Weekly Photo Challenge Late: Unusual

This photograph reminds me of one of my favorite poems.  It is something to think about anytime you get caught up in the mainstream guilt of never doing quite enough in your life or in this world.  This poem really says it all in the grand scheme of things.  I never realized this as I “accidentally” leaned my homemade trellis against my garage one day when storm clouds came into view, planning to finish it later.  It had a very convenient overhang that kept all these little ones dry in the storm.  I looked out to see them all sitting there and took this shot with my telephoto from my house.  Unusual enough to make me dig out the camera for this shot and I felt happy for them that I did this.  I ended up leaving it here for the summer.

If I Can Stop One Heart From Breaking

by Emily Dickinson

If I can stop one heart from breaking,

I shall not live in vain;

If I can ease one life the aching,

or cool one pain,

Or help one fainting robin unto it’s nest again,

I shall not live in vain.

Daily Prompt: Longing for What Once Was

Yesterday I created a post dedicated to all the little birdies out in the storm.

Today I recalled a poem my Great Aunt Ruth used to read to me all the time when I was small.  It took me forever to remember what it was called.  All I could remember was the line “And hide his head under his wing, poor thing!”  I was thinking of this line when the little birds, mostly small robins, were starting to gather around my warm car in the parking lot yesterday.  I wished I had brought some kind of food, like bread or crackers, not that it’s good for them, but I don’t carry bird seed and all the berries they were trying to eat were covered in ice.  I supposed they just cracked the crystals like they do the hulls of the seeds they eat.

I long to hear my Aunt reading me those nursery rhymes again.  She passed on when I was only seven, but I was blessed to live with her from the time I was born until the age of four.  At that time, my parents began living in one of the farmhouses that was owned by my father’s step dad.  I never called him grandfather and hardly knew the man.  I didn’t know my paternal grandmother either.  She didn’t have anything to do with us anymore than she did her son, my father.  Which helped to create our perfect dysfunctional family.

But I digress.  My sister and myself began to spend weekends with my Aunt and Grandmother after we moved way up to Richmond.  They lived together in a bungalow in Detroit at the time.  I loved that little house and it’s still standing today.  I did a drive by and the neighborhood is still very well taken care of by all who still live there.  Had a white picket fence, at the time, as well as berry bushes, an apple tree and a sour cherry tree that we kids used to love to climb and eat our fill in the late summer.

I have worried about birds in winter for as long as I can remember and sometimes would leave my garage door up during storms so they could go inside to keep dry.  I thought about those words in the Nursery Rhyme about the “poor little robin.”  I took it to heart and wondered sometimes when it was cold, how they could even stay alive out there, even in a nest.  I think this is part of how humans are taught something called compassion.  Something that many adults don’t have to pass on anymore.  Hence the necessity for religious training that the modern liberal world mocks every chance they get.

The North Wind Doth Blow

(the way it was told to me)

The north wind doth blow and we shall have snow

and what will the robin do then, poor thing?!

He’ll sit in the barn and keep himself warm

and hide his head under his wing, poor thing!

Poor little things indeed!

Poor little things indeed!

Cancer

Just the name gives people pause.  I hate cancer.  Through the years most of my family and many friends have died from cancer or have been treated for this grievous disease.  It took my precious Aunt Ruth away from me when I was only 7 and she was 58 years old.    She helped raise me and her loss was deeply felt.  She was patient, kind and loving and used to play the organ at her church on Sunday.  She was a person raised in the Word and she lived in the Word until she went home to be with the Lord.  She used to take my sister and myself to Sunday School with her when we were old enough. img552

Saturday I lost my baby sister to the same insidious cell debacle.  While heaven may have yet another angel, we have one less loved one on earth.  She made it clear that she was not going to fight this with the usual aggression many do because she had waited until it was too late to have her symptoms diagnosed.  She had to suffer from an extremely cruel form of the disease, late stage esophageal cancer.  She was not able to eat or drink by mouth but refused to try any treatments or surgery due to the very poor 5% / 5 year survival rate for this type of cancer.  Instead she lived out the last months with a feeding tube and severe pain and digestive issues until the end.

