Poetry Contest

Announcing the first annual 2010 Charles Prize for Poetry. Bold and pretentious name aside, the award will be given to the writer who submits for consideration the most outstanding poem within the context of health, science, or medicine.

Open to everyone (patients, doctors, science people, nurses, students, etc.).  1 or 2 entries per person.

Poems should be related to experiencing, practicing, or reflecting upon a medical, scientific, or health-related matter.

The winner will be selected by a panel of three judges, including me. These other judges may or may not be Nobel Laureates, you never know, but all appreciate poetry.  I may ask for your permission to post a copy of your poem on this blog as we go, with or without attribution as you wish.

Is such an eponymous contest grandiose? Yes. Does the limited poetry I’ve written carry the gravitas needed to make me an authority on the subject? No way.

But should your poem be selected as the winner, you shall receive a plaque, an award of $500, and a tasty cherry tomato from my garden. Seriously. At least one person has written that winning the cherry tomato is more important to her than all the gold in the world. I’m sorry that my budget is not higher, but I thought I could swing $500 without enlisting sponsorship.  Who needs an iPhone anyway?

Update – with so many great poems in so far, I think I’ll award a few surprise prizes for honorable mentions 🙂

So have fun, find inspiration, and send your entry to:

drcharles.examining *at* gmail.com medifast coupon

Contest closes August 31st.


45 thoughts on “Poetry Contest

  1. August Pamplona

    Kind of dated (I came up with it in high school when there still was a Soviet Union) but here it goes:
    “A man of name Lysenko believed
    Evolution is Lamarkian indeed
    Communism fits in
    He said to Stalin
    Soviet science was since then screwed indeed”

  2. Morriganscrow

    Followed the link from “Pharyngula” here, and thought I’d enter – in spite of The Digital Cuttlefish probably entering too.

    All the best with the comp.

  3. J.B.S. Haldane

    I wish I had the voice of Homer
    To sing of rectal carcinoma,
    Which kills a lot more chaps, in fact,
    Than were bumped off when Troy was sacked.
    Yet, thanks to modern surgeons’ skills,
    It can be killed before it kills
    Upon a scientific basis
    In nineteen out of twenty cases.
    I noticed I was passing blood
    (Only a few drops, not a flood).
    So pausing on my homeward way
    From Tallahassee to Bombay
    I asked a doctor, now my friend,
    To peer into my hinder end,
    To prove or disprove the rumour
    That I had a malignant tumour.
    They pumped in BaSO4
    Till I could really stand no more,
    And, when sufficient had been pressed in,
    They photographed my large intestine.
    In order to decide the issue
    They next scraped out some bits of tissue.
    (Before they did so, some good pal
    Had knocked me out with pentothal,
    Whose action is extremely quick,
    And does not leave me feeling sick.)
    The microscope returned the answer
    That I had certainly got cancer.
    So I was wheeled into the theatre
    Where holes were made to make me better.
    One set is in my perineum
    Where I can feel, but can’t yet see ’em.
    Another made me like a kipper
    Or female prey of Jack the Ripper.
    Through this incision, I don’t doubt,
    The neoplasm was taken out,
    Along with colon, and lymph nodes
    Where cancer cells might find abodes.
    A third much smaller hole is meant
    To function as a ventral vent:
    So now I am like two-faced Janus
    The only* god who sees his anus.
    (*In India there are several more
    With extra faces, up to four,
    But both in Brahma and in Shiva
    I own myself an unbeliever.)
    I’ll swear, without the risk of perjury,
    It was a snappy bit of surgery.
    My rectum is a serious loss to me,
    But I’ve a very neat colostomy,
    And hope, as soon as I am able,
    To make it keep a fixed time-table.
    So do not wait for aches and pains
    To have a surgeon mend your drains;
    If he says ‘cancer’ you’re a dunce
    Unless you have it out at once,
    For if you wait it’s sure to swell,
    And may have progeny as well.
    My final word, before I’m done,
    Is ‘Cancer can be rather fun.’
    Thanks to the nurses and Nye Bevan
    The NHS is quite like heaven
    Provided one confronts the tumour
    With a sufficient sense of humour.
    I know that cancer often kills,
    But so do cars and sleeping pills;
    And it can hurt one till one sweats,
    So can bad teeth and unpaid debts.
    A spot of laughter, I am sure,
    Often accelerates one’s cure;
    So let us patients do our bit
    To help the surgeons make us fit.
    – J.B.S. Haldane

