My Top Ten Poems: #8 “The Tall Firs Are Dancing Today”

     The holiday season has begun. Arriving with the season is the cold weather that will inundate the northern United States until the vernal equinox helps to brighten the landscape next year. Usually, I enjoy the relaxing nature of the long winter months, but this year I feel like hibernating until it is all over.

     I suppose it could be that I just want my leg to be completely healed, or that I’m getting too old to enjoy cold weather, or maybe it is something else entirely. Regardless of the reason, I know that I can’t wait for the next season to arrive. I imagine I should snap out of my melancholy mindset and use the long winter days as an opportunity to write more.

     Yes, that is exactly what I should do, or rather need to do. Still, though, something tells me I am in for a long winter nap. In the meantime, here is a piece that talks about the end of winter and the beginning of spring. It is number eight on my list of top ten poems, and I’m definitely feeling the mood that it lays down today.

The Tall Firs Are Dancing Today

The tall firs are dancing today.
The wind blows their foliage back and forth,
like a sea of hands waving at a parade.

Below, the just sprung tulips try to hide.
Petals sealed tight, they weather the storm,
like little turtles hiding their heads from danger.

Water drops fall from the sky.
Their pace is sporadic, but their onslaught is relentless.
Like warriors, they eradicate all that is dry.

Underneath blankets, I lie.
I want to dance and have a parade with the trees.
Like the tulips, though, I hide.

by Cody McCullough

green bud leafed plant

The Journey Continues…

The sky was an ominous charcoal color and
Smoke filled my lungs, as I set out to climb
A rocky peak with close companions.

The eve of another journey was at hand.
So we had gathered one last time,
To share paths in a dusty land.

The ascent would be the crux
Of our history together;
Though, no one knew it at the time.

I was already searching for a new path,
So I walked slowly and lagged behind.
One by one, my companions left me.

Soon, only my younger brother remained.
He wanted to proceed, but was obligated to stay.
Eventually, even he disappeared into the smoky air.

My companions all reached the summit that day.
I, was the only one that did not.
It was not my mountain to climb.

Many years have passed since that day,
And we have all gone our separate ways.
Each searching for our own mountains to climb.

Looking back, I wish I had reached that rocky peak.
Mountain climbing is hard work,
And is not meant to be done alone.

by Cody McCullough

IMG_0525 (2)

Photo by Cody McCullough

The Society of Inimitable Livers

After the last great feast,
Dionysus marched out of Alexandria
Leaving a Gladius and an asp.

Years later, he marched into
The great new republic,
And the feast began anew.

Once again citizens seized life,
And celebrated with grandeur and spectacle
Like the sun would not rise the following day.

Again, Dionysus grows restless
As resources dwindle and the party wanes
He prepares to depart leaving a choice.

Continue to feast and accept the Gladius and asp,
Or begin to conserve and hope for survival.
As the music fades, the choice is in our hands.

by Cody McCullough

The Lost Children

we are all

we did not

the greatest

our gift was not

now we

all can not

it is not the

failure is our

our spirits

give up they

I say

My life is in my

I will not let them

by Cody McCullough


Photo by Elizabeth McCullough


Faces are

Sometimes clear,
Other times obscure.

Their judgment is

I try to block
Their view.

But I fear,
They see through.

Seeking privacy,
I timidly hide.

Until I let go,
They will stare.

by Cody McCullough

Aristotle’s Absence

Extremists are everywhere.
Their exaggerated truths,
Moving closer to reality.

Every facet of our lives,
Including our families,
Is vulnerable to infiltration.

The world is black and white,
They tell us,
There are no shades of gray.

The Doctrine of the Mean
Is part of the past, they say,
And should be forgotten.

Finding the sensible middle,
Between two extremes,
Is no longer our task.

Instead we are told
We must pick a side,
Or we cannot belong.

Excess and deficiency, though,
Are no place to call home.
I search for virtue instead.

by Cody McCullough

Mēdén Ágan

A new age is dawning,
We are ushering it in.

Change is inevitable,
And everywhere.

The past has become,
Forsaken, and forgotten.

The present and future,
Are all that matter.

The question at hand:
Where do we go from here?

But amnesia,
Now grips the land.

Into the wilderness,
We march ahead.

The past was archaic,
And imperfect.

But without it,
Where would we be?

The question is now:
Do we reinvent, or redirect?

Whatever we choose,
Let’s not forget Apollo’s advice.

by Cody McCullough

Fantasy Worlds

We all lack something,
No one is perfect.

Some overcompensate,
Others surrender.

Either way,
There is an escape.

Fantasy worlds,
Surround us.

Like secret passageways,
To unearthly dimensions.

They mold to our,
Porous souls.

With a warm embrace
That tickles our spine.

And satisfies,
Our innermost desires.

In moderation,
They lessen life’s burdens.

Overly indulged,
The warm embrace morphs.

Like a boa constrictor,
It grips tightly.

Until we are hopelessly,
Locked within its embrace.

by Cody McCullough


There is no greater
Purpose, and burden,
Than family.

Some abandon
This cause, because
It may bring pain.

Others devote all
To their family,
Only to miss the point.

How can one express
A devoted love
That makes the soul weep?

The fear of losing
Such an important gift
Is unbearable.

The weak turn away
To avoid uncomfortable

The strong, though,
Live each day
To the fullest.

The future is not
Certain, but the present
Is too precious to abandon.

by Cody McCullough

Amongst the Cosmos

Dark, cold, and incomprehensibly large,
The universe is ever expanding.

With billions of galaxies,
Floating throughout its expanse.

Shaped into peculiar clusters,
These giant systems spin through all existence.

A supermassive black hole at their center,
Holding millions, if not trillions, of stars together.

Within this enormity,
Solar systems etch out their domain.

Many in unforgiving, if not treacherous,
Regions of space and time.

On the edge of a galactic spiral arm,
One star found a mostly forgiving place.

Along with seven silent brothers and sisters,
Our blue and green world circles it.

Like a needle in a nearly infinite haystack,
We lie hidden amongst the cosmos.

Are we a fluke, a miracle, or one of many?
We may never know.

Regardless, we should respect this place.
It is our only home, and may be the only one.

by Cody McCullough