I lost a friend to complications from breast cancer in 2007.  It was first thought that she had passed from a random infection due to her lowered immune system caused by the chemotherapy but it turned out the cancer had been spreading like wildfire into her brain and even though she appeared to be improving, she was gone within about ten days from planning her reconstructive surgery and admittance into the hospital.

Soon after her diagnosis, she had sent me an email that her daughter had sent to her entitled “Cancer Update From John Hopkins.”  After researching this online, it is stated to be a hoax.  It was never sent from this medical facility.  This is according to the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Copy of the original email hoax on about.com.

Email update regarding the hoax from hopkinsmedicine.org.

Perhaps many of you remember the constant cancer warnings that we grew up hearing in the 1950’s and 1960’s.  The one I remembered was a blow or injury to tissue.  While they now claim this is not a cause of cancer, I do know that my maternal grandmother suffered a fall and there was a lump on her chest.  They checked it after it grew and it was found to be malignant.  Now whether this was already there inside her body from her lungs or breast area, by the time they examined her, the cancer was spreading all through her body and they were not sure where it originated.  This was her third diagnosis since she was a younger woman and was treated for what the Dr thought was a late stage Melanoma.  Many years later a growth was biopsied from her mouth and found to be malignant at which time she was treated with radiation therapy.  It was over 20 years later that she finally succumbed to this horrible disease.  Both my sister and my grandmother smoked.

I wrote this poem when my friend and neighbor became terminally ill with what they called cancer of the unknown.  It was through her body as well by the time they first operated for pain in her abdomen.  At that time she was stage IV and decided against any type of treatment.  She finally agreed to some radiation because she was told that she may have a chance of being cancer free.  She was actually in good health to look at her, no real problems.  Right after the radiation treatments she began to go downhill very quickly and passed in 2011, eight months later.  It may have been a coincidence that she became worse after radiation, but this is not the first time I have seen my friends and family quickly succumb after agreeing to permit various cancer treatments.

Just go with your gut and try to make a well-educated decision if you ever find yourself about to confront this deadly disease.  Get second and third opinions, ask questions and know that no two people or cases will ever be the same.  You or your loved ones will be your best advocate to getting the best treatment in regards to your health.

Cancer Kiss My Ass!

Cancer kiss my ass
you sneaky sack of shit!
You creep inside my body
and make a mess of it.
You take away my family
and friends that I hold dear
until there’s only one of me
awaiting you with fear.
I know about the car crash
and the nutso with a gun
but you just bide your time
until you take out everyone.
Bite me!
CLewis © 2011

Poetry Inside of Me

Poetry Inside of Me.

Poetry Inside of Me

I have been writing poetry since I was a child.  I think that this is why I love songs so much.  The best of both worlds.  Poetry and music!  I have always wanted to record some of my music, or maybe get someone else to record it.  As well I do have to get a poetry book out, for the heck of it.  Some days I get up and it just comes pouring out of me.  I am a natural writer, and do write a lot.  I can’t figure why I procrastinate when it comes to any of my blogs.  This one just squirted out so I decided to post it right away.  I used to be paranoid about someone stealing my ideas even though I know the artist automatically retains the rights to his creations.  Now with these blogs, it automatically puts the date of when you publish your work publicly so as to remove any doubt of who the original creator is should someone try to take a song or poem that you wrote.  I used to send everything to the be copyrighted and that got expensive.

GET IT

We are here:
to live & learn, to laugh & cry
to love & hate to suffer & die.
Our life, of course, is not a test
to see if we can be the best.
But gives our God the way to heal
to hug someone, to make a meal.
We’re who we are, I don’t know why
that some are mean and other’s shy.
Make no mistake, that person’s nod
is really from the living God.
So any cruelty on a whim
is being done direct to Him.

Po’ Girl Shines © 2012

Enjoying Summer Evenings

Sometimes muggy but never cold

thank God the seasons won’t get old. 

The stars try peeking through the smog

the crickets and the croaking frog.

Reflected underneath the stars

are happy faces, speeding cars.

Po’ Girl Shines©

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