  4. Richard Barton

    The Scientific Examination of Old Iron Railings
    with apologies to Longfellow & Hiawatha

    There’s a post that’s made from timber
    Which replaced an earlier iron one
    That was stolen by a vandal
    Running from a Stag a’rutting
    Reinforced at top and bottom
    By two massive rings of iron
    And was loosened by an Earthworm
    Chased by Moles upon the rampage
    Which has loosened that great pillar
    So it’s leaning slightly over
    In a northerly direction
    But the angle that it’s leaning’s
    Been affected by the weather
    And a high wind from the West has
    Made the tilt go back to Eastwards
    Out of line by just five inches.
    On the topmost ring of iron
    Is a patch of verdigris that’s
    Been initiated by a
    Blob of excrement, that was dropped
    By a Bettenger’s Large Dove and
    Caused a chemical reaction
    And the verdigris resulted
    And the story of the base of
    The post, isn’t that much better
    ‘Cos a lively Ring-Tailed Lemur’s
    Scraped a little of the paint off
    And this chemical reaction’s
    Caused a little of the wood-bark
    To have slight disintegration
    And to also have revealed a little
    Rust upon the iron ring.

    Now, A Hennekell’s Grey Vulture
    That just happened to be passing
    Saw a Geneker’s Small Parrot
    That was perched upon the post-top
    And it swooped and caught the Parrot
    And in doing that small action
    Split a little of the wood off
    Just above the ring of iron
    Bringing fresh wood to the surface
    And a new-formed piece of lichen
    Has begun to colonise it
    Umbilicaria polyrrhiza
    That’s a smooth and shiny lichen
    With a lobed divided thallus
    With the colour of brown chestnut
    Lower surface thickly beset
    With a short and black rhizinae
    Which can oft be found protruding
    Through, to form tufts on the surface
    ( That is – on the upper surface )
    And the ascocarps are absent.

    There are various kinds of damage
    Can be done to iron railings
    Caused by animal depredations
    We have frequently discovered
    At the bottom end of railings
    Caused by Rats and other rodents
    And at higher up positions
    Can be found the marks of gnawing
    By Australian Marsupials
    And the damage by the Wolverine
    Is really quite amazing
    And the Common Dog and Wolves are
    More than likely to be culprits
    And the noisy Howler Monkey
    And the other similar species
    Cause wide damage round the post-tops.

    Now the Tamarind and Oryx
    Can cause damage to the railings
    But are rarely seen by people
    ‘Cos these creatures are quite timid
    But they leap enormous distance
    And they carry spores and fungus
    To the railing’s higher regions
    And from one fence to another
    The Sea Eagle, Hawk, and Vulture
    Tend to have the sharpest talons
    Which can scratch the oxide coatings
    Built up over generations
    Which protect the iron railings
    From rust damage caused by water
    And the cattle cause destruction
    As they rub against the railings.

    Now the damage caused by cattle
    Tends to wear away the patterns
    Of the moulded corner angles
    Which in time looks most unsightly
    Causing much historical damage
    And another type of damage
    Is the dangerous undermining
    Caused by Earthworms, Voles, and Badgers
    Not to mention Moles and tree-roots
    Which can wreck a line of railings
    Which researchers find upsetting
    And the Deer, when they are rutting
    Can destroy a fragile railing
    And Professor Helmutt shaver
    Kept a long nocturnal vigil
    With his telescope and shotgun
    And dispatched those wicked creatures
    In the interest of science
    But we haven’t any pictures
    ‘Cos the weather was too cloudy
    And the creatures ran too swiftly.

