Mount Kisco, etc.
Eugene McDonnell

Mount Kisco

The sled is less than half his length,
Its runners flex by handle bars.
There are two turns that test his strength
On this track laid by those two cars

And only two that dared decline
Oregon Road deep under snow,
Just past the “Watch for Children” sign
To Sarles Street, half a mile below,

In just a minute and a half
From a dead start! Having made
The full course once, he had to laugh
When his wife asked, a bit afraid,

As he set out, how far he’d go:
“I won’t go all the way this time:
I’ll brake with my feet to go slow
And stop in a bank on the side. The climb

Back up two hundred feet is just too much.”
Edith, the three-year old cried to go with him.

Shortly after Jeanne and I were married, we lived in Mount Kisco, New York.

A Wife

I have a woman, yet I have her not,
Who’s like a lovely girl by Ghirlandio.
I have her here in Brooklyn, in my head.
But really she’s in Akron, in Ohio.

I was born in Brooklyn and my wife Jeanne was born in Akron, Ohio

Joan and Bud

Let the world be gay and free of tears,
Let the stars at night be far and blue;
Make into hopes all our foolish fears,
And that is a poem for Bud and You.

Let the morning sun be radiant and bright,
And the morning grass be covered with dew,
Let the days go softly into night,
And that is my poem for Bud and You.

Wherever your hearts be, there is your house,
Whatever you see will be brilliant and new,
It delights me to see — the groom and his spouse,
And that is a poem for Bud and You.

Youth grows into age at a frightening rate
Unless one does what one ought to do,
I admire and love both you and your mate,
Thus my hopes and prayers for Bud and for You.

My Roman Catholic sister Joan eloped with Bud Stewart — who wasn’t a Catholic. Our parents were distraught. Here’s my understanding of this.


Elizabethan Webster dreads
Poetic fabric woven
Of shady bits of threads.

Daniel Webster’s neighbors stove in
Hopes of his to advance
Yet let him room to rove in.

Noah two by two made dance
In elegant routines
Anglo-Saxon mixed with France

And American indigenes:
John and Daniel contrapass
While Noah shifts the scenes.

Birthday Coincidence

This is a trio we’ll always remember:
Ludwig and Shannon and Jane:
All with birthdays on sixteenth December:
Ludwig and Shannon and Jane:
Ludwig has music, Shannon has art,
And Jane has her immaculate prose:
Do Ludwig and Shannon and Jane.

My son Peter’s wife Shannon Abbey is a painter. This poem uses the fact that Ludwig von Beethoven and Shannon Abbey and Jane Austen all have the same December 16th birthday.

Logan 10 4

Logan, although just turned three
Was shrewd enough that he could see
Potential in his birthday blocks
For giving both his parents shocks.

His mom he closed up in a wall
Five yards around and just as tall,
When she suggested this was grim
He said, too bad, it pleasured him.

For daddy he prepared a room
That, windowless, was clothed in gloom.
When dad expostulated, he
Retorted that it gave him glee.

As he ran off, with merry sound,
He shouted to them, looking around,
“You’ll never see me any more,
Or, at the least, not till I’m four.”

Unless we’re very much mistook
He was, if not one all forsook,
Then one who, when push came to shove,
Showed mom and dad just tepid love.

Now, this small Logan wasn’t you,
And not [your] dad nor mommy, too.
His circumstances weren’t the same,
It’s just that Logan was his name.

He was as bad as he could be,
But he was born October 3;
His mom was Babs, his dad was Tim,
So, clearly, you were never him.

[Your] mom is Carol, dad is Luke,
And she a duchess, him a duke.
And you yourself, for ever more,
Are birthday boy Logan 10 4.


His feet are wrapped in burlap roped
To keep the cloth from falling off.
His pace is slow as though he hoped
To hinder the next cough.

His hands and forearms meet within
The ragged sleeves. The hair is long
And messy on his head and chin.
The world can do him no more wrong.

I met Harold Krause at Brooklyn Technical High School. His drafting was the best I’d ever seen. He was somewhat bashful around women, but met one who liked him. They arranged to be married, but she, on the way to him, wrecked her car, and died. For weeks Harold was a recluse, drinking — and eventually he died.


Who walks above with dainty step
And looks at me with chocolate eyes
Inviting me to usual feasts
Which ever finish in surprise?

When dancing then with legs in-knit
Whose back does spring beneath my hand
And head swing back from right to left
And finger wear another’s band?

While walking with our arms enlocked
And heads down so that we can see
Our steps adjusted each to each,
Who is this woman next to me?

I cannot give her name
For she’s engaged to another man;
Publicity would bring her shame.


The moon is distant, white and pure
Sending out rays of snow
Inviting me to ski on air:
Yet I am shocked
To find the moon seen close is pocked.
Your beauty and your wit allure me,
Yet you’re distant, so
This some implores you here from there.


I like not Bunny’s mouth. T’is true
I mind it not that she’s a Jew,
That she is older far than I,
Her age is almost doubles mine
That she has been married twice,
That she’s given up to vice;
However, I like not her mouth.


I chose this rhyme to tell my love in sighs:
No rose dare climb the trellis of your thighs.

Wall Street Journal

This thing indeed is granted:
Your skin is more smooth to the touch
Than the paper on which
The Wall Street Journal is printed.


Proud of his young lady daughter,
He bought her, gold as oranges,
Finger coils and loops to devote
To her throat;
Naught touched her that soils.

Piazza di Spagna

Out in the sun and wind I hang today
Spun slowly by the vent of merchandise;
Strong breezes from lethal flowers push my way,
Laden with sleep and ointment for my eyes.

The sidewalk artist makes all he can get,
Sketching my likeness on the ground in chalk.
Stridence of life surrounds me like a net
Woven of Roman women as they walk.

My coffin will be made as I die slowly;
My spirits even now at a pretty pass;
The flame of my resentment burns more slowly;
Like whiskey warmed and watered in the glass.

“You Roman people must sometimes be lonely.
Start fishing in your souls and talking soft.
Keep your eyes turned to the gibbet only,
And tremble at the terror hung aloft.”

last updated: 2009-06-10 22:15