Friday, April 24, 2015

Poetry by Donal Mahoney

Photo by Carol Bales

This evening I'd like to welcome poet Donal Mahoney to The Song Is...  I've enjoyed many of his poems at Poppy Road Review, The Camel Saloon, and elsewhere, so it's wonderful to see him here as well.

Even though it is no longer winter (despite the cold), I hope that you will enjoy Donal's "Feline in Winter":

Feline in Winter

Some days you think the cat will stay till summer comes, 
this Prodigal Son you've fed for years, this feral cat
who comes and goes and comes again when hunger strikes
But he just eats and leaves your porch, 
despite the pillows plumped for a Sultan’s duff. 

He disappears in falling snow 
only to appear again outside your door at dawn, 
his green eyes dancing when he sees you bring 
his mound of kibble, topped with tuna, 
and his bowl of milk. Some days he mounts  

the pillows for a nap. At noon, however, 
he begins to yowl. He wants out again 
to parade triumphant down the walk
his tail an exclamation point. He romps 
across the snow and fits beneath the fence

He's gone again. Out of sight.
He plans to spend another evening  
where the feral cats hold services.  
They yowl and fight and copulate 
till hunger strikes and then 

this Prodigal Son comes back and sits 
outside your door with tail wound round
and waits for you to bring his kibble,
topped with tuna, and his bowl of milk.
Then, he's gone again. Out of sight.

Donal Mahoney

Miss Carol's Dumplings

Every month or so
on a Sunday afternoon
I skip the football game
and get in my truck
and drive out from the city
into farm country
to visit Miss Carol
and get my hands
on her plump dumplings.
Biggest I've ever seen.
Best I've ever had,
terrific with her
legs and thighs.
When she lays out 
her chicken dinner  
on that white tablecloth
I start drooling before
I even get a hand on it.
A farm girl, she says 
she's never met 
a man like me
so nuts am I
about her dumplings.
Usually, she says,
men like breast meat,
when it's moist,
and I allow how I
like that as well
but not as much 
as her plump dumplings
on a Sunday afternoon
and her pluperfect
legs and thighs

Donal Mahoney

Donal Mahoney, a native of Chicago, lives in St. Louis, Missouri. He has had fiction and poetry published in print and online publications in the U.S. and elsewhere. Among them are The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, The Christian Science Monitor, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Commonweal, The Galway Review (Ireland), The Osprey Journal (Wales), Public Republic (Bulgaria), and The Istanbul Literary Review (Turkey).

Some of his earliest work can be found at

Here is some swing for you to inspire some poems for the spring contests.  The first song is Count Basie's version of "Moten Swing":  

I'd like to dig up a video of an "all-girl orchestra."  This is Thelma White and her All-Girl Orchestra:

The International Sweethearts of Rhythm appear to be a more serious band:
For more information about them, see this link:

The Tricity Vogue All Girl Swing Band is a contemporary group:

Enjoy!  The orchestra pictured below is Thelma White's.


  1. Thank you Donal and Marianne for an enjoyable read.

  2. I probably should admit that Miss Carol is my wife of many years. She was a farm girl from Missouri and I was a city wretch from Chicago when we met and she decided for reasons that still escape me that marriage might be a good thing. A professional photographer with four books possibly still in print, she cooked pretty well to complement other fine qualities any man would appreciate in a woman. So these many years later I wrote this poem and she seems to like it. It's true in every respect but I think it was a platter of well-marlbled pork chops, not chicken, as I recall, served up with hills of mashed potatoes and a mess of green beans. Dessert was even better.

  3. I am awaiting my invitation for this scrumptious meal and even better company!