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Breath & Shadow

Fall 2014 - Vol. 11, Issue 4

"The Crossing" and "Wind Gifts"

written by

Mark Cornell

"The Crossing"


You no longer want to hold my hand

          perched upon a new chapter of your life,

          Beaming as you make your stand

          you cross the street towards the other side.

          With your gold uniform and floppy blue hat

          I understand it’s time to say goodbye,

          I waddle behind you carrying your huge bag

          below the chalk moon Summer sky.

          I say to you always feel free,

          to ask questions, help is always close by.

          We walk through the gates busy

          with children’s games and adult flight.

          I hesitate but you just choof along

          Have I lost the wonder for life’s song?

          Sixties music blares from the speakers

          joyous soundtrack to my childhood repeats.


          I help you find your name to put your bag away

          kiss your golden hair tell you to have a good day,

          your closest mate who counted the sleeps

          little chin starts to shake but doesn’t weep.

          His Dad asks me how I am, good I bleat out

          while my eyes stare down at the grey asphalt.

          Your blue eyes tell me you're ok

          I wave goodbye and turn away,

          to march through the stilled roads

          and echoing hollows to home.

          Time; Merciless and Steamrolling

          Grounds dry our brief daydreaming.

          Sixties music blares from the speakers

                                                  joyous soundtrack to my childhood repeats.

"Wind Gifts"


Moonlight straddles the edge

          of the dark peninsula,

          curling ribbons of white

          swell to break this leaden darkness.

          Waxing winds coil through

          the shattered shore stones, hissing

          tidal songs coldly brew

          behind our glowing faces leaning

          for relief into the flaring hearth;

          whistling tunes flow from our thawing hearts.

Mark Cornell is of Irish ancestry. As a child, he grew up listening to stories; either in the form of tall tales told by his extended family or the lyrics of his favorite songs on the radio. He started writing poems at 17. He has traveled to Ireland twice and on one of these visits was married to Kimberly in Dublin. Mark took family leave for three years to look after their son, Thomas, and now works as a conciliator with consumer affairs.

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