** with a stranger woman
Like two Newton ***** clinking each other rhythmically.
Thanks to supporting staff and benefactors!

IV
Taboo Gentlemen's Club,
The security check-in churned my feelings
Into thinking, I was lying,
Lying to myself and to security.
But I wasn't negotiably.
I passed the metal scan
And paid my way in.
Strippers, poles, birthdays
With spanking.
Luxury chairs,
Flying money.
Maybe there's no club I can join,
But there's always room to join the club.
First timer.
Brian McDonagh Mar 2019
It starts with a breath:
I smell what I see,
I inhale what I can't see.
Then the world of my body spins:
I feel the taste,
Taste what I feel,
Hear what I see,
See what I hear,
Smell what I see (yet not 4-D),
See what I smell;
Taste what I smell,
Smell what I taste (they go together);
Hear what I taste,
Taste what I hear.
Feel what I hear (nails on a chalkboard),
Hear what I feel;
Taste what I hear,
Hear what I taste;
Taste what I see,
See what I taste;
Feel what I smell,
Smell what I feel;
Hear what I smell,
Smell what I hear;
Amid these confusing permutations,
I am who I am,
At least that makes (a) sense.
Just another fun carousel of words, sorry I haven't written for a while.
Jan 2019 · 179
A Colosseum of Injustice II
Brian McDonagh Jan 2019
Fans from both sides
Yelling at the referees,
Telling them how to do their job.
I wanted to defend the referees right
There.
But then I thought, "How could I plead my case
Regarding a sport that most of the audience knows
Better than I do?"
I rested my case in my head.
Even the coaches were mocking
How they could make better calls
And how many the referees missed.
I guess that's why my dad and brother
Didn't give a **** about the tension.
They've seen tension not only from me
In the family,
But they have an awareness of sports
That my experience cannot contest.

I have thin skin, I can't let these situations slide.
I couldn't be in an arena
Where every fan was booing the officials.
I had to leave; my hands are still marked with
The filth of unsportsmanlike conduct
On every animate being.
Sure no sport can come clean,
And everyone in my family and most outside my house
Had to remind me in basketball, piano, football,
That it's "just a game."

I left this so-called game early.
I wasn't really rooting for any team;
I don't even think I was watching a real game.
I was really tired while writing the first one, so if it's sloppy I apologize and will look into necessary edits.  There's more I wanted to say on this poem's topic though...
Jan 2019 · 184
A Colosseum of Injustice
Brian McDonagh Jan 2019
Tip-off.
The stands are filled with fans
As rowdy as Romans
Awaiting the demolition
Of flesh.
On the court, however,
The dirtiest demolition
Is having another losing score of points
Reign victorious.
Jan 2019 · 201
Poem by Tom Donlon
Brian McDonagh Jan 2019
Red-Winged Blackbird

Here you are again, in the chain-link fence.
It's the same every day as I pass by
heading home--you perched there.
Are you waiting for someone?
Do you, like me, wonder what's next?

I'm often on the fence, too. Each day
I pray for success for my six children.
I can't rest until they are on their own,
thriving.  My wife is the same.
We keep our eyes on hope.

Blackbird, you neither sow nor reap,
nor gather into barns.  Do you question,
each day, how you will feed your family?

People urge me to write a will.
It's inevitable, but I feel responsible.
I want to be here for them.  I still talk
to my parents and am pretty sure they listen.

I don't know if you, blackbird, contemplate
these things each day like me.
I'll swing by again tomorrow.
Mr. Tom Donlon is a poet in WV and is part of the league West Virginia Writers for the Eastern Panhandle region.  I wish I could say more about him and his poetry, but all of us have our own truths, and it's only right for each to have the liberty to introduce the truth of her or him. Thanks for reading!
Jan 2019 · 206
Crypt-O-Poem
Brian McDonagh Jan 2019
UCF XGF ACX AKGW
EHAEBW WKGW
JMU KL BXM LEKH
BXU'HH FOFZ QZFOEKH
HINT: U=T
Jan 2019 · 173
Revealed Secrets
Brian McDonagh Jan 2019
You know you love me,
You know I'm right,
You know it's true.
You know he did it,
You know she said it,
You know how I act,
But as I silently turn my glance
Away from you,
I know this because
Your eyes snitch your lies.
I actually love keeping secrets, but I'm ever afraid of revealing them at the wrong times.
Jan 2019 · 186
12:48 pm
Brian McDonagh Jan 2019
Suppose there is a reason,
After all,
For why I grumble at dawn
Yet fall short to day-ify
The night

My mom never forgot
The time I was born:
12:48 pm.
I was born into daylight...
On the outside walls, of course.

