Poems for Two Granddaughters

 To Auden, My Granddaughter

born 4 November 2015

O Auden,

your little toes

are kernels of corn,

your small legs

are perfect stalks of barley.


That belly, so soft and concave,

is a basket twined into a whirlpool

made of many waters—

the lordly Hudson and other rivers:

the Potomac and Ireland’s Shannon.

The Chesapeake Bay is there,

and Lake Michigan and smaller pools,

the springs and ponds and puddles

brought forth by happy rains.


O Auden,

there are hills in your chest,

mountains in your shoulders,

and your arms are soft boulders

at the end of which spring

fine foxglove flowers.


Your face, oh!  We have awaited

that smile, which warms like

the fiery smile of the sun!

Your nose divides your cheeks

to make twin rows of roses.


And those eyes, Auden,

Those eyes! which,

when they open,

are like gallant stars,

prophecies of joy.

Blessed are those who inherit your gaze.

Your forehead is like the sky;

endless and fortress-like,

it harbors comfort and peace.

Blessed are we who know you.


Auden, thou art the earth of your parents’ love.

Auden child, thou art the air that they breathe.

Auden, thou art the water that washes them and slakes their thirsts.

Auden child, thou art the flame that enkindles hope.


The following poem was first published on McGuireHimself.com in 2011 _____________________________________________________________

Four Dances For Danby Rose McGuire

born 6 July 2011


O Danby!

Child of  mountains and of valleys,

child of  islands and  of seas,

child of  cities and of farms,

we greet you as an awaited one.


A river, made of many streams,

joined a river of many streams.

And they became one forceful river,

mixing tides like two hands interlacing.

A third river, made of many streams,

joined a fourth river of many streams,

and they too became a forceful river,

with the inexplicable interlacings of love .

Two forceful rivers joined

in you, Danby, and you are

the cup made of two hands joined,

fingers interlaced.

And in that cup,

in you, Danby,

is the sea, the ocean, this watery planet.


Your little shoulders

your little  eyes–open and awake, and closed and dreaming

of impressions without words,

those lips that smile in sleep

and cry in hunger and irritation

are like the Moon:

each is like the Moon

moving tides.


O Danby,

child of cities and farms,

child of  islands and seas,

child of valley and mountain–

you  make whole again

our fractured world.



A Poem I Like


AMIRI BARAKA (1934-2014)

BALLAD AIR & FIRE, for Sylvia or Amina

There is music


in lonely


blue music 


purple music

black music

red music

but these are left from crowds

of people

listening and singing

from generation

to generation


All the civilizations humans have built

(speed us up we look like ants)

Our whole lives lived in an inch

or two. And those few seconds

that we breathe


in that incredible speed

blurs of sight and sound

the wind’s theories


So for us to have been together, even

 for this moment

profound like a leaf

blown in the wind

to have been together

and known you, and despite our pain

to have grasped much of what joy exists

accompanied by the ring and peal of your

romantic laughter


is what it was about, really. Life.

Loving someone, and struggling.

Amiri Baraka