Tag Archives: illness

“Get Well Soon (for a coworker)”

A Tasteless Greeting Card

“Recover soon,” is what’s polite to say,
But—while I hope you’re feeling fine—
I like it best by far when you’re away
[Where I don’t have to hear you mope and whine].
Although you do a slack and lousy job,
You think you’re one of Foxe’s martyred saints,
And—while you’re idler than a cab’net’s knob,
You criticize the rest and file complaints.
I want your bout of feeling ill to end,
[…Of course, I’d rather that you didn’t die]
But saying more would cause the truth to bend
Until it stretched into a twisted lie.
I’m confident that you’ll not get the axe
For taking time to heal up and relax.



A life that’s filled with sorrowful regret
For when Intention and What Happens clash
Becomes a bitter, shrinking cigarette
Reduced, in time, to little more than ash.
A harmful word a person quickly spoke
May burn the hearer’s skin or speaker’s eyes,
But what appears a fire is only smoke—
A tiny, rainless cloud that soon will rise
And bring about no cough or choking fit,
No emphysema, cancer, early death
To present people letting go of it
And taking in a new and fresher breath.
Who wouldn’t wear a fretting, frowning face
While grasping vanished smoke no hand could trace?

An Elizabethan Sonnet by Paul Burgess

“Pills: a Modern Fable”

by Paul Burgess […a poem on the tendency to treat symptoms rather can causes and to escape pain rather than deal with it]

One day while walking through the nearby hills,
I came across a lady selling pills.
She said to take her tablets twice a day,
And troubles would all start to melt away.
The pills provided such a soaring high
That I returned to buy a new supply.
But where she’d been I heard no human sound,
And nothing of that lady was there found.
Along with waves of troubles flooding back,
I count among my woes those pills I lack.


“Bad Shrink!”

Some shrinks with credentials unreal
Do little to help one to heal.
If your itchy old sty
Says people must die,
They’ll ask, “How’s that making you feel?”

A shrink with a bogus degree
Provides what I’d give you for free.
When patients are ill
And threaten to kill,
His reply is always “I see.”

Two limericks by Paul Burgess.