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Per Mutations of Solace

Peace through Poetry

M. Zane McClellan

The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.

~ Lao Tzu

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Copyright © 2018

M. Zane McClellan

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Tear Down These Walls

My tongue is restless.


against the roof

of my mouth.


my epiglottis,

cutting off the flow

of my breath,

the flow,

in or out.

Leaving my uvula to


like an empty

wind sock,


The voice of a


that never sang

before it strangled.

My tongue is swollen

like a storm-filled creek,

swollen and pressing,

against the back of my teeth.

Leaving scalloped impressions

like the shields

of riot police.

Trying to contain

a river

rushing over its banks

flooding into the streets.

My tongue is insistent,

my spirit resolute.

My tongue is not blind

my heart is not mute.

My tongue is my trumpet

sounding the call.

It echoes throughout Jericho,

tear down these walls.

A Laying on of Hands

Rip off the bandage

plunge me into analysis,

with your immediacy,

well-intentioned desire,

snap me out of my paralysis.

Your sympathy,

a well crafted ruse.

Soft spoken kindnesses

can only confuse.

I look for the trap,

the rationale, the bait.

The healing more painful

than this crisis I hate.

You slap my hand,

admonish me,

don't pick at the scars,

stay in the moment,

don't dwell in the past,

nor look too long

at the stars.

You would pray for me,

have me pray for myself,

but my pain doesn't understand.

You drag me about

to houses of worship

for a laying on of hands.

I would have all this

done and over,

you stress the importance,

necessity to heal.

But you can't rush me

through myself

Your professionally detached


has its limits

and you don't fully understand

how I feel.

A Thousand Sparks

We were telling stories

before hitting the hay,

vaporous fingerlings

reaching out from

exhausted coals

to yawning mouths

and fist-rubbed eyes.

You wandered in

out of the night.

The dull orange glow

cast your features

in a pall of haunt.

Made your eyes appear

lost in their own sockets.

Flickering, hinting madness,

your cheeks sunken

and gaunt.

Your porcelain skin,

translucent and blue veined,

marbled like the moon,

contrasting with the

sun kissed browns

of the faces looking

wide-eyed at you.

You told us truths

that we already knew,

but somehow became

nightmares as they

crawled out of your

mouth on that ghostly voice.

Dry, hoarse whisper

scraped from your

hollow palate

as if your tongue

was a trowel,

echoing in our ears,

historical references

to Mau-Mau uprisings

Jim Crow and

generational tears.

You mortared bricks

to wall us in,

and leave us

little choice.

We thought we heard

the dying embers


but it was just someone

afraid of the night woods,

afraid to go out to


I felt the warmth trickle

down my leg,

felt it go cold.

All eyes turned my way,

no one dared to say a word,

for none of us felt bold.

When we looked up

there was nothing of you,

nothing but absolute dark.

We watched, benumbed,

as the fire died

and rose to heaven

on the wings of a thousand sparks.

A Poem is Like a Mirror

A poem, like a mirror,

reveals the truth

of the soul

the heart cannot deny

After the Love

Rose petals wither

wrap the vase with wrinkled skirt

while thorns remain sharp

And So We Change

I am changed,

am changing,

even as change


As season after season

each transformation,


is pivotal,

and in its pivoting,

the World,

with the season's changes,

is differently adorned.

I watch the autumn

drenched with rain,

trees baptized in its flood.

I smell and taste

earth's renewal

the rich minerals

left behind in the humus,

of smooth, palliative mud.

Leaves lay flat and rotting,

fallen and pasted brown,

more decorate the branches,

red, yellow Flame bejeweling

majestic Crepe Myrtle crown.

As these sodden ashes,

recycled from dust to dust,

make possible

future season's beauty,

I am reminded of my


why I am changing,

for such is life,

and so,

I must.

And Still I Shrive

As truth


behind the

blue wall,

and warps

inside the

fearful mind,

sheep wander

from the flock

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