The Hairbag Poet – Happy Nurses Week – #2020yearofthenurse, #nationalnursesweek

Hi and welcome to my series The Hairbag Poet.

This week is National Nurses Week, and today my post is dedicated to all of the amazing nurses I have had the privilege to work beside, and all of the nurses working so hard around the globe. National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6th and ends on May 12th, Florence Nightingale’s birthday. 2020 has been designated by The World Health Organization as The Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

For those nurses who know me, you all know I have a slight obsession with vintage nurse fiction. I have been wanting to write a found poem using the titles of these books for a long time. According to Poetry Foundation (2020) a found poem is “A prose text or texts reshaped by a poet into quasi-metrical lines. Fragments of found poetry may appear within an original poem as well.”

Though I left bedside nursing last fall to begin a career in academia, I have written this piece from the perspective of the nurses voices I have been reading over the past month. I hope you enjoy this vintage found nurse poem!

COVID -19 Disaster Nurse

 

I woke a Nurse on Nightmare Island

Trapped in a House of Hate.

A Small Town Nurse,
,
A Nurse in Doubt,

Where Murder Stalks Ward 8!

My angel wings
are weighted
in a viral alabaster,
you see I am
a New Yorker Nurse,

a Nurse in a Disaster!

What started as
The Mystery
in the doctor’s office,

has spread through the community
infecting those incautious.

This Terror Stalks the Night Nurse,

But it’s every Nurse’s Dilemma,

to protect themselves, and patient’s
from this viruses agenda.

There are days my brain screams
Run, Nurse Run,

Just run, get the hell out!
But Fugitive Nurse

is not my style,
In time we’ll turnabout.

Some people think
The Nurse Knows Best,

but I’m a
Nurse in Doubt,

‘cause no one seems to have
this fucking virus
figured out!

Sometimes we all forget
Nurses are People

just like you.
Once a nurse…but always a woman

we have family; loved one’s too.

Sometimes I like to daydream
of the nurse I’d like to be:
a Night Club
,
Jet Set,

Surfing,Island,Hootenanny me!

or what exotic place I could be found practicing my skills:
The Everglades
,
or Hollywood?Whatever pays the bills!

It’s times like these
you’ll understand
The Making of a Nurse,
,
it’s what we’ve all been trained for,
our career’s not risk averse.

Some see us as their heroes;
Lighted angels in the night,
but we know of our darker side,
and joke, Sinners in White.
.

How funny, but My Moment of Truth

is not this epidemic,
It’s the viral spread of nurse’s love
that’s globally systemic!

 

Once again Happy Nurses Week to all the nurses all over the world!

Be safe,

The Hairbag Poet

 

 

Madness Poetry 2020

Hi and welcome to my Friday series the Hairbag Poet.

In the blogging world, Fridays are known as Poetry Friday. You can read about Poetry Friday here. I will plan on posting The Hairbag Poet each Friday.

You can read about the history of this series here.

The Thinkier Trophy

I’m so excited to announce that I will be participating in Ed DeCaria’s, Madness Poetry competition beginning this Sunday March 8th! 64 Authletes (Writer athletes) will be competing against each other for the title of Poetry Gangster, and the grand prize Thinkier trophy pictured above.  Head over to Madness today and sign up to read, vote, and have fun!

The match up brackets mimic basketball’s March Madness brackets. The Authlete’s are provided a single vocabulary word (think SAT/GRE Vocab.) and must create a poem suitable for children, within a defined character limit (Not Easy!).

Ed has the voting divided into three sections: the authlete vote, the student vote, and the community vote. We as writers get to vote all throughout the competition, even if we lose, and this vote carries some extra weight. The student vote comes from schools that have signed up their classrooms to read, and vote on the poetry entries. The student vote also carries heavy weight considering the poems have to be kid friendly. The community vote consists of everyone else who chooses to sign up to read, and vote for their choice of best poem (that means you). The voting is open for two days, at which time everyone can vote, and comment on their favorite poems. The winner then proceeds to the next round. With each round the authletes are cut by 1/2 until only one winner is left standing. Last year’s winner was Lori Degman, whose poems were a delight week after week.

This is my third year entering and I am so excited, and nervous. The talent is amazing! So if you’re a teacher, get your class signed up, if you’re a reader, then get yourself signed up so can you can vote, and if you’re an authlete, I wish you good luck!

