Jack McCann is a plastic surgeon and grandfather. Much of his poetry is inspired by his work in Ireland, Albania and Kosovo. He has published two poetry collections, “Turning On A Sixpence” (2011), “Escaped Thoughts” (2012), and is a contributor to “Off The Cuff” (2012), a collection of poems and short stories by KARA Writer’s Group.
The Child Grows Up
The swing flies in the breeze
as if you are still on it.
Gone is the laughter ,
the shouts for “higher and higher”.
Even the dog dreams you will ride it again
so he can pull you back and forth
while you stand on the seat,
never doing anything normally.
The tree house lies empty, unlived.
No clambering on wooden rungs,
no sticking out window of smiling face,
no climbing on roof and up tree.
Quietness pervades there and here.
No more, “come and catch me’,
“find me if you can”. Of course, I can’t.
I wish we could play those games again.
The rocking horse stately stands still.
No rider to be found to rock him awake,
No one to comb his mane or pull his tail
Or dress him up with hats and coats and other stuff.
No one to call his name, to come out and play
Yet he stands at the ready fighting his misery.
Not liking the loneliness playing on his imagination,
He wishes his days away, rocking generations.
Life moves on, moves out, moves me.
Paths change, some dark, some beautiful,
companions too as time catches up.
We used to move mountains – nothing too difficult.
Now the thought of action swamps all energy.
The dog looks at me and wonders why
time moves on with tear in eye?
I have no answers for what’s gone by.
Not In the Plan
She holds her heart
as the pain holds her.
She looks skywards for assistance.
None comes not even the church bell
on Good Friday.
All he could do is watch and hold her,
hold back his tears,
tell her he loved her,
holds her hand and rests her head
on his heaving chest
winded by the suddenness of it all.
They silently pray,
lips moving without sound.
How mortal she is!
How unforgiving life is!
He holds her tightly
not wanting her to go.
This was not in their plans!
What happens to the swan
when his partner is gone?
Does he bow his head?
Never rise it again!
Does his appetite go
as he sits alone in the nest?
Does he bother preening his feathers?
He must suffer heart break
for he has tasted love!
The Isolated Poet
I am an isolated island
sitting in the flow of the river of life,
sometimes almost submerged by its torrent,
other times glowing like a lantern in the night.
I stand back and look from afar.
I see through microscopic eyes for clarity.
Hem and haw over word selection
before committing to the page my direction.
I have known the isolation, the depth of emotion,
the mountainous solitudes, the hermit times,
highs and lows, ingredients for a working poet’s poem
to turn on the tap of the reader’s psyche.
I am master of my isolation. I have chosen,
yet I am still anchored to those that make a difference.
Do my poems make a difference? Touch a chord?
Or do they clog the gutters of the mind?
Throughout my lifetime
as I grow and wander,
you use the elements
to carve boy from baby,
man from boy.
You drown me in Holy Water
to protect me from outer demons.
But what of those
that are inside the flesh?
You breathe love-fire on me,
fanned by the wind
at your command
‘til it takes hold,
becoming part of the roots of my life.
Finally, you throw beloved earth on me
to keep me from wandering,
announcing “dust to dust”,
“ I will see you in the hereafter”.
Will it have Earth, Wind,
Fire and Water?