Today I wrote six poems, catching up on my July poem a day work, and getting ahead by one day. I’ll include one of the poems here in a sec. First I want to talk about having gone to a Story Charming party on Saturday. If you don’t know the Story Charmer, I urge you to seek out her blog and get yourself invited to one of her parties. What happens there is what used to happen around the fire: people gather, they get talking, and they tell their stories. Pema Teeter is the Story Charmer, and she gets us started. What arises is always amazing. Sometimes way deep, always touching. People are never what you think they are on the surface. Never.

Trying to remember that in day to day life is futile. That’s why listening to each other’s stories, particularly STRANGERS’ stories is vital. If only we were forced to do this on a weekly basis, the entire world would change. I think of myself as an evolved, liberal, loving and peaceful person. Yet I label people just like everyone else does. Maybe not with hate, but I judge. Then they bare their souls with their stories, and I am flayed. Remorseful for my judgments. Full of love for them and compassion for their suffering.

So, here’s my poem. I have had some pain management help. I know people who have had even more. I do not live with daily pain, I know people who do. That said, here’s this:


We sufferers gather in a bright

room, filled with hope or

dread, depending on our personal

bent. With wary or eager eyes

we watch and listen as the

healers discuss all our meds,

our injuries, our ailments, our

illnesses that bring us together in

clinic. We are here to manage our

pain. The one thing we all have in

common is pain. Unrelenting, daily

misery. It has us whipped, beaten

down. Now we shall rise up, and

control this devilish beast of

nine tails that flogs us morning to

night. We learn to breathe deep. To

organize our medications, to

swim in warm water and soak in

hot tubs. We go to physical

therapy, learn how to apply

electric or magnetic relieving

equipment. Some of us resort

to surgery. But how do you teach