Rangi McNeil


Gently wring the tears from a yellowed antique handkerchief
into a small preferably blue glass bowl.

Add equal parts fresh rainwater – double strained.
Moving counter-clockwise from outer edges

toward the center, fold in your five favorite eyelashes –
three left, two right. In a separate red bowl, whip six ounces of

fresh sweat from the beloved-who-takes-no-notice
till frothy & slightly stiff. Spread evenly over

the contents of the blue bowl. Let stand, uncovered,
in a small, low room. Open the door & all the windows.

Do not repeat.


What we called love was (simply) static
from other indistinct stations

leeching through as I turned the dial
searching for you. For me.


We take our photos at the mountaintop.
Not of the miseries mid-peak.

For what does misery matter against crisp, rarefied air?
A true reward is undiminished by its risks:

Security is a superstition.

(In) A Minor Key

It was Aaron, not Moses, who cast the staff
which became a snake before Pharaoh.

And (again) Aaron who held out his staff
to trigger the first three plagues against Egypt.

Moses stuttered. Moses was skittish.
Not Aaron.

Rules of Engagement

We were taught to yell fire, not help,
no matter what the danger, its true nature.

Fire is large-scale & impersonal; it inspires action.
Help is personal; it requires compassion.

And compassion is heavy work – rare
Among the young, the healthy, the otherwise engaged.