Four Poems by Donal Mahoney: "A Fine Distinction", "Monks in the Orchard Picking Peaches", "Good News Grips Midnight Phil", and "Agnostic's Mystery"

March 19, 2017










A Fine Distinction


What we are

not who we are 

matters to the world.


Who we are

not what we are  

matters when we leave it.





Monks in the Orchard Picking Peaches


Young monk 

and old monk

in the orchard

picking peaches,

sunny and plump,

ready for canning.


Carrying bushels

to the wagon cart,

the young monk 

asks the old monk 

what to look out for 

when growing old.


The old monk 

pauses and says

not much. 

Life stays the same

for the most part.

Monks work and pray

but an old monk 

works slower and 

prays faster.


But not to worry,

the old monk advises.

He admits he's 

going deaf

but that's just

an inconvenience 

since God uses 

sign language.

Peaches like these

have no need to talk.




Good News Grips Midnight Phil


Phil doesn’t go to church

but after midnight he enjoys

watching preachers on TV

swing their bibles in the air, 


march across the stage, yell 

about the joys of heaven and 

louder about the pains of hell.

He likes to see believers sing,


raise their arms and dance 

in ecstasy down the aisles.

They might be on to something,

Midnight Phil thinks, clicking 


his remote and wondering 

if they could be right and if 

they are, what about his bones. 

Where will they lie after midnight.




Agnostic's Mystery


He looks for you until 

you find him while you

wonder if he's there




© Donal Mahoney





Donal Mahoney spent two summers in his college years working side by side with monks at an abbey. 

He was not cut out to be a monk but they were and influenced him greatly. 

Please reload

Please reload

Also Featured On

Indiana Voice Journal

This site is free for all to use and enjoy. Donations are appreciated and will be used to maintain the site.

© 2o16 Spirit Fire Review.  All Rights Reserved.