October 13, 2009

Terminal Illness 1 & 2 (RWP #96)

For this week’s “Wordle” prompt I decided to cheat a bit and not even attempt to use all those offered words. Instead, picking just one word that spoke to me, (Chelation) and using it as a jumping off point. I wrote this piece first, then thought, “Why not take this same idea and write it as a sonnet?” The sonnet version is directly under this first bit.

In violent spasms the poison enters,
consuming completely each innocent cell,
settling deeply, darkly within the heart.
First euphoria trickling slowly, methodically
down familiar pathways, ending in
gut-wrenching pain, praying for death.
The only cure - complete chelation.
Searching out and destroying
each minute pathogen,
Cleansing the marrow, the soul, to return
life’s blood to a pure, whole self.
But the healing never lasts,
this illness too addictive, a drug
that feels so good, but dooms so quickly.
There is always
one more germ, one more virus,
To ruin the health and addle the mind.
Ah, love…..


In violent spasms that overtake,
A poisonous ailment we know so well.
It’s desire the mind and heart to break,
to thrust each victim into darkest hell.

Seeping within to our deepest marrow,
This deadliest germ of gut-wrenching pain
Leaving only tears, damp tracks of sorrow,
and craving addiction, left quite insane.

Thus the only hope for a healing cure,
Is cleansing the blood through strong chelation,
To leave each sufferer in his weakness, pure
finally free, in euphoric elation.

And yet to feel cast from heaven above,
Without this beast, the affliction called love.


  1. You are getting far too good at this, Cynthia! Two poems, two days early and tripping off sonnets as if you'd been doing them forever! And I'm still struggling with last week's!!

  2. An excellent job with both of them.

  3. The sonnet version is more lyrical. The turn works.

  4. Definitely preferred the sonnet.The poem is much more elegant,meaningful...poetic in fact!

  5. I like them both but I think I prefer the first one. You had me enthralled at the first line!

  6. I love both your poems. The first one is more expressionist and the sonnet
    is more lyrical but they both work for me. I think because poison and cleansing is more gritty, the expressionist approach works better for me. Thanks for sharing your work and your extra work. Playing around with format is interesting. =D

  7. I like both of these Cynthia, and I think both of them work, the first because, along the lines of what Linda said, it really delves into the imagery of its concept, the second because the formal tone gives a sense of human tragedy. Both exploit a great and unexpected ending.

  8. Two great ways to essentially say the same thing. Each with their own unique flavor and joys.

    Well done!

  9. I liked both poems, especially the first one. I think the expressionist approach spoke to me a little more -- but nothing is lost with the sonnet. I think it's interesting how you chose chelation as your theme. Good write.


  10. I love the first poem -- just as musical, in its own free verse way, as the sonnet; and a really great ending. The sonnet is a great addition, though, for this reason: a poetry teacher I once had told me to write two versions of a poem, then write a third version from the first two. So your "real" final poem may be the poem that results from a blending of these two (a mash-up?).
    --Therese L. Broderick

  11. As old Willy S. so aptly put it: "They do not love that do not show their love." You have demonstrated in both poems the rock strewn path that love often takes, truly there is no cure for "this beast, the affliction....Ah love". Enjoyed this.

  12. Very good showing, Cynthia! For my personal taste, the first shines brighter. But both are really strong.

    I am particularly appreciative of thes lines:

    First euphoria trickling slowly, methodically
    down familiar pathways


  13. Hi Cynthia,

    I liked both version, my favorite being the sonnet. I liked the visual structure of sonnets. I got a stronger sense of your subject in the sonnet and loved the journey the couplet.


  14. "Chelation" is a word I threw out of my list as it seemed to be so remote... and yet when I see how you (and others) have used it, suddenly... it borders not on the ordinary but certainly the usable.

    "return life's blood" - - -wouldn't that be.. something?

    (and as per usual, this is Julie Jordan Scott in case blogspot doesn't recognize my ID)

  15. I like how you focused on chelation - a challenging but rich word that you explore very effectively. I'm a sucker for formal poetry and enjoyed seeing how you went from the first attempt to a sonnet. Thanks for sharing the process with us.

    Elizabeth Enslin at Yips and Howls

  16. im not really a sucker for formal poetry....whatever that means....anyways your "poetry" is wonderful and I always enjoy...thanks for sharing Cynthia

  17. cynthia despite only using one of the prompt words, each piece is never the less well worded. personally i enjoyed the first offering over the sonnet, not to say that i didn't enjoy the sonnet, but your clinical language throughout the first really makes your conclusion bite, as the illness is rather an emotion than disease. always a pleasure to read here. -lawrence

  18. The first piece is strong, especially the opening. I do like sonnets, but the form here isn't as powerful for me as the free verse.

  19. very interesting to take the same theme and voice through two different forms, brings out much of the distinction of what each form does to the same poem, i have enjoyed both here many times already and am about to think i prefer the sonnet when the free verse sneaks back up on me overtaking, so both get my smile, enjoying your work

  20. As another appreciator of the word chelation, I love the take you offer in the first poem. These stark lines are my favorite:

    The only cure - complete chelation.
    Searching out and destroying
    each minute pathogen,

  21. Chelation intimidated me a bit (I used it, but not well), but I really like how you used it in both of these. The first had the advantage of building up to the final revelation. But the sonnet fit the subject matter really well too.