Rhymes, Rants & Accolades from North Central BC

Archive for May, 2019

My Brother Was Born In March

My brother was born in March
and died in March
My husband was born in April
and died in April

What is it about March and April
that marks the beginning,
and also the ending,
of some of my
favorite people?

My brother never liked
his birth month.
For many years
he’d had health problems.
“If I can get through March,”
he’d always say,
“I’ll be fine.”

This year
he almost made it.
The twenty-seventh was
Close to the end of the month.
But not close enough…

My Spider Plant

A spider plant’s known to filter
pollutants
from the air.
It’s tendrils extend
from behind
my computer
and television set.

They sniff and snort what’s
been reported
on Global and
The National.
Their tiny green eyes scan
Facebook.

They’ve heard me sing
off-key.
And they’ve inhaled
burnt toast
in the morning.
No wonder the poor thing’s
so spindly and sick.

Maybe I should give it
a splash of water
and put some music on
the CD player…

Shingles

Shingles.
Such an odd name
for a disease
I wasn’t supposed to have.

For weeks I’d had
aches and pains
One night the pains
were in my chest.

I embarked on
an adventure-filled trip
in an ambulance
to be
hooked up to every
heart monitor in
the hospital.

“Not your heart” said the
friendly physician.

“But you have a rash
On your back
that looks an awful lot
like shingles.”

“No” I said.
“My mother never had
chicken pox and
I never had
chicken pox. I am
immune to shingles”

Turned out I had shingles.

Opportunity

Four-thirty in the morning
listening to the radio.
They’re talking about crises.
‘Bout how a crisis
can lead to
opportunity.

The greatest crisis
in my life
was when my son
was struck down by
schizophrenia
at the tender age of
twenty-one.

At first I couldn’t
believe it.
My son could not
be suffering from a
devasting brain
disorder
when his adult life had
just begun.

Other people’s children
were more likely
than mine
to suffer a disability.
I was an excellent
mother.
My children were not
mistreated or
neglected.

Schizophrenia
provided me with
opportunity
for sorrow,
guilt, anger;
all the way down
the scale of
human emotion.

After awhile
I began reaching out to
mothers, fathers
daughters, sons
friends
with loved ones
who had
schizophrenia.

I discovered an
opportunity
for empathy,
humility
and
unconditional
love.

MAYDAY! MAYDAY! MAYDAY!

“MAYDAY! MAYDAY! MAYDAY!”
screamed the voice of the pilot,
his words
piercing through the
mundane air traffic control
communications
emulating
from distant speakers

“Good God! the plane’s off the radar screen
It must have gone down…!!!”

CP AIR FLIGHT 21- JULY 8, 1965
is what’s inscribed in stone
at the memorial cairn
in 100 Mile House,
where scores of
rescue workers,
fire fighters,
spectators,
journalists
and ultimately,
law enforcement experts,
followed the logging roads
and old bush trails
more than a half century ago.

“Bodies falling
from the tree-tops…”

It’s etched in the old man’s
memory from when he helped
search for survivors.

The plane had burst into pieces.
From 15 thousand feet
it slammed into the forest.
Bodies of fifty-two passengers
and crew
scattered amongst
trees, brush and aircraft debris.

“Three days to find them all….”

Explosive residue from a bomb
detonated on the floor
of a lavatory.
No accident
but a deliberate act
of murder.
Impossible to determine
the culprit who’d
wreaked such havoc.

Victims from small northern
communities
such as Burns Lake,
Fraser Lake and Chetwynd.
And from as far away
as Winnipeg.

Four possible suspects
whose loved ones
learned
their dead relative may have been
a murderer.

Was it the gambler?
The explosive expert?
The loner who liked guns?
Or the angry young man with a pistol
in his pack?

We may never know.

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