Tag Archives: sickness

Before the Last Visit to the Vet

The smell of the sick-house lingers
where the medicines are mixed;
even fresh washed clothes and fingers
tend to keep the reek of it.

The taste of food is changed,
its scent turned sour and stale,
reducing appetites to nil
and turning faces pale.

Continued deathwatch, so it seems;
each act, each meal observed,
a constant examination, hoping
for improvement’s curve.

A day’s reprieve, perhaps a week
of seeming health and vigor;
and then, relapse. The problems
only seem to grow or linger.

What quality of life is this,
just watching for some sign
that she is half of what she was,
not weary and resigned

to constant medication
and injections, week by week?
Would she consent to letting go,
if she could only speak?

10 AUG 2005

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My once sweet voice

My once sweet voice, so innocent
and full of strength and power
is now reduced to rasp and hum,
its range half what it was.

It rumbles, where it once so glibly
glissed; the pure head tone
has sunk into my heavy chest
and breaks where it once slid.

Disuse, abuse and pure neglect
have left my instrument
(once proud and fearless,
capable of stratospheric feats)

dented and dusty, ill-repaired,
and painfully withdrawn.
It’s clear unless I brush it off,
and soon, it will be gone.

23 JUN 2005

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Finding Neverland

‘Tis said there lurks a boy inside each man,
whose unhealed wounds from childhood form a part
of how he goes about when it is time
to find the man inside the young boy’s heart,

whose grandiose bravado and fierce pride
will not admit his battle lost to age,
nor for a moment take his unclenched hand
away from the great sword there at his side.

The world may change, but not his frightened soul,
that rages against clocks and seeks its wings
among the chimeras his mind creates
instead of laying up such youthful things.

He fears the loss of innocence, of grace,
invincibility and boundless joy
that beat retreat with each line on his face,
to the stronghold of that small, simple boy.

And yet, some dragons are not only myth,
content to parry blows with wooden swords;
they roam the adult kingdom to corrupt
its spirit in both evil deed and word.

Against such beasts, no childlike rage will do;
mere lads have little hope, despite their zeal.
It takes a man to strike such creatures down,
with blades not made of wood, but hardened steel.

For this, were young boys destined to grow old:
to wrestle demons beyond childhood’s ken,
despite their wish to stay forever young
and thus avoid the battle scars of men.

The boy will never fade to naught and die.
If that were so, no men would learn to dream
beyond hardship of a grown-up life
where everything’s exactly what it seems.

And so, half man and still half ungrown child,
each seeks some purpose that will suit the whole.
Some lose their way, and wander in the wild,
while others struggle vainly for control

Of time, that does not heed, but marches on,
each step after another, unto death;
then of its own accord, the game will end,
and either win or lose, claim the last breath.

So dream big dreams, stretched out from where you stand,
and whether young or old, seize with both hands
the time and place you are. To realize
the magic of each moment is the prize.

07 APR 2005

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To Progress: a bucolic

To those who wish the past returned
and simple life brought back in fashion,
a relationship with the land renewed
and the blight of urban living shunned,
a hundred years of progress dissolved
in the bliss of primitive survival,

Who see the plains of Arcady
As pristine lands, fertile for the tilling,
and in the slow change of the seasons
some majesty of divine balance,
I offer this emetic for nostalgia:

A worn stone lies broken on the grass
in the graveyard at Indian Hill.
Thanks to early hours in freezing rain,
eighty rough acres and pneumonia,
a husband and two sons, gone the same year.

06 APR 2004

In memory of Christena Ann Litzenberg (1817-1909)

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Lady Sorrow

for Starlight Dances

When the laughter in your eyes can’t hide the pain inside your heart
And the world around you will not stop to listen
When you wake up in the morning with a space inside your soul
And no one will answer when you ask what’s missing

When the doctors and philosophers can’t cure the hurt you feel
And the medicines they offer promise nothing
When the day is spent in sorrow with no ending clear in the sight
And your anger turns to sadness at their bluffing

Will you rest a while and let me dry the teardrops on your cheek
Will you let the one who loves you well take care of you
Will you take my hand and give me time to hold you in my arms
Will you listen to the words I speak to comfort you

Lady sorrow, I will be your willow tree
’til tomorrow, when the sadness sets you free
You can borrow any strength you need from me;
I am here with you and that is where I want to be.

When the trying just to smile can be too much for you to bear
And the thought of things unfinished is so haunting
When you stare out of the window with a longing in your mind
And no one will realize how you’ve been wanting

When the advisors and consultants can not give you sound advice
And they ramble on and don’t offer solutions
When you’ve grown so tired of speaking with no hope that you’ll heard
And your voice is weary with grim resolution

Will you stay and while and let me wipe the teardrops from your eyes
Will you let the one who loves you share your weeping
Will you give to me your hand and let me hold you in my arms
Will you trust me to watch over while you’re sleeping

Lady sorrow, I will be your willow tree
’til tomorrow, when the sadness sets you free
You can borrow any strength you need from me;
I am here with you throughout all of eternity.

You can cry – I will understand; you can scream and I will never turn away
I will try – to help you where I can; in my love for you there lies a better day

Lady sorrow, I will be your willow tree
’til tomorrow, when the sadness sets you free
You can borrow any strength you need from me
I am here with you and that is where I’ll always be.

25 MAY 2000

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The Calms of Capricorn

Only five degrees to the north or south,
shifted just slightly from this present course
(here where the still air hangs in the mouth
and even expelled shows no sign of force)

and the trip would have been much different,
without all this vain waiting on the wind,
sitting drenched in sweat, no course apparent,
sails limp and useless as light to the blind.

At the horizon the edge of the sea
is flat and motionless; it does not stir
nor show signs of life in its murky deep.

The paralyzed air tastes stale, hard to breathe;
reason’s vision, exhausted, seems to blur
as towards a foul darkness the hours creep.

24 MAR 2003

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