Joan McNerney

And the band played on…


Get used to it, just put one foot

in front of the other.  Continue or

just die…that is the only option.


Nobody gives a flying fig.  Everybody

has their own problems.  Don’t be a

drag, don’t be down.  Just dance.



While the band plays another number…


Dance dance dance on the barbed

wire of time time time. Feet raw raw

raw bleeding blood blood blood.


This world is a labyrinthine in my

ear and I am deaf and dumb from it…

no sure melody in these crazy strains.



Always the band struts forward…


Fuzzzz creeps into corner

covering burned-out brain cells

strangling yesterday’s memories.


Film cartridges slip over forehead

that reel of hard plastic continues

yet something is incomplete.


The band marches on…

How did we dream up bright endings

as we spun our days? How could

we ever believe such delusions?


Our hearts caged in fear…now

listening to sirens pierce the night,

seeing flowers fade at first frost.



Still the band plays on…


Gone gone gone everyone and everything

is senselessly gone. Running thru rooms

marked no exit crying out in no voice.


To know we do not know plans of

distant galaxies. An incessant

discotheque of stars spin around us.



Yet the band music will stop…


This long road, mud and muck.

Our feet pull themselves into next steps.

So many sharp curves and cliffs.


How did we ever believe in light,

air, freedom? Now we can touch

the darkness, feel it blinding us.



Joan McNerney’s poetry is found in many literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Poet Warriors, Blueline, and Halcyon Days. Four Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Review Journals, and numerous Spectrum Publications have accepted her work. Her latest title, The Muse In Miniature, is available on and She has four Best of the Net nominations.