Tag Archives: free poetry

“The Star”

In Memory of Matthew. Thirty-eight months gone.


“The Star”


The eleventh of the month arrives too soon,

It’s as if my life’s timed by the moon,

By the number of nights it lights the sky,

This horrible reminder that he did die.

Yesterday, on Mother’s Day,

I looked above and imagined a way

I could borrow Mom’s sunshiny star

And whisk her away in a red sports car.

Today, I wonder about Matt’s star,

Whether big or small and how far,

Stars sometimes look close and near,

Those are the ones I hold dear.

I see many such lights above,

All of whom I dearly love,

Mother and father and my son,

I pray for them when day is done.

If Matt were a shooting star,

He’d land on earth and we would spar,

Others would come, joining in,

Everyone sporting a ginormous grin.

Alas, too much make-believe,

Those shining stars never leave,

Oh, they may hide or dim their lights,

But they’re always around, days and nights.

Tonight, I’ll search for the star that’s Matt,

The strongest one, not one that’s fat,

For he exercised daily, cared about his body,

Never ever would he look shoddy.

His star will be full of frolicking fun,

Spouting jokes and sharing a pun,

I know I’ll see him twinkling there,

I have no doubt I’ll find him. I swear.

Matt candle crop

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Twenty Months Gone

Dear Matt,

I dream of a babe in my arms,
A toddler asleep beside me,
Confusing yet familiar
As if a recurring vision
And with a start
I realize it’s you.

I suffer sharp jolts
Of sheer insanity,
Scenes of shrieks
And sobs
Of my new reality,
Twenty months gone and
Disbelief still grabs me,
Shocks me to my very core
And I cry fresh tears 
Identical to previous one.

I can’t stop these monthly poems—
These non-rhyming words spouting grief—
I write many others too,
All bringing me an odd comfort,
A smidgen of joy between pain
Even though my words read the same.

No new words exist for grief, 
No epiphanies or revelations,
For every day I pray the same:
To have you returned to me
As if a treasured object on loan.

But sanity slams me to the floor—
You’re gone forever,
Never really mind to hold,
For children become adults
And cleave to another,
But you’ll always be my boy.

Whether I’ll see you again
Is one of the world’s mysteries,
But if there’s a chance we meet again
The line to greet you will be endless,
Too many wanting to hold, hug, kiss,
But to see you again in flesh
I’d happily wait at line’s end.

You’ll always be my cherished child.


C.A. MacKenzie is the author of the novel WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, a psychological drama/thriller, available from the author or at various retailers, including Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Dont-Knock-C-MacKenzie/dp/1927529387/.


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The Two Births of Jesus

The Two Births of Jesus
by C.A. MacKenzie

According to Matthew’s gospel:
Joseph had a dream
that Jesus, his son, was to be born.
In Jerusalem amongst a thorne,
there were three magi—
three wise men who would care—
who came from the East somewhere,
who saw a star to gleam
and knew Jesus was there.
The three magi followed the star so bright
to Bethlehem that night,
coming with gifts to give the son,
gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Falling in love with a Jesus so young
and scared of the future to come,
the magi did not tarry
but left to go back home.
And an angel did come to Joseph and Mary,
telling them to flee that land,
to avoid the danger to come from afar,
and so off to Egypt they ran.

Luke gave another story:
Of Gabriel, the angel of God,
who was the spirit of truth
and a messenger from God,
telling Mary she will have a son,
her son to be named Jesus.
Mary and Joseph leave Nazareth town (in Galilee)
to travel to Bethlehem, Joseph’s ancestral home.
Mary and Joseph, they did roam
but could not find a place to stay
before the baby was born that day.
And after his birth
in a manger the babe to lay.
And in another place, far away,
an angel of the Lord came down
to the shepherds in the field on earth
who were caring for their flock.
The angel brought them news of a birth,
news of such great joy,
of the birth of Jesus, a baby boy.
Said they would find him wrapped in bands of cloth
and laying in a manger trough.
And after the angel spoke the words to savour,
came down a Heavenly Host from above
who said in a voice of love:
“Glory to God in the highest Heaven
and on earth peace
amongst those whom he favours.”
The shepherds hurry to Bethlehem,
for Jesus they want to see,
and to Mary and Joseph they tell
the story that the angel did tell to them.
The shepherds then return to their flocks,
and Mary and Joseph left as well
to return home to their Nazareth.

And that is how Jesus was born that day.

 © C.A. MacKenzie (written many years ago)


I wish everyone peace, joy, and love.


C.A. MacKenzie is the author of (among other books) the novel WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, a psychological drama/thriller, available from the author or at various retailers including Amazon [https://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Dont-Knock-C-MacKenzie/dp/1927529387/].

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The Smell of Death

I must be feeling morbid today as I work on compiling poems into book form, poems I’ve written over the years. Here is one that grabbed me a moment ago. (Soon to be found in a book called “ONCE LAUGHTER.”)


