Monday, October 17, 2011

It's Just Me

When the first strands fell,
I felt no pain
as they swiftly slithered
down the drain,
until the whirlpool
no longer spun
when my showering time
was done.
Then I bought
some Liquid Plumber,
but that was then,
when I was dumber.
What happened next
caught me unaware
when “several strands”
became a hank of hair
and, I realized that
soon I’d be,
as bald as that cueball –
proverbially –
Mirror, mirror on the wall,
it came a-calling,
and showed me that
my hair was falling
here and there,
without a doubt,
revealing parts of
my pink scalp.
So, off to Beautyland
I went –
’twas the best ten bucks
I ever spent
to have it shaved
all silky smooth.
And now my baldness
is my groove.
So, one bright day
if you should see
a cute, bald chick,
well, it’s just me.
This chemo stuff
is quite perverse,
but all in all
it could be worse.
If the toxins chase
my cancer away,
then I’ll stay bald
for a thousand days!

© Candice W. Coghill, October, 2011 

As prompted by "Poetic Asides": 
Writer's Digest-Robert Lee Brewer-Wednesday Prompts - "Disguises"

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Random Fall Thoughts

Now playing in our South Florida Playhouse
is a theatrical production repeated each year
to rave reviews: The Season

Act I, Scene 1:  Summer slowly, begrudgingly
exits stage left.... she has had her shining
moments, but the curtain is almost down
on her very long act.

Waiting impatiently in the wings, peeping
now and again through the curtain,
is Fall, the Coquette....

Act I, Scene 2: Under the first full moon,
Fall swirls onto center stage, 
her russet skirts around her legs,
the rustling wind causing the palms to sway
as if finally blowing away
the last remnants of heat and humidity.
Then, a smile on her burgundy-glossed lips,
she summons the cool breezes ...
and she teases.

From within the orchestra pit,
merchants respond with the opening tunes
of their seasonal songs: "Summer Wares
Now on Clearance" follows 
"Final Markdown!" and finally
"New for Fall!"

At intermission, sweaters and
long-sleeved polos and 
pumpkins and candy for Halloween
fill the aisles, competing
for smiles with hints of
Thanksgiving and Christmas.

In South Florida, the changing
season brings with it "the Season,"
when the annual migration of 
northerners and mid-westerners
and Canadians swells the year-'round
population, clogs the highways
and fills the restaurants, 
and we give thanks not only for
the turkey, but also for the
great money-bringing snowbird.

The Autumn of my childhood days
is a fond memory of burning leaves, 
and tall-stalk fields of gold and orange maize
we called Indian Corn.... a time of
running and abandon, free
from adult cares. 

We made our costumes for Halloween
then, no need for anything but
imagination and some simply-gathered
goods, some of Mom's make-up, and
perhaps a store-bought mask.  Our
tricks were innocent, our treat bags
were pillow cases that were over-filled
by evening's end.

Then the days became shorter, and slowed,
the countdown to my November
birthday endless.... And, somewhere in
between my Day and Turkey Day,
there would arrive the wondrous 
Sears and Roebuck
Christmas Catalog, a book for
making lists,
a book for dreamers.

It is Fall once again, 
and here I am....

© Candice W. Coghill, October, 2011 

Photographs taken in the Shenandoah Valley courtesy of Sandra Langdon-Wilson

Monday, October 3, 2011

Being Present in Hope

(As prompted by Sunday Scribblings)

B urdened by fears, by quixotic
E lements appearing out of nowhere,
I  wrestle against these dominating and
N egative feelings that trample and
G ouge their way through my mind....

P  erhaps,  I think, I should no longer
R oll with the proverbial punches, no longer
E ven consider that there are other
S omewheres, other
E ventualities.... Then,
N o! I re-think, and I
T ake hold of my spirit, for

I   know that I will allow
N othing, not even this pain, to

H obble my dreams. I can
O vercome anything!  And so, I
P  ersist, and again, I
E ndure.

© Candice W. Coghill, October, 2011                   

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

To a Covered Bridge

In the deep of the forest we found you,
such a masterpiece can't be ignored,
so slowly we entered, admired and loved
every beautiful inch we explored.

