A.k.a. How not to live a Someday Life
With you, it is always whole and never half
You tinker with the possible
And dream whilst wide awake
You frame your own existence
Each wish do you fulfill
And no plan do you forsake
Conscience and tribunal
Calm and stormy seas
Poet and provocateur
You bring us to our knees
You live off the map
Into the abyss of promise and peril
You leap and laugh
Himself, he did then smile
And the wind, it did sing
I blow to a purpose
To live is the thing
By Kathleen McCluskey ©2015
INSPIRATION: My inspiration for this poem is my father who never stopped dreaming and who believed the possible was only a thought away and that the seemingly impossible was only bound not to happen if you never tried. He had every reason to despair but instead chose to turn his pain into the fuel that propelled him forward and gave his life purpose, compassion, and the courage to fight the good fight no matter the odds against him. I am a breast cancer survivor. I chose to awake from my surgery ready to get back to the joyous business of living. Thinking I might die taught me how to live.
By Rebecca Hammond
How much more, more can we take?
This suffering is surreal and lasting so long
Father please help us, we're too weak to stay strong
Some ask for joy and some ask for health
Some seek great riches and glory to self
I come before you with my face to the floor
Humbly and broken, Lord she can't take much more
And what must I do, for your healing hand?
We've prayed and we've prayed God I just can't understand
But I know that your ways are much higher than mine
I know that the answer will come in due time
I am pleading before you with all that I am
Please ease her pain as no mere man can
Please give me strong shoulders
And arms which to hold her
Give me wise words and silence as needed
The strength to comfort her in the times she feels cheated
Please tell me her cancer is defeated and gone
Give her time to rest after suffering so long
My daughter has cancer.
By Sabina Bhuiyan
A Ray of Hope
Among all the pain and the dirt
Among all the darkness and dust
Among all the bitterness and silence
There is laughter.
There is a little ray of light, making itself be known.
There is a growing patch of innocence, taking over its oppressors.
There are shining faces, smiling fearlessly back at the face of evil.
There is hope.
It streams through the open windows, choking the darkness, forcing it to leave.
It blooms from the hearts and settles on the smiling faces, taking the place of the dust.
It flows through the dirt, cleansing the room.
And all that’s left is a bright, sunny day,
full of endless possibilities.
By Laktia Dale
I’m sure no one wants to hear those words. They sting. Burn even. My eyes watered, flooding waters of connecting ponds. Shifted my thoughts, my reasoning, and even my beliefs. My belly filled with anger, and rage was quickly gaining ground. Air left, but not for long.
Words were erased from my language and all that could expel was hollow sounds. A mourning of the heart. A crushing of the spirit. A memory that I’d wish on no one, yet many experience it every day. I’m sure no one wants to hear those words, but still on that day, everything that I thought I knew, no longer mattered.
My mother died from colon cancer in May of 2015.
By John Jackson
It creeped into our lives one day,
On a routine visit, we heard the doctor say,
You have a spot upon your breast,
And then, of course, you know the rest.
The enemy is real, its name is cancer,
And thousands are working to find an answer,
It never sleeps, and without a sound,
It kills, and will, until an answer is found.
Our body is the cloak it wears,
No one can see the cross we bear,
The pain, the fear, the pain, the years,
Until it ends in untimely tears.
We cling to hope, and pray for death,
To overtake us in the night,
For the cancer has taken our very best,
And we are weary of waging a losing fight.
And still we cling to hope and ponder,
If the answer is just around the bend,
With each success our life grows fonder,
And helps to foster a lifted chin.
With all the cruelty life has thrown,
At us, we are still here,
We’ve learned our life is not our own,
But belongs to those who hold us dear.
The pain, the tears, the pain, the cost,
Of all the best this world can muster,
The pain, the years, the pain, the loss,
Of those who can’t stand to see us suffer.
Ball players, presidents, housewives all,
No discrimination of the great or the small,
We have no bargaining power, you and me,
To make immune a child of three.
The American Cancer Society it seems,
Is on the right track with a volunteer army.
But no matter the money that is raised this year,
None is more vital than what is raised here.
For we who reside in Covington County,
Have placed on cancer a $10,000 bounty,
And we have come tonight without our bed,
For we will not rest until cancer is dead.
Written for an ACS Relay for Life event 20 years ago. Since then I have survived aggressive prostate cancer, and recently uncovered my old poem that had been lost. If you are looking for a hero, look no further than a cancer survivor!
Roses, daffodils, peonies
Chrysanthemums and daisies
Grandmom worked and worked for hours
A beautiful garden was not easy
She watered, mowed, and weeded
It sure was a lot for her to maintain
But she was so proud of what she grew
Never once did she complain
Every time you spoke to her
About her garden she would brag
Of all the colors, shapes, and sizes
It was quite the large mixed bag
And now that she has left us
Her flowers surely mourn the loss
They bow their heads in sadness
For their dear beloved boss
I’d love to walk with her one last time
To watch those precious flowers grow
But her garden wasn't really flowers
It was all of us, you know?
