Monday, February 28, 2011

whats normal?

normal is not a color
that comes in a box of crayola,
i checked, the twelve, twenty~four
sixty~four, one twenty eight,
it's not there

mine are nubs ground down by
the pressure exerted upon them
against the page, painting
reality as i see it, which is
far from, and

refuse to give in and become
that which oppresses, but real
eyes there is as much danger in
rose colored glasses,
they've fallen

crushed in the rush, i've come
to my senses, denial does not
make me righteous only feeds
the darkness that dwells
encamped on the fringes

phelanges, given these, use
them as i can, knowing love over
comes in the end, but some days
seems light years away from
the world stage

cancer kills, but we can not
let it win, no one's an island
its only together we color
the new normal.

81 comments:

Ruthiey said...

"cancer kills, but we can not
let it win, no one's an island"

This captures what I've been feeling for the past day. Yesterday I found out a dear little boy in our church who has been cancer-free had scans taken and the cancer is back. It's heart-breaking, but it's reality.

drybottomgirl said...

Cancer has taken so many people who were such an important part of my life. My mother is a breast and uterin cancer survivor. It quietly lurks, which evokes fear, but you are right, we need not stand alone, and an island is a lonely place....

JeannetteLS said...

Powerful and heart-squeezing. Oh, to be able to write poetry like you and several others I have met along the way!

Heather said...

my two good friends work at Sloan Kettering in the City, and deal with cancer everyday....The stories they have are just heartbreaking. it's so sad...it touches ALL of us.
It is a reality, we won't let it win! (this is a great one, brian)

Raven said...

Wonderful, Brian, just wonderful. That first line really grabbed me, and it just got better from there.

Me said...

Powerful.

Daniel said...

This is one where I would love to see your original journal page as you laid it out, fought and considered each word. Several ways to approach this post. I'll take mine and continue pondering on it for a while. Blessings.

Magpie said...

What's normal? Certainly not your writing skills. Bravo.
"but real eyes"...nice play on words.

the walking man said...

Spot on Brian welcome to the fight. Now it is our turn as writers artists and poets to tell the truth as it is, not as the 24 hour cycle multimillionaire talking heads present their corporate masters view of it.

PUSH BACK!

A Daft Scots Lass said...

CANSA shavathon is happening this week in SA.

happygirl said...

rose colored glasses...crushed in the rush..

I hate cancer too. Currently on tamoxifen to keep from becoming a member of the club.

Pat said...

This is brilliant, my friend. I am constantly amazed at how you put your words together.

Bossy Betty said...

I loved this. It will speak to so many....

Valerie said...

Well written, Brian.
There is cancer in all of us, it just takes a certain spark to set it off. The fight goes on.

Colleen said...

I don't have anything to add except this is compelling and concise. Each word is so perfectly placed. Beautifully done.

emmettwheatfall.com said...

Brian, that opening line got my attention instantly with a warm and affirming feeling. Great poems always have great opening lines, and this one sets the poem up nicely. I agree with others, this is a wonderful poem. Excellent craftsmanship.

Rhymetime(aka Pat) said...

Good job setting it up, you really come through for this pup.
Whoops I mean cat, how did I confuse that?
Yes cancer is a fickle bitch, I rather have my fleas that make me itch.
But the cure we will never see, because those greedy whores don't want to lose money.
The poor billionares won't be able to make a billion more, that would really make them sore.
Oh how they should rot, the whole friggin lot.
Alas it's not right, but all we can do is fight.
Crap I went all profound, now must stick my head back in the ground.

Jill said...

There is NO normal. It is fruitless to even try to find the color, "normal."

I particularly like: "refuse to give in and become that which oppresses,"

Eva Gallant said...

We cannot let it win. But too often it does.

David Allen Waters said...

Ive lost much to cancer...this is such a powerful piece.

Friko said...

Cancer is not necessarily always life threatening. I should know.

As for normal? I don't know what is normal. Does anyone?

ladyfi said...

Oh gosh - I hear you about cancer! I love the imagery of us as crayons... this really resonates with me.

Mama Zen said...

I love the way you end this.

Vicki Lane said...

What's normal? What's flesh-colored?

Great work, Brian!

Linda said...

