carol mcmillan

Carol McMillan

Anthropologist, Author

carol mcmillan

Coming Soon

Scriptless: A Memoir

Scriptless: A Memoir (working title) recounts the critical years of the late sixties in the San Francisco Bay Area, as experienced through Carol’s life during her early twenties. The story takes the reader with her on a journey from the sheltered suburban life of a white girl, through trying marijuana and dancing to Janis Joplin during the Summer of Love in San Francisco, having a spiritual epiphany about the Oneness of the Universe while on an entomology expedition camping across Africa, and then returning to realize that the Flower Children she’d left behind had somehow shared her epiphany. Carol is shocked to realize the depths of injustice of the world, the nefarious workings of her own government, and the extent of racism even in her own liberal family. Through the struggles and joys of protests against the Vietnam war, picnics in Golden Gate Park, a new relationship, and becoming woke to white privilege as a teacher in inner-city Oakland, she changes the direction of her life. Carol seeks to lead her life in ways that align with the woven Tapestry she perceives as the interconnection of all parts of the universe

carol mcmillan


Poetry, memoir, & journal articles

“All things are our relatives; what we do to everything, we do to ourselves. All is really one.” 

~Black Elk 

waterfall watercolor painting


Carol’s Interview on KNKR



April Fools

We stepped as fools

Free falling

over the cliff.


Knowing, in the

Center of all understanding,


Past death,

Our love.

Chauvin’s Trial

They decide what degree,

First, second, or third,

Is murder

By Arrogance.

A Sunrise, November 7, 2020

Have you noticed
There have been fiery red
Sunsets this month?
On November 7, 2020
A pink sunrise.
A thin band of red
Spread across the clouds,
But when the sun rose
The entire sky
Turned blue.


My puny ‘Ahhh’
Just doesn’t compare with
The quiet moaning sound
My neighbor’s dog makes
When scratching his belly
With his left hind foot.

Getting By

I shop mostly at the
Kamuela farmers’ markets now:
Eggs, bananas, macadamia nuts,
Vanilla, lilikoi jelly. . .
Add a few tablespoons of flour:
Banana nut pancakes!
Drizzle with Amaretto.

Gathering a Poem

Newly cut grass and citrus blossoms
Color the trade wind’s breath.
Mynas, cardinals, and two
Saffron finches
Chatter into the breeze.
Inside that zephyr,
A poem floats
Like a gossamer veil.

I hook it gently with my
Bard’s pole,
Cautious, lest the verses turn and choose
To flee.
With reverence I have spilled its words
Across this page,
Never knowing how long they might be
Willing to remain.

The Essence

Shrinks and swells,
Looming or squeaking by,
Depending on the mood.

Fills each cycle
As the sun and moon
Chase each other around the planet.

The illusions of reasons for being
Have been felled by a virus.
The screens through which
We have viewed our lives
Are wiped clean,
Undifferentiated by those
Illusory deadlines
We’ve held dear.

There remains only
Essential existence
For our contemplation.

The Slime of Slugs

Covid-19 moves like a corpulent slug,
Depositing eggs along an invisible slime trail.
Odorless and colorless, the slug slides among us, leaving no detectable
Evidence of its passage.
I wish we could see its fuchsia scent,
Taste its slimy tolling,
Or touch its loathsome flavor,
Anything to warn us of its presence.

Too late, we do respond,
We do detect its trail,
But not until it has its way with us:
Cancelling a graduation, postponing a tennis tournament,
And eliminating our jobs.
A million eggs have hatched,
A million offspring
Gunging their way across Planet Earth.
With the barest trace of their ooze
They are felling playwrights, actors, political figures:
McNally, Bosé, Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril,
And your best friend’s grandma.

Exasperation boils through when someone,
Unable to detect the slugs themselves,
Blames some group they revile
For invoking God’s wrath,
“Them _____s have brought this on us all.
They are the flaming swords of Satan’s shadow.
Satan has shown me the light;
His presence has been made known!”

Now I am the soothsayer;
She sees a vision of the world to come.
She divines the fate of those who curse.
She recognizes that this miraculous pestilence
Will show them truths.
Even they will join us.
We shall start anew in a compassionate world.
Volveremos a nacer con compasión.
“We rail against your ring of love,”
Curse the slugs,
Shriveling beneath the salt of tears
Shed in their murderous wake.
Tender as newborns,
We thread our lives together,
Awakened to the web of life necessary
To sustain us all.

April 6, 2020
Composed from the “Twenty Little Poetry Prompts” of
NaPoWriMo’s Day Five.