Have you escaped from your past? I’ve been able to hide from mine, but there is no escape, no statute of limitations. Where are the people you have hurt, where are the people who have hurt you? Have they escaped their past, are they looking for you? What is inescapable? I’ve reunited with people, from my past, who have not at all been able to escape their past. As a matter of fact, though I do get nostalgic, I think I have moved beyond my past, but I know it lurks around behind me, somewhere.

I push myself when I am tired, I gain some ground. I have phobia’s, but as an extroverted introvert I do my best to be intrepid, within my physical means, and, post Cancer, I may not care so much any more about phobia’s. I am wondering if that is what this is all about, Cancer. Cancer changed me to a degree or two, there is no denying that fact. My Chemo treatments left a mark, but we do our best and we march forth, we carry on, as they say. We all tire in our own ways, I push my self, not to exhaustion, but through the tired.

I look at the trees, I long for the days of quiet solitude, days when there were more trees than people, no light or noise pollution, the smell of horses in the air. I only dream of fruitful and prosperous times. I am obviously not adverse to hardship, I just do not want my pipe dreams to be rife with strife. In my current state, I would most likely stare at the trees as I either starve to death, or I keep a large animal from starving to death. Am I nostalgic for Mother Nature?

When I was diagnosed with Cancer, I went home, had a beer, dialed up some music, some of the ‘get together’ party music from my past, the way way back time, and had a good cry. A few beers, some eclectic obscure music, and memories of all my rather enlightened cohorts, nostalgia. Many of whom were dead, married, disappeared, incarcerated, or otherwise. I was already nostalgic, but the spectre of death, ones life flashing before ones eyes, was quite the event. A few more beers were in order.

Looking back on my life, I, at times, had a lot of fun, and, at times, I did did not.

I notice, when people say they’d like to go back to a certain time period, they tend pick some idealistic, or ideal, epoch, but they might not take into consideration that the hard times were usually austere times, not so much fun. I have an ideal time, and maybe a few settings, but I’ll save those for my pipe dreams.

Music, music in general, always takes me back. I don’t need, or even want a time machine, although that would be a riot unto itself. While physically going back in time has its appeal, I do like our ‘now time,’ our current present tense, with instant access to any music I love, any time I want, I use that as my time machine, music feeds and nourishes my nostalgia.

I was not made to devour my fellow man.

I was not put upon this earth to devour my fellow man. It is not in my nature to bend these men to my will.

I am not here to throw them to the ground. These men were not placed here for me to pay for my sins.

We cannot be among others in this state. We do not do these things for our own enjoyment.

All that I can see, in nature, in the trees, I am welcomed into the fold that is the cold ground and the sopping moss.

One only has to look into their favorite mirror to see what is familiar, what is known and what defines oneself.

What are our choices when our mirror reflects an altered vision of ourselves? When we build ourselves, we use our body, our mind, our chemistry, and our biology.

Who do we become when we’ve had our chemistry, our biology, or our specter altered?

What is our recourse when our bodies betray us?

I did invite death in for tea, she refused me. She surveyed my garden but would not enter my parlour.

Death is not a sadist, she is an empath and we love her in her shrouds of deep longing.

We do not deserve her love, we will pine and yearn, but we are not for her.

She will live in my garden, courting mother nature.

These yearnings for solitude will empower the soul. These longings will drive you far.

What your soul has seen, what it is seeing at this moment, your moment, would only serve to drive men mad.

I am a man, I need to be a man. Do we continue to connect the then with the now? When we lose touch with nature what is it we are striving for, what is pushing us forward?

I see us, in nature, and I see us in nature. We reflect our nature back at ourselves, and we enjoy it to be there, to comfort us.

We cannot walk among the trees, breathe of them, see them, and not be part of them. We have lost when they are no longer our friends.

These men, and I am a man, these men, who will not commune with nature, have lost.

I do not wish for the light, I wish for darkness. I am allowed darkness, I am allowed to sleep, allowed to wake, allowed to live for an eternity.

I am no longer my worst enemy, as it is, that is who I am now. We are not looking for that light.

I will leave myself here, where I am, where others would like to lead. We have lost our reference point, I would prefer not one man follows where I may be set to lead.

These things may last, and they will last for many.

I would not know how to die. I know I have a place, in the forest, a place I can see from my chair.

They are not dead out there, they are not waiting for me.

I continue and I will continue on.

When I awake

I need to gather up two or three obscure items, I need to align them, but I can’t quite connect them. I have to gather up two or three obscure items, I need to align them, I cannot get them aligned, I gather them up but cannot get them aligned. I get anxious, but just a little, I need to get them aligned but they won’t go. I get more anxious, then I calm myself down. I try again, this time getting frustrated, no more anxiety, just frustration. Frustration soon turns to annoyance and irritability. Irritable.

