Author Archives: Joan McNerney

About Joan McNerney

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Warriors with Wings, 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 is Having Lunch with the Sky and she has four Best of the Net nominations.


The sun is a giant beach ball.
See it splashing through
waves all red violet blue.

Waters creep over my feet.
Should I stand shivering
or go swim? Lose my footprint?

Off I run, falling over myself,
a mug of salty cider. This
wave an insecure bed. Seaweed
pillow. Carried by moon to
an abyss.

The floor of my mansion is
not tidy. I shall have sponges
for lunch. Ride with seahorses

On the far shore, my lover
smiles, kiss of surf.

The Joker

That playing card running wild
with royalty. Blending straights,
changing suits in a flash.

His checker board waistcoat
bedazzling us, making us
dizzy with longing.

Then again meaningless,
muddled in the deck. Another
bad hand, dealing more trouble.

Light on his toes poised
to leap sky high.

Ambidextrous in more ways
than one. Juggling and
spinning spangles in air.

A picture of deceit…
slippery smile plastered
over his mask.

Cowering yet flushed with
treachery. Sly yellow eyes,
green spangled pantaloons.

What trick is he up to now?

My Mother

How she must have missed
the green hills of Ireland.
Walking along hard grey
streets in Brooklyn.

Remembering scent of
grassy meadows hurrying
along ten long blocks, to
climb filthy subway steps.

Missing those sweet soft pastures,
on her way home from work
buying day old bread, searching for
dented cans and items on sale.

Her marriage failed and her health
gone. Her smiling days were over.
No one seemed to care.
The unlucky are often alone.

How she must have longed
for songs around the fireplace.
Another Irish colleen torn
from that emerald island.

Thrift Shop

I descend clutching a
teetering banister to the
bowels of this holy place.

A sign welcomes me to
St. Mary’s Basement Boutique
where scent of unloved
clothing assaults me.

I finger grubby blouses
and skirts hanging limp
week after week unwanted.

Where is it? Hidden beneath
mounds of faded tee shirts?
Where is that swag I will
brag on for months?

At last I uncover something
beyond belief….a mohair sweater
snow white with pastel flowers.
A good fit, my prayer answered.

Retired ladies glance up.
They are volunteers filling
another empty afternoon.

The cashier consults her price list.
“One dollar” she says as I reply with
quick “thanks” fleeing blissfully.

When I get home, my bonanza
is baptized in cool water and suds
now reborn, lustrous and all mine.

When I Was New

When I was new
and the world was new.

So many roads to wander
under a cerulean sky.
Forbidden fruits to savor,
forbidden lips to taste.

Full of promise, flowers
budding on the vine.
Their perfume covering
my fingertips.

I hurried through each day
alive with my songs.
The moon rose just for me and
stars burned just for me

Every morning brought
sunshine to my window.
Another day filled with wonder
waiting at my doorstep.

Spring was greener then.
When I was new
and the world was new.