Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Creekside, helpless

Alone I sit beside a tree
Which sits beside a creek.
A lonely man stares back at me:
He looks, but does not speak.

Relieved, I nod in thanks to him,
His silence is a gift.
When he nods back, I grab a limb,
Release it, watch it drift.

It's journey is my focus now;
My new friend? Left behind.
I watch the twig with furrowed brow.
Our fates are intertwined.

It floats, gets caught in rocks, then, free,
Is sent over a fall
I run beside, trip, scrape my knee;
I search for what I saw

I wait beyond the dam's short drop
For my stick to emerge.
I squint into the stream, then stop.
It must still be submerged.

I sigh, and before I return
Look upward toward the sky
Thus, missed it safely leave the churn
Yes, that's a nice, fine lie.

A twig that I did not see crushed
Must still be floating, see?
I think this and my friend (still hushed)
Shrugs sadly back at me.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

A nip in the air,
And breath we can see
A few leaves remain on our favorite tree

And then with our kin
We thankfully gather
Then sit at the table, enjoying together

A meal we can share
This time ev'ry fall
And afterwards: coffee, and pie, and football

So Take it all in
The family, the friends
The sports, and the laughs, before it all ends

Friday, November 13, 2015

Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

Judgement shall come from Him over us all
Eternal Lord and God so very just
So we now view Him with a noble awe
Until we face His throne (which we all must)
Some day we'll bow down at His royal seat
In Heaven, asking him what is His plan
Shall we, through mercy live a life so sweet
To which He will reply: "Your fellow man...
Had you been merciful, in turn, to him?
Even though humbly at my feet you lay,
King though I am, I choose not at my whim:
In life, you laid the plans I read today.
Now since in life you tended to my sheep
Good faithful servant, you'll no longer weep. "

Friday, November 6, 2015


Holding on with grip so tight
Not yet ready to take flight
Does not see or care or know
This greenish leaf, a now rare sight.

Not the time, yet, to let go.
Though most have fallen, now, below
Mingling, Rotting, on the ground
Retired from their color-show.

Yet, stubbornness this one has found
Despite the dormancy around
Still green for now, and yet like some,
It too surely will turn brown.

Yet to this change, it will be numb
And cling to where it sprouted from.
And put up a valiant fight.
Until that last moment's come.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Falling, In Love

Falling quickly to the ground,
Alone, with no one near.
Is it a leaf, I have found?
No, though many are here.

Maybe falling rays of light:
A sunset in the sky.
As the evening turns to night,
I see that too, and sigh

Yet still there is another fall:
Not leaves, nor a sunset.
Is it my own soul's helpless call?
I could speak ... no, not yet.

The three falls discussed above
As real as they may be.
Are not like your falls of love,
Climbing to Calvary.

Friday, October 23, 2015


I know not what is to come
I barely know what's been
Eyes remain on what's ahead
For, what's behind me?  Sin.

But I know the Lord has said
His treasure's up above
I will not find it, looking back.
From heaven comes his love.

There are many things I lack
Which I'd take, if I could.
But these are not what I'll need
To make this journey good

When I'm hungry, He will feed
With food that's surely blessed
I'll let go of where I'm from.
Then, only, he'll grant rest.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Sunday, September 27, 2015

On My Return From A Papal Mass

I made it home, with feet so sore
You may ask what I did this for
And I'll reply "You can not know
If you say you would not, too, go."

It mattered not what was the wait
Before I fin'lly crossed that gate
And stumbled down that last, long block
My tired legs almost in shock.

Communion, ("Only" spiritual)
Still made my soul feel ever-full
And then: a joyful sense of hope:
A final blessing from the pope.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Alliterative Emotion

Emotion makes most men myopically meander more
I sojourned and soul-searched so, in silence, I’d seem sure.
While wintry wispy winds were whirling, I was walking West
Traveling and trying to transcend travails and tests.
I, However, had a heavy heaving hurting heart,
And I pondered problems pulling precious peace apart.
Thus I thought I’d think a thankful thought or three, and then,
Gratitude gave Gods grace; I got grounded once again.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Sometimes, Constrained is Better

In reading many poems written in the modern day,
One finds that this is not like those in, really, any way.
Tradition, to the men of now, remains in ancient times
When words of now-dead men were trapped in meter and in rhymes.

But I can write in free-verse too
My stream of consciousness delivering thoughts
To your eyes via the expressway of my pen
Revealing and advancing issues important to me,
Which I know should be important to you too.
So I cry out.
Using meter and rhyme when I deem it necessary.
At my choice.
With my voice.
And maybe lines like these will get me published
Or have people listen to me in coffee houses and at civic meetings.
And they will clap or snap and appreciate my work,
Seeing how much I care about others, yet
Never realizing that every line I wrote in this section was in the first person.
About me.

So while it seems these words indeed contain a tale to tell,
They stay imprisoned, captive in their rhythmic, rhyming cell.
Containing value still despite restrictions such as these,
Which does not come from what the poet says, but what he sees

Saturday, August 15, 2015


Like lovesick girls who read and live in tales
Of princes who will whisk them far away
Across the sea in ships with unfurled sails
To royal palaces where they will stay.