Now a historical landmark, 
you have served so long and so well.
If your planks and timbers could talk,
oh ! what wonderful tales they would tell.

The traveler found shelter within you
when nature brought snow, freezing cold.
Farm animals were kept from stampeding,
'cause you looked like their barn on the road.

Protecting the trains that crossed you
by keeping out rot from the spans,
was another job you performed well,
as your roof added strength, took a stand.

I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge
you provided many moments of bliss
to gentlemen who went courting
and in your sheltering arms stole a kiss.

© Candice W. Coghill, September, 2011

Photograph courtesy of Sandra Langdon-Wilson

Monday, September 26, 2011

Plan B and The Phoenix

(As prompted by Sunday Scribblings )

At first, of course,
there was Plan A:
find a new job.

"No problem," I thought,
as I perused
my resume,
ignoring the nay-sayers,
the headlines,
and the news commentators
that foretold economic disaster,
and delighted in posting daily
unemployment numbers
as though to affirm
their prognostications.

Plan A was perfect, in theory:
a stellar resume,
a pool of references
deep enough for any prospective
employer to dive into
and spot this pearl of an employee,
a devotion to the quest
and an over-sized helping
of confidence
wearing blinders.

But, as these things go,
Plan A never thought about
the possibility of
encountering Plan B.

Plan B
strode boldly
onto the scene
and announced its intention
to wreak havoc
with Plan A.
Unafraid, presumptuous,
wearing a name-tag
scribbled in a
defiant cursive:
"Surprise Diagnosis: Cancer."

Plan B refused
to allow any offers
of employment,
choosing instead to
bring things to a screeching halt
in a freeze-frame moment
where paradigm and destiny
engaged in debates
into the night.

But, as these things go,
Plan B never thought about
the possibility of
encountering Plan C.

And in the end,
Plan C crept in
to steal the show.
Plan C declared itself
the winner and called off
all bets
by summoning
the Phoenix,
to arise from its ashes
and live.

© Candice W. Coghill, September, 2011

Art courtesy of Josephine Wall,

The Low Tide Line

Cranston, Rhode Island (ABC News),  April 2011:  A small town in Rhode Island is bracing for the release of a high-profile child killer this summer who is leaving prison after serving 28 years of a 40-year sentence for the grisly murder of a neighbor's 5-year-old child.
As part of the plea deal Woodmansee was sentenced to 40 years. Now, after 28 years of good behavior, he is leaving prison 12 years early.
"At and just below the low-tide line are the hungry predators ... " Rachel Carson, Sue Hubbell - The Edge of the Sea

The nature of evil is a pattern
repeated throughout the millennia,
an incessant tide
of corruption,
flotsam and jetsam,
and incomprehensible behavior
and falling,
as unfettered impulses
rebound between
established lines in the sand,
and reflecting what lies within:
hungry predators,
lurking in the depths
at or below the low-tide line....
Opportunistic, waiting and watching predator,
you planned,
then struck.
You devoured innocence,
an innocent,
literally and figuratively
By you.
And now Justice
rewards you.
"Your behavior has been good,"
she says.
A father weeps.

CRANSTON, R.I. (CBS/AP), September 9, 2011:  A Rhode Island man convicted of killing a young boy in 1975 has been released from prison and sent to a state mental health facility after serving 28 years of a 40-year sentence.

© Candice W. Coghill, September, 2011

Original art with the kind permission of Artist Rod McIver:

Eight Forty-Six 9/11

Evil at its boldest
Impacting so many lives, the Tower, just moments before
Glimmering, now an  inferno, flames raging skyward, cries for
Help as
This day emblazons its date forever in the collective worldwide memory.
Fathers and Mothers of tiny children, unborn children,
Only children, and sure to be lonely children who
Remember their parents only
Through pictures.  And
You and I and all of us are left to weep and to wonder how and why.
Strength of a country, tested beyond
Immeasurable boundaries.  America  still stands proud, but bearing an
to forever mark the spot called Ground Zero.

© Candice W. Coghill, September, 2011