Monday, May 2, 2016

Donal Mahoney- Three Poems

A New Neighbor over the Fence

I understand what you mean
when you say you’re alone 
and hope someone rings your
bell day or night but that's 
not the case with me.

You say you'd be happy to see 
a Fuller Brush man at the door
if the company still has salesmen
or a man sharpening knives
although I haven’t seen a man 
pushing a whetstone cart through 
the neighborhood in years.

I’d be careful, Ma’m, giving 
a stranger a knife to make it 
sharper than it already is.
Being alone is tough enough 
unless you’re a recluse like me. 

We wouldn’t be talking now but 
I had to take the garbage out.
My wife always did it until she 
passed away a few years ago.
The autopsy was inconclusive.

If a Fuller Brush man or a guy  
sharpening knives rings my bell, 
he won’t come to see me again.
I have a whetstone in the attic
and sharpen my knives as needed.
But thanks for letting me know
you’d like to have visitors.
if I ever feel like talking
I’ll certainly ring your bell

A Matter of Money

Being bipolar isn’t easy
but it’s tougher
when you’re poor
and have to walk
rather than ride
from one pole
to the other,
a friend told me
in the day room,
on his first day back
from the locked side.

He has a friend still
on the locked side 
who’s bipolar, too, 
with oodles of money
and a private plane.
When he takes a trip
he goes from one pole
to the other lickety-split. 
He’s says he'll give 
my friend a lift should
their trips coincide. 

A First Responder Steps Aside

The hands on the atomic clock 
upstairs finally stopped spinning.
As you know, my dear, the hands
have been spinning for two weeks.

This morning the clock stopped
the way it has so many times
over the years so I took it down, 
shook it and nothing happened.

A shake has worked before.
The clock would start right up.
Now I can't get the battery out.
My fingernails are too short

Usually I meet the challenge
since I’m the first responder
but not this time, my dear.
No fingernails at the moment.

I put the clock upside down 
on the leather ottoman where
the battery awaits a pallbearer.
A new battery should do it.

This clock's always had problems.
Still, I’m surprised it’s not  
running for president this year.
A new battery and it won’t lie.

Donal Mahoney

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis Missouri. Some of his earliest work can be found at and some of his newer work at


  1. An illuminating watch of a pathological recreation of poetry of memory and psyche in a transcendent vein of a first correspondence in three different analytical scenes.What dramatic and operatic forms from a masculine voice and line.Congratulations, Donal.
    masculine lines of voice.

  2. B.Z.,

    I always appreciate your comments on this site and others about all poems but I can’t take any credit if I get something right. I’ve always been a few sandwiches shy of a picnic and I type what I hear and then I try to fix it. I don’t thing I have ever started a poem knowing how it will end. You have a great love of nature and nature for me, in memory at least, are the alleys of Chicago. Some great wildlife there. And maybe a poem some day called the “Alleys of Chicago” will now come about. We all have to keep typing and thwart Alzheimer’s. Zygazunt.