Joan McNerney, 7/3/2017

Current Occupation: Volunteer Museum Guide
Former Occupation: Typesetter

Contact Information: I am from Brooklyn, New York and fell in love with poetry when I was nine years old.  My first publication was in Young America Sings at fourteen. It has been a long and wonderful journey. After retiring from the advertising business, I have moved to upstate New York near the Albany area.  The natural beauty of the area has given me a great deal of inspiration to continue my voyage through the world of literature.  Thank you for this wonderful opportunity.
 Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as  Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, Blueline, and Halcyon DaysThree Bright Hills Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Review Journals, and numerous Kind of A Hurricane Press Publications have accepted her work. Her latest title is Having Lunch with the Sky and she has four Best of the Net nominations. 




Maintenance Man

Everything falls apart, 
all things rot and crack.
Each day another tenant
fills out forms to request
repairs.   Hot water tanks
burst, sinks back up, toilets jam. 
Smoke alarms break. 
It's a messy life, he pushes
against riptide.
All spring and summer,  
weeds keep growing. 
Leaves gather during fall.  
In winter time, ice 
covers walkways.
It’s time to go home now.
Tomorrow he will return
to pick up the pieces again.

The Teacher

She hoped some would leave, 
rise above dirty factory gates
past plumes of smoke spewing
from the cement plant.
Occasionally when discussing
great American novels, the walls
shook. Ravines were blasted
for more rocks to crush into powder.
She wished they would not become
clerks for soul-less chain stores or 
cooks in fast food joints where
smells of burning grease lingered.  
What was the use of teaching literature
and poetry to these children who would
soon grown listless?  Their spirits ground
down like stones in the quarry.

The Librarian

Always cherished the sanctity of 
this place.  This refuge of
knowledge arranged in infallible 
logic of the Dewey Decimal system.
Brian loved to touch these volumes.
Especially heavy reference
dictionaries, atlases, almanacs
and encyclopedias.  Those sheltered
in secluded shelves for staff only.
Children come along each day
to feast on colorful books. Lounging 
in small chairs they became
spellbound by cornucopias of words.
Mostly he likes the retirees who
linger with newspapers and
magazines in the reading corner. 
They confess not to understand 
computers, writing down requested titles.
At the end of evening, Brian walks
through the quiet.  Before leaving,
he will select a saga of spicy
adventure to flavor his evening.   

An Accountant

During the day, 
he could calculate
the secrets of ciphers
grabbling with white 
ledgers and tight rows
of numbers.
Richard knew how statistical 
data can be rigged while
cash flow double entries
could conceal trouble.
His eyes were wary
but he still believed
in good faith credit.
As night grew so did his 
appreciation of the
eloquence of one. 
That fat place maker
known as zero. Why
mystics marveled
at the holy seven.
While Richard slept his
dreams multiplied.
Suddenly long division
subtracted an unknown
quantity yet sums still
added up. Where had
his equations wandered?

3 comments on “Joan McNerney, 7/3/2017
  1. Jan Priddy says:

    “What was the use of teaching literature
    and poetry to these children who would
    soon grown listless?”

    Because even those ground down in hollow jobs deserve to fly sometimes.

    • Joan McNerney says:

      Yes, I agree everybody deserves to experience the great world of literature. I was trying to show the anguish of the teacher looking at the future of her students.

  2. Bruce Greene says:

    Teachers plant seeds that often grow long after school ends.

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