My First Poetry Friday

This is my first time taking part in Poetry Friday.  Many thanks to Molly Hogan of Nix the Comfort Zone for hosting this week.  The Poetry Friday hosting list can be found in the sidebar at A Year of Reading.

I have wanted to take part in this activity for a while now, especially since I have begun writing my memoir.  The harder I try to write this specific work of creative nonfiction, the more poetry starts to insist on coming out of my head.  I’m sure the Universe is amused at this.

Here are my two poems.


He walks the halls like
He owns them
These halls, these walls,
These doors, behind which
Tenants cower.
Jangling keys,
Steel-toed boots,
Stride of a mission.
Roof leak on
Rent day.


Five graves on a cedar knoll
Roots twisted around stones,
The writing eroded.

In the surrounding pasture,
The cows, oblivious
To the nameless dead,
Flick futile tails at flies
Clustered to drink
In the pools of their eyes.

The sun shines down,
A light in August,
While life lolls on.


About the author

Karen J. McLean

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  • Welcome to Poetry Friday! In your first poem, you create a sense of the superintendent in just a few words. The second one describes the country side where I live so well.

  • Thanks so much for joining in Poetry Friday this week! Your first poem is a great sketch of that superintendent, shaded in with spot-on word choice (cower, jangling, steel-toed). In your second poem the juxtaposition of the gravestones, the cow and those flies was evocative. Hope to see you again soon.

    • Thank you, Molly.

      I enjoyed your piece very much. I’ve worked through most of Julia Cameron’s books, and I’m doing her latest book, The Listening Path, now.

  • Hi, Karen!

    I didn’t get to your first-ever post in a timely way, but I do want to say hello and welcome and whoa that Superintendent. I’m a public school teacher too and all I can think about these days is that no one ever spends the entire day in a classroom never mind an entire week except the actual teachers…

    Wishing us strength!

    • Hello, Heidi,

      It’s nice to meet you! Just imagine the future educators learning about this year during their teacher training. They’ll never believe it!