The Same, But Broken

Fragility blindsides –
I am woman.

Courageous, some say –
a sentiment beyond my reach
having not chosen this state.

Fragility is pervasive –
body reduced to miniscule fibers,
stretched, torn, bordering
on broken.

Overwhelmed, mind obsesses –
will neither organize
nor let go…

If only I could let go…

I am weeping
and not

Weeping from frustration –
immediate impossibility –

Unwilling to weep for totality of loss –
it is beyond me.

Illness is regarded
with disgust,

There is no equality for the disabled

And, yet…

Rawness –
stripped of busy-ness –
renders me as any other

A soul yearning for a meaningful existence.

Maybe illness is the great equalizer.

(The Same, But Broken was first written in December of 2014, when I suffered from severe Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.  It is revised here.)



Take me to the desert
with mountains at our side,
walk with me in shadows,
let nature be our guide

We’ll stroll amongst the cacti,
pay homage to the quails;
take me to the desert
help me gather tales

The seasons are passing,
we’re running out of time;
take me to the desert
to heal this heart of mine.


By the time you read this, Ric and I will be on the road, headed south.  Texas and Arizona proved to be places of healing for me last year, and I hope that this journey will continue that process.



masks the depth
and breadth of ability –
houses more than anticipated
room for expansion, however;
current state of disrepair –
walls buckling, wiring faulty,
and security systems failing –
compromises output.

holds a certain charm,
character well-earned,
but it would be useful
to install a mechanism
for locking out the past –
perhaps the future too –
eliciting and validating
the fullness of present.

Paper Pushing

I am contributing!

Are these lessons not
abundance – success?

Authorities are dissatisfied;
want me back in the game,
insist disability has an end –
analyze me to depletion
their plans shutting me down,
unforgiving –

Encouragement is called for,
and hopeful help,
something to prod progress

This bureaucratic tapping
turns on me,
creativity breaks down.



scaling a steep
cliff wall

desiring relief,
a sign to indicate
a turning point
an exit

nothing worldly
can calm anxiety
life on hold

warms, reassures,
cannot counter
looming reality

stifled, begging
willing to deal
response absent
pleas hollow

to fear is not an option
strength called for
and courage

love and compassion
the only sword
of significance
battling disease.

(May 12th is Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Awareness Day.  M.E. is a debilitating disease that attacks all systems in body leaving 25% of its victims permanently bed bound.  To date, due to lack of research, there is no effective treatment or cure, even though this disease effects over 1/2 million Canadians and many more worldwide.)


A look back to two years ago. Sometimes we need the perspective of the rear-view image to put the present in better focus. How far we have come. (Photo from our earlier, healthier days.)

One Woman's Quest II

Preoccupation with my own woes blinded me to my husband’s suffering, which culminated in a heart attack on Saturday night.  We are

“That’s what happens to caregivers,” a callous nurse commented.  Am I supposed to feel guilty?

Unable to either drive myself, or push my own wheelchair, I am reliant on the goodwill of others to get me to the hospital, although even then, my body’s limits scream:  Halt!

I trust that my husband is in good hands, and getting the help he needs.  Meanwhile, I am home, alone, processing a gamut of emotions and what if’s.

thThis is not his first heart attack.  The first was silent, and according to the specialists, all but fatal.  It caused sufficient damage to have us all on edge.  Thank God I saw the signs and called 9-1-1 this time around.  The hospital said they will not release him until either medications…

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Investment Talk

It’s all about investment, really
life, I mean – make a deposit,
withdraw – hope that in the end
the gain is worth more than
the cost – a healthy balance.

Have been running deficits,
too focused on serving others,
practicing the art of giveaways –
incentives to capture attention
(affection too, if I’m honest.)

I’m every marketer’s dream –
impulsive, in the moment,
disbelieve that time is money –
illness having dumped time
on my lap in massive dollops

I’d say energy equates with
income, begets funds – all
redundant now, overdrawn
as I am, no safety deposit
securing balanced health.

Dear Legs

May have been remiss
in expressing appreciation
how you carried me
all these years – stride
confident, pace swift,
head turning grace –

we wobble now, you and I,
uncertainty in our strength
stilted soldiers forging against
a tide of contrary currents
tentative, yet determined

visions of better days amuse
memories of nights spent dancing
getting down with disco, and
days spent swimming laps
prepping for provincial meets

we were champions, you and I
beauties taking on the world
by leaps, participants in a race
against an indefinable foe
believers in a destiny that
was not defined by limitations

I may have been remiss
in expressing my appreciation
hope you now know that
each step to me is precious,
that every time you hold me
upright my gratitude is sincere

there is world yet to discover
and time at hand, and you and I,
dreams intact, still burn with a passion,
hear the beating of an inner drum
rhythms calling us to dance –
should life give us another chance.



What Future?

Uplifted by invitations,
cherish the extended
kindness – crushed by
the inevitable no that
follows – limitations
a sad reality – energy
restricted to one or
two tasks, no more;
just thinking about it
exhausting enough.

What road lies ahead
for those of us cut down
too early – abandoned by
our bodies, left out of
life – while others veer
towards celebration,
vitality, shall we just
drift aimlessly, blood
and flesh dissolving
into the cosmic river
of being, imperceptible,
undefinable, forgotten?



Used to be a teacher –
socially respectable –
graded papers, set
lesson plans, passed.

Now, locked out, I am
tossed like dirty laundry
heaped atop the sullied
citizen pile – a dirty,

tangled mess in need
of cleansing – those
indistinguishably ill
usurpers of public money.

Once, knew definitively
the standards set by
ministry guidelines,
curriculum based goals

now, am dispossessed,
mind lost, unable to focus
on details, angered by
trivialities, a nonentity.

How I miss the certainty
of rubrics, daily routines
set by hours of sweat –
sweet organization.

I am the student now,
submerged in this disarray
of emotional churning
unsolicited learning

environment in which
achievement is seldom
honored – no A’s awarded
for surviving life tests.