I don't usually think about
My birthtime too often;
If I happen to catch this minute by sight,
I know then I am well alive!
My mom has told me the story of how the doctor almost recorded my birthtime as 12:49 pm but my mom knows it to be 12:48 pm.  Glad to be a noontide birth!
Jan 2019 · 162
Phone Service
Brian McDonagh Jan 2019
Her mom was one call away;
Even though Christy didn't have her own phone,
She had the number ready to dial.
In the long run, she couldn't make the call
In borrowing access to another's phone.

I lent her my phone...more than one time.

I noticed Christy asking for rides,
A frequent sight
Around Walmart's outdoor campus.
I couldn't take back what I saw,
So I offered to ride her.
Christy rose from neutral emotions
To cheery.
After all, at least she could be inside somewhere
Even in fleeting time.

I drove her...more than one time

After a while, it wasn't "I don't know you"
And "You don't know me."
Not even "Since it's Christmas..."
Could sum this interaction.
Instead, Christy and I eating
McDonald's breakfast burritos
Is the best way I can describe
Our encounter:
A hunger to help,
A hunger to be helped.

I ate those burritos...more than one time
For her sake.
I firmly believe those burritos will not be
Her last supper.

I drove Christy during the day
And under the drapery of night,
One instance with her friend Lisa,
Another moment that ended
With my yelling voice unleashed
Toward Christy's mother.
Then a detour to the Emergency Room,
Good Christy vomiting outside
The passenger door along the road.

Yet, Christy navigated my driving...more than one time.

Christy wasn't a fan of needles,
But grudgingly accepted the IV
That she foresaw in her medical visit.
She succumbed to X-Ray scans,
The blood pressure strap,
And the nocturnal waiting.

"Maybe we should go...you look tired," Christy glared at me.
"I'm fine...I want to see you well first," I urged.
Christy didn't budge at my response...
She signed a release, and we left.

Her lips spun her two lip piercings...more than one time.

"Do I look funny?" Christy asked me at one point.
The best I could say, in order to not just say what she wanted to hear,
Was: "You look how you look."

We looked for hotels for Christy...more than one time.

She was at the Heritage,
But a police incident removed
The lodgers the night of the scene.
Christy was at the Relax,
But the manager was missing a kind heart
And the room had roaches.
We tried the Days Inn.
Beyond our affordability.
Christy settled with the Knights Inn
After mid-knight.

My arguing created another situation:
I thought I saw Christy getting food from someone else.
[My, what assumptions can ruin]
She cried because of my sudden accusation.
Even my immediate turn-around apology
Couldn't mend my errors right then.  

Christy started losing hope that I,
Or we (my mom included),
Couldn't help her; limitation started to take
The upper hand.
Christy, who had suicidal intentions before,
Restored them from the way she carelessly
And degradingly spoke of herself.

"I'm NOT going to the Bethany House!" Christy insisted.
Christy repelled the Bethany House...more than one time.

I drove Christy to my mom's church,
Christy carelessly approving.
A friend of my mom's tried to talk Christy
Into staying on the course of help,
But Christy wanted to just go back to Walmart,
To panhandle.
I understood her desire to do so,
But we could have helped her.

She ran off at Sheetz
With her garbage bag of belongings.
Saying "Christy" multiple times
Made Christy ignore me even more.

We all deserve a chance...more than one time,
But some will want more than one more time.
Not an easy experience, but poetry is the hard-to-accept as well.
Jan 2019 · 250
Teresa: A Soul of Sunshine
Brian McDonagh Jan 2019
Most of my relatives are distant,
But some have the ability
To bring me into an elevenses of life,
And one particular person
Is my cousin, Teresa.

I call her Terry for short.
That doesn't change how spectacular she is
To me, though!

Terry and her family traditionally visit my family
To ring in the New Year.

