Welcome to Spring!

Pandemic Series 11 - April, 2021


Mission: To provide poetical and thoughtful comments on life


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Hello Spring

Opening Comments from Bob

This Issue: Pictorially we welcome the arrival of Spring. The narrative portion is a very personal one. The poems and vignette focus on an issue I have been dealing with for over fifteen years. You will understand as you read further.

Subscriber Residences: PLEASE let me know if your state, providence, or country is not listed in the demographic section at the end. There currently are subscribers in 27 states, 3 provinces, and 13 countries. See complete list near at the newsletter.

Next Month: The next issue comes out on May 30, 2021.

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PLEASE! Supporting the efforts of the Poetical Journal is greatly appreciated! Any amount of donation is appreciated.

To support, click here.

.Spring and family picnics go well toghether   A few days later - Parley's Pass, a parking lot. Our son Craig said it was the worst driving conditions he has experienced in during his years in UT.



Enjoy a taste of Spring




An ocean of clouds  
   lie beneath.
What secrets
   remain hidden
   below this shroud?
Perhaps an affair
   where passion blooms.
Or a couple
   who have spent a lifetime
   nourishing each other.
Many better
   left unknown.

Comment: Pictured to the right inspired the poem. It was taken on my flight to Pittsburgh where I had major brain surgery on the last day of March. (Much more discussed in the Vignette Section.)



Wipe, wipe, wipe
Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize
   buckles, trays,
   whatever one sees.
Travel has morphed.
Fear of moving
   into the lion’s den
   becomes your companion
Astounding how one
   minuscule microbe
   can bring the world
   to a halt.



Even though spring, the snow remains on the mountains and, as shown earlier, sometimes on the roads.

















Vignette: Trigeminal Neuralgia

This I hope is the last time I write on this topic. Suffering since 2006 with this condition, nicknamed the "suicide disease" I decided to take the risk, flew to Pittsburgh, and underwent a special brain surgery, cranial nerve decompression, which is the only known treatment that can provide a lasting cure. However, no guarantees. Over the years in my case, the flares lasted an average of 3 months, the longest 13 months.

What follows are some poems written during my recent flare which started two days before Christmas and ended on March 30 after the surgery. I had been on a total liquid diet. Even then, the pain was excruciating.

Trigeminal Neuralgia

With dread
   the slight discomfort arrives,
   wishing only it was imagination.
Perhaps this feared visitor
   will stay a day and move on,
   leaving me in peace.

Months have passed
   and he remains,
   making himself at home.
He is a constant companion
   except for the few glorious moments
I am alone.

Drugs, acupuncture, and medications
   will not dislodge
   this searing fiend.
Though I have tried to befriend him,
   we continue to clash–
   no longer desiring his embrace.

I long for him to depart
   never to see his face again.


TN 2

Writing poetry
   about pain
   seems superfluous
   for pain continues
   despite the written word.

But what does one do
   with pain so searing
   that drives some to suicide?
The jabbing shocks
   that bend one over
   are said to be secondary to none.

On most days,
   you attempt to embrace
   the sensations
   as the face turns red
   from the invisible electrodes
   held to the cheeks.
You relax and breathe
   while the current travels
   and branches outward–
   some durations longer than others.
When it ceases,
   you celebrate the departure
   though aware the next visit
   will soon arrive.

Then one blessed day
   the heinous guest departs
   for weeks or months.
You rejoice
   but live in perpetual dread
   of his inevitable return.


No Walk in the Park

My wife of fifty-two years
   holds my hand      
   uncertainty on her face.
I too lie
   in my specially designed gown
   waiting for the dreamless sleep.
The surgery is no walk in the park.
Though the risks remain great
   the rewards greater.
But isn’t all of life
   from crossing the street
   to visiting the grocery store.


MRI Soliloquy

Every sound imaginable
   pieces the ears.
Highs, lows, shrills, clangs,
   and even a bit of table jar.
The earplugs struggle
   to mute the sound.

For forty minutes
   feeling alone
   greets the depth of the soul.
The known world
   ceases to exist.

The head encased
   in an apparatus.
Do not move.
Am I allowed to swallow?

Thank God for Kacie
   who comforts and assures.
She is gone
   all too soon.

What does one do
   in forty minutes of volunteered
   thunderous isolation?
Writing a poem became
   an objective
   even though lack of quietness
   disturbed the creative processes.
Finally, meditation
   quieted the mind
   as time passed
   into blessed silence.


Conclusion: Though fatigued from the surgery along with flying across the country and back, I am doing much better. At least for now, I celebrate no pain. I am always fascinated the gifts life offers. However, there are some you never want to unwrap.






Neurosurgeon: While highly unlikely, but if you suffer for trigeminal neuralgia a superb surgeon to consult further with is Dr. Raymond Sekula at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center - Presbyterian.

Pittsburgh Taxi: I have traveled the world and discovered that knowing a reliable taxi driver in the city you are in can be invaluable. I used Tom's services three times. He has a fascinating personal history and is extremely knowledgeable regarding the city. He goes out of his way to assist. This was especially helpful following my hospital stay. Tom's contact phone: 724-309-7830. Tell him Bob sent you.

.........Please take a look at the gift page.




Quotable Quotes

"Springtime is at hand. When will you ever bloom, if not here and now?" - Angelus Silesius

"A man is known by the silence he keeps." - Oliver Herford

"If you miss the present moment, you miss your appointment with life. That is very serious." - Thich Nhat Hanh

"Our real journey in life is interior." - Thomas Merton

"Take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention." - John O'Donohue



Bit of Humor

A bit of laughter is healthy for the soul

My three-year-old son, Jack, was as excited as he could be to visit his grandma and grandpa in Florida, especially since it meant taking his first trip on an airplane.

We'd just boarded and got buckled in when Jack looked around the plane and frowned. "What is it?" I asked, wondering if he was nervous.

He then asked me, a bit worried, "Are ALL these people going to Grandma's house too?"

Compliments of Joke a Day






PJ Online

To read some of the back issues of the PJ, go to here.

The next issue will go out on Sunday, May 30, 2021.

Until next time - joy and peace,


Bob Casey
Poetical Journeys
P.O. Box 319
Midway, UT 84049


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