the cancer bad dream

we want to be done with it,
before it’s done with us.

you reach a point,
even in the early stage,
where you want to believe
it’s just one big bad dream, and
hopefully you’ll awaken, and
you can return to your normal life–
the life you had before cancer.

but even if you’re lucky–
meaning your prognosis is very good–
you just want the bad dream to be over.

Winter Meditation

Winter’s eve drawing nigh,
Dark clouds hover, January sky,
Fading firelight, flickers gloom,
Dancing barefoot ‘cross the room.

Huddled shadows hushing night,
In your arms hold me tight,
Sharp-edged snowflakes fall so still,
White frost clings, nearby window sill.

Longing for what’s not there,
No comfort found, my rocking chair,
Sitting still, motionless,
Holding on, memories caress.

Brutal cold winter night,
Full moon shining, oh so bright,
Sitting still by the fire,
Surrender there, all desire.

Cancer as Spiritual Teacher

For each of us, life lessons to learn,
Meaningful truths to clearly discern,
Some lessons, mere cooking recipes,
Others, more demanding therapies.

Our spirits cry out when we are in pain,
A new understanding from which we can gain,
And if we are mindful and willing to change,
By opening to spirit, our life will rearrange.

Learning from cancer seems quite odd,
But listen, you’ll hear wisdom from God,
It’s all about balance, aligned living you could say,
Finding our essence, living it each day.

The spiritual lessons so far for me:
From fear and selfishness to be free,
And walk my path with trust and love,
Guided by healing wisdom from Above.

Look at your cancer, beyond a disease,
Its lessons abound for you to seize,
Be honest about what you see,
Spiritual truth is the key.

Cancer’s No Joke, but It’s Okay to Laugh

Laughter won’t kill me, so why not bust a gut?
No harm in a chortled snicker or a devious snort
at the prissy old lady in the room next door
who punctuated the air with a loud squeaky fart.

Sitting with my bags in the northwest corner chemo suite,
I heard a nurse exclaim: Dunkin’ Donuts can’t be beat.
Then, in unison I heard everyone sigh:
the donuts are gone, so sad we could cry.

Almost peed my pants, laughing so hard,
when a senior oncologist let down his guard—
sharing advice with a young resident doctor;
straight from Mother Goose, my what a shocker:

“For every evil under the sun,
There is a remedy, or there is none.
If there be one, seek till you find it;
And when you find it, get thee behind it.”

A ride in the elevator, so very telling about life,
Shall I smoke a joint before chemo, a man asks his wife,
A punch in his chest she landed with might,
I feared at that moment there could a fight.

I urge you to give humor a chance,
Let jokes and laughter through your life dance,
Some craziness at times all of us need,
Laugh at yourself, start a healing stampede.

On Cancer and Poetry

When we have cancer,
we are willing to try anything,
including poetry,
to stay alive.

Poetry helps us step delicately
into the vast river of life,
wash off our assumptions, and
flow with the river’s healing currents.

Cancer is
the stretch of challenging rapids ahead.
Let’s brace ourselves, and
ride them with courage and grace.

Did you know poetry sometimes
can be more dangerous than cancer,
by bringing out things inside us
that we never knew were there?

When we have cancer,
let’s give poetry a try—
It’s alchemical brews
can turn our lead into gold.

A New Path with Heart Ahead

A new plan ahead for my life–
I feel it brewing in my soul.
Longings first in the mist,
then faint singing voices from afar.
Memories rise, then they fall,
‘cross roaming fields of yesterday.

At times, it takes a wake-up call–
Things both strange and familiar–
A sudden brush with death, or even
a child’s first sweet whispered words.
Each a sign, a new path ahead–
One filled with heart and soul.

A place I’ve been before, very long ago.
A partial clearing now in view, and then
a sprawling patch of cheerful wildflowers along the edge
of the narrow winding path, up the hill it goes.
There I stop, in silence listen–
The mournful wail of bagpipes, echoing across the glen.

A new beginning, all this says–
An unknown path with heart calling out to me:
Walk this way in your life,
just beyond what you know.
Fear not, for I will walk with you,
till new feet on this path you grow.