This New Year, just on a ten-minute car ride to a local town,
Terry talked to me about her plans for her birthday,
And her favorite books to read as of lately:
Weedly-Deedly (about a nice dragon)
And PuddleBooks, which include children characters
Such as Yolanda Yells-A-Lot.
A year or two backward,
I wouldn't have taken the topic so seriously
As I am one to easily laugh about anything
Depending on what thoughts are in my mind usually.
However, as long as I don't know fully the plot, the scenes
Of what happens in such fiction as the PuddleBooks series,
I am clueless to the lessons and learnings
I could easily miss.
There should be a warning everywhere
Not to look down on what we think we outgrow
As long as lessons are everywhere
For all ages.

There was also a time,
Many moons ago,
When my aunt had the cousins arranged
Seated on a couch
For a picture or two.
I became irritated and uncomfortable
Being claustrophobically shoulder-squished.
Upset, I curled on the floor and cried
In front of everyone in the room.
The first gesture that Terry offered me
Was a hand to pull me up from the carpet,
Of which I accepted,
Like a ***** toward a penetratingly loving Samaritan.

Before my relatives departed today,
My aunt told me how stellar Terry's memory is
And can be.
My aunt backed her claim strongly
By telling me how Terry remembered a quiet morning
Where she and I were the only ones awake
And I made waffles for her.

You don't have to go to a concert
To make special memories.
You're not required to know all
Or be all
To be recognized.
And my cousin Terry, alive and well,
An interactor for sure,
Doesn't need the sky
To be a soul of sunshine.
It's not always easy to be among family, but people like my cousin Terry know how to bring the positive and connect everyone together.  I learn a lot from being around her.
Jan 2019 · 384
Escape World
Brian McDonagh Jan 2019
I can't always run,
But my hiding's not too bad.

A former boss told me
To stay longer for a work shift.
My lips said yes,
But my mind said "Hell no!"
Clocked out,
Casually stepped outside;
Upon passing the host window,
I blitzed to the car, fidgetted with my keys nervously,
And whirred the blazes out of that parking lot.

Each New Year of mine has begun with relatives
Crashing at my family house.
This 2019, I take the interstate back home
To be around the out-of-state.
It's been a long-lasting tradition
And I did what I could
To break apart from that tradition
Even just this time.

At a bar on New Year's Eve 2018,
I relaxed after having made prior reservations,
Just me,
And having moseyed away from family
For just one night.
I'd go to this bar again too:
**** dancing, stellar drinks, young blood...
**** dancing.
Didn't mean to be a Scrooge and mostly not dance,
But at least I escaped and saw new faces around me.

The escape that is never too far away
And is always open around the clock
Is my journal book.
A journal doesn't have to have continents,
Oceans or clouds
To be a world
That revolves around the author.
Natural the paper,
Preserving the pen[cil].

