As I have in past years, I again present some poems that were read at a recent Schwartz Center Grand Rounds poetry slam. Thanks to those who sent them along and gave me permission to post them here.
By Ramneet Kaur,Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow at HMS
Being gay and glum,
two phases of life,
like dawn and dusk.
Without tasting the acrid taste of pain
flavor of gaiety cannot be relished.
Time the best healer.
The excruciating pain of all agonies
suffered in life
subsides with time.
Everyday dawns with a ray of hope
and life keeps evolving.
Poignancy makes the foundation of life strong.
Being gay and glum,
both states of mind,
mind governs our attitude.
Human beings always complexed in the intricacies of life.
Human life is a journey.
This world our sojourn.
The real purpose of life is to explore the unexplored
to have an enlightened mind,
for the salvation of our soul
to enter into the world with no pain
and be our saviour.
When Your Doctor Needs A Doctor
By Grace Perez-Lirio, MD
Adult Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Healthcare Upper Falls
Doctors encounter illness on a daily basis
Presenting in different guises and faces
With patients complaining of pain or a lump
We aim to provide treatment that is prompt
But when faced with illness as well
Who do we turn to for help and tell?
Textbooks and the web, our usual source
Ourselves, colleagues and oh, our own doctor of course
But often faced with too much to do
Doctors sometimes delay for a day or two
Hoping things will improve when left alone
But often worrying about what is unknown
What is difficult is just to assume
For sick doctors, there is not much room
For who will take care of the caregiver
When he sits next to you by the hall on a stretcher?
Yes, patients see doctors as positive influence
With a healthy lifestyle and disease-free existence
But we do get sick just like everybody else
As we are vulnerable to cancer cells
But armed with extra knowledge and understanding
We oblige ourselves to regularly exercising
Even then it may just not be enough
Since our job, indeed is quite tough
So next time you see your doctor, go ask
“How are you? Are you fit for the task?”
To take care of your doctor is something to think about
Because you might find yourself one day without
April Day – Today
By Geoffrey Brahmer
Plastic Surgery & Hand Surgery
This day will never come
again. The flaming yellow
forsythia in Cambridge Common,
although it may return
year after year, will not bloom the same —
The light, the day, the number of blossoms,
the color, the shape, the people passing by,
and the way the clouds move across the sky:
All will be different.
And so, with the fiery red tulips,
bursting forth in neighbors’ yards,
or the magnolia trees in the Back Bay,
or the many apple, plum, and cherry
blossoms that light up this New England day.
What I see today, will
Never again be the same,
again the same.
And as it is for the bursting flowers and
blossoming trees, so is it also
for you, and for me:
Today’s thoughts, pains, loves,
and Dreams – the way we feel and touch today,
although all may seem, to return again
tomorrow, and the next day, will never again –
NEVER return again as on this day:
Never again like today.
Today, the subway glides across the Charles River;
Monday morning commuters look up briefly from
their Heralds and Globes and see
sky and water a slate gray.
A lone sea gull veers into view.
Along the Boston Esplanade, black
(still winter) tree limbs vie with cherry
blossoms and tiny green leaves. And in
the distance: the Prudential Tower is a
dark shadow in the Hancock’s blue glass.
Although it is already late April,
snow is predicted later today.
Moving forward beyond the Charles T-Stop,
an island of red, yellow, orange and pink tulips
greet us far below at the entrance of Charles Street.
The tulips yell to us: “STOP! LOOK!”
Before it is too late.
But, it is already too late . . . .
as we once again enter the subway tunnel,
high above the tulips, moving towards Park Street Station,
neither pausing or stopping, or putting on the brakes.
Most of the passengers go back to their books and newspapers.
Others start to prepare for the morning onslaught at the next
train stop, positioning themselves in their seats, putting on their packs.
This April, I feel like I am missing the Spring –
all of its poetry swallowed up by the
deadening prose of incessant busy work,
morning and evening commutes, and
Time feels squandered – a
second, a minute, an hour
at a time – days and weeks passing,
then months, and finally years,
in a gray foggy blur of too long of
work weeks, piling up like loads of
stacked lumber ready for sale.
Always on someone else’s time. . . .
Time feeling scrunched up now; life
passing like a subway ride, moving forward
day after day to work, watching the seasons
come and go behind steel, concrete, and glass,
but not feeling a part of the Spring;
Instead, only counting grains of sand
falling through an hour glass:
today, and day after day.
At Kenmore Station, I get off.
Having to change trains again,
I wait patiently in the dimly lit
waiting area for my next ride:
Looking forward (from whence I came)
and backwards (my destination today) . . . .
. . . . I see two black tunnels.
It is but a short wait, I know.
Soon a bright, bright light will
emerge, followed by another train,
another day, another ride.
But I want to cry today.
Feeling my life rushing forward,
flowing outward like the tides,
I want to stop, to hold on to time,
like a barnacle clinging to a rock’s edge.
But the moment, this very moment,
like today’s cold April wind,
Has already passed me by.