We all create these little Shangri-Las
But childish's whimsey's for a child's mind.
The danger is when adults fear a loss
And still create a dreamland we can find.

These fantasies may not be of a place
But of beliefs, and a reality.
Which, while comforting still bears no trace
Of what our finish line, in truth, should be.

Accepting truly where we need to be
May yet reveal a path we did not see.

Monday, August 10, 2015

A Sonnet of Coffee

The sun does not just shoot up to the sky
But wakes us slowly as it rises up
And so it is, my friend, with you and I
You bring more joy with each sip from the cup

It starts before you even pass my lips
Your perfume fills the air up as you brew
An aromatic Siren’s Song that drips
And lures me ‘cross the room again to you.

Its true, at first you’re bitter (that’s the norm)
But just a touch of sugar, and you’re nice
The perfect liquid way to keep me warm
And even in the summer, over ice.

I do not think that I, by any means
Could halt this love affair with magic beans

Friday, August 7, 2015

Ode to a Neighborhood Dive Bar

The Stained wooden door’s not as polished now
(though, in truth, it never quite was).
I drive by it still, remembering how,
It would open and lead to a buzz.

The regulars: how many of them are still there,
Their usual stools still in place.
You’d wonder, to look at them (That is, if you’d care)
What they would see in this space.

A screen to watch a game, race, or fight.
Which most would cheer as it ends.
A round of cheap beer (two bucks for Bud Light)
Friendly fellows, if not fellow friends …

Who were searching for something when they would share
Their stories, their sports and cold brew.
And is it their fault, or ours, that they found it there,
And not with me, or with you?

Thursday, July 30, 2015


Practicing is Courting

The artist and the notes exploring each other

If awkwardly, sometimes.

Stumbling through phrases to see where there’s a connection

And where work is needed.


Rehearsals bring support

A kind of group date (or game night perhaps)

Where couples lean on friends

Each still nurturing their own relationships.

But knowing help is there.


The cycle then restarts

Practices delve deeper, more personal, and more raw.

A bond is cemented.

And rehearsals become more about how friends interact.

As they move to the goal


Publicly declaring

In front of the witnesses and friends,

What they’ve nurtured and grown.

And after the public pomp and circumstance:

Fabulous ecstasy.


…Which to some is the point

That explosion of applause is why they even perform.

Focusing on the thrill.

Letting it fill them as they stand and take their bow

They got what they came for.


That’s not THE moment though.

A deeper joy: the last note still ringing, baton still in the air.

That anticipation.

The musician looks deeply into the eyes of the music

And sighs, surrendering.

Saturday, July 25, 2015


So dry
And I thirst,
But the worst
Is this sand.

Grains fly,
Pierce my face
Every place
In this land.

We fled
Pharaoh's grip
For this trip
Which I hate.

No bread
While we stray,
So we pray
And we wait.

Parched lips
Spit a groan
Til the stone
Touched his rod.

These sips,
Through the pains,
My thirst wanes
Thanks to God

But food?
Despite fears
It appears:
Manna, quail

Our Guide:
Smoke and flame
Yahweh Came
Without fail.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


When I wonder "Why?"
Often, the wrong question's asked.
The right answer? "No."

Friday, July 10, 2015

Stormy Sonnet

An ocean, now unleashed, is falling down.
My street: a raging river now tonight
And yet what twists my feeble mind around?
The darkened clouds do not cast out all light.

For as I hear the thunder's wild roar,
I look outside and see an eerie sky,
The sun, not set, still has some light in store,
Though I can't see it with the naked eye.

Please help me understand why this is hard.
For it confounds me every time I see
That God has played this creepy stormy card
When dark clouds meet the late day light o'er me.

And when the storm has past, the painted air
Reflects the yellow of a sun not there.

Thursday, July 2, 2015


The night is dark, the forest deep
I hear many a fright'ning sound
A howl, a snap, I dare not sleep
The once-wide path can not be found.

Searching above won't help my plight
I only see the canopies
The leaves have blocked my view tonight
I can't see through them, past the trees

And even when i catch a glance
Of sky between the leafy crouds
I see that I still have no chance:
The sky's obscured by rolling clouds

And yet, shortsighted I remain
I need no sky to guide my way.
Beyond the stars I'll place my aim.
You'll guide me to the light of day.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Acts 12

My dear friend James is dead,

Since Herod's sword took him away.

And I am next, they've said;

In prison only one more day.

I lie on rocky ground

While Drifting in and out of dreams

One dream which I have found

Is more realistic then it seems:

A visitor appears;

Touches my wrists, for what its worth.

And yet, despite my fears,

My chains have fallen to the earth

He leads me past the guard

I now know this is not the end:

My future may be hard

But yet, I still have sheep to tend.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Almost There

A Wall exists, I know not why.
It seems to reach up to the sky.
Beyond it, I can hear the place,
Where my destiny will lie.

