awakening, Being a nurse, Being a poet, creative non-fiction, Essays, Personal Experiences

Happy Nurses Week

I wrote this poem in April, while taking part in NaPoWriMo 2018,  in examen of two different supposed dichotomous “identities” of my life: being a poet and being a nurse. For most of my time in healthcare, I’ve never felt like I could have a tender poet-side AND be strong nurse. I’ve felt silly for having a side that wasn’t evidenced-based or life-saving or practical. But lately, I have come to know that the most hidden, most tender parts about a person are also the parts that make them brilliant at what they do, and help them be present to the people they care for. The tender and hidden parts are the parts that whisper for you to pause in what could be a life changing moment. I have seen those parts shine through on the faces, in the hearts, and within the actions of the nurses I have worked alongside during my nearly eleven years being a nurse.  So guess what guys, you are all poets and you didn’t know it! Or maybe you do know and you embrace it.  That would be even better…..

On Being A Nurse

Eyes in the interstitial

Holding space for the untouchable

Fine tuning intuition with what lives and breaths

See, hear, smell, palpate, seek

Peer into physiology

All senses keening

Flourish the world with healing.

Intuit the liminal

Hold space for the unnamble

See. Hear. Smell. Palpate. Seek

Peering onto the world’s underbelly

All senses keening

Flourish the world with prophecy

Being a poet, Growth, NaPoWriMo, NaPoWriMo2018, Personal Experiences, the color of moments

NaPoWriMo Day Twenty Four: Night Blooms Redux

For day twenty-four’s inspiration, I drew on a previous day’s prompt. You could call it the read and answer prompt. Keeping the whole of an already written poem covered, uncover the last line.  Then, answer that last line with your own line. Working your way up the poem from last line to first, repeat that process until you get to the first line of your inspiration/established poem. Your line-answer to the first line will be the last line in your new poem. I quiet like that exercise as it reminds me of action poetry–and it feels good to tap into creative-like-mindedness. Especially when I really like the poem.

Many years ago, I wrote a poem inspired by the print “The Night-Blowing Cereus”. At the time, I asked for feedback from a fellow poet. What he wrote was a gorgeous revision, and almost an entirely new poem. We told the same story, but what he wrote was masterful.

Today, I used his revision poem as my inspiration for a last line/first line exercise. And although, it is one of my favorite poems, I hadn’t read it in a while.  Thus safely keeping my writerly instinct and conscious clear.  First you’ll read his revision poem (forgive me Michael, the line breaks……), and then my NaPoWriMo version to follow

Nyctanthous anthem II
By Michael Aziz
O night absorb
The me of the day,
The salty symptoms of my pain.
O cucullated moon absorb me,
Gather me
In your cloaken folds,
Baptize me in glittering starlight,
Your constellations shuttled
Through my veins,
Brightening my dark prognosis
With the perfect peace of light.
But I will never know peace
Until my body burns
And the ashes of my limbs
Are smudges sealed
On another’s forehead
Absorb me O black blind night,
Absolve me this endless toiling instant
O seasoned star
Lurking in the autumn sky
Like a tiger
Pacing the lines of a village,
Come down to the riverside,
Here by the winding shore,
To quench, to bathe, here
Where my tall flame burns.




Night Blooms Redux

I am but a blank space waiting

I take in air but leave no shadow.

O, trail behind me love

A prowling heart does wait, tending

each still breath with a step.

A far away planet gleams cold,

O, remnant rock remember me

in your vacuous


Take me in, as you.

Too smooth to tell

are oils anointed,

Take on deep onyx as I burn

Until the all of me is malleable.

White now and muffled still

are the starbursts of deprivation.

And deep behind my eyes

are the wanton maps of dreams.

From deep to deep

So that I may shine,

I rest I am folded.

Take me in as you,

O cold and gleaming remnant rock

You are the nacre, you are the scale in my eye.

Prowling with each still,  blinded breath

until the all of me is malleable

Being a nurse, Being a poet, NaPoWriMo, NaPoWriMo2018, Personal Experiences

NaPoWriMo Days Twenty-Two & Twenty-Three

Another set of days using no prompts, but used as prompts for each other. Admittedly, I wrote on each day (twenty-two and twenty-three), but did not finalize either poem until today (day twenty-four).


The Days

The days

Maiden dawn stretches

Awakens with the sun

Sift through an old suitcase full of pictures

Search for a love

Read a letter

Drive to the shop where you can pump gas,

buy chips or incense or gyros

Make a cup

Hum in it’s rich glory

Ponder the blue sky and the kitty mind

who blinks into it through a screened window


Feel the hours loosening

See a jogger jogging by

Slow down

Awaken from the lie

That a life blindfolded—bedraggled by timekeeping

is the only life worth living




The Roundness of Truth

One piano tink

One black-onyx cuff link

One sumptuous curve of a cloud

One laugh heard out loud

One bounce of a blue iris’ed eye

One operculum closing from the tide

The note that split the heart open wide

The black gleam that fixed the night

The eye that pleads and asks us why,

we seek then shy from the fullness of our lives

O rise into the fullness of the sky

rise from out of the abyssal depths of dying

Ephemeral pool of all that’s living





Of a life that’s teeming of life worth living