I heave a sigh, I am not anxious, I am not frustrated, I am awake. I was dreaming.

I fall back asleep, only to have the same dream loop itself, I then run through the cycle of frustration and annoyance, I realize I am now wide awake. I do not look at the clock, I don’t want to know. But I have to take a guess, have I been asleep long, a couple of hours, a few hours? Do I have two hours or will my alarm go off in two minutes? Why am I awake? Stop thinking, go back to sleep. I am warm, I am safe, I am dry, I am alone.

Oh, that’s why I’m awake, I have to pee.

I have a night light, it is so dark here, I don’t want to turn on the lights, don’t look at the clock, go straight back to bed. Warm, dry, safe, alone. Awake, awake and listening; Ravens, Owls, Eagles, Osprey. Listen for distant highway noise. Is that the twelve-thirty traffic? The two-thirty crew? The three-thirty trucks?

Roll over, snug up the blankets, find the nice spot on my lumpy mattress. Go back to sleep, no thoughts, dark, warm, sleep. Awake, wide awake, listening. No traffic yet. Which traffic will it be? No thinking, go back to sleep. Roll over again, snug up the blankets, stretch, long deep breath, go back to sleep.

Getting darker, warmer, I feel heavy. I am falling asleep, my eyes rolling back into my skull. No thinking, warm, dark, heavy, falling asleep.

Blammo, my alarm sounds four bells! My eyes crank forward, pain, I blurt out an expletive. That’s right my alarm is set for four AM, but I wake up so much earlier than that.

Wow, now I want to make my alarm sound like ‘Blammo’. I’ll have to look into that. Maybe order a special Rusty Prose Blammo alarm maker of some sort.

I jump out of bed immediately, I don’t want to loll about in bed, I need to get up to get ready for work, but first things first. I am creating, or rather, instilling a habit in myself to write for a half hour after getting out of bed. Just another SMART goal to get me through my days. After I write for a half hour, which, by the way, I can now type out five hundred legible words in thirty minutes which is a vast improvement on myself. I go and have a cold shower. Yes, you heard right, this is how I start my day. Well, this is within the first hour of my day.

Yes we are quite proud of ourselves here at The Rusty Prose.

Philosophically speaking

Cancer poetry

The Rusty Prose is in dire need of some renovations, some spring cleaning and I need to plow the back forty, however, we need to make time for writing and reading. There’s always something to be done around here but Real Life (TM) calls for me and, as much as I love it here, I need to pay the bills. I found this while doing some Spring cleaning.

This is a poem I wrote sometime after my ordeal was coming to an end. I don’t know when I wrote this originally, but this version has been edited. I read this at a poetry reading a few years ago and got a nice reception, odd though, there was only one Cancer peep in the house that night and she loved it. The non-Cancer peeps (do we call them civilians?) were a little stunned but appreciative. Civilian or not, they were all poets & writers and I was well received.

This could use a little more work, but I wanted to print out this version first, maybe I’ll keep it this way. I hope you like it. Do you write poetry?


Philosophically speaking

Cancer, as a philosophy,
asks the question; what if.
With a period in place of a question mark.

Surgery, as a philosophy,
Asks the question; what was
Without any punctuation mark
What so ever.

Chemotherapy, as a philosophy,
Asks the question;
WTF!!! in bold capital letters.
With three, yes three exclamation marks.

Cancer is a declarative sentence.
Surgery is a dangling participle.
Chemotherapy is seen as a cure for the mundane.

Cancer does not know,
Surgery does not care,
Chemotherapy does not
Think about it.

Don’t know, don’t care,
Don’t think about it.

Cancer, is my frothing and bloodied war horse.
Surgery, is my banner, my bunting, and my crest.
Chemotherapy, is the weight of my armour as I am flung face first down into the muck.

Death Was Not Pleased

I just found a poem that I wrote six months after my final Chemo treatment. I was still in quite the state, mentally shaken up and physically exhausted. I am proud to say I wrote this with my non-dominant hand. I’ve cleaned it up a bit but this is how I found it, I’ll leave it like this for now, maybe later I’ll do another rewrite but I kind of like it this way, raw.

Death Was Not Pleased

When Saturn devoured his child,
He was unapologetic.
It was out of self preservation.
Death was not pleased.
Death did not make a deal,
With Saturn.
Death left Saturn covered in corruption.

Death was not pleased;
Saturn had devoured his
Own children, each for
Self preservation.
Death witnessed Saturn
Covered in corruption
and did not make time for him.
Death allowed Saturn
To reap what he had sown;
and so now children
Dance on Saturnalia.