26 December 2018

Dnieper Rapids

I'm in the middle of writing a historical fiction short story. The plot is about a British teen who is enslaved by Viking raiders, then taken to Kievan Rus'. Along the way a skald sings about rapids on the Dnieper River. The place names I've only seen in print and never heard pronounced. I hope they rhyme.

From the Valdai Hills, the Dnieper River flows.
Mostly south to the Black Sea it goes.
There are rapids all along with twists and turns.
The count is nine rapids where the water churns.
Most are quite a fall. Only two are navigable
And the rest of them only spell trouble.
"Don't sleep!" at the first named Kodatsky. 
"Island Waterfall" is the second at Sursky.
After that Lohansk's quite a zinger.
Dzvonesky's a real bell ringer.
Nenasytec's very naughty and violent.
At Vovnyzky the waves are turbulent.
At Budylo be sure to rouse
Or waves'll splash over the prows.
The term "rapid" is superfluous at Lyshny.
Finally, you're free at Vil'ny.

08 November 2018

Cry Awry

Cry Awry

21 Sept 2018

You're losing sleep.
Cancer's the reason why.
The hurt runs deep,
So go ahead and cry.
Your life's been sideswiped
And it's direction has altered.
As you've been stereotyped,
Perhaps your step has faltered.
There's a new normal starting now.
You're not sure of what will be.
You'll manage to get by somehow
In spite of all the ache and misery.
Unexpectedly life's different.
You're mourning the way it was.
Living has a new battlefront.
You don't care about dramas.
People around you voice opinions.
Regardless of what splatters,
You stick to your guns
And focus on what matters.
The pain and hurt run deep.
For some relief, go ahead and cry.
You're losing way too much sleep
And cancer's the reason why.

19 September 2018

Detracts And Facts

Detracts And Facts

13 Sept 2018

From the way some people declare
Frank unsupported statements,
There's no way to say they err
And point out how to make adjustments.
Frequently underlying conditions aren't stated
And little proof is asserted
So nothing can be debated
And counter arguments can't be inserted.
That's the way people communicate
About politics and religion.
There's no effort to educate,
Not even a smidgen.
The expounders come across as propagandists,
Not open to a different point of view.
In the end they become sadists,
Bleating my eardrums in two.
Convictions are intense opinions.
Their energetic claim detracts
From logic, and the companions
Of faith and belief aren't facts.

23 May 2018

Overdue #metoo


Overdue #metoo

21 May 2018

It used to be you could
Blame the victim.
Male privilege would
Hand out the dictum.

Now we're claiming
Our worthiness by naming
The perps and reframing
The situation by proclaiming
An end to blaming and shaming.

Giving credit where it's due
And shining light on the issue
With the hashtag #metoo.
It's a topic that's long overdue
And talking about it's not taboo.

As victims we felt all alone.
Today we're setting a new tone.
Old ways are being overthrown.
Patriarchy isn't carved in stone.
We're showing some backbone.

Nostalgia doesn't cut it anymore.
No going back to the way it was before.
Our movement is too big to ignore.
We're fighting with words; and more
We're voting to make our voices roar.

05 April 2018

Ring The Bell

Ring The Bell

16 March 2018

At the end of chemo or radiation
They call it graduation.
All staff and caregivers congregate
With the patients to celebrate.

The young Mademoiselle,
With more meaning than she could tell,
Cried as she rang the bell.

No polite decorum for me.
It's not about dignity,
Nor preserving serenity.
I'm making the most of this opportunity.

After weeks of nausea hell,
With a rebel yell,
He grabbed the rope and rang the bell.

Let the bell of hope ring loud and long
As we celebrate becoming strong;
Strong enough to face cancer as beginners
And come out the other side as winners.

Hoping all would be well,
For quite a spell
The child rang the bell.

15 March 2018

Shoes Blues

Shoes Blues

11 March 2018

Holes in the soles of my shoes
Has me singing the blues.

After looking at the selection
Of shoes in the store's collection,
Each with its own appeal,
I chose a pair close to my ideal.
At first I liked the look and feel,
Then the flaws started to reveal.
Holes in the soles of my shoes
Has me singing the blues.

Cracks appeared where the uppers flexed.
I didn't see what happened next.
The tops seemed to go unchanged,
But the bottoms were becoming deranged.
That went unnoticed until it rained
And the wetness I felt was unexplained. 
Holes in the soles of my shoes
Has me singing the blues.

Much to my dismay, at home I looked at
My shoe bottoms and could see that
The soles had a crack across the ball.
That's why my socks were wet and all.
I'll have to buy some replacements,
Adding to my money disbursements. 
Holes in the soles of my shoes
Has me singing the blues.


Personal note: There's been a lapse in my postings. In December 2017 I got a sore spot on my tongue that made it hard to talk and chew, so I went in to see the doctor. On the 2nd January 2018 the doctor called to say I had medium squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue. On January 21st I went to the hospital and fell among the surgeons. They knocked me out, yanked a tooth, cut out my tongue and slit my throat. The doctors were having such a good time they slit my throat twice, in front and down the side. After a week in Medical Intensive Care and 3 weeks in a skilled nursing facility, I came home. In the SNF I recovered enough to start talking again. On March 12th I started chemotherapy and radiation that will go on for six weeks. I get most of my nutrition thru a feeding tube. I can't wait until this is all over and I can come up with a funny way to tell my dramatic story.