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contemplating the new teaching/learning year

My fall poetry class started Tuesday. Something I’m taking rather than teaching. And while my mind was somewhat pre-occupied I was excited to be there among a few familiar faces and a host of new ones.  I’m less nervous than last term, although the topic is “forms” and already I’m feeling myself hyperventilating.  I can’t hear the stresses in words, even though I’m exceptionally good at beats and meters (at least in dancing).

I’ve been focused on personal/family things this week and my poetry reflects this (more about my experiences in a later post).  For now, two poems.

The first is based on our class homework assignment, which was to write a “mad song” with the following as direction:

– Line 1: Three iambic feet – no required rhyme
– Line 2: Three iambic feet – rhyme “a”
– Line 3 : Two iambic feet – rhyme “b”
– Line 4: Two iambic feet – rhyme “b”
– Line 5: Three iambic feet – rhyme “a”
Resulting in:

The body of the man
made light by surgeon’s cut
the deft, the sliced
the cured by knife
remains to reconstruct.

I had some other rhymes and lines to consider
abrupt, deduct, instruct
pluck, destruct, construct, tuck


left naught to self-destruct or left naught to reconstruct

The second poem has two parts. Part 1 the more poetical (I think), Part II based on emails and texts I sent out.  Part II is a kind of source document for Part I.

Part I
First time, short and yet
hospitals don’t prepare you for hell,
or waiting.

Second, nothing to report
hurry up and wait perhaps is the mantra
why I’m still here at 6 pm waiting.
waiting to know something.

Gory details, sliced skin
nothing prepared the mind
for the bruising of flesh.
Hope to see you soon,

Present, you are more
here, less drugged, less
bloody. What took so long
was the waiting, everything
seemed sedated, or timeless
weightless yet wait-ed

When will you be released?
stuck with hoses, stents
pumps, catheters.  I can’t
wait today, my other obligations
draining my time. You’ve
taken a trip without me –
waiting  now for your connection.

I got here at 8:30, too excited
forgetting that there would be
I will take you home today
before ten, before lunch, before
nightfall that is waiting for us
to close the day.

But before, let’s kill time
For the nurse, for the wheelchair
for the orderly, for the elevator,
for the car, for the traffic.
For the line of time that put us
here, today.

Waiting for each other.

Part II
I don’t have anything to report other than they got started late.  As far as I can tell, they didn’t start surgery til 2 so it won’t be until 6 that I know anything.

His doc said it went well.  He’ll be in hospital for a few days while the incision heals up.

I have more gory details but basically, it’s looking good. Mackenzie and I heading out for dinner. Hope to see him in about an hour or so.

Just spoke with him, he’s sounding more present than last night (no surprise). Surgery went well although it seemed to me to take forever….he didn’t get into his hospital room til 9 pm and we started out at the hospital at 10:30 am – actual surgery was only 4 hours long.

Don’t know yet when he’ll be released.  They have him up and walking but he’s quite beat up (abdominal surgery even if it’s laparoscopic)​ ​. I actually can’t see him til later this afternoon

because of a work obligation.   Will touch base more as I know.
Yes he’s at home. capable of txting or phone. doesn’t want to talk too about the surgery I don’t think.  Thanks for checking in.

Well, I got to take him home today. Hospital food and boredom finally got to him.
I expect this will be the last of my email messages (unless you have a burning question or two in which case you can email me).

Thanks for all your kind thoughts, texts, notes and encouragement. They’ve meant a lot to me while I’ve been waiting.


More upcoming about adventures in health care.