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This poem was written by Robert J. Maxie, Jr, who has a You-Tube channel that features his spoken poems.  (Do check out his poetry site on Wattpad for more of his work.)  Robert recently independently published a book of poetry as well, BLEEDING INK, which is available on

He says, “The back story of this poem isn’t as much in the past as it is what I’m living. I oftentimes recently have found myself in situations where I feel hopeless and powerless.

“This poem is a reminder to me that I can’t live that way. That if I let myself lose hope I won’t be able to make it.”

A wise young man….

The words of his poem are powerful:


The truth is a blinding light
Shining over an ocean of lies
Gliding on black skies
On wings of fear and rage
It’s a rushing river that empties lakes
A hungry beast that takes and takes
A monster that terrifies
An ever living hawk
Scouting the skies
Bringing death to all
Because hope is the ultimate lie
A lie that lives on as long as the light is gone
Hope survives when hidden from the truth
Hope is the noble lie staying my soul from chaos and rage
Hope is a cage
Hope is control
Hope is a blinder over my eyes
And now that hope is gone
And all that’s left is an infinite
Black void through which I cannot find my way
Without my hope
Without my faith I stumble even though my eyes are open and my path is empty
I am blind to trouble
Though I see

by Robert J. Maxie, Jr.

Header picture credit:  Black Storm Petrel by Trish Gussler [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]

[Please note:  If any of you would like to contribute a poem, please let me know by leaving a comment below….  I’d be happy to hear from youClick here to access the Guest Poet Portal.]

Thanks for your visit.  I’d appreciate it if you’d drop a comment or note below and tell me your thoughts….



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“N.K. McCarthy” is a pen name that a friend who is a regular at the Maui Live Poets uses. She says, “Writing poetry, to me, is about capturing a thought, feeling, or idea, and putting it behind glass before it flies away and is lost forever.  This poem is about those rare moments in life when we forget our own name but remember we are part of something much bigger. ”



We close the door

And the world falls away

There is no distance

Not any more

Each star

Each moon

Each galaxy

Is at our fingertips 

And we are it

And it is ours

All of it

For now








In a pile on the floor

The intruder creeps across

Covering our nakedness

Stealing what is ours

Taunting us

To run after him


by N.K. McCarthy© 2016

[Please note:  If any of you would like to contribute a poem to this page, please let me know by leaving a comment below….  I’d be happy to hear from you.]

I ask three things of my guest poets: (a) a poem of your own making that has great meaning and mana for you, (b) the back-story for the poem — what inspired you or how you made it or whatever you want to tell about it, and (c) an image you own that I can use as the featured photo in the header. (The last is optional. I do ask that the image you share is one you own — either an image of yourself or something that relates to the poem. If you choose not to send an image, then I’ll go find something that works.)

Picture credit:  Kahului Lights from Haleakala Summit by Forest and Kim Starr via Flickr [CC BY 2.0]


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Making a poem can be a way to get your mind clear when you’re facing a major crisis.  My friend (George) Cameron Keys was the featured poet at one of our Maui Live Poets sessions at the Makawao Library.  To help him read his work, he asked another friend, Paul Janes-Brown, a noted actor in our local theater.  Cameron said he was afraid that if he read his own work he would start crying.  Paul’s reading of this poem got the rest of us in the audience misty-eyed.

Here’s Cameron’s poem:


The beast roared twice before I could give it answer.

The voice said I was dying, or that’s what my mind heard.

The cure must start NOW, but I have no time.

Isn’t it all futile? The voice had said the WORD.


Hadn’t I always treated others well, with kindness and compassion?

The WORD had made me think otherwise. What had I done?

Along life’s path, hadn’t I met many others who were callous?

Weren’t they more deserving of this fate? Was anyone?


Do I waste my remaining days in this futile attempt?

I see despair in Linda’s eyes, fear for us.

Together we shall fight, her strength and mine,

With too much ahead to live and love.


 Picking my poison, each creates a new me with the cure.

Lose my hair? voice? hearing? job? I chance the worst for music, the best for life.

Days are long and lonely, I am now vulnerable, needing invisibility.

I hide from friendly eyes. Loving, caring eyes.


I hear her crying in my despair, she follows my thoughts with her eyes.

Occasionally she rolls over to look at me with a new aspect.

She delights with my caress; purring and playing with my fingers,

Distracting me from other thoughts, allowing me to laugh.


I notice the leaves moving in a dance from the freshening breeze;

A ballet of colour and sound announcing Spring.

Taking walks among strangers; laughing and sharing.

There is no pity in stranger’s eyes. Don’t they see?


I laugh, love, and remain connected to others who have not had the same experience.

They need not know of the terrible choices and pains involved.

All they need to know is that I’ll be there when needed;

To give caring love, or distance, as each one needs.


The story behind the poem is inspirational.  Cameron says, “On June 10, 2006 I received the diagnosis that I had Squamous Cell cancer in my neck and throat. As with most people, I thought of the news as a death sentence. The news came by phone as they didn’t want to delay surgery longer than necessary.

“I was depressed and thought of what I would need to do to wrap up my life, leaving some security for Linda, my wife. Then I thought that I’ve never been a quitter and I wasn’t going to start now. Getting as much information as I could, my doctors and I developed a plan of action. From then on it was simply making some very hard choices and moving forward. After 2 surgeries, chemo and radiation, I’m still here, relatively healthy, and with a new appreciation and gratitude for life.

“Even though the “cure” has its own problems and damages, I’m still here. I believe I’m still here to give of my experience as an example to others who may be in the same predicament. Everyone needs a shoulder at some time in their life.”

The poem has since been published in a couple of cancer newsletters.    When I decided to start a page on my website for poems of meaning and mana that were written by other folks as well as the stories behind them, I asked Cameron first to allow me to use this poem.  He also graciously provided this recent picture of himself in Ireland cuddling a Scottish Border collie pup.

[Please note:  If any of you would like to contribute a poem to this page, please let me know by leaving a comment below….  I’d be happy to hear from you.]

photo credit:  via Facebook (with owner’s permission)
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