M. S. Rooney


It Waits

while we keep on
with what we thought
must be done first,
cloaking ourselves
in folds of duty,
scything the air
above sere and broken stalks,
sure there must
at least be some seeds left
for gleaning
as we talk of but do not yet see


The Keys

are everywhere
hidden in plain sight
await hands
for turning
will not be held
on neck chains
are consumed by use
are substantial
and insubstantial
as new moons
at midnight
take my hand


Antique Stone Buddha

screened from the sun
by spikes of cymbidium below,
curves of Japanese maples above,
smiling in this granite
grave marker incarnation
at least three hundred years so far
and so far from home.

The stories of how
and how many times
this marker has been stolen or given or sold
live in the brittle lichen
that clings to his cheek
and grows soft and red
with each first fall rain.


M. S. Rooney

As a child, I sensed something much larger than I existed, and my early Catholic schooling taught me there was a complicated, structured and serious road to that something. Perhaps there is. But in later years, I was drawn to contemplative practices and began to sense a simplicity both terrifying and comforting in that "something"-and also that a sense of humor is a good ally along the way. Currently, I join a small group at the Sonoma Shambhala Center for weekly meditation.

M.S. Rooney lives in Sonoma, California with poet Dan Noreen. Her work appears in journals, including Bluestem, The Cortland Review, Earth's Daughters, Illuminations, and Route 7 Review, and anthologies, including American Society: What Poets See (FutureCycle Press), edited by David Chorlton and Robert S. King, and Ice Cream Poems (World Enough Writers), edited by Patricia Fargnoli. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.