  5. Richard Barton

    Scene in a hospital. The aftermath of a motorcycle accident


    “Our Terry’s just come off his bike again dear
    And we’ve got to go down to the ‘H’.
    I’ll stick a few things in a carrier bag,
    They may have to keep him in there”.
    But their mood turned to fear when they saw Dr Stagg,
    And he offered them each a chair.

    His front slid away on that cold rainy day
    And the skid-mark was thirty yards long.
    And he ended up under a lorry’s front-wheels
    With the tarmac be-ribboned with skin,
    His abdomen stripped off like orange’s peel
    And the frame of the bike was caved in.

    When he came off the bike and slammed into the road,
    He caught his left leg in the forks.
    Tore it off at the knee with incredible torque
    And his head twisted off at the neck.
    So he never could have survived, you see,
    And his bike is a pretty bad wreck.

    Well, it hit right home when they saw his remains,
    Though the bike’s hire-purchase was done.
    And the doc was impatient to see them off home
    Because someone else needed their care.
    “His belongings are ready to take”, said the nurse,
    But the Honda was beyond repair.

  6. Mythwrangler

    The heart: A fictitious, fractious organ
    found only as a funerary offering
    In the ancient graves of poets
    And other madmen
    If one reads between the lines
    of Newton and Darwin and other romantics
    and if by lines you mean
    schemes and contemplative venting
    marginalia of the most decorative kind
    one finds references to the
    so called attraction between bodies
    and the need for so termed plumage
    taken together
    these suggest that the heart might be
    Divisible by the square of its distance
    from other anatomical sites (sights)
    and its pressure
    Measured in micro-Pascals
    Inversely proportioned
    in various portions
    according to its
    Association with the cock
    Or cunt respectively
    Far from its fictional roots (routes)
    the heart has particularized, secularized
    observable qualities
    To whit
    Mass (needed, or the need
    for intractable attraction)
    weight (lighter being far superior
    in the symbolic as well as relative sense)
    Volume (to determine the mean free path)
    and clarity
    (However due to various invincible
    uncertainty principles
    this cannot be measured without
    Killing the host)

    In conclusion
    ignore the heart
    it’s too complicated

  7. Carmen

    Holy cow Batman, how can you compete with the sonnets that have already been submitted! Graphic, colorful, cheerful at times and generally amazing! I am very impressed, I think you should scare up some more cherry tomatoes for second and third places.

  8. drcharles Post author

    I’ve received some fantastic poetry so far!

    Thank you all for the phenomenal entries.

    I’ll have to scrounge up a few honorable mention surprise awards!

  9. Donny Price

    What is Life?
    -By Donny Price-
    Life is that which can yield forth
    And copy itself as it, too, came;
    -But what of quartzes and gems, of course
    -Which copy and grow, just the same?
    Life can also grow and change
    From seed to sapling, to shady willow;
    -But remember the clouds, which also range
    -From tenuous wisps to sky-filling pillows?
    Then, what but life can respire,
    Consuming fuel to feed the cell?
    -Why, so clearly like a fire
    -This can just as neatly feed, as well!
    But then explain what out there is,
    Which can grow and change in size like life?
    -The universe itself, it can be said,
    -Is growing quickly, without strife!
    But life can change, through natural selection
    And become the fitter through nature’s axe;
    -But so do viruses, not quite life
    -When every bitter flu attacks.
    What else can respond to stimuli
    Than that of living matter can?
    -But crystals do grow, by the by,
    -In response to single grains of sand.
    Life can be tenuous to define,
    Hard to filter from matter’s bulk;
    To think life special, by being alive
    Is to create a circle, an argument hulk;
    Life, then, is only an idea,
    A human thought, which at most is a goal
    But such a thing is inaccessible
    To divide as unique, an indivisible whole.

  10. abadidea

    More on the physical science side because I’m not a gooey medical person.