I've walked miles to reach this space.
The Journey hard: a grueling pace.
Yet now unless I learn to fly,
The truth, it seems, I now must face:

A wall of stone, I can not burn
My home is gone, I can't return
And wings? Well, I must think again
Some skills we can never learn

I'll walk around it if I can.
Go left? Go right? I'll Choose and then
If I am wrong when I discern.
Like Sisyphus, I'll Start again.

Friday, May 29, 2015

You Can't Get There From Here (on your own)

With every grueling inch I climb this upon this mountainside
He stands always just nearby to help, to point, to guide.
And lifts me up again after the next time I backslide.
(Which likely was a consequence of my shortsighted pride)

This climb gets steeper yet though I've been at it now for years.
Slipping frequently despite the lessons and the tears.
My fallen state a blindfold when the tough terrain appears.
The same missteps recurring; I react to my old fears.

I try to keep my focus on that heavenly plateau
Beside the mountain spring from which refreshing waters flow.
Where I'll recline in grass more soft than any that I know
And, resting, feel His Spirit as the gentle breezes blow.

But often times this load I carry seems to weigh a ton
And thinking of plateaus and grass I look up and see none.
Then, seeing every step I'd taken was a foolish one,
I drop it, let Him carry me, and say "Thy will be done."

Friday, May 22, 2015


A whisper floats across my brain,
While tickling my mind.
I think I'll have this thought again,
But doubt that I will find

The same feeling that I just had.
Perhaps, a different peek.
Its not that this is good or bad,
Just that each thought's unique.

So even when I think I know
What I have said (or thought),
Its best to act immediately,
Or as soon as I am ought

-Matt Dunn

Monday, March 23, 2015


Specifically poignant because some translations of Num 11:12 have Moses asking if he is a "foster father" (others use the term "nurse").

In the desert, Moses sighed
Raised his voice to God and cried
"Release me from this burden, Lord"

"I'm not a father," so he said
And, tired of those he had led,
He'd rather face a deadly sword

Skip past fourteen hundred years:
Another father-figure's fears
When he heard news of his new wife

But unlike Moses, he accepted
His new role as he protected
Mary and her child's life

But the twists do not end there
As Jesus, under Joseph's care
Would also ask for drink and food

Across those same Egyptian sands
He carried God in his own hands
This gracious, silent man of good.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Day In The Life

Chirp, snooze, chirp, grr, brr, ahhh, crunch.
Vroom, brew, sip, click, sip, click, lunch

Write, chat, read, send, meet, fight, sigh,
Back, sip, walk, talk, phones? no. why?

Pack, zip, vroom, feed, eat, soak feet.
Horn, scales, beer, bed, read, repeat.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


It comes from above,
Coats the ground for just a day:
Manna, for the eyes.

Friday, February 13, 2015

A poem for February 14

I don't want to sound sanctimonious
But the vibe for this weekend is odious 
I'll go further and say
The Real Saint of the day
Is a pair: Cyril & Methodius

Friday, February 6, 2015

A Sonnet of Michael

A Sonnet of Michael
by Matt Dunn

“Defending us in Battle,” What’s that mean?
I don’t see any evidence of War:
No swords or shields or fire that I’ve seen.
So what is all of this protection for?

Are wicked snares abounding in my sight?
How often are you casting into hell,
Those prowling spirits which you daily fight
A once proud race that sadly (through pride) fell

My life is comf’trble, is this a fluke?
Or is it only so because of you
As you enforce God’s heavenly rebuke
Through all the noble work your armies do.

I ponder now, with all I do not see
How frightening (without you) my life could be.

Monday, January 26, 2015


...could be applied to a Nor'easter, eschatology, or anything we obsess over:


Expectation run amok,
Panic all around
As everybody tries to figure out

Good or bad? What kind of luck?
How much on the ground?
But what is the excitement all about?

We’ve been in this place before
(Every year, it seems)
And yet our minds convince us it’s all new.

Forgetting what is in store
Like vague, fuzzy dreams
Obscuring all that we know to be true.

It is vital to prepare
For what comes ahead
And guarantee that we have all our tools

But try not to even care,
Working out a sum,
Or wond’ring where or when: you’ll look like fools

Sunday, January 25, 2015


I wrote this one a few months back:

Ode to fleeting beauty

Your nights are brisk, dear Fall,
Your sunsets light the sky afire.
You, mirroring, perhaps, the shades of trees

Which I now watch with awe:
This yearly show where you inspire
Bright leaves ablaze, then floating on the breze.

And yet, you tease my heart
Your gorgeous brilliance doomed to fade
And how can I embrace your waning strength?

Yet I’m wrong from the start
No matter how briefly you stayed.
Its depth of love that matters, not the length.

Friday, January 23, 2015

A snowfall

Floating softly to the ground as drifting piles grow.
Last fall there were leaves I watched; now, it's falling snow.
The trees who stripped immodestly to show us every sight,
Have branches that are clothed again (if just for now) in white.

Dressed for a baptism perchance, and with it, brand new life 
Or, my Romantic inner self suggests a wedded wife.
Whatever new beginnings come from wardrobes crystalline
Enjoy the view and don't forget who sent what you have seen.