Tag Archives: Cancer

LOST AT SEA

LOST AT SEA

Uncles, aunts, old friends and more
all sinking below the metaphor
on the way to that distant shore

The keel hauling of cancer
Walking Gehrig’s plank with ALS

Hanging from the yardarm
of emphysema’s choking rope

The lightning stroke of stroke

The sudden iceberg of heart attack

The slow arctic crush of hoary old age

Or slowly sailing, deeper and deeper
into Alzheimers’ fog bound banks

There are a thousand ways
to get back to the launching line
I’m not sure I’m ready yet
to speculate on mine

NEVER MORE BEAUTIFUL

NEVER MORE BEAUTIFUL
(for Lee Cherry)

Visited last year and again last month
with old friend Lee in Tennessee

Ten years and more of cancer
and that Chattannooga choo choo
may be pulling out soon

The skin has become
more and more transparent
the soul more and more shining through

I expect by the next time we drop in
a floating glimpse of Alice’s cat
with a Mona Lisa grin

THE MARLBORO MAN

THE MARLBORO MAN

There is no longer
a wild wild West to tame
or outlaws or Red Indians
to join in the old macho game

Of the testing of his manhood
and the building of his fame

And yet he retains the rugged look
of a steel-eyed firebrand
that can only be seen in the fearless few
who daily face death at every hand

Though now his risks are reduced
to trippin on the scenery
where he rides for a phony brand

And that cigarette in his hand

A DEBBIE MOMENT

A DEBBIE MOMENT

I was noticing again the other day
watching a movie, strangely enough
called “Remains of the Day”
that even though you died
you haven’t gone away

In the movie
a bird gets trapped in the house
and tries to fly
through the high ceiling glass

Remember the time in the office in Austin
when the sparrow was trying in panic to
escape in this way

And you spoke to it in your stardust voice
and it landed in trust in your hands

I remember the windows you flew against
and your trust so light in my hands

And it’s a comfort to see
you and the sparrow
both flying free

LOUIS AND SUZANNE

LOUIS AND SUZANNE

Suzanne gets cancer
she gets cancer real bad

The doctors get out their big guns
They wage war with everything they’ve got

The cancer laughs at the doctors
It breaks out on many new fronts

The doctors, defeated, suggest surrender
Louis and Suzanne go to Mexico instead

Suzanne drinks fresh juices and does cleanses
Louis quits his job and takes care of Suzanne

Suzanne gets well

Louis takes care of many people
He took care of people in asbestos mines

For years he does not sleep well
and he does not breathe well in the mornings

The doctors are treating him for sleep apnoea
Early this year he has a bad cough

The doctors do X-rays, Louis has cancer
Too much asbestos, ten years growing

It is too late for the doctors, or Mexico
Louis dies, life is funny

DEBBIE – SIX MONTHS LATER

DEBBIE – SIX MONTHS LATER

How can I write of your death
and writing make it real
how can I not and ever hope to heal

How can I write of the crab
without a hatred more than buzzard red
who will at least not eat you till you’re dead

How can my heart and hands be empty
with fullness of gifts I cannot give
How can it be you do not live

How like a vampire do I walk the night
and in a mirror no reflection see
Without a you where is the me?

FEEDING THE SOUL AT VARGOS

FEEDING THE SOUL AT VARGOS
(for Debbie)

The soul is fed in many ways

Walking
on a sunny Easter Sunday
in Vargos gardens with the one you love

Marveling as peacocks surround us
and salute that love

Meeting by chance
your surgeon ally in the cancer fight

Sitting by the window
breaking bread in gratitude for it all