    Raised in conflict, of two minds
    A child of God, the truth that binds
    To heaven-
    The creed passed down from times Nicene.
    A child’s faith must come and pass.
    For I have seen with my own eyes
    The rings of Saturn, which to my surprise
    Were yellow-
    The purest yellow that I have seen.
    There was naught in the tube but glass.
    And I have tuned the radio dial
    Turned towards the sky, the trial
    A success-
    The clouds that made the milky sheen
    Were really, truly hydrogen gas.
    I thank God I was lead astray-
    Joined hands with Truth, and walked away.

  11. F. Elliot Siemon

    On Close Inspection

    Little could we have guessed
    what the question would be,
    But things have to be
    both time and matter,
    And betwix the two, a boundary,
    like air and sea,
    The question… whether its
    waves, foam or tatter.
    Then enter the quaint question
    of string theory,
    With it’s connotation of being
    the fabric of life:
    The time/space continuum
    may be a wrinkled query,
    And the Plank length for physicists
    a matter of strife.
    So enter Ng-van Dam
    and a larger figure,
    And Amelino-Camelia,
    with a longer one still,
    And the LIGO detector to define
    the most obscure,
    Gravitation wave frequency
    to fill the bill.
    All this dedication and
    resources to find,
    The time/space variance,
    and cliff to hang,
    A cliff hanger of
    an infinitesimal kind,
    All to define the size
    of the Ying and Yang.

  12. Chris Thomas

    Title: The Great Vestige and the birth of our 4 billion year old origin

    A toxic breath to humanity
    Birthed the origins of species
    For in a primordial soup some would say
    The orgin of life began to take shape
    Micromolecules were being born
    From a womb that was a desolate landscape
    Earth was changing rapidly
    So was life in dangerous harmony
    Welcome to the Cambrian
    When complexity existed prominately
    Competion hit a brand near gear
    Evolution had birthed a brand new fear
    As predation was born
    Many species began to fear
    That the end was near
    Then natural selection kicked into gear
    The arms race was on

  13. Chris Thomas

    A toxic breath to humanity
    Birthed the origins of species
    For in a primordial soup some would say
    The orgin of life began to take shape
    Micromolecules were being born
    From a womb that was a desolate landscape
    Earth was changing rapidly
    So was life in dangerous harmony
    Welcome to the Cambrian
    When complexity existed prominately
    Competion hit a brand near gear
    Evolution had birthed a brand new fear
    As predation was born
    Many species began to fear
    That the end was near
    Then natural selection kicked into gear
    The arms race was on
    Blood was spilling on the ocean floor
    As evolution spawned a new war
    A step into a world unknown
    As amphibians and insects
    Exposed this new world
    Reptiles and mammals
    Were now filling this new hostile land
    In the Triassic something arised
    His name was the Dinosaur
    And he was fit to survive
    Roaming the lands he became king
    Of this new evolutionary world
    The climate was warm
    And life was rich
    But the clock was ticking on the Dinosaur
    And nature wanted this species no more
    An astreroid crashed down on planet earth
    And destroyed almost all life on earth
    The once great were now dust and bone
    The king of the planet was dethroned
    Birds were flying high in the sky
    As mammals began to take over the world
    The once small creatures that nature barely knew
    Had natural selction given them the upper hand
    Or was this a set up for another barren land
    A new species began to arise
    They were homo sapiens and they gave nature one surprise
    They could think, make fire, and hunt like never before
    The African savanna was their home
    They conquered the world by storm
    But our day shall come in time my friend
    When Natural Selection destroys the king again

    Idk just spur of the moment poetry… I’m good but I’m not quite sure I like it… I would’ve made it more scenic and such but I am half awake… 500 bucks sounds nice though.. I’m 16 and I assure you I could write a better poem..

