POEM: With Love

With Love
by Mike McGee

I believe love can save the world
it cannot be bottled
only born, bruised and breathed
I want to make mouths out of the wrists of sadness
may they learn to speak only in the bloody tongues of compassion

I am ready to love
ready to win, lose or draw upon
there’s so much to do before the referee counts me out

I am ready to be love, be loved and be lovely
We can be love
like soft boys to hard girls
let my heart be a smooth stone of petrified wood
resting on the pages of your autobiography
keeping you from blowing away

Let’s kiss beyond gender
a kiss to any body that cannot cry
and—if needed—we’ll keep it in daydreams
until they can abandon old pride and bad jobs

We can hold you
like we are fingers
guarding you, our champion thumb
We cannot fight without you

We cannot grasp this life without you
We cannot introduce my true self without you there
to hitch us a ride to the next town
where we will find other lovers who
want to walk hand in hand
with whoever they choose
and by the hand we will take them
confident in our carriage
over uncertain roads

We can be one who loves
the kids who wake up to get beat up
the talkers who turn the heat up
the swingers at their first meet up
the girls who leave the seat up

I am learning love the hardest way possible
by pushing it up against a wall of logic
as armor
as sword
as shield
as a last name
as a first word
Because I love Mondays and
you’ll be there some day
some Monday and
you’ll need someone like me to be
a Monday person
or a morning person
or maybe just a person who’s present
There many out there like me ready to gift you our presence
don’t be afraid to ask

Let us remind you that you need love
I remind myself often
Because I’ve learned that some of the best love this world has to offer
is self-taught,
taken back,
and it is given out like overstock from
a garden in good hands

I am just one person
out of so many who love you
so take it
make it yours
we’ll all be better off if you hang onto it for a while
then you can pass it along when the time is right with the right person

But most of the time
Love looks like someone
who looks at you like you are made of a lost translation of that same love
sometimes love is boomerang
sometimes love is an accidental grenade
we think is too heavy to keep and carry
we toss it around like it is filled with a sad forever
Like we’re just holding it for someone else
or we didn’t ask for it to begin with, but
it turns out that I am that love and I am here

We are here
and maybe some of this love won’t come back to us, but​
tomorrow we will remind ourselves again to carry our hearts in our stomachs
so that we can love from the gut
​and​ we will laugh again
and I hope you will join us


“Was ist liebe?” This question generates more poets than answers. Maybe poetry is AN answer. #hamburg #grafitti #liebe #love #poetry


Open Letter to Neil Armstrong

In honor of the 45th anniversary of the moon landing of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, I offer up the complete text of my poem Open Letter to Neil Armstrong. It can be found in my book In Search of Midnight through

by “Mighty” Mike McGee

Dear Neil Armstrong,

I write this to you as she sleeps down the hall
I need answers that I think only you might have

When you were a boy and space was simple science fiction
when flying was merely a daydream between periods of history and physics
when gifts of moon dust to the one you loved could only be wrapped in your imagination

Before the world knew your name
Before it was a destination:
What was the moon like from your backyard?

Your arm: strong, warm and wrapped across her shoulders
Both of you gazing up from your back porch
summers before your distant journey

But upon landing on the moon
as the Earth “rose” over the Sea of Tranquility
did you look for her?

What was it like to see our planet and know that everything you could be
all you could ever love and long for was
just floating before you?

Did you happen to write her name in the dirt, when the cameras weren’t looking?
Or surround both of your initials with a heart for alien life to study a million years from now?

What is it like to love someone so distant?
What words did you use to bring the moon back to her, and
what did you promise in the moon’s ear about the girl back home?

Can you teach me how to fall from the sky?

I ask you all of this not because I doubt your feet/feat
I just want to know what it’s like to go somewhere no man had ever been
just to find that she wasn’t there
To realize your moonwalk could never compare to the steps that lead to her

I now know the flight home means more

Every July I think of you
I imagine the summer of 1969
How lonely she must’ve felt while you were gone
You never went back to the moon and
I believe that’s because it doesn’t take rockets to get you where you belong
I see that in this woman down the hall and sometimes she seems so much further
But I’m ready for whatever steps I must take to get to her

I’ve seen so many skies and the moon always looks the same
So I gotta say, that rock you landed on has got nothing
on the rock of mine she’s landed on

You walked around, took samples and left
But she’s built a fire, cleaned up the place, and I hope she decides to stay
Because on my rock, we can both breathe

Mr. Armstrong, I don’t have much
Many times have I been upside-downtrodden
But with these empty hands comes a heart that is full more often than the moon
She’s becoming my world, pulling me into orbit and
now I know I may never find life outside of hers

Shouldn’t I give her everything I don’t have yet?
So, for her, I would go to the moon and back

But not without her

No! We’d claim the moon for each other with flags made from sheets down the hall
And I’d risk it all to kiss her under the light of Earth, the brightness of home
but I can do all of that and more
right here, wherever she is

And when we gaze up, with her arms around me
I will not promise her gifts of moon dust or flights of fancy

Instead, I will gladly give her all the Earth she wants
in return for all the Earth she is
the sound of her heartbeat and laughter
and all the time it takes to learn to fall from the sky
down the hall and
right into love

I’d do it everyday
If I could just to land next to her

…1 small step for a man
But she’s one giant leap for my kind


At the touch of you,
As if you were an archer with your swift hand at the bow,
The arrows of delight shot through my body.

You were spring,
And I the edge of a cliff,
And a shining waterfall rushed over me.

Witter Bynner, “At the Touch of You” was published in Witter Bynner’s collection Grenstone Poems; a sequence (Frederick A. Stokes, 1917).

This poem is in the public domain.




Photojournalist Meryl Schenker took this picture very early this morning in Washington state, in the first hours when same-sex couples could get marriage licenses. Meryl writes:

One month after Washington State voters approved the state’s marriage equality law in Ref. 74, same-sex couples get marriage licenses for the first time on December 6th, 2012. At around 1:30am, Larry Duncan, 56, left, and Randy Shepherd, 48, from North Bend, Wash. got their marriage license. The two plan to wed on December 9th, the first day it is possible for them to wed in a church in Washington State. They have been together for 11 years. Originally from Dallas, Texas, they moved here 7 years ago because it’s more gay friendly. Randy is a computer programer and Larry is a retired psychology nurse. 


ABCDETC.: If you have a big juicy heart working away in your tired chest, HUGS HUGS LOVE AND LIGHT TO YOU. Life is not easy but…


Until then, know that there is so much love for you in the world and that maybe if you haven’t seen anything beautiful in a while, maybe it’s YOU. Maybe you’re the beautiful in other people’s lives and when they think of something full of light that they are grateful for, maybe it’s your face and…

ABCDETC.: If you have a big juicy heart working away in your tired chest, HUGS HUGS LOVE AND LIGHT TO YOU. Life is not easy but…


I have waited a very long time for someone to look at me like she does.