Poems

My Poetry is about Hope and Despair; about Celebration and Sorrow. But mostly, it is about Hope. Forms of expression implicit in symbolic language; poetry and verse, song, prayer and ritual, have served a role in all cultures and societies to dispel the tears and foster the healing of death and human loss.  Why does the poetry of death triumph as a source of enduring inspiration and hope?

Though our spirits may fade and our viscera bleed, we are enabled by the agents of our humanity empowered by ancestral song and promise.

Comfort may be achieved through the transfer of the poet's feelings into the reader or listener's mind. It transports the reader from the distractions and influences of the outside world inward to the internal rhythms and solace of the personal soul. The poet becomes a healer and his poetry his staff. Through verse and meter, free of inhibition yet full with expression, the poet may articulate a sensitivity and empathy and provoke this introspection and inner peace. A poem is transformed into a message of hope. There is wonderment and magic in the words of a poem. Each word is selected for its individual meaning within the context of the entire poem. A few properly selected words can move the reader to tears and awaken the primal emotions of joy, promise, despair and hope. A poet should evoke emotion in his work and write as if each poem is written with the poet's last words.

The language of poetry, within the broader context of its 'parent body' (literature,) has always had as its great themes, love, loss and death. The inclusion of hope to these thematic elements is worthwhile if not essential for, (as humans) we have the capacity to bring hope to a despair that is uniquely created by our humanity and our human conditions.

As an Obstetrician, my professional career has involved a striving to bring comfort and healing to children, born and yet to born, and to mothers through their years of childbearing and beyond. It has been the cause in my life. I have been uplifted by the triumphs of birth and healing and depressed by the failures. Yet I have always tried to look beyond the failures in search of the triumphs. I have counseled patients at the darkest times of their lives, when their children have died, and I have turned to the comfort of personal reflection, poetry and self-expression to better help me help my patients. I have learned that by writing down thoughts which might elucidate my feelings more clearly than the spoken word, I have become a better physician.



"...Poetry{sic}gives the patient a voice for his or her suffering. It may not alter the activity of the disease, but in merely providing a voice it comforts the patient in ways that no medication can.

"If medicine protects life then(sic) literature interprets it"

"Art, poetry(sic) is human intelligence playing over the natural scene, ingeniously affecting it toward the fulfillment of human purpose."

"The Poet's gift...awakens in a special way the emotions of those who feel wordless in the face of loss."

"By making us stop for a moment, poetry gives us an opportunity to think about ourselves as human beings on this planet and what we mean to each other." 

"By making us stop for a moment, poetry gives us an opportunity to think about ourselves as human beings on this planet and what we mean to each other." Rita Dove

"Communication is the web of human society. The structure of a communication system with its more or less well defined channels is in a sense the skeleton of the social body which envelops it. The content of communications is of course the very substance of human intercourse. The flow of communications determines the direction and the pace of dynamic social development."

 

Selected Poems


"Only those within whose own consciousness the suns rise and set, the leaves burgeon and wither,can be said to be aware of what living is."
Joseph Wood Krutch

Netzah   

[Eternity] 

 

Could I have died so soon,   

So soon that my cries  

Were silenced in your womb? 

 

So soon that I'll never touch   

Your breast nor feel  

Your hands caress   

My brow?  

 

So soon that you never got   

To sigh and cry  

Sweet tears of joy,   

For your first child,   

Your first born boy?  

Could I have died so soon? 

 

I  suspect not,    

For I felt the passion   

Of your love around me   

As my heartbeats slowed,   

Then stopped.  

 

As I lay motionless,    

I heard the misery  

In your cries that   

I would not be born alive   

And wondered, why?   

 

Yesterday father, you fathered me.    

Today dear mother, you birthed me.   

I was there, You were there.   

We all stood witness.  

 

I heard your whispers,    

That you love me.   

I heard you tell each other   

How beautiful I was viewed  

In my eternal quietude.  

I even felt your soft caress   

As you held me to your breast. 

 

On this morn, mourn not for me.    

With ethereal grace I have a name.   

I have a home, I have a life...  

To live through all eternity. 

 

1994  

Netzah,  one of ten fundamental forces or Sefirot of   

Jewish Mysticism , means eternity  and represents the conquest or capacity for overcoming.   Alexander died in   

utero one day before his birth.  The cause of his death   

was from a  of a true knot in his  umbilical cord.  After   

the birth, his mother and father  and family held him   

 for hours, in love.  

  
 

Hope 

 

When roses lose their loveliness  

When rivers cease to flow;  

When sunlight fails to warm the air,   

When stars no longer glow. 

 

When birds cannot take to flight,  

When a ruby's luster fades;  

When leaves refuse to fall from boughs,  

When trees cannot give shade. 

 

When fields of flowers wither,  

When clouds cease making rain;  

When mountain ranges cast no shadows,   

When prairies cannot grow grain. 

 

When these natural wonders end,  

When there's no  dusk or dawn;  

When all life's miracles cease to be....  

...Only then will my hope be gone. 

 

1992  

                This expectant mother had a miscarriage in  

                her fourth month of  her pregnancy, after five years of  

                infertility and several cycles of in-vitro fertilization.   

                She has no children at home and is determined to   

                continue her quest for a child.  

 

 

 

  

   Aurora 

 

Part lost is my   soul,  

But not lost my hope.  

My strength still remains;  

I am able cope.  

For on this day  

When my child has been taken,  

I look towards the heavens.  

I've not been forsaken. 

 

The sun darts back   

And forth  in between  

Clusters of clouds,  

Yet few shadows are seen.  

For there shining through  

Is a hope which will brighten,  

And fade all the sorrow;  

My burden's to lighten. 

 

1989  

               The indelible trauma of the demise of fetal life.  If  

                this happened one time it would be too much.  This  

                patient endured two unexplained fetal deaths and felt   

                she would not surrender her faith.  She had a healthy   

                son one year after this last loss.  

  

 

 

 

Gemini 

 

Behold my body cares for a wondrous  

Harvest grand and full.  

Two beings longing for birth  

With one singular purpose,  

To reveal their soul. 

 

With delight  in my womb   

I yearn to touch and cry.  

And when birth arrives,  

A passion I'll consume  

And  behold my Gemini. 

 

1989  

              Gemini    means  the Twins, in Latin, and in classical   

                mythology   means  "great twin brethren."  This mother   

                was exposed to DES and had multiple miscarriages   

                because of a weakened  cervix[incompetent cervix.} When   

                she was pregnant  with this twin pregnancy, she had a   

                suture placed like a purse string around her cervix to keep   

                it from dilating prematurely. She remained at bedrest   

                throughout her entire pregnancy and delivered twin   

                girls at full term.  

  

 

 

 

Betrayed 

 

Liquor about my child   

Entombed,   

confined within  

My faltered womb  

How you betrayed all my  

Life's hope.  

Yet it is hope  

That will befriend and bath   

her primal soul  

With sweetness to  

Eternity's end. 

 

1994  

                All too often a mother will have a disorder of the   

                amniotic fluid  leading to Perinatal loss.  These   

                unexpected and disastrous events led  me to write these   

                lines.   

  

  

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