Day 229: Phlegm in a Cup and Love

Now as much as I love, love, love someone else doing the dishes and fretting about dinner, the trade-off of viral bronchitis—so not worth it!

Seems some nasty bug is circulating the state, well at least this town. Watch out for the attack. Not fun in the least.

Picture red plastic cup marked “phlegm” and me in blue medical mask, and endless hacking. Fever seems to have FINALLY subsided; at least I no longer ache in places I didn’t know existed. And the paranoid thoughts of being the very first person to die of the new viral outbreak, set to kill 10% of the population, have stopped. At least for the most part.

Still I’m left rib-bruised, out of breath, and wondering what happened during the month of September, beyond what I learned from season eight of Grey’s Anatomy and seasons one through eight (yes, eight seasons) of Everybody Loves Raymond.

The good news is I’m in love! Yes. I am. His name is Robert.

He is a fictional character on the show Everybody Loves Raymond, a very tall, insecure Italian who is just one giant adorable bear. Though I realize the episodes are over a decade old (and therefore Robert is in his fifties now), and that Robert is fictional, and thusly doesn’t really exist, I am in love nonetheless. He’s more attainable than the young wealthy god-like creature in the Shades of Grey series anyhow.

When I was having fever dreams, during the early stages of my illness, my dreams were related to the fictional character Robert, (or to dimensional time travel during the era of futuristic war-ridden earth). I didn’t dream of Robert. I dreamt his dreams. Yes, indeed, in my fever-state I believed I was Robert. After over 100 episodes I imagine our minds had molded together in someway. As Robert, I dreamt as Robert, and had dreams about his circumstances that befell him while on the show. Yes, I had fictional character anxiety dreams. Who would have thought that was even possible?

Dreaming I was Robert was far better than the jumping from one dimension to the next dimension dreams, to recruit and “save” people who would make good warriors back on earth for the alien battle we’d soon be fighting. There was a sophisticated screening mechanism for determining what individuals were suitable to be pretty much kidnapped from their dimension and brought back to ours. Basically, if your life sucked, and probably would continue to suck, or lead to early death, or harm to others, we stole you. Nice mind I have. Don’t you think?

So that’s what I do when I’m sick: Watch lots of television, obsess about all the feasible ways of expiring, kidnap people in other dimensions, and fall in love with fictional characters. Probably not too far off the mainstream. That and write poetry—when the head’s not pounding and I’m not catching phlegm in a cup.


Love Leaves

I shall not tread

Into thy dark night

A cornucopia of lost cause

Landscape stripped barren

By voice of horned trumpet

Melody suffocated by circumstance

Mind bled out by tourniquet expired

Whistle blown at ruptured drum

Bleakness wrapped as toy for infant

Revealed broken, rusted blade

When torn

Open, his tangled mane made web of longing

Prepped and fondued to tempt desire

Lion’s thirst, a churning ache

Thick swallowed whole


A chest plate of veins, pulsing blue

Tulips turned stone

Roots in mire

Crushed sweet


Sour echo vines and chokes

Stiffens in eradication

Layers thick upon cake of earth

Stomped brittle leaves remain

Rocked forth

In cradle of you

~ Sam Craft, Sept. 2012



Love Enters

Love enters

Starlit glow aflame

Beauty infinite

Whispers honey

Recognition formed

Beyond womb

Of mother’s promise

As feather set upon chariot wind

I move within your substance

The sound of songbirds assembles

Lullaby of cherubs

And silence

He knows not

How to exist

When I am filled

With your beckoning

~ Sam Craft, Sept 2012



And this video Explains Exactly How I felt during my illness

Day 228: When Battling Dragons

(This sums up my last couple weeks….)

The King he coughed, and then hoarsely spout, “I’ve had quite the battle, of this no doubt.” He hovered there, in chamber room’s sheets, his face pale white, despite the heat. He stretched his neck, and cracked his knuckles, and adjusted his bedclothes with a string-like buckle.

I sat in the corner, unseen but there, my ears alert, my mind aware. I’d heard the story of Dragon V and how Noble King had battled thee. But now to see King living still, after all the tales, I shook with chill. And wondered too, if Dragon had left, or stood behind curtains with fiery breath.

I sneezed aloud, and heart sank low, would Dragon appear, and make me his foe?

“God Bless You, lad,” the King did say, and turned down his covers to reveal a tray, of turnips and broth, and chicken legs full, and desserts untouched, by this noble who ruled. “Can’t eat them; no want. Help yourself if you wish. Can’t even stand to look at the dish.” He adjusted his pillow, then fanned his full face, coughed up some more, before finding his place.

“Now, where was I?” he mumbled, his lips parched and dry, his skin lacking luster, the red in his eyes.