It’s the taste of death we smell
when someone is aged and nearly gone,
the scent that lingers about them,
wafting to and fro,
an odour so atrocious we plug our noses lest we suffocate,
and we don’t breathe again until we’ve left the room.

You can’t mistake it—
that smell—
it can’t be hidden,
it’s distinctive
and everyone recognizes it,
most everyone’s smelt it.

It’s the stench of old people—
everyone knows that—
it’s a horrid smell.

But is it truly the smell?
Or is it the import—
the nearness, the significance,
the idea it might be contagious, that the smell could emanate from you sooner than you expect, sooner than you want—that Death could come calling for you?

They say once you breathe death you never forget it.

It’s a smell that lingers forever.


C.A. MacKenzie is the author of (among other books) the novel WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, a psychological drama/thriller, available from the author or at various retailers including Amazon [https://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Dont-Knock-C-MacKenzie/dp/1927529387/].

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November 11

I write a poem in memory of my son Matthew every month on the 11th. I don’t always post them to my blog but I am today, being Remembrance Day.


Twenty months ago today

I laid my son—not his memory—

to rest.


With my every breath

I remember him,

whether my eyes are open or closed.


I see dragonflies, ladybugs,

faces in the clouds,

I find a coin beneath papers,

I feel gentle breezes, smell

the outdoors, listen to

whispers in the wind.


All for naught!


He’s above my computer,

watching while I work.

Some days I want to toss the canvas

through the window,

other days I grasp him to my chest.


These many months later

I still hear his last cries:

“I have a heart, Mom,

I have a heart.”


I’ll never forget.


I don’t want to forget.


I try to write my story—his story,

our story,

I need it told

but I face ruthless white

and can’t control tears.

How can I write of my dead son?

How can I put his death on paper?


Stately granite guarding remains

rises from the ground,

I caress the stone

and feel its warmth,

running my fingers over the etching

as if reading Braille,

Later when the sun exchanges

places with the moon—

after darkness covers day—

light will peek from Heaven

to highlight specks of blue and grey.


I’m a private person

living on repeat,

sharing sorrow with those who listen

and with those who don’t.

Another’s grief is uncomfortable,

and my pain’s not lessened with time served.


I didn’t ask for this position—

the grieving mother role—

I had prayed for miracles,

would have assumed the sun’s persona

and given him the moon

had I been able.


Death happened too suddenly—

too unexpectedly—

and before our next breath

he was gone,

without time for more prayer

or waiting for a miracle.


I’m not looking for sympathy,

I share to honour him.

I don’t need you to mop my tears

or quash my cries.

I fight my own battles

and survive my own wars.


I must keep his memory alive

until the day I die,

I need to remember.


So on this Remembrance Day

as I did last year and as I’ll do the next

and the next and the next and the next

until I die…

I honour the veterans

and though my son never served,

I honour him too.


Lest we forget.


C.A. MacKenzie is the author of the novel WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, a psychological drama/thriller, available from the author or at various retailers, including Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Dont-Knock-C-MacKenzie/dp/1927529387/.



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Dear Matt

(Yesterday’s sad event)


Dear Matt,


We stand before you, burying you again:

Seventeen months after your death,

One day ahead of the first anniversary of your burial,

And tears are as fresh today as then.


I’m not in denial—none of us are,

We know you’re gone,

But like a broken record

So many unanswered questions abound.


I’m elated to be with your siblings this weekend,

We’re celebrating in style—not!

That’s only an expression

That came to my inebriated mind.


Perhaps we’re in reflection mode,

Enjoying each other as we did

When you were with us,

And, oh, how I wish you were here.


Perhaps we think of other things:

Sadness, happiness—who knows.

I’m not privy to others’ minds.

I only know mine.


We all grieve differently.

Everyone misses you.

Everyone sheds tears

In their own way.


We brought Bud Light with us,

We pray, we speak, we remember.

We won’t forget you.

We never will. I never will.


I miss you so much, my son,

My middle child,

My only planned child,

Ironically, the only child I didn’t want.


A contradiction, for sure (there’s a story there!),

But all turned out okay in the end:

Your birth, your life.

All was okay until I couldn’t save you.


I tried.

I tried so hard. With all my might.

I’d do the same for your siblings,

But I’m not God.


This world isn’t all about me;

I know that.

I’m just a peon in the universe,

Feeling bereft without one of my children.


Existing with a horrid hole,

Quashing aches within my soul,

Searching for a missing puzzle piece

Lost forever.


With every breath I miss you,

I shout to the Heavens,

I shriek to God,

How can this be?


I want to say, “Rest in peace, my son,”

But that’s such a cliché,

And who knows, really, what you’re doing

Or where you are.


No one knows.

No one knows.


I just want the impossible.


RIP, my son.

Rest in peace.

Matt Headstone Kenzieville


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