© 2019 . All rights reserved.

Michael Lally reads from Another Way to Play, St. Mark’s Poetry Project, May 9, 2018

Michael Lally had and has the knack to make the matter of fact profound, which might be easy enough to read, but isn’t as easy as it sounds; seeing the essence of a thing is a gift Michael had to hone over the years, for it takes time, and though times change, the desire to look and tell the truth never does. The truth is always simple, always true and Michael remains faithful to that word in his new book published by Seven Stories Press, Another Way to Play, Poems 1960 – 2017.

The two poems below are near the beginning and the end of the book, and both are about Michael and his children, the oldest and the youngest. Anyone who has ever been around Michael and his kids knows how much they love him, and how each in their own good way is like him, not an easy feat, a real accomplishment because children, like a poem, take a lot of care to get it right and a lot of will to get it done.

Michael’s poems are never abstract enigmas, but as in Listen can be a mystery, a daughter father hiding under the covers listening to the thunder, a different kind of piano. And where it all comes from and how it’s done, Michael shares in To My Son Flynn:

Just feel grateful enough

and the heart opens up
and becomes love going


You can hold Another Way to Play in your hands and read it in an assortment of hours, but it takes a lifetime. Enjoy.

for Caitlin Lally

pianos in the clouds

showering us with music

of a kind

not often appreciated

and us here under the covers


Before you were born
I knew how to be happy.

The secret isn’t a secret.
Just feel grateful enough

and the heart opens up
and becomes love going

out, which is the secret.
Ah, but what to be grateful

for, when they’ve robbed
the store, and are making

off with our money and
our country? That’s easy:


Michael and Flynn Lally in their kitchen, June 24, 2015

A review of Another Way To Play by Burt Kimmelman was recently published in the Poetry Foundation. The link is below:


Another Way to Play is published by Seven Stories Press. You can check them out here:



  1. Rose Arcega
    Posted 17 Feb ’19 at 11:10 am | Permalink


    • Posted 17 Feb ’19 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for letting me know. Michael thanks you too.

Leave a Reply