“Oh, yes, fine lad, listen, while I whisper a word, about the fierce Dragon, no doubt that you’ve heard.

I call him Dragon V, the v stands for venom;

his poison is hot, from the land of fierce demons.

At first Dragon whispers, and the fire is null,

still knight’s eyes gather tears, and do slightly swell.

But then Dragon breathes, and his flame rises swift,

and ghost enters the ears, and causes a rift.

Then there is burning, and acute subtle itch,

until comes the night, and ears ooze and they twitch.

This pain is rather meager, simple indeed,

compared to where Dragon next turns to feed.

He enters the head, and burns up so hot,

that knight cannot tell boot from his pot.

The Dragon’s heat strong, climbs fierce and then falls,

leaving King in his bedclothes all soaked in a ball.

Bed covers too, are wet with foul rain,

which must be the body weeping in pain.

This happens trice, the heat pattern clear,

three moons pass, with muddled thought and wetness severe,

Next, he takes hold, this Dragon mad,

and pounds at the whole head with his strong iron clad.

Dragon releases, after throb-filled days,

only to take harbor, in the lungs straight away.

Now comes the spit, the cough and the hack,

that starts at the ribs and stabs behind back.

Gasping and wheezing are familiar sounds now,

bringing yellow-yoke present, sunrise from sundown.

This lasts the longest, the spitting of yoke,

the catching of breath that resembles a choke.

So withered and wrung out, so weathered and worn,

tis the greatest of battles, of this I have sworn.”


The king took a breath then, and I could hear what he meant: How the Dragon still lived, for King’s breath was still spent.

I gathered my notary, my reeds and my ink, and thanked the King properly, by offering drink.

I sneezed then again, my face turning blue, I’d swallowed the dragon, of this I now knew.

The King gulped and slathered, his beard getting wet, and looked me all over, with green eyes sternly set.

“Now son,” he said, warmly, his grin rather tart, “There’s something to mention, before you depart.

Your sneeze, tis no warning, no bell to alarm; the sneeze will bring nothing to cause you V’s harm.”

He shook his head proudly, then spit yoke in his pot, fingered his mustache and made the ends taut.

He held out a finger, and gave it a whirl, after giving his mustache, one last final twirl.

He sat up very proud, his eyes starting to glisten, he beckoned me closer, and said, “Now, you listen!”

You scribe down my words, what I know to stand true: When battling dragons, a King never achoos!”


In this tale, I am the King and this is my Dragon V. Now on Day 16 of the battle. And I still haven’t sneezed!

Day 226: Said Sadly, Sam

I cannot blog for you tonight, said sadly, Sam, as she sat upright

To avoid the mucus inside her chest, that was springing forward like a pest

Again the sound from hacking host, dislodging phlegm from coast to coast

As far as spit and spew can fall, she’s come up first in fame of hall

Coughing trophy at thy feet, blue ribbon prize for winner to tweet

Perhaps YouTube the latest sounds, the whooping bird that left the grounds

I cannot blog for you at all, said sadly, Sam, curled into ball

Tummy hurts from all the pills, low-grade fever has trumped the chills

And everywhere I turn to see, I spy a mess staring back at me

Laundry piles and dust bunnies dance, and cobwebs laugh at circumstance

I’m forced to sit, and sit and be, to soak up liquids and drown in me

Who shall pull the plug and drain, the constant woes and annoying pain

Especially the voice inside the head, that cries and barks: Go back to BED!

~ Sam Craft, 2012

Day Eleven: To See Just a Dog and Nothing More

Day Eleven: To See Just a Dog and Nothing More.

I think Scoob is dying, He’s not moving, hardly at all.

Our golden-doodle Scooby is very, very sick. I don’t know if he will make it this time. In early October he was also ill. He had lost fifteen pounds from an internal staph infection in the neck region: he wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t get out of his designated chair, and was very despondent.

Today is a little different, the weight is still on him, but he appears boney, as if a part of him, a part I can’t readily see, at least in spirit, has been chiseled away. He can barely stand. He has a fever of 103.8, and black tarry stools keep appearing from the internal bleeding.

I can’t stand it when someone is in pain, especially animals. It tears me up inside, and I can’t focus. It’s not that he’s my dog, he could be anyone’s dog (and in actuality he doesn’t belong to anyone anyhow) it’s that he is experiencing suffering and pain.

And I question what he is feeling, what he thinks is happening as he loses capacity to function—to even raise his little paw to ask, in his darling manner, to be petted. I wonder if he knows that when we took him to the vet yesterday evening, and he had all those tests, and the emergency shots, that we were trying to help him. I wonder if he can feel my own worry. No, that’s not exactly correct: I worry that he does in fact feel my concern, and that makes him sadder. I question if he understands this concept of mortality and the afterlife. People say dogs, and animals in general, don’t, but how can we possibly know? Maybe they are heavenly spirits sent down to save us from isolation: to connect us back to instinctual unconditional love. Maybe he can see his life force dissipating and slipping into another place.

