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      Date: 2021-04-21 11:43:49

      A poem for Earth Day 2021



      In Search of Manu [lxix]

      "The earth we abuse and the living things we kill

      will, in the end, take their revenge, for in

      exploiting their presence, we are diminishing our

      future."[lxx]



      i.

      I fear for my cherished land,

      With a sorrow in my heart,

      As I witness our modernity

      Tear the fragile earth apart.

      I look above, the chromatic skies

      Where hawks and eagles soar,

      And tremble silent with my thoughts:

      They'll be safe harbors nevermore.

      In pain I bare witness as

      Emerald columns of evergreen,

      Majestic redwood, oak, and elm,

      Vanish from our forests' scene.

      And of our noble canyons

      Where the mighty rivers roar,

      Weakened by the will of time,

      They collapse upon their shores.

      Yes, I fear for my cherished land,

      With a sorrow in my heart,

      As I witness our modernity

      Tear the fragile earth apart.



      ii.

      I cry for my Nation's living,

      Nature's children who must endure

      Imminent peril of extinction,

      Man, and beast, Rich and poor.

      Ancient species' sacred homes,

      Vanquished by iron plow;

      A necropolis of whooping cranes,

      Condors, Wolves, and Spotted Owls.

      Habitats of graceful beauty,

      Perfumed flowers, and plumage,

      Fragmented, isolated, wasted

      By our civilization's pillage.

      Nor are spared the vibrant seas,

      Where Fish and Whale and Dolphin

      Struggle to survive a refuge

      Ravaged and polluted: humankind's destruction.

      Yes, I cry for my nation's Living,

      Nature's children who must endure

      The imminent peril of extinction,

      Man and beast, Rich and poor.

      iii.

      I'll be father to my land,

      The earth is my estate.

      I'll be teacher to its children.

      So shall be my mandate:

      I'll not hand industry license

      To effuse its waste in our water,

      Which destroys the ancient ecosystem:

      Tantamount to mass slaughter.

      Through treaty, vow, and summit,

      My pledge to global neighbors:

      Deter cataclysmic collapse;

      So our survivors can be our inheritors.

      Through my sovereignty I will affirm

      That Mankind and Earth are entwined.

      Flora and Fauna and each human being,

      Cohabit one home; pray we thwart its decline.

      Yes, I'll be father to my land,

      The earth is my estate.

      I'll be teacher to its children.

      So shall be my mandate.





      Epilogue



      "The Earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth."[lxxi]






      [lxix][lxix] The Manu Rain Forest in Eastern Peru which is still an intact biosphere and has the richest

      concentration of life on Earth.The Manu Rain Forest in Eastern Peru which is still an intact

      biosphere and has the richest concentration of life on Earth.

      [lxx] Marya Mannes,1958

      [lxxi] Seattle, Chief of the Susquamish Indian Tribe, 1851.




      Date: 2021-04-17 00:30:03

      Some thoughts about caring for the Loss of a pregnancy or newborn

      When the outcomes of our patient's pregnancies end in miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death, we struggle to find the
      right approach to break the news to them, treat them medically and/or surgically, help them recover physically and
      emotionally, and console them in their grief. Most of us have not been taught to provide this bereavement care. We
      learn fast that there are hospital nurses and social workers, bereavement counselors and therapists, support groups
      and religious ministries to whom we can refer our patients for immediate bereavement care and subsequent follow-up. We
      can do the D and C and we can attend and assist in the birth of the baby who has experienced an intrauterine death.
      But then, for many Obstetricians, we refer our patients for bereavement care. When we hold in the palm of our hand an
      18 week fetus immediately after our patient miscarried or attend the stillbirth of a term pregnancy, our intellectual
      knowledge and rational thought fade as we struggle to find the right words to say. Unlike the repetition of performing
      a surgical procedure, no matter how many times we have experienced a loss with our patients, it does not become
      easier.

