Tag Archives: disease

“Narcolepsy” or “A Visit to the Sleep Center”

The doctor said, “No coffee and no pills.”
Without my crutches, I could barely stand.
A widening hole no dozing ever fills
Had grabbed me, and I swam in sinking sand.
My body was commanding me to sleep
And sending squads of dreams to come invade.
At times they’d charge; at others crawl or creep
And wait for signs that I’d begun to fade.

Those traits, — disarming smiles and wit that’s quick—
Those labels that construct identity,
Became unglued and would no longer stick.
I couldn’t grasp what I’d been calling “Me.”
My head would drop; my being seemed to shake
Throughout my struggle to remain awake.

[1st draft of an Elizabethan sonnet by Paul Burgess]

“Disease: a Villanelle” by Paul Burgess

This is the first villanelle I have attempted since 2006–the year in which I began an 8 year break from writing poetry. I am not sure if it is any good, but I am certain that it is a villanelle:)

Although his thoughts would make a person freeze,
He often rants about the Justice scales.
…he’s not alone in having this disease.

He’s known to translate “smoke” as “foggy breeze”—
To choose the proper phrase he rarely fails,
Although his thoughts could make a person freeze.

A flashing dollar sign is all he sees
When shown his admen’s stylish faerie tales
He’s not alone in having this disease.

His corporation gives to charities
A nominal percentage of its sales,
Although his thoughts could make a person freeze.

The people whose support’s obtained with ease
By one who speaks of Christ, the Cross, and nails
Are not alone in having this disease.

Though spending Sundays praying on his knees,
His acts would land some poorer men in jails.
This gloomy thought could make a person freeze:
He’s not alone in having this disease.

5 Limericks a Day (To Keep the Dr. Away)–By Paul O’Burgess [Day 4]

“A Helpful Doctor”

A doctor these words to me said:
“It’s a miracle that you’re not dead!
For the smallest of fees,
You’ll be free of disease
And my children on caviar fed.”

“A Feast with a Priest”

There was once a pious old priest
Who gave me some bread with no yeast.
But finding it flat,
The bread I then spat
And was met by the scowls of the priest.

“The Value of Hand-Eye Coordination”

There was once a toddler so dumb
That he put out his eye with his thumb.
He’d desired a suck,
But so bad was his luck
That he put out his eye with his thumb.

“Bills and Kills”

There was once a man from the hills
who neglected to pay all his bills.
When repo men came,
That man with no shame
Prepared for them drinks mixed with pills.

“Extraterrestrial Pests”

There was an old man from the moon
Who thought that he was a raccoon.
I awoke to a crash,
Found him eating my trash,
And proceeded to beat that buffoon.