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Moorefield House Publishing

Poems by Alma McNulty-Poetry Contributor

What If?

What if there was a W note on the piano?

What would it sound like?

Would there be 26 notes, one for every letter of the alphabet?

Would there be notes between those that already exist, a distance of 1/3 note instead of 1/2?

What would the frequencies be?

What if there was a 4th primary color?

What would it look like?

What new colors would it create when mixed with others?

Would it be warm or cool?

Maybe one exists, but humans are unable to perceive it.

What else are we not perceiving?




What if there were more than 60 seconds in a minute?

More than 60 minutes in an hour?

More than 24 hours in a day?

Or what if there were less?

What if there were a fifth dimension?

A tesseract?

A Wrinkle in Time?

What if I were reincarnated into a bird?

Or a coconut?


Grammy wore her incandescent pearls,

shining chandeliers of perfection,

protecting her from all things

grotesque and unearthly.

“Right hand on your salad fork, and left hand in your lap, dear.”

And don’t you DARE chew with your mouth open.

Proper woman

ingrained that essential etiquette

into my aunts,

my mother,


And I will always remember the way she belabored my grandfather.

Yet a certain warmth emanated from her

like a splash of sunshine reflecting off the lake.

Bluebells and buttercups

remind me of the bouquets we picked

as the gravel crunched beneath our feet on the shore path.

“Show me that beautiful smile,”

was the last thing she told me.

Now, when I smile, I try to remember Grammy.

For I am in her,

and she is in me.

“Never coming, never going,

Never after, ne’er before.

I will hold you close to me,

I release you, to be so free …

For I am in you, and you are in me,

for I am in you, and you are in me” (Buddhist Chant, Zen Buddhist Temple).


Dictionary definition:



an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident

good fortune; luck

Poet’s definition:



fate; destiny

“meant to be”


faith in the unknown

alignment of the planets

sheer joy

Sometimes life is

getting caught in the rain

and loving it -

whether you’re biking uphill,

sipping piña coladas,

or screaming at the top of your lungs.

Praise for Pablo Neruda

Written after “Ode to Acario Cotapos” by Pablo Neruda

Tú, poeta de palabras,

juntaste en vida la música magnífica,

la palabra que salta de su página donde yació sin sonido,

y transformaste para mi el idioma

en un monzón de esplendor.

Maestro, amigo,

me has enseñado tantas cosas claras

que donde estoy me das tu claridad.


escribo un libro de lo que soy.

Y en este soy, Pablo, eres conmigo.


Praise for Pablo Neruda

Translation by Neil Shipley

You, tinkerer of words,

immersed in a life of beautiful music,

words which jump of your page where they had lain without voice,

and you opened for me your language

in a blooming splendor.

Mentor, friend,

you have taught me crystalline lessons

that I can see from where I am.


I am writing the book of what I am.

And in this, Pablo, you are with me.


Inspired by, “Improvisation in Bejing” by Allen Ginsberg


We write because we Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

We write to each other.

We write for humanity.

We write to give, seek, create, and speak.

“Poetry is a lifestyle,”

said Katrovas;

“You have to




the stuff.”

I am


happy -

let it seep through every pore.




We write to connect.

We write to find voice.

We write to love.

We write because Galeano said,

"When it is genuine,

when it is born of the need to speak,

no one can stop the human voice."

We write inspired by





and more.

We write to keep ourselves sane.

We write to sing.

We write to sing sanity.

We write to weep,

express emotion emoting

endlessly ending eternally …


Poetry does not end.

Neruda said it can be ephemeral,

others speak of eternity -

is it either?

Or neither?


Alone, dark, cold.



take in

our loneliness.


we forge


How Does Fear Manifest Itself?

by Alma McNulty

Fear is imagination distorted into reality.

It manifests itself shrouded in the eruption of a dormant volcano,

shattering walls,

overshadowing the sun.

Fears are worms snaking up your vertebrae,

maggots swarming it.

They invade your membrane.

There’s no escape.

Suddenly, your thoughts are running …

‘What if she sues the school? What if I get fired? What if they hate me?’ like

tics eating away at your tibia.

Fear is the parachute-less skydiver

catapulting to the ground. 

Fears are goosebumps prickling like the plague.

They are the endless chatterboxes inside your cerebrum that never shut up,

never subside,

never compliment ...

least of all, encourage.

Fear is being unable to keep up with the rapid firing of neurons to the prefrontal cortex, producing running thoughts …

Fear envelops.

Fear pulls out cerebrospinal fluid,

draining your thoughts,

leaving behind happiness and confidence.

It overwhelms you when you perform your debut soliloquy.



dries your throat,



Suddenly, your vocal chords won’t move no matter how hard they try - fight, flight, or freeze.

Fear manifests with arched eyebrows that can’t go any higher,

eyes and mouth wiiiiiiiiide open.

Fear is the bile rising in your esophagus, 

acid reflux,

teeth clenched closed,

hoping the vomit doesn’t dribble out.

Fear manifests itself as an axe repeatedly attempting to projectile pound your heart from your thorax.

Fears are wobbling, throbbing limbs -

those awkward apparatuses,

pendulums hanging from your shoulders.

Fear overanalyzes.

‘What should I do with my atrocious arms? Where should I put my hovering/henna-covered hands? It’s all I can do to keep from drawing more attention to myself … what’s the next line of my poem? AH! PROLONGED SILENCE! NO!’

*Bounds off stage and dashes out the door, in a scatterbrained frenzy, forgetting her pepper spray and Companion App.*