      Although the stillborn baby which might have been born viable represents the greatest emotional and management
      challenges, we must recognize any loss in pregnancy as a life-altering event for our patients. The care of the patient
      experiencing a Pregnancy Loss is a paradigm for what we do as physicians. It tests not only our clinical skills and
      judgments but stretches the fibers of the human aspect of caring very thin. Although we might ask, "how can we heal
      when our patients' children are incurable, when they are suffering or when they die or what do we do when the advanced
      technology that has become a part of our black bag fails", we must understand that we can heal by providing comfort ,
      empathy and hope. As bad as this experience is for our patients, we can make it better. If we remain aware that we are
      the link between the stillborn baby and the bereaved family, that we were the first to touch and hold their child,
      albeit their stillborn child, then we can share this with them, remember this with them, and from this point forward,
      heal with them. The bond we form becomes the unbreakable fiber, which strengthens and indeed cements our role in the
      doctor-patient relationship.


      Date: 2021-03-30 15:08:33

      "There is a need to instill a sense of how important our influence and presence is to our patients when they experience their losses. As physicians, we must formulate an approach which will permit us to provide our patients the comfort and hope they require and should expect from us. I believe we must grasp and understand our own feelings to better serve our patients: we must serve our patients though both science and humanism. By becoming more introspective and more emotionally involved in what we are doing, our compassion will become evident and our patients will benefit. Technology indeed provides better diagnostic and therapeutic medical care, but as more technology is developed and utilized, health professionals may become more reliant on that technology and less on their interpersonal skills. They will have to learn –or relearn- and practice the traditional art of medicine, of listening and talking to patients, holding their hands, being at their bed side, while complementing the use of modern technology and advanced science. We as physicians must assure that the benefits of these technologies are fully realized but that their expanding sphere of influence does not disenfranchise the patient nor de-personalize the physician-patient relationship.


      Date: 2021-03-30 15:08:33

      "Inherent in what defines the physician-patient partnership is an unfaltering responsibility of the physician and an unconditional trust of the physician by the patient. Together these bond the chasm between the vulnerable patient and the knowledge and experience of the physician; a synergy of the need for care and the privilege of caring. I believe the medical professional at all levels must step back from each moment in his/her patient care routine, and reflect on what he or she is doing, why it is being done and what influence it is having on their patient’s lives. This self-reflection is integral to professionalism for it encourages the formation of a philosophy of care and ethic of practice, which in turns fosters self-examination and meaning, empathy and compassion." M.Berman


      Date: 2021-03-30 15:10:07

      Affirmations

      You are the dedicated and the dear;
      Who bravely face the abyss
      With courage that speaks
      Your truths
      To the unfaltering oaths
      Upon which you swore;
      A grace of caring
      Which comes from your
      Outstretched hands
      and noble souls and more…
      Your calling:
      A strength,
      To strike and penetrate
      As coulters1
      to shear each morsel
      Of disease and despair
      Into infinite shards;
      To awaken the safely guarded
      Hopes of humankind’s promise
      As life’s order is at last restored,
      Returning to us the dreams
      To freely breathe the air,
      To walk hand in hand
      Upon the byways and the beaches,
      And travel distant shores,
      And speak of todays and tomorrows
      Once again with smiles
      And even drops of tears;
      Gleams of gratitude and affirmations,
      For you, the dedicated and the dear.
      © 2020 Michael R. Berman, MD


      Date: 2021-03-30 15:10:07

      Today as Thanksgiving, 2020 approaches, I would like to recognize the mothers and the children, globally, who are starved for food, and the many who give of themselves to aid in their struggle to survive with the pain of hunger.

      One such person and organization among many is Kate Hudson, World Food Programme ambassador, for the UN organization, World Food Programme recipient of the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize. (http://www.wfp.org). I am dedicating the following excerpt from a poem I wrote to her and the UN World Food Programme organization.

      Dreaming of Amalthea

      ..and dream...of those, and thank,
      Who reach beyond the bar,
      Whose conscience lives both near and far
      To hear the cry; hunger's cry,
      And stand steadfast, aware
      To know their vision be to share
      Their harvest with those they've seen
      To sleep on city streets
      and upon parched earth,
      where leaves once lush and green now crack,
      and lifeless, barren branches fracture ;
      Where famine be the slayer.

      Excerpted from the poem, Dreaming of Amalthea, dedicated to those who unselfishly commitment themselves to feed the needy. Amalthea, the horn of the goat that nourished Zeus, is the root origin of the term, "cornucopia or horn" of plenty.