My Grandmom recently passed away, she had fought cancer since 1996. She was the toughest of them all, and fought with grace and courage. She didn't even pass away from the cancer, it was all the other stuff that happens to your body, the surgeries and health risks, that took her. But she was the center of my universe and if there was one thing she loved, it was her family, and her garden. We are sad and broken without her, but her memory and spirit lives inside of us forever.
By Tamara Miles
My friend has prostate cancer. He’s depressed.
Today, I cover his English class.
A person who has never had cancer,
Like a person who has never been gay, or homeless,
or has never been shot down
In a plane over Iraq and ended up missing
An arm and a leg, or has never divorced
Or had an affair, or been born a Muslim,
A Mormon, or a Jew, cannot possibly
Understand the associated conflicts.
His father was a pilot. He’s from a small town,
Loves his wife and his dog. He’s a damn fine poet,
A loyal friend. On certain nights we’ve gotten
Drunk and listened to Dylan Thomas’ sonorous
Voice go on and on about a girl who should
Never fear, never fear the wolf in country sleep.
I’ve had precancerous cells,
A biopsy or two, procedures, my cervix
Removed for good measure in the hysterectomy,
But I didn’t lose my curly hair,
Spend days with my bald head over
The toilet, pray that South Carolina would
Forgodssake legalize medical marijuana
So I could get an appetite,
But I have experienced profound depression
With its sickening reckoning, a tidal wave
Of constant sorrow so that it’s hard to breathe
Much less go to work or give anybody
The love he or she deserves.
After 9/11, the wife of a man captured
By camera as he tumbled through the air
From one of the towers was furious at the suggestion
He jumped. “He would never commit suicide,”
She claimed. She has never, I bet, felt the brutal
Heat and threat of burn, lungs full of smoke
And chemicals, people screaming, dying
All around her an apocalypse, and found herself before
A window where, thank God, thank the angels,
There is oxygen --- crisp, clear, magnificent H20.
If my friend ever needs oxygen,
I pray he gets it in abundance.
Having never had to hold my breath
For the latest news about whether
I will live or die, my job is not to empathize
but to remember we can’t smoke near the tank.
For now, I’ll grade his papers,
And breathe in, breathe out. Never,
My darling, fear the wolf who threatens to huff,
And puff, and blow the house down.
This house is made of strong brick. Smoke
Goes on rising from the chimney.
My friend’s plane takes off.
I'm honored! On behalf of my friends and loved ones who bravely fought cancer and who have gone on to heaven --- and for those I love who are still fighting, I thank you for this acknowledgement. What an incredible prize! I will keep among my most precious possessions.
By Christopher Kenneth Hanson
It was through a St. Judes infomercial that I first became aware of certain youths whom battle to live day to day
through a variety of stages of cancer.
Some are seemingly bold cherubs that smile and sigh, with the wisdom of saints they sense and feel more than perhaps they know. They are the many beautiful people and youths faced with this situation and perhaps beyond comparison of any so known typical life they desire what many of our population without cancer, take for granted.
Some are seemingly bold cherubs, with bright hearts
and bold eyes, that look through my soul even through
the television screen informercial. They desire peace for themselves and others all at once. It is always a deep injustice that this cancer will strike someone dear sometime, often unaware.
May the heavens bless the Scientists and doctors whom work until they find solutions to this caustic disease which leave the dearest of us in wonder and hurt as well.
For directly or indirectly, the patients whom battle cancer will be forever dear to our hearts.
By Julie Carter
There was a memory soft in her mind
Of nights interrupted, and pain in kind
Bent over the borrowed hospital chair
Head on her lap, her hand in her hair
Artificial air the lullaby to which they slept
Tear tracks dry from where they had wept
Believing, knowing that time was short
They had read and re-read the doctor’s report
All time lost meaning, all words missing solace
Just the rending and tearing; how could life be so callous
Faith in one was above reproach
The other, to Jesus, she was not so close
Each day, without measure, the realization came
Their faith different, but their love one in the same
Miracles, visitations witnessed at each turn
Created a new understanding, the faithless did learn
Though fear never left their side
Acceptance grew warm, in each other they did confide
Dreams and wishes
Hopes and reminisces
Everyone more real as time ticked by
At times, fear won, and they continued to cry
Knowing, fearing that last good-bye
As the last day dawned, she stood all alone
Words were useless, there was nothing to condone
Life slipped away, but she left much behind
Strength, faith, and a new piece of mind
A legacy strong and true
Memories of her love and hopes for you
My Aunt Teresa was diagnosed with Small Cell Carcinoma (Lung Cancer) in January of 2012. By April of 2012 she had passed away. She had no children, but was the ultimate aunt. I joined her on her journey in February and never left her side. Through her illness we loved and supported each other. The afternoon of April 7th she let go, but not before impressing upon me the importance of life, family, and true happiness. She is and was my rock. This is for her.