Neal's Cancer Blog

Poems - Just Because - a Spectrum

Hi. It is Spring. Poems seem to go well with Spring. The first one is light, and after the next few, the tone gets light again and perhaps you will be moved to laugh at one or two. As time progresses, and my grief changes colors, my writing has broadened. If a couple of these I have posted before, please forgive the repetition. Although, I have edited them and they are a little different than before.


Flutterbye (she's a butterfly)

Dazzling colors flitter as I alight

Taking rest from my regal flight

“Pardon me, mind if I take a shower,

Bathe in perfumed pollen of your flower?

Nice of you to offer nectar to drink

Lovely we can converse and think

Perhaps I can repay your kind, delicious treat

Scratch your itches with my feet?

Gossamer wings give us sway

Stirring breezes as we work and play.”



Silence in the woods a sigh

No single human cry

Still many voices shared

Wren chatters, Robin chuckles

Leaves under squirrels’ feet crumble


Silence in the woods a sigh

Trees hum in an ancient tongue

A secret language without voice

Through earth they speak old weathered truths

An entwined web of underground roots


Silence in the woods a sigh

Wind whistles through limbs bared

Sun warms critters basking where

Rocks shimmer waves of heat

Twigs snap songs under scrambling feet


Silence in the woods a sigh

Spirit’s John Cage chaos echoes

Forest’s symphony whispers shouts bellows

Luring, imploring, her children to contrition

Heal her wounds, will they listen?



The hibiscus was my wife’s favorite flower. In this poem, the flower is talking about how fleeting, but beautiful its life is.


A Flower Uncertain 

For I am here, a flower uncertain,

Uncertain whether

an hour

or a day


My life condensed as a flame

on a wick burning down,

Warm memories molten lava

establishing new ground


My gift is yours to enjoy,

as long as my time lasts,

Cherish me, begrudge me not,

When my time has passed


I bring to you my light-filled soul,

My radiant ebullient smile,

It would please me if you sat,

Even silent, keeping me company for a while


Feast for senses brought alive,

Precious images

for your heart when blue,

when you need you can revive,

Those memories now a part of you


For I am here, a flower uncertain,

Just for you today,

Uncertain if I will live,

an hour

or a day


As I struggled after my wife died, a wise Rabbi at Yale gave me a symbol for deep loss. It gave me some comfort as I struggled with my grief.

Beach Glass       


like beach glass,

freshly broken, its edges are sharp.

With age, over time,

the glass, a piece of the whole, still pulls on

the strings of your heart.

Edges filed by the elements,

of water, sun, wind, and sand,

weathered glass dulled and buffered,

cradled, your heart in your hand,

its muted color deeply cherished,

smooth, softened texture closely held,

as you rub your thumb

along the time-worn, rounded edges

of love



still felt.”



Some lighter notes.  First, a little whimsy on the number eight



Eight turned on its side

And saw infinity

Now That is Truly Great.

We will let eternal time decide its fate

Any BoGo rebate for two O’s stacked?

That make up an eight?

But just you wait

Perhaps we can get this number

To cast its infinite wisdom in weight

And through the gate of the magical kingdom

Cast a spell for

all earth to banish hate



An eagle wrote this after an extended stay in a wild-life sanctuary for an injured wing


Wing spread at last I’ve found

I take your breath with me,

Helping me rise from the ground

I demonstrate my draft and lift,

Strength, given me for my gift.

If I could speak words ere I rise high above

I’d sing of all your love, but still,

Listen my forlorn solitary cries,

Ascending lofty heights, sweet infinite skies,

Thunderous shapes slicing through

Across canvas’ Navajo blue,

Wing to wing with angels touch,

Painting clouds with our feathered brush,

Cared for as if one of your own

I watch my helper’s hearts both soar and break

I feel your smiles and moans,

My freedom stirring loss that aches,

Know now that shared spirit within

Eternal bond between you and me

Sacred gift,

Miracle of Great One’s mystery.


