Hello, Fellow Marathoners

Is there anything better than a group of artists uniting in their art, nurturing and supporting each other and their lovely words of poetic beauty?

The 2021 Poetry Marathon brings new hope and creativity. This is my 6th (maybe?) Marathon. Last year’s Marathon saved me from Covid isolation and depression. I will be eternally grateful for the experience of examining my emotional and mental well-being through art the Marathon gave me.

Since then, I’ve cut ties with the sirens of social media. I don’t miss it at all, at least I haven’t until I think about missing the late night messages of poets from around the world. My claim to fame was posting a video of a Penis Bug. I’m sure some brave soul will fill the void of foolishness my absence may bring. Still, I will miss getting to know all of you in this uniquely sleep deprived way.

In real life, I am a daughter, granddaughter, sister, cousin, niece, mother, wife and grandmother- always and in that order. I have a daughter and two stepsons, all adults and married. I have two granddaughters, four step-grandsons and one grandchild on the way. Wanting more time with my 95 year old mother and my beautiful grandchildren led me away from a 34 year career as an educator, in which I worked as a substitute para educator, substitute teacher, para educator, teacher, behavioral consultant, and supervisor. The vast majority of my career was in Special Education.

At the end of the Poetry Marathon, I will be married 29 years – our wedding anniversary is June 27th. My love, my husband, retired last October. We’re learning how to adjust to having time and space together while we are remodeling our kitchen and getting work done on our old fixer-upper of a house. In between times, we work together – surprisingly harmoniously – in the micro farm garden that is our backyard. We make our home most days in Cadillac, Michigan, USA.

I am ready and excitedly waiting for the Marathon to begin. I have planned and prioritized the Marathon, but then again, what is life without obstacles and new wrinkles? These obstacles, collectively, are referred to as The June McKay Memorial Picnic, a casual family reunion dedicated to my late mother-in-law. “Fortunately,” I tell myself, “I have a notebook and the Word Press app on my phone. I can poet anywhere!”

Good luck Marathoners! I’ll read you at the finish line!

The Marble

When she was just two 
almost three, 
Grace helped Grandpa John
In the garden,
as happy as can be.

Near the carrots,
Oh, they weren’t nearly as grown,
Grace found a gift
She could keep as her very own.

She unearthed a marble,
buried long ago, 
by some a child or squirrel 
long forgotten 
Its origins unknown.

Solid red was the marble
and as shiny as if it were new. 
She carried it carefully into the house 
And introduced it to all she knew.

Often she would carry it
from room to room to room.
And explain the house to the marble
as only a two and a half year old can do.

Her other favorite thing to do
Was to to pinch it between finger and thumb.
Inevitably it would pop out of her grasp
and roll to parts unknown. 

The game continued, all of us helped,
in searching for her gift
Until one time no one saw
which way the marble went

It’s in our house somewhere,
Of that I am sure.
I hope some day it’s found again 
with a child’s love so pure.

Cat Sank

At this hour of the day,
when the morn’ is new and sunny,
thinking of my favorite cat,
is really rather funny.

There’s Vinnie, the Calico
and Chester lives next door. 
Oh, and there’s also Ollie;
Just one of many I adore. 

I know and love several cats
This much is true
the one I want to tell you about
is named ‘Cat Sank,’ also known as Yeux.

Cat Sank is a French feline.
she is smudge pot black; cute as can be, 
with a wide white stripe on her backside,
for all the world to see.

Cat Sank wears a beret
And is funny, bright and full of spunk, 
She really has only one small flaw:
She’s in love with a skunk. 

I want to hold her in my arms
but outside she must stay 
Because of her love of Pepe LePew
And his awful malodorous spray.

The Wall

A glimpse of the other side
gives way to full view.
An interloper can observe
with circular arguments
and telescopic focus
the secret garden
on the other side.
(There is always another side.)
Nothing left to the imagination.
Perhaps they are rabbit holes.

Are they holes at all? 
Perhaps they are more
openings than holes. 
It’s late and 
I don’t want to get into 
knotholes that are not holes,
unless there are not knots
in them. 
(The opening was there and
I took it.)

Our minds look for what isn’t,
until we train ourselves to be grateful
for what we have.
Until then, we waste our time,
wanting what isn’t there, 
Realizing it is only a wall.
(This makes me think of 
The Beatles.)
(I love to turn you on.*)

*”A Day in the Life,” Lennon-McCarthy, 1967.


My focus is warped

warring with a deep physical need

to soothe the swimmer’s itch rash

inflaming my legs.

My focus is divided

vying with the physical need

of finding a more comfortable

means of sitting up all night,

My focus is eroded

by the pain of our

discontented hearts,

The Hour of Darkness

In this,

the hour of darkness

May you keep faith

May it shine like a beacon

coating the shadows

in everlasting light.

Wearing a Mask

In this time of COVID-19, 
Loneliness creeps in
to the farthest recesses
making it difficult,
if not impossible
to stay connected
to stay positive
to remain part of something bigger.

Not often am I concerned
about having control 
allowing the natural course of things
Social distancing 
Wearing masks
All with a distinct
lack of control.
All to remain part of something bigger.

Easter 2020

With churches closed and no one to visit,

We zoomed my entire family, many for the first time

It was wonderful to see everyone.

To connect.

We also ate candy and cooked a ham.


Old Photos


How can I make my family photo albums?

I thought it would be easy.

Take a picture and download, edit, print.


Then, I found

Undeveloped film



Kingston sticks

Now what?

What do I do now?

If you can help me with this problem,

then maybe you can tell me

How can I get all my photos in one place?

Right now, I have photos

On my phone,

On my tablet

On my husband’s computer

On the cloud

On Google Drive

On Instagram

On Facebook.

Now what?

I’m sure they are great pictures,

But for now,

I have to work from memory.

More than Words

Are you warm enough?

Make sure you have some broccoli.

I saw this in the store and it reminded me of you.

You’re welcome.

Would you like a back rub?

You look tired.

Do you want to talk about it.

I’m here for you.

Count on me.

I’ve got your back.

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