  14. Jessica fortunato

    Gone before dawn

    she looked into
    his star lit eyes
    knowing tomorrow
    was her final good bye
    left so numb
    in a world so cold
    wondering what
    the night would hold
    the call that made
    their world unfold
    made his heart shatter
    as his life
    had come to a hold
    the gun shaking
    as she fell to the ground
    so beautiful
    in her blood spattered gown
    for her cancer had spread
    from her heart to her head
    there was no life
    left for her
    as the cold air fell
    and he fell to the ground
    he almost felt relief
    no longer in pain
    the night took her away
    his guilt never
    to leave it’s new found home
    with 1 last blast
    his life gone
    as the both were
    gone before dawn

  15. chairman meow

    Maybe you could let the masses vote on the top 10 or so as the weight of the 4th judge?
    sounds like a good poetry contest. Hopefully you don’t get flooded by spam or poems about monkeys.

    chairman meow

  16. Bibliotekaren

    Arranging Shoes…

    In the entryway the shoes were scattered
    leaving not much room to walk.
    Waiting for the early morning ride,
    all was quiet, there was very little talk.
    So down on my knees while still awaiting
    I began to arrange the shoes.
    To others I would turn over all control,
    what else was I now to do?

    My mother observed that this was odd
    this task I had pursued.
    It was not the endeavor that was in question,
    rather the timing and the mood.
    I paused, reflected and then responded,
    “Right now there’s nothing I’ve left to do.
    So considering this and future uncertain,
    I might as well arrange the shoes.”

    In the wee hours of the morning,
    solemn and quiet was our drive.
    Background songs of calm were playing
    but the comfort it did not arrive.
    In the city on top of the garage we parked
    taking in the dawn and the skyline lights.
    As my father fidgeted, a bit more I waited
    but no stalling would set this thing right.

    Inside the hospital to inpatient surgery I went
    to follow procedures for admitting.
    ID, organ donor, living will, and insurance,
    to many things I was committing.
    Name, date of birth, and why are you here
    confirmed this was not a chance event.
    Ready for me they regrettably were not
    so into the cold waiting room I went.

    To surgery prep, healing hands of friend Betty,
    and family well wishes, I soon bid my farewell.
    Now alone in a bay of a large cold chamber
    on bad thoughts did my mind tend to dwell.
    Try as I might to invoke inspiration
    my spirit it slumped and my chin it did quiver.
    But soon came my way a soft-spoken man,
    soothing assurances he did warmly deliver.

    In walked a doc three vials in hand
    after greetings he confidently proclaimed,
    I’m here to make you happy but first I must know
    just a few things such as your full legal name.
    I’m Wonky Walk Girl from a year of the Snake
    who’s come due to a bean in her brain.
    This unnamed intruder will be getting his due
    my alleged smarts I just hope will remain.

    Now at this point I must readily admit
    that drunk on the rhymes I might be.
    In addition to this recollections that follow
    possess a distinct lack of clarity.
    So wrap up this tale I certainly must
    before it all turns to complete whack.
    Suffice it to say more events came my way
    until all did indeed turn to black.

  17. Nick Nieve


    Sessions mobilize existing strengths.
    Particularly conducted at minimal lengths.
    Focused on issues, takes the stage.
    Next Phase

    Approaching ineffective, functional breakdown.
    Molecular reactions echoing underground.
    False perceptions tantamount distorted sounds.
    Mode Change

    Meditation aims to erase debate.
    Guilt battles pride for destructions fate.
    Love and resentment can take their place.
    Flip Side

    Twin perspectives of demand for control.
    Material depedency rotting the soul.
    Desires make excuses to fill the blind hole.
    Not Registered

    Mindful effectiveness, adapting distress.
    Emaciated thoughts seeking bad breast.
    Facilitating the whole, ambiguity’s test.
    Outside Chance

  18. kelvin urena

    love is like a passing wind..
    its something you cant touch but must have..
    love is like the oxygen that fuels the soul..
    like blood fuels the heart..
    love comes in sorts of ways..
    whether for power,weakness, or affection.. love can also conquer ones mind.. controlling our every move and thought.. love shows no fear but braveness in itself.. the moral is love is just a factor in the role we play..
    the way you use it can make things better or for worst…

