James Lonergan

Silly Goose

The geese are aloft
            this time of year.
                    A flock passed overhead today
                                       honking its antiphonal way.
                                               The fowl fly over a long minute.
                                                         As the last chorus began to fade,
                                               two more came streaking by
                                       in a guilty hurry, it seemed,
                    followed by a single goose
            whose unmistakable laughter
about fooling around

                                                         at the back of the pond
                                                         after the group left was


Show Us - An Epithalamium

Show us beginnings without guilt or shame.
Show us devotion that’s given new name.
Show us what feistiness brought you both here.
Show us the tree branch and fruit it will bear.

You ask us to witness -
We ask you to show.

Show us no wreckage of ill-conceived plans.
Show us the triumph of works for four hands.
Show us how faithfulness heartens each soul.
Show us how labor and sweat conquer goals.

Show us the strength of both two and of one.
Show us the power of willing work done.
Show us the small joys of husband and wife.
Show us the awestrike of bringing new life.

Show us the footprints through setbacks and mire.
Show us a love sparked like St. Elmo’s fire.
Show us the courage to stand before all.
Show us your ancestral values installed.

Show us in season;
Show us - not now.
Show us success in the mutual vow.

Show us in your time,
Show us all slow:

You ask us to witness -
We ask you to show.

Six Views of the Mountain Conjured in Mist

The monastery lies in the notch.
Monks sit like arrows
drawn up and poised to fly
into our midst,
saffron messengers of hope
against dying time.

With reason for hope
and cause for action, we turtle:
move slowly, arouse pity
at the pace, insular, shell-bound,
missing most (if not all)
while holding up the world.

Leafless mountain, street lights
adorn like a holiday tree,
strung in loping rows
following switchback roads.
In rain unseen, it moves
sensibly out of the weather.

In snow, it recalls
a patient old man,
board game paused, or
an ancient trout lure bored.
Unhurried, it suffers the heaped bits
until crown and foot are buried.

Autumn seasons the dance.
It’s a sensual slip from summer
green dress in slowly shifting hues
melting down from top to toes
into earthy orange and yellow cloves
like crayon colors heated by chance.

The mountain morning begins early
with snow that falls leisurely
conscious of its nonchalance
leaning toward lazy like a rich man
unembarrassed by his wealth; a
beautiful day comfortable with its looks.

Then, the mountain at services
honoring the sky goes
missing in the mist
not likely to return until after dark.
Of late, the guardian once so solemn
rejoices with the monks at prayer.

About the Author

Jim Lonergan writes poetry to balance his legal career. He has workshopped with William Seaton, Ed Sanders and the Millay Society at Steepletop. His poems have appeared in Chronogram, Zephyr, and the Waywayanda Review. His first book of collected poems, Poached Dreams, was published in 2010 by Epigraph Press.

(click here to close this window)