On eating too much on holidays

I Ate Too Much 

inside my brain
there is a signal supposed to sound
when I tell myself to refrain
from eating like a ravenous hound,
but for some unknown reason
during this delicious display of foods I like,
especially made at any holiday season,
I loosen my control and my pants, as my stomach expands and my sugar spikes,
listen, this is not a complaint but sometimes I seethe
that I have eaten so much I can hardly breathe,
and then I take a walk with the neighbor's dog
so I can come back and eat again just like a hog,
my grandma used to encourage a second sitting,
she re-tailored my pants with an ever-expanding elastic fitting,
well now I am older, my grandma has long since crossed over,
at holidays and special occasions I sometimes still eat like Rover,
and I like to wear sweats when having special meals,
so I can eat, like fish-gobbling seals,
and my waistband stretches like rubber,
to accommodate my buddha belly blubber,
I try to be mindful and maintain my cool,
But sometimes I still eat like an unconscious fool.


House Creaks

My little pet peeve, a noise in the eve,

A snap , crackling, pop two-by-four,

sometimes I wonder, what spirits asunder,

swing from the rafters when bored



Cows chew their cud, a polite way to say
Because they think a lot while they're eating,
Seems that they too, like us, like to ruminate,
tend to perseverate,
can't help themselves from repeating...
Thusly stuck on a thought or concern, we overstimulate sympaThetic denDrites,
Taking anxiety and cortisol to exotically scary places, to deliciously dizzying new heights

Except they have two stomachs we have only one
But we worry enough for two
Pop an Ativan or meditate and breathe
Whichever one works for you.


Man figuring

As I've gotten older
My trimmer’s gotten bolder
And now, ALL hair is fair game
All the places I used to want hair
Now I don't want ANY there
But it keeps coming back just the same

I'm just afraid
one of these days
I'm going to slip and have a big mess
What was mine
would be gone
If I sneezed at the wrong time
With no one to say God bless



poems come in a flourish

when verbally undernourished

their sustaining sounds satiating

close to nirvana

akin to samsara

a zen thing, to be re-creating


Poetry Reading 

want to go With me
to listen to po Etry,
afterward by the park we’ll skip along
We can both wax poetic / get out 'stead of being hermetic
Nature like Poetry sings its own song


Written to a senior on-line friend after falling because she was on her phone while walking. She turned many colors.

Senior Falls                           

Ouch ouch ouch, use ice, ice, ice and take something for the pain
Luckily no fractures and you won't be doing that anytime soon again
No phone play while walking it most definitely needs to be a golden rule
Because when you fall because you're not watching
It's hard not to feel like a fool
So swallow your pride try not to choke and  for the first 48 Hours use lots of ice 

Your body needs rest and tender loving care and thankfully your family’s so nice

Your body's a temple, now a peacock of colors

saying prayers that everything is on the mend
And the swelling and bruising goes back where it came from and all your joints still easily bend

Falls really suck no two ways about it we're no longer so close to the ground
And as a senior citizen If I Ever Fall I sure hope someone else is around
As toddlers we have lots of baby fat to help cushion the falls on our tush
But when we're seniors and lose our balance it's our face that tends to go mush (not funny)


Rural Ride

Corn stalks stalking

shadows talking

to cows slowly walking

crows keeping rhythm to the beat


baby goats jumping

tall buildings blooming

the city is looming before me,

touching sky in a meet and greet


don’t miss the city,

not nearly so pretty

as the country

without the concrete


Getaway dream,

Pastoral scene’s

soothing shades of green

Nature’s picture complete


Clever Fellows

Einstein and Dr. Seuss
Clever genius fellows

Words and worlds 
time and space 
Continuum’s waving quantum's echoes


Another Day

Lethargy subtly attached 
at the hip to procrastination
Energy seems to be lacking
Black holes draining determination

Spring fever? Or depression, 
Could go either way
But whatever it is / is going to wait
Until another day


Well, if you had the patience, and were kind enough to read this far, thank you. Forgive my sharing so much, but poems not shared were never written, like love not expressed, leaves one unsmitten.  I have some Dr. Seuss in me, and Ogden Nash, or at least so Marcia believes. Could be. I like his poems.