  19. Rob

    Ode to a Drug Seeker

    You say that you never can sleep due to worry
    You say that the smallest of slights leads to fury
    You say that the future puts you into panics
    And all of your neighbors are schizos and manics
    But still I won’t give any Xanax

    You tell me you’re hurting from discs that are bulging
    And really you hurt more than you are divulging
    And pain from the accident always is hauntin’
    You say to withhold would be cruel and wanton
    But still I won’t give Oxycontin

    You say your prescription was swiped by your brother
    I see that you brought me a note from your mother
    And then there’s your cousin who lied and defrauded
    Your clever attempts really should be applauded
    But still you won’t get your Dilaudid

    Your hips are far larger than when you were younger
    You always are gaining, and always feel hunger
    You only eat food that’s low-cal (but you fry it still)
    To be thin and sexy would give you a quiet thrill
    But no, I won’t give you a diet pill.

    I’ve seen all the tricks, I’m a certified cynic
    We’ve gotten the scoop from your previous clinic
    I’m sorry to say that they called you a scammer
    I don’t support habits, no matter the clamor
    I will not end up in the slammer.

  20. Morriganscrow


    Guilty little secrets can kill stone dead,
    Silly little secrets like fingers down
    A guilty throat, self-hatred fuelled projectile
    Vomit purging gut and mind even as
    Her soul screams foul,
    Until the need to feed surges, a
    Tsunami consuming all in its path;
    Dog food, garbage, all fuel for the inner rage –
    Its voice crying hate, hate for self, a
    Total failure to others, look, see?
    The pages show what a good girl should
    Be, wear, know, do, think, feel, f*ck;
    The shiny pages, shiny screen all display
    Perfection, and it slides ever further
    Away with every mouthful, until eating
    At all has all the joy of
    Sucking Satan’s c*ck, and every
    Morsel is sin, every ounce perdition,
    And only self-abuse, torture, can
    Cleanse such a sinner
    Until, so clean is she, a gentle breeze
    Could blow her away –
    Oh happy day! Crows the voice,
    The inner voice, the one who hates, who
    Wounds and judges, who holds up
    Every flaw and failure to the
    Magnifying glass of guilt, and a
    Self-esteem so low it puts
    Everything/one ahead of healing;
    The voice, hateful, hate filled, harping
    Endlessly on failings even slighter
    Than her wisp of a body.
    The vultures are circling, but she’s
    Too weak to raise her head;
    The voice rants on and on, drowning
    Out hope and love until all
    That’s left are electrolytes gone
    Haywire and a shell
    Mercifully empty at last, so tiny a
    Husk it could be folded into a box
    To go straight into a niche in a memorial wall.
    How many more must drift oh so slowly
    Into Hell’s cold, wet mouth?
    How many more must die from gorging
    On ugly, guilty, pathetic, abusive,
    Dirty little secrets?