You manage to hit the mark in my heart so often Brian. For so much of my life I have tried desperately to make the world the way I wanted it to be. It is so hard to face the reality of it sometimes. For me, it has all been wrapped up in trust - trust in the only One who can make reality bearable.

Elaine said...

I've redefined what's normal since abnormal is about as normal as my family will ever be. Let's celebrate dysfunction and a God who is MORE than able!

Jen Chandler said...

Beautiful thoughts on a devastating reality. I don't know if there's anyone who hasn't been touched by cancer.

Keep coloring, Brian. This was beautiful!

:D

TALON said...

So true about normal - it's lauded and applauded and really doesn't exist.

Cancer - well, there is nothing kind to say. It's a horrible reality.

Claudia said...

normal is not a color
that comes in a box of crayola - love this line - and i double checked - it's true - didn't find it in my box as well...kind of sad - i would love it to be there - neat and clean and without doubt..take it out and draw the world normal, paint away the edges and stings and tell everyone who wants to know and everyone who doesn't want to know - here right between green and orange is normal...excellent poem bri

Brian Miller said...

friko...for sure...my dad is in triple digits on cancer surgeries...

slommler said...

I too feel the same way about normal...it just doesn't exist!! Everyone wants it...me I will take a little crazy and creative over normal any day!!
Hugs
SueAnn

Kaylen said...

I constantly look for normal, but it's just not there.
Unfortunately, cancer is. Cancer is everywhere. It's the most discouraging of discouragement.

Beautiful words from you, as always!

Paul C said...

Together we color the new normal..yes, how does one develop more community consciousness? Interesting and vital perspective as usual.

Austin said...

Great one bro.

Baino said...

I have a friend who says 'normal is a cycle on a washing machine'. I think she has a point.

secret agent woman said...

Uh oh.

Belinda said...

I real eyes there's as much danger in rose colored glasses, thus, the struggle to find a balance, or a new normal as you say.

kkrige said...

Yeah, the longer I live the more I wonder who invented this thing called normal. We have cycles, and periods of time that exist. We touch lives and are touched by them. Why do we think we should be measuring against it all though? There is no normal.

lynnaima said...

You had me at normal :)
We often try to define "normalcy" I don't know where that stems from but we do and you discussed that here so splendidly, well done :)

Teri said...

I'm higher than 51 today. (Bet you're wondering how high!) But, in response to "cancer kills"...I have heard those words myself, seen the terror it strikes in my heart and soul, heard good news, and hopefully keep hearing that same news for a long, long, time. I color myself black and red...the crayolas of my life would always include these two colors.

Kim Nelson said...

Brian,
I love the sentiment and emotion, the searching for normalcy, the fighting against whatever enemy.

I'm sure prompted by something different, I wrote a piece with similar meaning last year. Have a look if you like.

http://www.kimnelsonwrites.com/2010/10/06/different-is-okay/

Betsy said...

my favorite line...

"denial does not
make me righteous only feeds
the darkness that dwells
encamped on the fringes"

Sue said...

I just came from the blog of a woman who will be losing her best friend to cancer in the next week or so. He has put up a brave battle. Your poem resonated with me today.

Thanks.

william said...

wow what a perfect insight into humanity, carefully yet expertly carved into your own special words, bravo :)

Kathy's Klothesline said...

what color is cancer??

gayle said...

Too many in my family have died way to young of cancer! We can not let it win!

flaubert said...

Brian, I love this from beginning to end. Your words ring crystal clear.

Pamela

blueviolet said...

There is no such thing as normal, and that's actually comforting.

azfree said...

All of us together ... that would be a beautiful color!

The Retired One said...

Brian, this is particularly timely for me as I have 5 friends and relatives right now fighting the fight of their lives with cancer. The fight takes all of one's energy in so many ways and seems so, so unfair.

Neva Flores said...

A wonderful poem full of truth Brian.

tattytiara said...

This one has a lot of weight to it. Great work as always.

Lolamouse said...

This poem grabbed me from the first line and didn't let go.

Hilary said...

Wonderful as always. It speaks to so many.

As for the crayons.. you wax poetic...

Reggie said...

Very moving Brian...you said it well my friend.

Cinner said...

Here is to all us coloring together. together we can do what we can. smiles. very wonderful words today. smiles.

