On Recovery - writercize #68

Over the weekend I was listening to an interview with poet and blogger James Nave.  During his recovery from surgery related to prostate cancer, he vowed to write 100 poems in 100 days chronicling the process. On air he read a poem in which his legs were filled with thousands of colorful butterflies flapping their wings.

The interview got me thinking about recovery, the many meanings of recovery, and how poetry has the power to bridge the gap between fiction and non-fiction with vibrant images and emotions to communicate both the beauty and stress of living in a society.  

I thought about how recovery can apply to life after disease, addiction, a natural disaster, a broken heart, a financial crisis, abuse.  It's pretty incredible how one word can tie together so many negative experiences, and inject them with a new feeling, that of hope.  Recovery is one powerful noun.

I've been lucky in my personal life that I've only had to recover from surgery and heartbreak, but those two recoveries were enough to not wish for many more!

In truth, lucky may be only part of it.  Incessant concern to remain in full control of my body and thoughts probably did a lot to steer me away from many addictive things too ... when I know my hormones are affecting my thought patterns, I start to freak out, so imagine anything else! 

writing exercise: Write a poem inspired by the word "recovery." The poem may be any style, including freestyle.

Click "read more" for the writercizer sample response, The New Joneses, on economic recovery.
writercizer response:

The New Joneses

Used to be the world tried to catch up with us, 
the almighty Joneses.
New house, new clothes, new cars, new shoes, some bling,
twenty different handsoaps, five TVs,
unused kitchen appliances still sitting in their fancy boxes.
Zip, swoosh, cha-ching.  Zip, swoosh, cha-ching.  Zip, swoosh, cha-ching.
Each day something new, 
something exciting.
Interest charges?  Think of it tomorrow.
Today I've got to spend.
Spend, spend.
Gotta keep up appearances, 
gotta make sure the neighbors know the money just keeps flowing.
Gotta buy something new to stop the shaking when I open the statements.
Used to be.
Six months ago, walked into the office,
and found an empty desk.
No job to work at.
No money for those minimum payments.
Credit halted.
Two months ago, got hired again.
Half the wages, a third of the insurance coverage,
none of the skills.
Itching to get out and spend.
Get that economy back on track,
gotta show the world I'm back on top, that I've got money.
But I don't.
And neither do the neighbors.
Week ago man on the corner shot himself after two years
of sittin' at home, readin' the papers, 
prayin' for work, 
watchin' those bills
pile up 
and up 
and up
until dying looked better than living.
Some recovery that is.
'Tis true half a job's better than none,
so I should count my lucky stars,
but that credit card is just itchin' to get out and feel the 
fast, smooth, purposeful swipe.
Zip, swoosh, cha-ching.
I wanna spend so bad,
hear the crinkle of bags filled with new,
see the looks on their faces when I show up looking fresh
but I'm waiting 
for that economic recovery to show up at my front door.
Used to be the world tried to catch up with us,
the almighty Joneses.
"Sell to America.
Sell to the Joneses.
They'll buy anything.
They're addicted to new, more, bigger, better.
If only we could buy like them too.
Sell to them and we'll be rich to buy like them."
Now we're left to catch up with ourselves
while the world shakes its head and mutters
"Idiots.  Didn't know to save what they got.
Now they got us all into trouble.
Weren't we smart not to act like those Joneses?
But who'll save us
if not them?"
Used to be spending was the only addiction
that the neighbors admired.
Now it's the most contemptible addiction of all.


  1. I've been through so much that I've developed a really unique sense of humor that only those who have been through a lot like I have can understand. People who have had it easy their whole lives just never get the humor of it lol

  2. I think that our challenges make us stronger... My life certainly has had its share of trials and tribulations, shadows before the sun's rise, but the sun does rise and in it we grow.

    Lovely blog!

  3. the most contemptible addiction of all.. . .wow. . .thank-you

  4. That poem is certainly the story of the way things are today.

    I find that writing--especially poems and songs--are a wonderful emotional release in really difficult times.

    Tossing It Out

  5. Thanks for the prompt, but unlike you, I suck at poetry writing.


  6. Awesome poetry !!! and I sooo love your point of view , on our current state of economy !! perfect !

  7. Wonderful job!

    I've written my way through lots of crap (and written lots of stuff that could be called crap...) and in writing, I often find healing, or at least a spark of hope where there wasn't one.

  8. Thanks so much all! Joyce and spark - very kind of you. :) Poetry is not my comfort zone, but I like to play on this blog with all different styles and types of writing!


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