    Morriganscrow 05/08/10

  21. Morriganscrow


    Monster’s at the door again –
    Touching the knob, stroking tips of
    Fingers across the wood, a tiny noise of
    Insect scratchings, maggots hatching
    In a brain seething with more little
    Monsters, itching to have their turn to
    Choreograph the next dance steps
    They’ll try together.
    Room’s hot, the air is choking, thick
    With tears and fears, as the nightcrawler
    Moves against the last barrier, the sound
    So soft, so almost not-sound, but not
    Silence; no, silence is empty, still,
    Silence is safe.
    Change in air-pressure, the
    Door opens, just a crack, and black gas of
    Fetid breath, stale sweat-stench
    Drifts in on dusty currents, oozing
    Across the room to the bed;
    Can’t breathe, can’t move, can’t think –
    The stink is closer, guilt and horrified
    Fascination, perversion slides in – clad
    In odd socks, shirt, no tie, the sour smell
    Of scotch on breath, hot with anticip
    Ation –
    Spiced by taboo and the rising terror;
    A ghastly combo of desire to be loved, to
    Be special, the flesh-ripping wrongness
    Of how that love is paid for, over and
    Over and over….
    Monster’s in the room now, hovering
    Huge and dark and growing larger,
    Its face drifts into the pale patch of
    Street light through the curtain crack
    And, worst nightmare of all, its mask is
    On, the monster hiding its putrid soul
    Behind a most desirable thing,
    A smiling, always smiling, familiar mask
    While the real monster hides, stretching
    And expanding within, weak and fallible,
    So wracked with guilt and shame yet
    Eaten by desire, a raging fire so deep
    It could burn the world to ash and gone.
    Flame demon flashes for a moment
    In the eyes as the mask floats down –
    “Hello sweetheart,” it breathes, alcohol
    And lust hot as pus smeared
    Across a mortuary furnace door –
    “Here I am,” it whispers, huge
    Hands pulling away blanket barriers, fortresses,
    “Give me that special kiss,” it hisses, echoed by a
    Zipper hissing like a sigh against tight
    Clenched lips and blood stained teeth, as
    Daddy engulfs her

    Morriganscrow 05/08/10

  22. Tayler Lynn

    one year down 3 more to go
    making my designs sellin em for dough
    ireally dont like this plan of mine
    so much work just to make a dime
    but dont tell me that i wont make it
    cause its like a promise. iwont break it
    and you best believe that im just doing me
    no one else ineed to please
    im very independent but thats just me
    ill do my time,pay my own fee
    i dont mind getting help along the way
    gotta make sure idont let myself sway
    cause either which way could make today my last day
    upon this earth ibe steady breathing
    since the weeks before i started teething
    still a wonderchild, allstar and a lady
    better skills than normal and thats a yes not maybe
    icant stand to be figured out so i always play my game
    the reason icant give out is cause everyone knows my name
    its just the way i like to show
    what i have and yes i know
    that once us a bad thing but twice is just plain fun
    3 times is a sad thing and after 4 you wanna run
    cause once im in your system istart to kick in
    like my momma when she had me, iwas just a kickin
    but now i have nightmares of all thats been happenin
    no dreams are happenin in my head so im just a laughin an
    thats all i remember from when ilay down to when iwake up
    its either how ineed to finish that or how to take it up
    one more chance ikeep reminding myself
    even tho lie it helps me apply myself
    sometimes i get things wrong with all these mixed items
    your like a blinking stom sign saying bite em
    i dont know what to take of it, its so confusing
    to bad that now igotta bet it all and make sure im not losing
    and ilove how guys say they hard but they softer than pediatric
    talking about there game like they ever had shit
    amusing is my game and abuse is freaking lame
    dont take a number and get in line
    cut that boy and prove your mine
    cause iwant a good guy,bad
    ineed a hood guy,tad
    isee a fun guy,here
    but i see a no, with you dear
    its the way itake things. that day by day
    idont like to be played
    so i dont get back no i get even
    so if you wanna leave then get to leavin
    because the best things in life arnt free
    but the best thing in your life will be me
    long as you can respect a line and make me most your time
    then you and me baby. we should be just finee

  23. Jane E. Smith

    Baby Boy Smith

    In a mother’s heart
    dreams tears laughs pride hurt ache anger
    In her son’s body
    walking pain
    not running
    not breathing
    exhaustive pain
    unyielding pain
    what life is this?

  24. Ezriel Kornel, M.D.


    After the craniotomy to remove the enormous
    Blood clot in the brain of this octogenarian
    The children remained in the waiting room,
    Allowing their parents a moment of privacy.
    As he remained unresponsive,
    His wife approached his side and spoke to him,
    “I have been doing the cross-word puzzle without you.
    It’s a good thing it’s Monday.”
    He awoke on Tuesday.
    A blood-clot to his lungs killed him on Friday.
    Sunday the cross-word puzzle was no doubt
    Excruciatingly difficult
    But she certainly completed it
    For what else was she to do?

