Kay C. McLafferty's Poetry

These are poems written by my good friend Kay
She has an autistic son, Ryan.
Some of the poems are about Ryan and life with him.
Kay is also a talented artist.
Her favorite subjects being animals.
When photos of her paintings and sketches become available, they will also be included in this site.

Tribute to A Lady High on a windswept crag, far above the ravages of storm-tossed seas; darkness creeps, its inevitable rising tide engulfs the heights where she bides forsaken, abandoned, alone in noble defiance of the ages, swathed in her dreary shroud of frigid briny mist. Her dark, wistful eyes reflect pale, ethereal light of ascending moon; veiling intimate mysteries, long-ago passions, time-etched memories echoing through her hollow soul, weary, desolate, deserted; she endures, splendid lady, tribute to all who have found comfort and delight at her hearth. Kay C. McLafferty 4-2000 Winter Sky hangs a raven backdrop With a million wee sparkles. Breath hangs lightly on the air In tiny crystals of ice. Soft prints of unseen creatures Appear on lawn and doorstep. Dead of Fall is blanketed In glorious, blinding white. Kay C. McLafferty 1-2-98 Ryan Has to Know Question, questions, questions... Ryan has to know. Why lightning and thunder? What makes the cold wind blow? How old is that building? Was it built during World War Two, Or maybe the Depression? Why is the sky so blue? Why is the cat always hungry? Does he have those terrible taste worms? How does the smoke detector work? Why are there so many germs? In which war did General Electric serve? What causes Oldtimer's Disease? Why must we feel pain? And why did God make bees? Why are fire alarms so loud? Why do loved ones die? Why did brother go away? Why do fun times fly? Why must everything begin With why or what or who? Or where, when, does or how? What's a weary mother to do? 'Cause Ryan has to know! Kay C. McLafferty 6-13-98 Echo On that day, when... That silken, ebony veil descends; my passion-filled heart ceases beating; memories drift on delicate clouds of cotton; final tears for unrealized dreams are shed; my soul escapes its worn, spent shackles; On that day, then... Will these words insistently echo, "Twas better to have...?" Kay C. McLafferty 4-27-2000 Snow White has covered all, Making ugly beautiful Snow is Winter's gift. Kay C. McLafferty 6-?-98 August Omen Strident cicada hum Bursting forth abruptly, Overlays long August days Amidst the heat and dust. Narrates fruitful harvest Of summer's earnest labor, Bodes of cascading leaves In orange, red and yellow. Warns of destined shift To coming frigid season, Foretells nature at rest Locked in winter's gray vise. Kay C. McLafferty 8-23-98 To Ryan We try to shape you to our world, 'Cause you don't quite fit in. Don't do this! Don't say that! Must you repeat that again? Why must you go through rituals Before we go out the door? Wash your hands, tap, slide, tap; Then, go through it three times more. Reiterating questions...over and over, Ones you know the answers to, Dwell on your obsessions We wish you could eschew. Your senses work quite differently, You hear things outside our range. When it hurts, you cover your ears, And most find that quite strange. Your other perceptions, unusual, Touch, taste, smell and sight, When you don't respond as others do, They find you impolite. Some consider you undisciplined, Suggesting more reprimands, You surely will come round, they think, If we just increase our demands. Your mind goes off on tangents, That you cannot control. They think it's rough on them, But, they cannot see the toll. They seldom see the bursts of anger, Or the frustrations that you feel, When you can't check the driving forces You can neither resolve nor conceal. Your intelligence and your memory Are often quite astounding, But, you still can't fit their mold, And, they find that so confounding. Judgements tend to be surface, Even by those who should know, Soul-patterns aren't cookie cutters, And, some color their own rainbow. You are different, my child, And, sometimes difficult, too; But, I thank you for teaching me What a lifetime could never do. Kay C. McLafferty 3-2-99 Stop for a Moment Stop for a moment and see your world, For you have missed so much. Blades of grass that make a field, Green leaves that cover a tree, Bark and branches, too; Study the beauty there. Earth beneath your feet, Sky above your head, A flower fresh with dew Hold beauty seen by few. Stand still...stand silently, See your world, Its loveliness will overwhelm you. Stop for a moment and hear your world, For you have missed so much. Song of a bird, contented hum of a bee, Melodious cadence of a cricket's tune, Twilight echo of the bullfrog's call: These are the music of nature. Surf pounding the rocky shore, Rustle of wind through the trees, The silence of snowflakes falling; Nature's songs composed for us. Stand still...stand silently, Hear your world. Its loveliness will overwhelm you. Stop for a moment and touch your world, For you have missed so much. Warmth of sun that soaks through you, Coolness in a breeze, Velvety softness of a carpet of grass, Feel each of these embrace you. Soft petals of a flower, Gentle rain to wash you clean, Feel the warmth of life, These are the caresses of Nature. Stand still...stand silently, Touch your world, Its lovliness will overwhelm you. Kay C. McLafferty Cat On stealthy foot she stalks, she creeps and glides; Then vaults, to spring and pounce upon her prey. Kay C. McLafferty Child Uncommon He is my child uncommon, In a world that doesn't allow One to fall outside the pattern Cut out by someone else. Kay C. McLafferty 1/5/98 Adrift On a sea of danger She floats, adrift. Drawn by illusions Shrouded in fog. Unable to see The reefs and shoals Waiting to ensnare, Or destroy. Pernicious addictions, Lethal attractions Daze the senses, Lure her further To bottomless depths. Deadly predators surround To destroy. Whirlpools are swirling, Dragging her down Where bottom-feeders devour. All substance consumed, Dry bones discarded Float to the surface, Just remnants...all else Is destroyed./ Kay C. McLafferty 8-2-98 A Lifetime Your knowledge narrates a lifetime learning, absorbing nourishing interests cherishing cultures broadening intellect Your humor unveils a lifetime perceiving, discerning exploring human nature providing diversion leaving them laughing Your hands attest a lifetime toiling, creating attending obligations mastering skills perfecting talents your empathy discloses a lifetime listening, observing comprehending diversity allowing differences embracing tolerance But sometimes, my friend... Your eyes betray a lifetime suffering, hurting withstanding confusion enduring misunderstanding acquiring inner strength Kay C. McLafferty 11/22/98 Our Stolen Future Where are you my love, With your smiling ways? It seems like only yesterday You were here with me. Sitting in your favorite chair Like you always have Looking very much unchanged, Save for that blank stare. You hardly know me any more Words don't make much sense Gently drifting away from me Memories fade into mist. We should be sharing loving years Going forward as a pair, Instead, you have become my child And, our future is our past. Kay C. McLafferty 4-22-98 Journey Imagine a journey With no plans at all, Roadblocks and detours Pace at a crawl. Map unavailable Direction unknown, Rest stops unheard of... "No Parking" zone. Inching up hills Slipping down some, Daily new obstacles Surely will come. Backsliding, retracing Routes already covered, Stuck on the latest Sidetrack discovered. Backward is forward Forward is back, White is not white, Nor is black ever black. Construction zone Right up ahead, Time to regroup... Another road instead. Imagine a journey Through alien lands, This trip, my dear, Is out of your hands. KCMcLafferty 11-98

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Kay's artwork

Poet's face