Five Poems

Donal Mahoney

Never Is the Best Time

November’s lovely in the rain, she says
from her rocker near the window
to no one in particular although

the butler’s waiting for her grocery list
having walked her Pekingese.
She hopes to see December

and her neighbors hoisting snow
and she wants to see April’s tulips
although her doctor doesn’t know.

She hopes to see the sunflowers
and this is why she tells the butler
never is the best time to die.


Confetti Waiting for a Parade

As autumn turns colder
there’s only one moth
fluttering at midnight

around the porch light.
He’s the last of the flock
that danced all summer

in the glow of the night.
Confetti that never fell
on a holiday parade.


A Red Kettle Crisis

No red kettles and bells
this December outside
the stores at the mall

in our suburbs this year.
They irritate shoppers,
the business article says.

So folks will keep their bills
as usual but now they can’t
get rid of their change.


An Old Bachelor Reflects

He should have married someone,
James tells himself at 80
coughing in bed with the flu.

He remembers very well
that Miranda was a nice girl.
She’d bring him coffee now

and April would too and then
she’d go and find his paper
hiding somewhere in the snow.

Jane wouldn’t get his coffee
and wouldn’t find his paper.
But love wasn’t enough.


Bulbs Alive

A doctor by day
Ralph spends his nights
ordering tulip bulbs

from Holland
beautiful and rare
to arrive in autumn

to plant and think about
for months ahead until
spring arrives and the

tulips become a rainbow
beautiful in his garden.
Ralph talks about tulips

at the office every day
where he pulls small bulbs
from the gardens of patients.

Unlike his tulips
those bulbs don’t grow,
never become a rainbow.


Nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart prizes, Donal Mahoney has had poetry and fiction published in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Some of his work can be found at



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