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Kathryn Stewart McDonald


Sitting on a bench

As even stars die slowly

Certain only the sunrise.


Early morning clouds

Hide river willows bending

Dew moistened trees cry.


Limitless echoes

From fear never far away

Sorrow has icy fingers.


The black hole of the universe

An exit

Through which emptiness is


Once realization sparks awareness

Of lost humanity

Far too late to make amends with


The silent screams of suffering are seen

As exploding suns

In distant galaxies traveling eternally outward

To the edge of nothing

And then beyond the void the epitome

Of isolation

Colors never canvassed rage in those shades of dark

All things must end unseen as sons are born

Until suns die

And even the remains of suns are sometimes seen

But too late to touch

From the edge of here and now to

Somewhere else

We send our metal monsters for clues


Unceasing curiosity

The end results from ignorance.

For Franz and Photographs Left Behind

With camera nailed like night

To nullify only the emptiness

Eyes so narrow could not see


Records made realizing remembrances

Of reality from which so far

Removed and remote he grew


Scavenger of solace he sought

Scenes of sempiternal sorrow

Savior now of shattered and scarred


Finally the forage from which

He forestalled his defeat from

Feeling and forejudgement faded


Left after capturing cautious remnants

Of characters possessed by carnaged catechisms

Careful lest his camera be revealed


My friend, death is dirty and deceitful

Drugged and drowned you died

As all your dreams were left demeaned

For the Whale

Death dancers

From the sea

Came this raj

To die


On sacred sands

Of Nan Madol

Dance your mourning

For the king


He lies wearied

Ancient warrior

Proudly scarred

Taboo for feasting


Shaman sing

Tale of Tears

Song of Sorrow

Honor these bones


Magnificent modengi

Raj of the sea

We weep for you

We weep for you


Safe at last

From Ivory Thief

Safe at last

On sacred sand

Masks for Lost Faces

At the edge of the world

Someone sang a song to God

The ultimate audience of one

A song of sorrow and mistakes

With a dance from a broken dream

Counting scars with steps

Left the world, became instead

Sacrosanct and certain

So judgments failed and then

Sheltered from society


Now with a mask for everyone

Something strange and unseen remains

And reflects only those faces now

Who buy and sell a name

And with the broken dance

Steps sing words unsaid, thus

Nothing is lost in translation

Plaster cast or sculpted mask

Icicle melting fast

The last fly of winter—an albino roach


Or a butterfly in the snow, even a

Broken rainbow in a midnight onyx sky

An impression of that face might show

What really is or who was.

As even plaster masks cannot

Conceal or deny the eyes

Magritte is gone

None are left to fear

As no one really looks

Behind the eyes.


Saipan you sleep surrounded by sea

Gentle your jungles, soft in the light

My home, my home, crying, calling to me


Saipan you sleep surrounded by sea

Washed warm by waves lost from my nights

Mystical music makes kind memories


My home, my home, crying, calling to me

Magical mountain now far from my sight

Island of emeralds remember me


Saipan you sleep surrounded by sea

Hear me shaman, nothing here that is right

Totem of Taga please set me free


My home, my home, crying, calling to me

Return my soul, sky spirit, lost light

Taga, protect me, so far from the sea


Saipan you sleep surrounded by sea

Totem of Taga please set me free

Island of emeralds, I remember the sea

My home, my home, crying, calling for me.

Shades of Stillness

A shoreline free from storm

Traces wet shadows

Quiet clouds and solitude


Three unbroken turtle eggs

And driftwood

Damp sand at dawn

Sidi Bou Saiid, Tunisia

The moon on turquoise Tunisian nights

Gleams ghostly on the minaret of ivory mosques

Sirocco sand does not blow in spring


Light fog feathers the land

Curls itself and wraps around

A gnarled olive tree


God sleeps in the street

Still warm from the last day’s sun

Night shadows are long and thin


This desert never fights

It dances to the shores of Carthage

And colors the world gold


Sidi Bou Saiid on the back mountain

Has risen from the sea

In blue and white jasmine perfection

View from a Cliff

Centuries of fog

Gently shield the sea

From the glare of stars


And fishermen

Glide through the night

With lanterns.

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