Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sonnet Number 43 (the chemo cocktail mix)

For a number of years, I have working on a collection of sonnets; and for a number of years, I have been writing a sonnet for my birthday. This one is a wee bit late. It's been percolating on the old back burner. But I couldn't see the back burner for the trees. Or the fog in my brain. Or something like that. Anyway, let's just blame it on the chemo and leave it at that. The main thing, is that I got it done before my hair falls out. I'm on day 11 since the chemo, and my head has been tingling since Monday, so the oncologist said that's a sign of a head in need of a tan.

Sonnet Number 43
(The Chemo Cocktail Mix)

It's always been a curious thing to me
That the trees bare themselves before the big chill;
Seems a tree needs its leaves for a midwinter dream.
Truth is, I'm not ready for winter. Still

It's coming, like seasons are wont to do.
Last year there were no words, just wonder...and
Tennis balls were green; now they are pink, too.
It's a lot for me to comprehend.

There is no complaint, though, in my bones;
I hope I can still say that when it's cold
And I'm bare. All I know, is the One who runs
The weather is the One whose hand I hold.

So comes the winter. So I'll bundle up
With hats and friends. So "Cheers" as I drink this cup.

***

And for the curious, here are the rest of the birthday sonnets:


(There is no Sonnet Number 42. Pretty sure I was playing tennis instead that day. Plus, the following sonnet, which was, to be chronologically accurate, the previous one, could, technically, be remixed to work for forty-two as well. But I really hate getting all technical like that.)

***

Sonnet No. 40-Love

My tennis shoes have become nutcrackers
These days, acorns dripping like drops of dew
On the courts where I play. Little snackers
In overhanging trees, tossing a few

Back, and then comes the rain of empty hulls.
Littering, if you ask me. But they do not.
I doubt they'd even notice me at all
Except for my crunching shoes. Drunken lot

Of them, cracking themselves up as I skid
About on acorns. I can take a joke
And I'll take a laugh anywhere it's hid-
But they better watch out for my backhand stroke.

Though it's autumn now, my score: forty-one,
I'm calling it 40-Love, just for fun.

***

Sonnet No. 39's Sequel

I blew out an awful lot of candles
today, and the pressure to make a wish,
Prior, was almost too much to handle.
I begged my brain; it just drew blankish.

All those eyes upon me waxed levity
Like playing piggy-back on the burden
Of my future bliss, and mocking brevity
Of my shy breath, bare, behind the curtain.

If only I had a fortune cookie
Up my sleeve, that would have been, fortunate.
I'd simply show and tell: "Here, lookie."
Then I'd eat the crumbs and pocket my fate.

Instead, the candles sweat with me as the flame grew;
They they waned, with the chorus, and I just blew.

***

Sonnet Number Thirty-Nine

Fourteen thousand, two hundred and forty-five
Days. It was morning; it was evening. Methinks
It seems a blur, but good. Very, to be alive
And the apple of the eye of the One that blinks

Tender mercies that are new every day
Like dew. (And, the sleep I rub from my eyes
On Waking, smelling coffee.) Ah, I pray
To stand still in the middle of the roses

Along the way, and not to fear the thorns.
Nor tears fallen, still to fall upon my bed,
Kept in a jar, with the rest since I was born-
The sum of 39, broken and bled

As I have chased joy like no tomorrow,
Which comes sweetly after sipping on sorrow.

***

6 comments:

Dave said...

I love Sonnet Number 43! It's a prime number and a beautiful sonnet. I love your clever thoughts - why do the trees bare themselves for winter?

Wish I could drink this cup for you, but I'll do my best to drink it with you. I call dibs on the dregs.

I Love You,
David

Auntie Cheryl said...

You KNOW how I love good poetry, and yours is good! (I'd like to believe I influenced that part of you all the times I "kidnapped" you when you were young!)

I am proud of your choice and ability to always see your "cocktail glass" as more than half-full, and not almost empty...we can all learn from that. Just remember there are several of us with you in spirit and prayer making a special "toast" to you and your renewed health!

Hugs, kisses, and lots of love!

debbie p said...

Julie,

Your sonnets are full of truth, love and faith..just like you. I see you as an oak tree holding onto your faith like an oak tree holds stubbornly onto its leaves and does not let them fall until new growth in the spring pushes them off. I love them all but sonnet 39 is my fav right now. Praying for this coming week to be good. Love you.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jules,
How I love your sonnets; 43 being exceptional in the beauty of the mix! I'm always so blessed by your expression of life through poetry. Thank-you for that blessing! You are such an inspiration in my life. You are in my thoughts and prayers for the upcoming week - enjoy the beauty of this weekend! A gift for us to treasure.
I love you!
Wendy

Anonymous said...

Hi Julie,
Thank you for the sonnets.
I like the same things others have mentioned; the bare trees and the cup. Most of all I like #39 where you talk about being able to walk along the roses without fearing the thorns. (Was that the year of Sue's homegoing?)
God has given you a gift here!
Becky E.

Anonymous said...

Jewels...happy belated birthday! Thank God for a week designed for R&R as well as training for round 2. Expect to have a decent amount of energy this week. I'm betting it's the Doctor’s orders to be as active as possible to help with fatigue during round 2.

Love your poetry as always! Thank you for being such an inspiration. Perhaps you are an angel I entertained not realizing it until now.

Much love,
me

P.S. Matt is 16? How the years fly.