Color Like the Wind, 2013

by Dennis McGonagle

Poetry About Color, 2004

Poetry by Dennis McGonagle

I Used To, But Now

I used to run every day
but now, I go for walks.
I used to run the L.A. Marathon,
but now, I might catch it on TV.
I used to drive forty minutes to work,
but now, I just walk ten minutes
and I am there.
I used to work in a sweat shop in East L.A.
but now, I teach
in an air-conditioned classroom
I used to be a trash man, floor sweeper,
flower deliverer, weed chopper,
factory worker, beach cleaner,
bus boy, box boy, bus driver,
security guard, steel worker,
but now, I am an artist and a teacher,
I used to get sent to the principal's office,
but now, I send people there

Drawing by Teresa McGonagle

My Mood is Red

My mood is red
like a devil's face
or a falling rocket
from outer space
like a poison frog
from that amazon place
like a river of fire
or the rocket's red glare
like a drag race at sundown
on a double-dog dare
a burning rubber red mood

Flying to Florida Haikus

The sun is shining
above a cloudy landscape
Mountaintops poke through

Footprints on cloudscape
like a desert of white sand
I smell my breakfast

Outside my window
far below the iron wing
floats one little cloud

Doctor Phil on TV
is very proud of his guest
for giving up drugs

Kissing on the screen
Love scene romantic music
Baby don't like it

Attempting to cut
with toy plastic knife
Damn you Bin Laden

Brilliant morning sun
over a valley of clouds
I feel my ears pop

I remove my headset
to hear my wife and captain
share their plans with me

Sunlight pouring in
clouds rise from a foggy sea
reflecting my life

Was painter who chants
now bodhisatva who paints
art has new meaning

I'm the screenwriter
of the movie of my life
going for my dream

Meanwhile my students
will celebrate Halloween
with a substitute

A Blue Feeling

A blue feeling
Like freezing cold rain drops
falling like diamonds
from the sky
Like being sad
and not knowing why
Like being so cold
You think you're gonna die
Like waving to a friend
with a final good bye
Like not having enough change
to pay for your pie
Like flunking a test
because you just didn't try
Like telling the truth
but they say it's a lie
a sad blue feeling

Dear Grandparents

When you died I was only three
I hardly knew you at all.
Now you're just a memory
A picture on the wall.

A heart attack, a crashing car
It was sad the way you died.
You were here, you were gone
And then my mother cried.

If you could come and see me now
to be together for just one day
I would shake your hands and hug you
There would be so much for us to say.

I'd introduce you to my wife
You would meet my family.
I'd tell you all about my life
A lot has happened since I was three.

We would take the morning sidewalk
to the classroom where I teach.
You could sit and watch my students
learning art and math and speech.

Then we could go up into the hills
before the day was done
and you could watch me paint a landscape
with the last rays of the sun.

I wish I had the opportunity
to be with you for one day.
To tell you that I loved you
before you went away.

Contact Dennis McGonagle at: Dennis@McGonagleStudio.com

Guanajauto Interior