when pain enters the room

and noise  – like thick smoke,

climbs into the bed

with orders to distract and torment

the truth is, it’s impossible to pray;

when voices rudely shout

 setting off alarms somewhere behind the eyes

scaring the familiar silence away

you risk everything, even a tumble out the window

brimming, swimming with all your might

you try to listen

but all you hear is the brass band in your head,

 there is a great pressure where once there was equilibrium

 you are lost in the cacophony

    choking on your own words,

until a buttery sulphur, a-fluttering,

happens by your window

and wraps you in its prayer.


© 2013 Wabi Sabi 

For Sunday Whirl #116



old monk sips

white willow bark tea

the setting moon



old monk joins

 willows singing a praise song

 the rising Son


  I don’t usually explain my poems but today I am feeling the need to do just that.  White willow bark tea was used for centuries to relieve pain.  It contains the substance salicin, from which aspirin was originally derived.

   These two poems are linked in my mind because, in the first verse,  my ‘monk’ is  facing west, in pain, probably  sad.  In the second verse, he turns and gains a new perspective, of the sun rising.  And he joins the  willows in praising the (risen) Son, the One who does not always take away our pain, but presumably, offers us another kind of healing.

This is where the prompt ‘willow’ led me today as I prepare to celebrate Easter.  My wish for all is that you experience whatever peace and healing you need and desire, whether you are celebrating Easter or Passover, or simply the arrival of spring (or autumn)


©WabiSabi 2013

For Carpe Diem ‘willow’

Haiku My Heart – Open

the heart holds many things –
joy and sorrow sit together  –
nestled… inseparable
within the depths of each of us.
when we are privileged to hold
another’s suffering
the heart can feel as though it may burst…
but somehow it makes room……
and this space feels  sacred,
  indeed, it is sacred
coming, as it does,
 from the divine within us.

Grand Rounds

gods in white coats
walk up and down the hall
selling hope
the nurse’s hand
on his broken neck
sweating profusely
the needle slips in
carrying him from pain
to oblivion
the  sound
after the last breath
sigh of relief
renders her tongue useless
brain stormed
flying manic
look ma – no hands
high wire act

his appointment
tethered to dialysis
three times a week
close your eyes
walk  fifteen minutes
 in my blind shoes
 dont leave
this dreadful pain
alone with  me
what day is it?
do you know where you are?
who is president?
ninety- five 
fit as a farmer in spring
new pacemaker
new diagnosis
an ovarian monster
she doesn’t cry
through the windshield
pupils fixed and dilated
 first grader
which words
explain X-ray results
to stricken parents?
gods in white coats
walk up and down the hall
begging for hope
©WabiSabi 2013

For Recuerda Mi Corazon ‘Haiku My Heart’

What An Extraordinary Thing

                                             for B.G.

 In spite of seventeen years of experience,

the doctor looked like a boy of twenty-one,

  all dressed in his sparkling white coat.

He washed his hands

before and after he examined her,

and  she liked that about him.

Then he opened her wrist,

put a catheter into her radial artery

threaded it, inch by inch,

around the bend of her shoulder

to the aortic valve,

the door to her heart.

Her heart.

 God, what an extraordinary thing.

She wanted to be there

when the catheter reached that secret place

to watch her own heart pump,

to see it work,

to look behind the door,

but the drugs sent her

 in a fog of forgetfulness

to the land of letting go,

neither here nor there.

 She woke up after it was over,


heart still beating,

 a small bandaid on her wrist,

clutching a ticket to a second  life

bought and paid for

with good genes, fish oil and prayers.

No blockage, no plaque, no heart attack,

God, what an extraordinary thing.

©2012 WabiSabi

In my other lives, I have had the privilege of   listening to many life tales.  I hold each story in my heart and sometimes a poem arrives.  This is one ‘received story.’

More poems at  Poets United  Poetry Pantry