    Ezriel Kornel

  25. Cuttlefish

    Intensive Care

    The patients here are silent. Their machines
    Speak for them, in rhythmic beeps and colored lines,
    And numbers–lots of numbers. Which one means
    He is getting better? Or worse? What are the signs
    We should attend to? I choose to watch the heart
    Monitor; for now, it is holding steady, if fast.
    They’ve chilled his blood, in hopes his brain will start
    To heal itself, but now two days have passed;
    It’s time to warm him up. We hope for the best
    And wait, and watch the numbers, and pace, and cry.
    The doctor’s face confirms–we’ve failed this test.
    There is no doubt; my brother soon will die.
    We know, today, his heart will slow and stop,
    And as we watch… the numbers start to drop.

  26. Alexander

    Living Stag Head

    The severed head of a stag
    Survives by machine.
    Listlessly lifeless eyes
    Silently mock the devil’s land.
    Thoughts, the world ensconced inside;
    Convulsions of infinite clockwork labyrinths,
    Imprisoning from external death,
    Drowning to survive.
    Dreams, blended by thornbushes.
    Reality suffocated by a murder of murdering crows getting murdered.
    Heart became that of a dragon,
    Big and artificial;
    The crying arrow sponge
    Imminent to concave.
    Rays of sunlight are not to peak
    Into the cave of endless gloomy meadows.
    Time, the clock that cannot break,
    Burning blank, flaunting pages.
    Born to be but cannot be;
    The rooster that cannot crow.
    Perfection, the serenity swan
    Dives infinitely above
    To canopy its arms over the ruins,
    Arriving when the circle is covetously born.
    I am alive and I am dead.

  27. Xena Olson

    My father was a pilot; I was a passenger on his plane,
    He lifted me with encouragement, and knowledge to sustain.

    I think of him as flying, the universe his sky,
    Beneath his wings the answers, to all his questions why.

    His flight plan was preparing; to meet the maker of time,
    So he could clear the runway, for those that are behind.

    The instruments he will use, to lead him on his way,
    Were scriptures from the Bible, he practiced every day.

    He’s tuning in his radio, the one he holds so dear,
    The gathering of his loved ones is what he wants to hear.

    Directed through the universe, with undivided love,
    He’s flying in his vessel, to Heaven up above.

    His take off was a trial, his turbulence was pain,
    The landing strip in heaven is what he has to gain.

    He used his brilliant mind to prepare him for the flight,
    Our savior and our Lord will be his source of light.

    He’s flying through the sorrow; as he’s bypassing the tears,
    The weather up in Heaven, will leave him no more fears.

    My father was a pilot; He flew through life with grace,
    Leaving us with memories to honor and embrace.

  28. James Ph. Kotsybar

    — James Ph. Kotsybar

    He looked into the lens-system and saw
    an unimaginably small world grow.
    Now does this image in history draw
    from van Leeuwenhoek or Galileo?
    Through lenses both passed to another realm
    of being, since their broadened reference frame
    allowed them visions that could overwhelm.
    Then for everyone nothing stayed the same.
    The vaster one’s view the clearer things get,
    of cosmic, subatomic, even time,
    and, while the masses may first be upset,
    brought to some summit that they didn’t climb,
    it’s crucial so all the ingenious might
    be informed of the remarkable sight.

  29. James Ph. Kotsybar

    — James Ph. Kotsybar

    We can see fourteen billion light years out.
    For those still here a billion years from now,
    more light will have traveled to them, no doubt,
    the billion light years that space will allow.
    Distant descendants may not see much more,
    however, than what we can now observe.
    Despite larger radius to explore,
    their view won’t be a sight they can conserve,
    because space itself goes faster than light,
    as it expands relatively through time.
    This perspective’s loss is ever the plight
    throughout our universe’s known lifetime.
    We daily lose ability to see
    the things furthest back in our history.

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