To My Friend (Who I Do Not Yet Know)

When I was in my twenties
My body fell apart
And inflammation spread down to
The lining on my heart

I started to have seizures
My platelet count was low
I was awash in bruises
From my head down to my toe

They had to take out part of
The structure of my back
My spleen was then the next to go
And what else? I lost track

I had to go on steroids
And gained X million pounds
Believe me when I tell you
It was worse than it sounds

The guy I asked to watch my house
Cleaned out my bank account
While I was in the hospital
With all this to surmount

And I was so depressed
I wanted all to end —
But what I want to tell you
My still yet unmet friend,

Is sometimes good things happen
That we cannot explain;
That I, somehow, got better
And found relief from pain

I wish that I could guarantee
A bolt out of the blue
But healing one day came to me
And could still come to you

she lived the fairy tale.

the “once upon a time” they had
was good as good could be:
and when they danced their wedding night
it was pure ecstasy

a long-haired cinderella, and
her handsome, charming prince;
and in the castle that they built,
they had been happy since

oh, yes. she lived the fairy tale.
the days of love and laughter
when happily they spun their lives,
and would do, ever after —

if ever after was a thing.
it isn’t now, it seems:
and flowing hair just a ghost
that she sees in her dreams –

for when the curtain finally falls,
the play is not the thing,
but our brief times upon the stage
when we’ve got strength
to sing

A Round Four Dozen

I try to post a round four dozen poems
Each weekend; some are old, and some are new —
But right now, I am feeling kind of puny –
I’m just not really sure how much I’ll do

I feel like such a failure giving up now,
My vaunted weekend writing spree a flop —
But coughing is a pastime most engrossing;
I start, and then it’s kind of hard
To stop

For Life

The best advice I’ve never given?
I think that would be
To learn to play an instrument –
Piano, t’was for me –

I practiced in my lonely teens
When life was naught but questions;
Which only then intensified
When I quit taking lessons

As a young college student. I
Would would play by note or ear
Each piece or song that spoke to me
I might happen to hear.

Which came in handy later, when
‘Round about twenty-five
I grew ill and was home alone;
I could at least contrive

To still play music, even though
I, thrombocytopenic*
Could barely move my fingers which
Had grown rather arthritic

But still the music brought some peace
And helped me as I healed –
When I rejoined the human race
From where I’d been concealed

I got back into playing places
I’d not been before;
And met new people, made new friends
And played, and played some more —

But never once did anybody
Say with true intent:
“I sure regret my learning how
To play an instrument”

They rather mostly envied me
What they just saw as talents:
But music had been more than that
It gave my life some balance.

I don’t tell kids or adults that
They all should learn to play:
From what I know of life
They wouldn’t listen anyway —

For loneliness and love of music
Drove me to excel:
What you don’t have the passion for
You never can do well

But music’s never let me down
But has me oft enchanted:
I pray I’ll always love it, and
Take It
For granted

= = = = =

* Thrombocytopenia – extremely low platelet count, in my case due to lupus.


The Losing Battle

The Losing Battle

You tell me fighters never ever quit,
And if I won’t, I’ll beat this damned disease.
But I don’t know about that. Not a bit.

I take the time I have to try to squeeze
An extra minute (here or there) of joy;
Because I do not know that I will win.

I’m daily tempted to mock and destroy;
But this I must resist. It is a sin.
You see, maybe, this is what I must face:

That some will wax in life, while others wane.
Reality is now, this time, this space:
The daily, constant company
Of pain

Why He Has An Ex-Wife

Looking Out

She told him, “Real men don’t get sick”
He said, “That’s ludicrous.”
She said, “You’d better get well quick.”
He shrugged, “That’s dubious.”

She told him, “I know you are fine.”
“And just how, may I ask?”
She said, “You’re too young to decline.”
Then he said, “Kiss my ass.

I didn’t ask to be like this
It’s not what I had planned –
It isn’t something I enjoy
It’s something I can’t stand.

I know for now, that all of this
Is what I must go through:
I’m sick because I am, and now
On top, I’m sick of you.”