I feel guilty, too, because, I haven’t been the best master. I could have taken him on more walks. It’s just his size—that of a stocky standard poodle—is hard on me, and he’s such a people and dog lover, that he pulls and pulls in order to reach out to others. He only wants to share his being and love; he doesn’t mean to hurt my shoulder in the process. He doesn’t know why I haven’t taken him on more walks, of late. And he just stares me down with the big dark and very, very sad brown eyes, as if asking why? Only, I don’t know what the why is now. Is it why the pain? Why the hurt? Why me? Or is he simply him naturally and effortlessly releasing and letting go, as humans struggle so much to do, and surrendering to the lifecycle.

I wonder if I did something wrong. Months ago Scooby stood on his hind legs, like a circus bear, and stole his pack of doggy vitamins from the top counter. Though I guess stole isn’t the accurate word—as they were his doggy vitamins. And sweet Scoob didn’t know not to eat the entire bottle of liver-flavored treats—he hadn’t known they could hurt him. Why would his human friends live anything around to hurt him? And I wonder if this overdose, in someway, might have damage him internally. And there was the freak snowstorm and the three-day power outage this year, when I was so obsessed with saving our freezer food by stuffing as much perishables as I could in the snow, that I forgot that Scoob would want some. As it was there, right in his domain, all this meat and dairy, all the yummy intense and enticing smells. Had I not felt obligated to share some, to give a few tidbits of our people- food, maybe his stomach, or whatever is bleeding, would be healthy now.

There is an agonizing twist in my stomach—the recognition of potential loss—this black wisp of nothingness that reaches up from the depths of me, beneath the physical layer, from some oblique existence, and nips at the tender parts of my being.  In the pain, I am reminded of all the loses before, all the animals that were once here and now gone, all the people who were part of my life and slipped away, rather through life circumstance or through the veil of death. They are all somewhere else now, whether on this plane or on another celestial plane, it doesn’t matter. They are no longer here. And thus I question this here. I question the here and now. The element of time—the element-less-ness of time—how time isn’t an element at all, and perpetually reminding us of his nonexistence.

Beyond my worry and wonder, and the deep pondering, my brain begins to jump, like those mysterious Mexican jumping beans that were so very popular in my youth—splattering about, these synapses of my mind, leaping to one fear to the next. The hypochondriac-state settling itself in for a stay. I feel the presence, the familiar presence of this unwanted visitor. I won’t even give it a gender, a he or a she it does not deserve. It comes every few weeks, giving me reprieve only for a short, short while, lets my brain rest and not focus on death for a wee stretch of time, before it returns to mock me with its ways. And mocking this entity of fear has done since I could form memories. It’s made me afraid of everything that is unexplainable to the physical form. It’s made me fear my own body, my own presence. I’ve died a thousand deaths, in a thousand different ways. As a child death took me from the killer bees, from rabies, from the cancer-causing blow dryer, from swallowing a scrap of tinfoil, from the crusted scab on my knee. Death took me later from AIDS, Hepatitis C, colon cancer, uterine cancer, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer. Death even took me from toe fungus and a tiny zit. It is clever this entity, draping a black mask over my eyes, so everything light becomes dark, everything nonthreatening: a potential end mark to my breathing.

And in having dear Scooby sick, my precious boy, this death entity has bypassed the doors to my reasoning and entered my premises unannounced and unwelcomed. It laughs, because it tells I knew of the coming, because I could feel the rupturing of my own eternal woes, the familiar angst of what was to be: the mind bending and turning, the piercing of the present and bringing back of every fear.

It laughs because I let it in; it so claims, I allowed it to sneak through the cracks of my illogical reasoning. And so I am made victim twice: once for my lacking and once for my believing. Oh, to have a simple mind, that only sees the sick dog, that only feels the potential loss, and not the intense wonderings and aches of a seemingly limitless field of pain.

And now I worry for myself, my own health—this transference of my dogs pain into mine. Yet, another time the world has centered upon me. And I question my innocence and being. Have I a right to exist when my focus is continually led back to my own self, my own sufferings? How I pull the leash that is wrapped around another back to me, pulling the attention my direction. Am I not a failure for taking the pain and making it mine? Am I not a failure for yet again making the experience about me? And if it is not to be about me, to not come from my own eyes that see and mind that reasons; if I am to make this experience about that which is outside of self. Then how? How do I take the first step, when my mind has been prewired and programmed to function as an anomaly? Can’t I just be this so called normal for once, and see in front of me, this separateness of life. To see just a dog and nothing more.