I hope a couple of these touched your heart, a couple made you smile. I spared you from my political satire, although that is some rich territory. I wish you all a rhyme sublime, a rhythm in your step, music in your heart, and peace with every breath. 

Love Neal


Sign in or sign up to post a comment.
Truthfully, a few good ones in there. You probably don't write them for others, but you might have some publishable (?) material. You'd have to work with someone to sort through it.

I pray that peace flows over you.
Thank you. For the compliment and for your encouragement to see what might be publishable. My first step would be printing out all the ones I've written and trying to organize them to some degree. But your words mean a lot so I thank you very much.
These are great but my fav is the first, Flutterbye. Hibiscus is a wonderful vibrant colored flower, I can see why Em liked it. My favorite is the Poppy. I'm wondering if your fav flower has anything to do with personality?
Sign in or sign up to post a comment.

A Poem -- If You Want To

I wrote this for a friend many years ago. I read it to Emilee. I found it in a notebook a few days ago. I want to share it, in case someone might like to pass it along or read it to someone, or somehow maybe it will help someone express what they would like to say but are having difficulty putting it into words. If I were sick, I would surely want to have someone who cared deeply enough to say this to me. And, a person doesn't need to be sick to say this to them. Say it because they are well and you care about them. A person reading this to me would win a piece of my heart. 

I don't even know if I meant this to be me, or I meant it to be the Spirit that is within. The more I live and breathe, the more I know I don't know.

If You Want To

If you want to talk

            About life and/or death

            About something or about nothing

            About nothingness

If you want to walk

            Out amongst the trees, birds, clouds, sky,

            Sun, stars, or moon

            Or within the fertile landscape

            That is your imagination

If you want to cry and hold a hand

            Or be hugged

            Or be given space

If you want to laugh

            At nothing at all

            At what is absurd, at what isn’t

            At the moment, at eternity

If you want to share silence

            Empty or full

If you want to tickle your auditory nerves

            With poetry, with song, with music to

            Vibrate your soul

If you want to be distracted from your discomforts

If you want to meditate

If you want to explore your nightmares, visions, or terrors

            Or the imagery of your illness

If you just want to be,

            Wherever you are

            However you are

            And need a companion

            To be with you

Or near you

In body

Or spirit


You can call on my name

5 people like this post.
Sandy sent you a hug.
Sign in or sign up to post a comment.
Neal, Thomas like this comment
That is beautiful. This should be posted at every Hospice site and or printed on medical material that is given to patients. Being able to talk and interact fully to my loved one through this illness has been so helpful. Not everyone has that ability or luxury and may need a nudge. Another beauty of it is it doesn't cost a penny.
5 people like this comment
I pray that you find peace.
Neal, Thomas like this comment
I needed this today. It’s my birthday, and I’m feeling sad. Thanks, Neal.
Deborah, Thomas like this comment
I have something that I hope will cheer you up a little bit for your birthday it will be ready shortly be on the lookout
Susan J, Thomas like this comment
Happy birthday... took forever to upload but here it is hot off the presses
Susan J, Thomas like this comment
Well, that made my day! You’re so right: Everybody gets the damn blues from time to time. Thank you, Neal!
Thomas likes this comment
James Taylor does that song the heck of a lot better than I do but I thought it might just bring a smile.
Thomas likes this comment
It sure did!
Thomas likes this comment

dont know if you like james taylor... but this is real pretty, thought you might like... it's him...not
Susan J, Thomas like this comment
Love it!
Thomas likes this comment
Sign in or sign up to post a comment.
rollerFetching more entries....

Vital Info


February 10, 2017

North Haven, Connecticut 06473

Cancer Info

Pancreas Cancer

Stage 4


Posts: 144
Photos: 5
Events: 0
Supporters: 53
Friends: 79
-Made: 0
-Received: 752
-Posts: 75295
-Photos: 4470

New Here?

We are a community of cancer survivors supporting each other. Sign up to comment or create your own cancer blog. Already a member? Sign in