Poetry by Connolly Ryan


To an Unidentified Sunset Soloist

I can’t see who it is

singing her little heart out,

perseverating her sweet head off,

up in the attic of a red maple tree,

but whoever it is

belting it out like that, like there

is no known limit to the joy

engendered in praise, no end

to the celestial grist of grace

nestled in the simple act of thanks;

whoever you are, skillfully

flexing your nimble larynx,

tilting your beak just so,

to create this most

humbling, liquid music

for the disappearing sun

to remember as it deliberates

the pros and cons of coming back tomorrow;

on behalf of all those made whole

by the beauty of your calming homily,

I thank you for your service.


What We Say To The Kids (Also Applies To Us)

Take yourself too seriously

and no one else will.

Never discuss meditation aloud.

Befriend the elderly

Reinvent hilarity constantly.

Never pray without going heavy

in tears and/or swears.

Vanquish the word ‘inconvenience’

from your perspective’s vocabulary.

Realize vengeance is a failure

of imaginative courage

and that lovemaking is a sacrament

for which bodily contact is not a requirement.

Every inch and ounce of nature

is what the enlightened call gods.

Acknowledge that the philosophically inept

are intimidated by vulnerability

while the genuinely heroic

are inspired by it.

Cars should only be used during emergencies

because bicycling and walking are beautiful.

Beatles songs are as close to perfection

as any human art has ever come.

Certain jazz is the definition

of eloquence under crushing pressure.

Melt a little when whispered to.

Float away when screamed at.

And know that to be moved (by anything)

is to have been loved (by everything.)