Zuzana said...

To me this piece come across as description of a fight, a battle. Whether against a disease of the body, or the mind - or even the soul.
What stuck with me the most was the words "knowing lover overcomes in the end".
I agree.;)
Have a lovely day dear Brian,
xoxo

Olivia said...

Heart- felt!
Thought- provoking words n very carefully chosen as well. Indeed, normal is the most uncommon color. I have seen many of those battling the ugly one- I used to be sh*t scare till I read Frayed Edges- Lisa.
I had become so paranoid that I didn't let anyone even drop the word.May all stay safe n blessed..

Wishing you a beautiful week ahead
Love xx

Selina Kingston said...

Oh Brian, if I didn't know better I would have thought you had written this especially for me because I see now there are all sorts of cancers growing in each of us.
Thank you too for your comment at mine - always appreciated x

Lorraine said...

ohhhh awwwwwe WOW I shiver through you words I read them silently slowly and then I speak them WOW Oh Brian you are killing me!

Gaston Studio said...

Perfect ending Brian, just perfect.

Ami Mattison said...

What an intense poem, Brian. I could say lots about your great images and how well-crafted this piece is. But right now, I think I'll just pause and let it sink in. Thanks!

Jessie said...

beautiful lines as always. colored with deep powerful markings. best wishes for your dad.

warm smiles,

jessie

ModernMom said...

So powerful...

Jen said...

I don't think I'd recognize normal if it walked up and introduced itself. I'm pretty sure we've never met. Does it really exist?

jessicasjapes said...

That's a powerful say. Well written.
Thanks for visiting my poem earlier.

Sophia said...

Hey...ask me what normal is on down the road and I'll let you know, because right now...I'm not sure it exists in my life! haha!

Goofball said...

hmm

I don't think I got the message you wanted to give. It feels very profound, but didn't get it

lori said...

"...some days seems light years aways from the world stage..."

Yes, there can be as much danger in rose colored glassed...

I got behind on my Brian Miller poems, but it was fun to have three to peruse at once. Always enjoy your work :)

Jaan Pehchaan said...

Love overcomes in the end, but some days
seems light years away from the world stage
- Well Spoken!

The Empress said...

You know, Brian...would you ever take a photo of what the beginnings of a poem look like?

They seem so perfect here...or do you write and rewrite on screen?

I do my stuff on paper first...I'd like to see how they start it. They stream so well, it can't be this effortless.

Oh...wait...NO! If you tell me this is your first draft??


I'm done.

Ben said...

"denial does not
make me righteous only feeds
the darkness that dwells
encamped on the fringes"

How true that is. I hate walking in darkness, pretending that everything will just work out in the end.

Who Is Afraid of Alfred Hitchcock? said...

Hi! Brian...
Thanks, for sharing beautiful thoughts (through your words)...What so many Of your readers, can readily relate to unfortunately, either each and every one Of us know someone who has cancer or someone who know someone who has cancer...Hopefully, there will come a day when we all can say that we don't know anyone affected by cancer.
DeeDee :-(

Who Is Afraid of Alfred Hitchcock? said...

Hi! Brian...
It seems as if these are the words that captured some Of your readers, attention..."we are born old enough to die..."
I sometimes wonder why some people think that you, have to be a certain age to...When all the while..."we are [all]born old enough to die..."
Thanks, for sharing!
DeeDee ;-D

Syd said...

I have been health focused the past week. I am grateful that this was a wake up call and not a death call.

PattiKen said...

"the darkness that dwells
encamped on the fringes" - oh, yes. I always know it's there, but if I don't look, perhaps it won't notice me and I can keep it at bay.

This one scares me a little. I hope it's not in any way autobiographical...

Rebecca S. said...

Well said. Keep up the good fight, oh friend in the blogosphere.

Mmm said...

I really like this and everything it says. In fact it needs to keep on being said over and over until it sinks in and seeps through the outer hard shells of judgment.

Colddeadhearted said...

I love that normal is not a crayon..what a great line...great poem.

Marla said...

cancer kills, but we can not
let it win


Amen.

adeeyoyo said...

There is so much in the world that I do not understand - and the suffering of innocent children is just one of them. Is it perhaps to draw people together with a common purpose?