Pandora’s Pill Bottle. (A poem about the narcotic epidemic)

Pandora’s Pill Bottle

‘Patients who suffer from painful conditions
Should always be treated by caring physicians,
Who never forget to give good medications
For problems from fractures to awful menstruation.’

‘The fifth vital sign is your bright guiding light
The pain scale will lead you to do what is right,
So doctor remember to show some compassion
Since giving narcotics is now quite the fashion!’

Thus we were told for a decade or two
As patients stopped breathing and turned rather blue.
But hospitals loved their new high survey scores
And doctors were turned into pill-writing whores.

Yet things are now changing across the whole nation.
There’s blame all around and new drug regulations.
‘What were you thinking? What were you doing?’
‘How could this happen? Someone will start suing!’

In ER’s and clinics and every location
We docs shake our heads with increasing frustration.
We did what they told us despite all our fears
And Pandora’s Pill Bottle spilled out for years.

The pain scale betrayed us and caused too much trouble
The fifth vital sign is a big popping bubble.
The statistics we’re reading have left us quite nauseous.
So we’re trying new things to save lives and be cautious.

Dear doctors it’s you that must make these decisions!
Push back against administrative derision!
And when those ‘above us’ make policy errors
Stand in for the truth to prevent further terrors.

The Burning Babe. A Christmas Poem by Robert Southwell.

I posted this last year.  But every year it moves me again.  Merry Christmas.  Of note, the author was a Catholic martyr, killed in 1595.

By Robert Southwell, SJ 1561–1595 Robert Southwell, SJ

As I in hoary winter’s night stood shivering in the snow,
Surpris’d I was with sudden heat which made my heart to glow;
And lifting up a fearful eye to view what fire was near,
A pretty Babe all burning bright did in the air appear;
Who, scorched with excessive heat, such floods of tears did shed
As though his floods should quench his flames which with his tears were fed.
“Alas!” quoth he, “but newly born, in fiery heats I fry,
Yet none approach to warm their hearts or feel my fire but I!
My faultless breast the furnace is, the fuel wounding thorns,
Love is the fire, and sighs the smoke, the ashes shame and scorns;
The fuel Justice layeth on, and Mercy blows the coals,
The metal in this furnace wrought are men’s defiled souls,
For which, as now on fire I am to work them to their good,
      So will I melt into a bath to wash them in my blood.”
      With this he vanish’d out of sight and swiftly shrunk away,
      And straight I called unto mind that it was Christmas day.

MonstERs Aren’t so Scary!

MonstERs Aren’t so Scary!
It’s Halloween Emergencies
beneath the cloudy skies,
And every beastie that we see
Is worried it might die.

But ghosts and ghouls that terrify
Are actually big chickens,
They moan and wail and loudly cry
and whine to beat the Dickens.

Wolf-man fears the rabies
from his canine inclinations;
he mauled some little ladies
but he wants a vaccination.

Mummy chased an aged docent,
Now he’s out of breath.
Usually he won’t relent
Until his victim’s gruesome death.

Vampires dapper count their losses,
suffering from many things;
garlic, wooden stakes and crosses,
wailing ‘holy water stings!’

A witch’s coven comes in haste
in fear of deadly toxins;
their brew had such an awful taste
like someone put a pox upon ‘em!

Hulking monster Frankenstein
is quite the sobbing wreck;
while terrorizing villagers
the bolts fell off his neck.

And skeletons of every size,
have bones of all sorts broken;
the orthopedist shakes his head
since all the breaks are open!

By morning all have slunk away,
the blood and fur swept up.
The staff can see the light of day
and cling to empty coffee cups.
Doctors, nurses, medics all
and seasoned secretaries
know this happens every fall;
to them the beasts ain’t scary.

Compared with all the normal nights,
the mayhem and the pains,
the wrecks and strokes and hateful fights
that leave the staff all drained,

The monstrous band of Halloween
does not cause much alarm;
It’s mortals and their earthly woes
that suffer all the harm!

The infant is packed away


January 2nd, the infant is packed away

On one corner counter, the year-round creche,

ceramic, where Jesus lies adored by silent figures,

December to December.


The rest of Christmas relegated to boxes,

crates, cartons, all on basement shelves,

out of our daily way.


There is no trace of tinsel, tree, ornament,

gift-box, sparkling light, angel or, even, kind Nicholas,

to draw us backward.


No hymns, oratories, carols or lessons speak of Silent Nights,

Refiner’s Fires, mangers, Bethlehem, Kings, infants or Wassail;

none assail our suddenly secular ears now.


The New Year looms as fresh as the house is clear of the old,

and we are sated with food and things and rest;

now we, oddly, must search for the infant again.


Perhaps it is not too great a hope that the child

has not been stored away too well, wrapped too tightly,

for us to know him for the next 12 months.


But then, we have always wrapped him up; swaddling clothes,

thorns, shrouds, lies, denial, hatred…storage crates.

Ever and again he emerges to seek us.


Edwin Leap 2015

Santa ain’t no Southerner…a poem

With regards for photo to:


Santa ain’t a Southerner

I love that man called Santa Claus,

I always have, it’s true!

He’s fat and kind and loving,

And brings joy to me and you!


But I have an observation,

it came to me this year.

The fat man ain’t a Southerner,

although we hold him dear.


If Santa were from Dixie,

he wouldn’t fly, you know!

Us folks down here in Southern climes

just cannot drive in snow.


He wears a suit of red and white,

his belt is big and wide

Why don’t he just wear cargo-shorts

and flip-flops on his ride?


If Santa were a Southerner,

the reindeer would be doomed;

Those racks would all adorn the walls

of Santa’s family room.


And Mrs. Santa wouldn’t wear

that long red winter dress!

She’d wear a Christmas tank-top,

and have Santa tattooed on her breast.


A Southern Santa wouldn’t look

milk or cookies, no!

He’d want a glass of sweet iced tea,

And barbecue, to go.


No, Santa’s not a Southerner,

but that’s OK by me.

He’s always left a lot of joy

beneath the Christmas tree.


Perhaps one day he’ll move down South!

A snow-bird like the rest!

Beneath the Mason-Dixon line,

by warm sunshine caressed!


But if he does I want his job!

Christmas is my season!

I have a lot of camouflage,

and seems reindeer’s in season…

Emmanuel is the carol we love. A Christmas poem.

Emmanuel is the Carol we love


Gaudy trees and tinsel erupt in Autumn,

with baby Yeshua alongside pumpkins and skeletons;

as if the beasts in the manger ate candy corn,

as if the Magi were asking for treats at the manger.

Even the Pilgrims are mere prologue for the Nativity.


And there’s this endless first-world battle:

It’s too early for Christmas Carols!

It’s never too early for Christmas Carols!

Our stores and radios say the latter,

while the former shake their heads and switch stations.


I secretly, guiltily, turn on the sweet music early.

They’re both right. We can make too common the holy.

But all year, we still long for Him and wring out hands.

Even before His birth, He kicks in Holy Mary’s womb.

Emmanuel Himself is the carol we love; all the time.