Readers share poems!

Readers Share Poems for National Poetry Month!

April is National Poetry Month, so last week I invited newsletter subscribers (What, you haven’t signed up yet? See what you’re missing out on!) to share poems they’ve written. Most of us have written poems somewhere along the line, probably in elementary school, perhaps in high school or possibly in a creative writing course in college.

I don’t know exactly why writing poetry feels so challenging for many of us. As with many things, perhaps we make it too hard. After all, poetry is one of the purest and most rule-free forms of creative expression. I hope to try my hand it again sometime soon, and I hope you will too.

Now, it’s time to share some poems!

The first poem is by Carol who has published a wonderful book of poetry, which I have by the way. Her book is called Metastatic Madness

Readers share poems!
Carol’s book


        I’m broken…

Like the clock in the hall,

It stands so straight and tall,

But chimes twice when it’s one,

Deep inside the damage is done.

No matter that it’s an heirloom,

Its headed for the trash room.

        I’m broken…

Like my childhood china doll,

The victim of an errant ball.

Once wore a wide-brimmed hat,

Head shattered by a youthful bat.

She lies discarded in a heap,

Destined for a hole six feet deep.

        I’m broken…

No longer strong in the saddle,

I’ve been thrust into a battle.

My invisible scars are all inside,

Flesh weak, spirit lost its pride.

Cancer runs pretty deep,

Can’t shake it off even when asleep.

        I’m broken…

Incurable illness is a game-changer,

My life keeps getting stranger.

I wake at night in a cold sweat,

To whom do I owe this debt?

I feel so horribly off-track,

Desperately want to send it back!

        I’m broken…

No more wishing and hoping,

Get on with adjusting and coping.

Perhaps I could fill in every crack,

Unlike the doll in the discard sack.

Get the clock to chime again,

Live in a peaceful state of Zen.

The second poem is from Eileen, aka Woman in the Hat


There are days

fatigue sits on my shoulders

its fat ass crushing my bones

My skeleton disintegrates

into tiny fragments leaving my flesh

like a rumpled unmade bed


There are days

I feel like a stuffed doll

strewn across the cold tiled floor

Abandoned, lifeless, lumpy

Matted stuffing

peeks out from ripped seams


Some days

my brain shuts down

as if the bay fog rolls through

Its lacy wisps wind and twist

past each hemisphere

like a curtain falls on the light of day


It’s the kind of worn-out tired

an old woman feels

when she sleeps

in the chair

in the middle of day


I could do that too


Right in the chair

Here at work

I could tip over and crumple

My keyboard a pillow that presses my cheek

leaving imprints of E and W and 2


But I don’t

I can’t

I must not


So I wobble through

like a bobblehead

on shaky springs

until I go home


and sleep in my chair

The third poem is from Dear Daughter, blogger at That Mutt

When I Couldn’t Keep Up With My Young Dog …

… when my old dog moves so slowly, when I want to leave him behind,

I think of all those years, thousands of miles by now,

when I couldn’t keep up with my young dog,

and he always waited, never left me behind.

When I couldn't keep up with my young dog...
Good boy, Ace.
The last poem was shared by Julie. Julie wrote it in a class she took for cancer patients. 

Hope and Fireflies

Hope is the fireflies of humid summer nights
Lightening bugs
Enlivening the dusk with their dance
Fragile creatures on the edge of loss
We don’t see as many as we used to
Hope and fireflies are so much
More fleeting than they used to be


Thank you for reading these wonderful poems and thank you to those who shared them! More poems and/or links welcome in the comments!

Do you ever write poetry? Why or why not?

Do you have a favorite poet?

Why do you think writing poetry is often intimidating?

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Featured image by David Bonta via Flickr used under CC licencing.

8 thoughts on “Readers Share Poems for National Poetry Month!

  1. Thanks, Nancy for sharing these.

    I enjoyed reading these poems, and could relate to each of them. Congratulations, Carol!
    I missed last weeks’s email, must have deleted it by accident. I hope it’s okay to share my poem here.


    Home from the hospital
    I stare at my nude upper body in the mirror,
    tears spill down my face.

    My right breast sags in sorrow,
    my left breast gone.
    The tissue expander
    which stretched my skin and hope
    for semblance of symmetry
    stolen by a runaway pathogen.

    Puckered skin surrounds a narrow crater,
    uneven black waxen stitches
    seam the center of the oval dip.

    A bulbous drain collects foul fluids.
    I smell like old bandages.

    My husband looks at me as he helps me wash
    It’s not so bad, honey, you’re still beautiful.

    My nose runs as I gasp between sobs.

    Joyce J

    1. Joyce, Thank you for sharing your moving poem. I love what your husband said to you. Looking in the mirror hasn’t been the same for me since, well you know…

    2. Thanks for sharing…you have aptly expressed how one feels following a mastectomy. While we can’t truly know, I felt your sadness, angst & frustration all rolled into one. God bless you & your wonderfully supportive husband. I have written 2 books to attempt to help others going through a Stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis. One is mentioned here, the 2nd book is titled “Kicking Cancer to the Curb!” I can’t change me path, but maybe I can guide others.
      Cancer is a tough one…we need whatever positive support is offered. Best wishes for recovery.

  2. My poem is about motherhood. That and cancer co-existed for me.


    We brought you home
    weighing less than
    when you were born.

    You would more than
    catch up quickly,
    but it was one
    of the first things
    I didn’t know to expect
    from new-model humans.

    So I installed you
    in the Winnie-the-Pooh
    bouncy seat that vibrated (like all
    the baby-holding items we received—
    I said yours was a “Vibrated Nation”),
    and, I swear, you hitched

    yourself forward and stared
    into my soul. I looked around
    for some relief,
    but you weren’t offering any.

    I knew you were asking,
    “What now, lady?”

    It was your first, and
    the perfect, question.

  3. I love these moving poems, Nancy! Thank you for your wonderful celebration of National Poetry Month. Poetry is truly a pure form of expression, and it is one of my favorite forms of writing. I do write poetry, as you know.

    Who is my favorite poet? Oh my gosh!!! I have so many, Tennyson, Sylvia Plath, TS Eliot — I love them all, so I can’t really say who is my favorite.

    Thank you again for sharing.

    1. Beth, Thank you for reading the poems readers shared. I do know you write poetry, just one of the many things I admire about you. 🙂

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