I'm not implying
That I escape this world,
But what a world there is
In escapism.
I know myself as an escapist; I've escaped a lot last year: jobs, choir, poetry groups, church, etc.  I tend to escape where I'm more known, whether distinguished or notorious.  I've clung to the adventure of new...and the new has me enraptured.
Dec 2018 · 227
Walmart's Fog
Brian McDonagh Dec 2018
I wish these puffs were
Eked from a fog machine.
It's not a levitation of battle clouds
From cannons, from a precipitation forecast.
This is another battle-fog:
One composed of vape and cigarette smoke.
It hurts on the inside,
But at least one is at ease
From that troublesome and possibly tedious
Consumer, their complaints with no calm resolution
And no sense.
The scattered and randomized number
Of cigarettes fallen
Is none of my business
But business' business.
When standing at Walmart for more than 8 hours on some days...well...a lot of life can happen and be seen.
Oct 2018 · 192
2018 Declivity
Brian McDonagh Oct 2018
A bishop accused of ****** harassment,
My behavior out of control:
Screaming, frustration, anxiety-anger,
No girlfriend
Even with the effort,
Pushing others aside,
Welcoming new ideas
But later parasitizing their freshness
By shunning those too,
New people
That become not-so-new
Annoying me,
Hospitalized,
The strain of the workforce.
Fine, the rest of the world can handle it,
But there's something in me that just can't
Win, that can't hold up my person.
Looks like it's back to square one...
Ugh, can this year end already??
Sep 2018 · 419
Autumn's Gravity
Brian McDonagh Sep 2018
When the earthen season of fall arrives,
I fall with the leaves;
I don't descend in spiraling motions,
But drown easily
Into the fogginess of what's next.
Hopefully, the leaf that takes my place
Will make up for my err in the air.
Sep 2018 · 202
Thinking Ahead
Brian McDonagh Sep 2018
When I'm out-and-about, I think of returning home.
Depending on the current season, I think of a holiday or occasion
That still hides in the future,
Such as thinking of Easter during Lent,
Or what Halloween will be like
While indulging in Irish culture.
Even more so, I think of resting while working
And of working while resting.
Just another phenomenon I don't understand,
A fact indeed.
I know my physical body has always been present for everything in my life's doings, but not always my mind (this poem may sound like repetitive bologna, but, at any rate, wanted to write this anyway).  To add to that, in some relevance, "sayings" [can] differ from "commands"; for instance, the saying or phrase "remain in the present" might inspire me, but it doesn't necessarily mean I am necessarily bound in obedience to that or that I can obey that sage advice at all, for that matter.
Sep 2018 · 796
Shoulder Pat
Brian McDonagh Sep 2018
The support of a hand,
A game-changing palm clasp,
Like a coach to the shoulder pads
Of an athlete.
I don't feel I deserve it,
But I don't want to sway a friendly gesture
Because then do I feel I denied help
Sent my way.
I need that tangible gift,
Whether in a corn maze of doubt
Or in a harvest of success.
It's amazing, it's a grace
To have received at least one someone's hand
Staccato your back, your shoulder,
Even a friendly fist-nudge
That lunges your motivation forward.
How blessed I have been
To have had many people
Non-sensually give what I cannot see
Yet what I perceive indelible:
Their blessing and cheers for me
That I feel when a hand furls 'round my shoulder
And then fades away to let me harness that I.V. of assurance
Injected with sound decision and faith.
For those who never felt this kind of gesture,
Let these words be a pat on your shoulder.
You're doing just fine.
This year has taught me to relish that one beat of time when someone pats me on the back or the shoulder; it really is a seal of hope however it comes.
Sep 2018 · 1.5k
23rd Place
Brian McDonagh Sep 2018
It’s not a ranking or an achievement
As if far from the “top.”
It’s an advancement
Starting from the “first place”;
The greater magnitude being a positive progression.
It’s not even a race in the “first place.”
A dual-digit place marker can and should indicate you’re moving forward.
At this point, you meet the requirements and criteria
For adult access to many sights, tastes,
And times.
Of course, that’s not the ultimate cause of celebration
For being in [the] “23rd place.”
When you’re in [the] 23rd place, you’re in a comfortable position
And not necessarily at a crucial extremum of attention.
There will be those behind and those in front,
So, though you keep your own pace nevertheless,
To know you’re no longer in first place,
Yet not in last place of your course of path,
Means that you have some to teach
And still some who may offer pointers, tips, tricks, inspirations,
And the gift of encounter, however brief or long.
There are many who long to be in first place or last place
Because the extrema tend to get the recognition.
The important insight is to recognize that, not only do the numbers matter little,
But you can make them stand out, like the number 23.
There’s random selection, too, amid those spontaneous humor-goers,
And then there’s placement and fixation
With purpose, sincerity, and intention.
You’re 23 not solely based on record
Or coincidence;
You’re 23 because you lived out the previous age
In every way: what you missed, what you learned, what you offered,
And what you planted.
On your birthday and every day,
The newness longed for arrives in a time not desired or unwanted,
But at a time just right, which still causes waves of pain and waves of relief
Across space anyway. Happy Birthday Devin!
You’re in [your] 23rd place!
Celebrate this checkpoint!
Shout out to my brother on his birthday!
Sep 2018 · 174
Towered Over
Brian McDonagh Sep 2018
I have no memory of it,
Yet I know of the history that befell the United States,
Seventeen years ago this year.
Smoke...
Planes...
Panic...
Death...
Rescue...
These are what leave us speechless
Yet have made America more aware.
May we remain vigilant not for attacks,
But vigilant when we see those lost again.
Never forget.  9/11
Aug 2018 · 360
Across Country
Brian McDonagh Aug 2018
The people,
The land,
The waters,
The opportunity,
The selflessness,
The confidence,
The change,
The error,
The sights,
The air
Can form any terrain's person and pride
Into something magnificent county-wide!
From my poetry journal.
Aug 2018 · 362
Life Is A Movie
Brian McDonagh Aug 2018
My audience in my head
Always expecting a thrill from me.
I even imagine a cartoon youth
Sitting at a desk and doing nothing
But writing out the actions of my life
As they occur.
I could only imagine
What the audience in my mind
Thinks of my life up to this point!
What would they critique or suggest I adjust?
My sound?
My setting?
Yes, how can I satisfy my imagination
Instead of my own person using my imagination?
From my poetry journal; written on 7/4/18
Aug 2018 · 326
From Thy Bounty [Hunt]
Brian McDonagh Aug 2018
When the night silently whooshes
Over the sky,
It becomes that time of day,
The time to recline
And watch Dwayne Chapman and friends
Apprehend the wanted and charged
In the Hawaiian splotches of land.
Every cut to commercial
Happens at the ****** of each episode,
Starving the soul for what might happen...
When really the cut-scene continues
With less action than Beth, Dwayne,
Leland, Sonny, Cleo,
And Baby Lyssa may stir before a break.
Cars, cameras, and people
Move in hot-pursuit.
And thus the setting of the TV series
Isn't the only dimension
Captured.
I love Dog the Bounty Hunter lol one of my favorite TV series lately!
Aug 2018 · 279
If the Sun Finds Me Still
Brian McDonagh Aug 2018
I descend the hallway stairs
As the only motion this morning
In dormant passages and space.
Sweatband tightens around my head's
Circumference.
With water in me, I am ready
Yet my mind explodes thoughts
To have me reconsider my determination
To exercise.
Following disorganized stretches,
I trot and pant away,
With the intention of completion in mind
But the burden of self-propelling in sweat.
The sun follows me every foot-length
Like a security camera always operating
And constantly watching.
Only in this case, if I stop running,
I am caught and burned.
From my poetry journal; a poetical description of how I interpret my recent morning jog cycle.
Jul 2018 · 409
Z.A.N.A.R.I.
Brian McDonagh Jul 2018
Zooms
Across life's mountains,
Not focussing on the mountains to overcome, but
Achieving each peak's goal,
Running with courage and strength
Into a setting sun that awaits its impending rising again.
To my crush with love! <3
Brian McDonagh Jun 2018
Can I do it?
Can I look at words and notes
And study the choir director's motions
All at the same time
While barking a joyful noise?

