Beneath It All

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Love’s a hitchhiker,
so innocent in its leap
that it doesn’t register
torn seats or sunroofs
but simply hears
come on in
and feels that smile
like a warm winter breeze,

but relationships
are rarely so simple:
the car must be washed
repaired, replaced
and trips planned
and changed with the
frequency of newborns’
diapers amidst increasing
conflict till compromise
like a windshield at eighty
against a centennial oak

but love, love is not so
complicated—once stripped
of metal and fuel it
shimmers naked, senses
open to sky and skunk,
blizzards and vistas,
and it’s never

blind but radiant as a star
and enigmatic as a body
after the heart’s

Thank you to the editors of The Tishman Review for first publishing this poem.


Living with Chronic Illness


The following quotes and suggestions are drawn from After the Diagnosis: From Crisis to Personal Renewal for Patients with Chronic Illness by Dr. JoAnn LeMaistre.


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“Being psychologically well while physically sick stems from a belief that your personal worth transcends physical limitations.”



“Belief in your self worth rarely emerges until what you have lost and grieved for stands second in importance to precious moments of inner peace and joy.”



When living with chronic illness:

1.  Develop realistic expectations.

2.  Actively approach problems by defining the problem and the desired outcome.

3.  Seek appropriate help.

4.  Save valuable energy by learning anger management and emotional efficiency.

5.  Participate in the world as positively and authentically as possible.

6.  Focus on the present moment and what nourishes you rather than punishing yourself by focusing on loss. Maintain your humanity and awareness, and cherish life’s gifts.


(Special thanks to mmorgan77 for first synopsizing this on

The Stars Within

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The tech who drew my blood inspired this sculpture.

Lab techs ensure that needed biological matter is obtained to aid in a diagnosis or that a person is well. Techs usually do this with as little pain and stress to each person as possible.

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Yet, most often they hear things like I hate needles as they collect blood, feces, urine, sputum, with kindness and compassion despite too little appreciation for how critical their work is, or their skill.

This piece is a thank you for lab techs and other medical personnel.

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It started with the disposable tourniquet that I rolled for the arms. The turquoise tourniquet doesn’t show since it’s covered with the purple bandage used to keep gauze in place after my last blood draw. The red heart is bandage from a previous draw.

The yellow dress is the webbing from a bag of lemons while the face and hair are foil that protected a cork.

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Since the yellow webbing wasn’t strong enough to support the weight of the head, I used leftover starred gold wire, which led to the title.

The light varies since it came from shafts of sunlight through the trees.

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As an avid garage sale seeker once said to me, one person’s garbage is another’s treasure!