Your Own Back Yard – Michael Gillan Maxwell

Visual Art – Creative Writing – Social Commentary



Ghost Ship

Ghost Ship (1)
Ghost Ship


From A Far Shore

From A Far shore (1)
From A Far Shore

Tree On Sentinel Dome

Tree On Sentinal Dome
Tree On Sentinel Dome

New Visual Art ~ Column

Column (1)

New Visual Art ~ Erosion

Erosion (1)

Chief Great Heart’s Last Dance

Chief Great Heart’s Last Dance

Chief Great Heart's Last Dance

I’m sitting here, still in my jammies, at 3 o’clock in the afternoon waiting for the world to end. It must be something like the sense of anticipation, or apprehension, that spawned that anachronistic old saying: “Waiting for the other shoe to drop.” It’s early spring and I should be seeing flowers bloom and buds burst forth as I harken to the delightful song of peepers in the pond. Instead I look out my window at piles of ice covered snow as the wind howls like the furies.

If climate change and all its unseasonable and unreasonable weather patterns, melting ice caps, rising sea levels, wildfires, tornadoes, floods and hurricanes aren’t enough to worry about, there are plenty of other boogeymen lurking under the bed to haunt my dreams in the wee, wee hours.

The American political landscape is a 3 ring circus, carnival freak show, Wrestlemania smack down, an episode of the Jerry Springer Show meets Family Feud. I knew this country wasn’t filled with happy campers from sea to shining sea, but I had no idea so many people were so pissed off about so many things, all at the same time. It’s kind of harshing my mellow. Why can’t we all just get along?

While the super wealthy and all powerful squirrel away their fortunes in shell corporations and off shore cookie jars, build bunkers designed to withstand the impact of Planet X striking the Earth, and attend secret meetings to plot the demise of the rest of us Godforsaken misfits, it makes me wonder how far the spare change in my sock drawer and that extra can of Spagettios in the pantry will take me when it all hits the fan. At least I have jumper cables in my car.

Never mind that a deer tick smaller than a poppy seed lurking in my grass is capable of inflicting unspeakable mayhem upon the human body that can lead to an unholy host of neurological disorders. It almost makes me glad the lawn is still covered with snow in April.

I shouldn’t whine. I am grateful for all that I have. I have more of most anything that I really need. I have food, clothing, shelter, and access to medical care in a place where everything isn’t blowing up or blowing away. Really. What more could I ask for? Well maybe a little more legroom in Economy on commercial flights and tequila that is actually good for me. But still, I can’t seem to shake this sense of existential dread.

Although maybe existential dread is, itself, a luxury? Who has time for existential dread when you’re trying to outrun a hungry lion, hide out from killer robots, or work two minimum wage jobs just trying to eke out an existence? What’s it all about Alfie?

What does one do to prepare for anything that might happen at any time? Some people find comfort in religion. Others watch American Idol. Is that even on anymore? It won’t do any good just to squat down in my back yard and cover my ass with my hat while I scan the skies for the apocalypse. Maybe six pack abs would help? It’s times like these that it’s good to remember: “When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping.”

“PORTALS” ~ Volume V

Volume V in the ongoing series “PORTALS” ~ a portfolio of altered photographs that explores doors, windows, alleyways and other openings as passages to other times, places and dimensions.

Basqiat On Television


Off Season

Long Time Gone

Through The Tunnel


Boarded Up

Used To Be


Upstairs Window

Surrendering August

Surrendering August


early evening, late summer

walking down the lake road with the dogs

the sound of a tractor mowing the field above

grinding and clanking

tall grasses pulsate with cricket song

the water, placid and serene

opalescent pink and turquoise

a fish surfaces and dives

leaving ripples in concentric rings

on the far shore, in the vineyards

timed charges explode like the sun catching on fire

it scares crows away from the grapes

warm sunny afternoons and chilly evenings

sumac leaves, blood crimson

splashed across the blue forever

mornings laden with fog banks and soaking dew

migrating flocks wheel across the sky

air still warm from the day, but soon changing

into the fecund smell of damp coolness

black walnut trees already starting to turn

shedding golden leaves that flutter

like tears onto green grass

last to arrive and the first to go

a little girl rides her bike, training wheels still on

stops at the foot of the steep hill

she’ll be climbing before long

but not for a while

kids going back to school

pinching their noses shut

as they hurl themselves off the dock

into the cool blue water

already a memory

the season slipping away

away, like this day

like youth gobbled up

by the unremitting passage of time

it feels over too soon

already ending when it seems

it’s only just begun

the pale rider draws closer

with each trip around the sun

I stand at the edge of the shoreline

the edge of the season

surrendering August

Red Canoe


Red Canoe

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