Can I make the cut?
Can I better zoom in on the areas
That need vocal attention?
Sure, I know this is not my life path,
But I want church choir
To be something new in my life.
To say I did it?
Okay.
But it will certainly not end on that note
For sure.
Just sang in choir for the first time in my LIFE today and loved it, but it's hard to find it fun when it needs serious vocal attention as well.  Though this isn't the "biggest choir in the world," I want to give it my best to get the best out of my participation.  Enjoy!  And sorry for still not keeping my promise of reading my followers'/the beyonders' poems...life has been really busy for me lately in good and not so good. :/ Forgive me if I made a jump-the-gun promise/commitment, but I still intend to read the poetry on here forwardly!
Brian McDonagh Jun 2018
There I am,
The first light pole,
Waiting for my ride.
I wave to a few,
And receive consolation
For a life struggle.

There I am,
The second light pole,
Under the shade of a green canopy of leaves.
I receive a greeting of consolation
By a friendly whack of a paper bulletin
Ruffled up into a conic shape.

There I am,
On a rock,
And my ride is here.
Thought of this write while literally waiting to be picked up from church today.  Enjoy!  Also the setting is a parking lot where I thought of this idea as well lol :P
Jun 2018 · 244
Procrastinating My Fears
Brian McDonagh Jun 2018
I ask you questions
To get answers
And to better understand
So I don't seem nervous;
Yet I am still uneasy
Because I am prepared to fail
Rather than succeed.
I always break into procrastination when I know I'll be "presenting" myself before a public gathering in some way, regardless of how often I do so.  It does no justice to me to stall time in such a way, but it's a default that's there and hard to change (if what I just said made ANY sense)
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