Memories of Turandot (post #3 in my 30 in 30 challenge)

The past is always with us

I think as I pick up

An old playbill

From an evening so long ago

Notes from an aria

Float in the air around me

As I glance at the pages

Warmed by the bittersweet memories

Of love 


and timeless


I wrote this poem as part of a class assignment for my Therapeutic Writing program. I was experimenting with writing in a cleaner, simpler way (my other poems are more wordy and complex). This poem was inspired by an old opera playbill from Puccini’s “Turandot.”  It’s meaningful to me because I made a special trip to Pensacola to see it with my mom in 2011.  I used to buy my parents season tickets to the Pensacola Opera until my dad passed away in 2008.  It was a bittersweet experience to be going in his place. Turandot features “Nessun Dorma”, the aria that always reminds me of my father. The music and talent were so amazing, it moved me to tears.  Then, a month after the performance, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  So, all of these things flash before me whenever I look at the playbill.  It feels like a little snapshot of a time that holds so many different layers of meaning and feelings for me.


A Prayer for the Newly Diagnosed (inspired by Bill)

May your fears be made less

by the love of

family and friends

May the healers who

treat you

be skilled as well as kind

May you be able to

ask for and accept help

without shame or regret

May you have guardian angels

lighting your way

in the darkest of times

And may God bless you

with courage


and faith

to face

whatever lies




Space In My Heart (in memory of Jimi B.)

There’s a space in

My heart

Since you’ve been gone

That my tears can’t

Wash away

And my thoughts won’t

Leave alone

You were always there

When I needed you

And it hurts so much

Not being able to

Be with you now

I keep seeing you lying there

Not able to talk

Not able to move

Only a shadow of my friend

Who brought so much  love

And laughter

Into my world

I wonder what you’re feeling

And if you know how much

My heart is


My love and prayers

Are all I can offer you now

So far away

And after all you’ve given me

That seems like

So little

But I can’t give up


That I will see you smile

And hear you laugh

Again one day

And that your beauty

And friendship

Will fill again

This terrible emptiness

In my




Deep in the night

I lie awake

Praying for sleep to

overcome me

But I know my Pain

will not allow it

It is the Controller now

It takes over my body

It takes over my mind

Until I can’t remember

when It started

Or when I was



My Fear

Some nights

it whispers to me

in my dreams

a thing nameless and faceless

that chills my soul

Some days it


like a wounded animal

difficult to quiet

 impossible to ignore

My fear

It’s always there

hiding in my bones

and flowing through my veins        

My life

threatened by my own


Spared by the grace

Of God –

At least,

my fear whispers,

for now



intense, continual

frightening, maddening, depressing, crushing

pills, needles, doctors, prayers

easier, bearable



Memories are strong

Reminding me how

Weak I am

At times they feel

Like a lifetime away

Tiny pieces of myself

Suspended in the

Dulling haze of


Other times they reach out

And grab on to me

With the desperation

Of one helpless and


Holding on for fear

Of disappearing

Without a sound

I try to run away

But the more I resist

The stronger their hold

On me

Until I am the one

Left helpless and


Reaching out in desperation

For fear of disappearing

Without a sound

For fear of disappearing


(witten in 1985)

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