Three Poems By William Conelly


A falling branch, bull moose or bear,
the stray shot from a hunter’s gun—
ex-urban friends consider threats
like these unworrying.  They amble on.

Our city cousins gravely eye 
each other.  Over busy streets,
they scan for wrath and poison coughs,
the latest revelations of deceit.

Commuters there to here and back
comment upon the two fixed scenes,
but rarely on the curtains drawn—
or open—on the gradients between.


His fellows endorse
gob-stopping expressions

—Alps needle sharp,
Grand Canyon depressions—

and most dream of profits,
in status or porridge,

while meticulous Art
composes for storage.


The Emperor?  Sure.
But will Art shout:
The Empress wears no clothes!

Barely inclined, she’ll find
Art’s moonstruck face
wherever Her Nakedness goes.
Even the rain is hot,
Even the rain,
as if it took by tumult
out of asphalt clouds
some measure of the fusion
searing endlessly beyond.
A house fan merely stirs
such heat, blends it with
the waters of that river
where we all shall bathe
—oh, currents of forgetfulness—
the future our next breath.

After military service, William Conelly took a master’s in literature from UC Santa Barbara. Unrelated work in research and composition followed before he returned to academia. A collection of his early verse is titled UNCONTESTED GROUND and a short children’s book WEST OF BOSTON. Retired from teaching as a dual citizen, Conelly resides with his wife in Warwick, England.

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