More than one writer has noted
the reason for poetry is
because one can't not.

While looking over the sea of Narcissus
I do well to remember.


This page intros poetry. What is poetry remains elusive; I often feel that the views into nature qualify more than any words can do. This page seems destined to remain under construction. I currently intend to show here a couple of recent composings that I believe move across the three elements of this website. I plan to change them frequently. So return if interested or let me know if you want more. Poems that are listed below and are not shown here may be seen by request to jlm@umd.edu.

List of Poems


Washing by Hand


In Honor of the Utility Player

Would Somebody Tell Me

Why Winter Returns

Winter Sets

Full-Spectrum Crystal

Stage Seven of the Soul, Part III

Stage Seven of the Soul, Part II

Stage Seven of the Soul, Part I

A Love Letter

Some Might See Spirals

A Rein That's True



At First Light

For Bird Memory

A Snowflake Life

Dream Awakened

Over the Moon



The Dream of Dressage


At First Light

At first light, they say.
Is this it then? The dusky rain-
scented breath, almost shadowless
but sufficient to know the red
flowing between gardens of poppies
and blood--Or was it the fuzzy
murmer as dreams open musing?
And hours before, a fullish moon
blinks through woods, tails waning day.
Perhaps it's still ahead in yet unseen
illumination of this darkness
or a radiance more than blood red,
softer than rains breath know,
yet more loving than dreams dare go.

Joseph McCaleb, 5/11/06

A Snowflake Life

Through the steel grey-blue blush
of early morning light playing
our body minds heedless
of seen-through walls like window panes
the winter branches dance soundless
in harmony with the invisible will.

Clouds flow by too or just disappear
like yesterday, like so many dreams,
like love calls between two hoot owls
calling forth their young even before mating;
this resonance evokes smokey mist off
snow fallen mid-winter to remember
the so-far away unseen spring then.

From such invisible forms goes out
the glimmering lonely strand into that web,
magnificent though we see so little of it,
on which, years later, we walk an island
to the precipice of paradise where a rainbow
ladder-light flows ocean into heaven,
like prayers go as the snowflake plans
of our life in the intricate pattern of it all.

Joseph McCaleb, 3/4/06; photo, 3/7/07



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Last Updated: May 20, 2007

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