Sincerely,

The Hairbag Poet (a.k.a Jean O’Connor for Madness Poetry)

The Hairbag Poet: Ode to Nurses

Hi and welcome to my Friday series The Hairbag Poet.

In the blogging world Fridays are known as Poetry Friday.  You can read about Poetry Friday here. I will plan on posting The Hairbag Poet each Friday.

Poetry Friday roundup can be found at my juicy little universe here 

You can read about the history of this series here.

Florence Nightingale ministering to soldiers at Scutari (Public Domain).

Over the past few months I have been readying myself for change. I finally finished grad school, earning my Master’s Degree in Nursing Education, and was offered a position to teach at a University not far from my home. Though I could not be happier about this new opportunity, I am also sad to be leaving my nurse friends in the PACU. I have been a bedside nurse for the past 30 years!  It has been an amazing career, and I have been lucky enough to have worked with some of the smartest, funniest, kindest, crudest, caring, and craziest people I know.

I’ve decided to write this weeks poem, as an ode to nurses, in dedication to all the wonderful nurses I have had the honor to work beside.

An ode is “A formal, often ceremonious lyric poem that addresses and often celebrates a person, place, thing, or idea” (Poetry foundation, 2019). There are several styles of writing odes including: The Greek or Pindaric ode, Horatian odes, Sapphic odes, and English Romantic odes.

The Pindaric or Greek ode (552-442 B.C.E. from the poet Pindar), was a public poem set to music celebrating athletic victories (Poetry foundation, 2019). These poems contain three stanza formats: strophe, antistrophe, and epode. “In Greek drama, the strophe (turning) signified the first section of a choral ode, and was recited by the Chorus as it moved across the stage. The Chorus’s movement back to its original side was accompanied by the antistrophe. Finally, the Chorus stood still to chant the epode, the final section of the ode, which used a new metrical structure” (Poetry foundation, 2019).

I could relate to the Pindaric ode, because a 12 hour nursing shift trumps any olympic race, and when it’s over you relish in the glory of the finish line.

Ode to Nurses

A coven of angels
led by lighted lantern,
through dark humor,
we gather,
acutely aware of the subtleties of
life and death.

Dusk turns to Dawn,
and Dawn to Dusk,
with no witness
but each other
to the graveness
of our charges.

On our darkest days
we go home silent
to our families,
sharing those moments
only
with each other.

Camaraderie shared over
coffee and cocktails,
Our wins and losses
scored in our hearts
forever.

Now it’s on to University…

I hope you enjoy these posts. Thanks for stopping by and reading, and please feel free to post your own poetry in the comments if you feel inspired by the photographs. I always love reading other peoples perspective on “art”.

 

The Hairbag Poet

The Hairbag Poet-Goodbye Cliff

Hi and welcome to my Friday series The Hairbag Poet.

 

In the blogging world Fridays are known as Poetry Friday.  You can read about Poetry Friday here. I will plan on posting The Hairbag Poet each Friday.

You can read about the history of this series here.

Poetry Friday round up is at My juicy little universe with a focus on climate change here.

Though my poem doesn’t focus on climate change, it does focus on how one person can make a difference and affect lives for the better.

This weeks post is a sad one for me.  A coworker of mine recently passed away.  This hit our team pretty hard. His name was Cliff. Cliff was a great guy! He was amazing at his job, and always willing to help anyone solve any problem. Cliff and I were both going back to school for our masters degree and Cliff was always a huge help to me whenever I needed any technical help with the computer, or designing a project. He never hesitated to help when I would ask.

Cliff was a father, a husband to be, and a veteran. He served his family, his country, and his community with such dignity. Cliff always seemed to have a smile on his face.  In his last and final moments Cliff had pulled over to help two vehicles that were on the side of the highway, and was struck and killed by a third vehicle. But in his spirit of service, even after his death, he continues to help others as his organs now breath life into a new generation. Words can’t express how much Cliff will be missed in our hospital family, but I tried a few anyway.

This week, I am dedicating this pantoum poem to you Cliff.

Thank you for your service!

Today I fly my flag half-staff.
I’ve lost you dear old friend,
but most of all I’ll miss your laugh,
My tears I can’t suspend.

I’ve lost you dear old friend
the time feels like it just stands still.
My tears I can’t suspend,
I don’t see how this is god’s will.

The time feels like it just stands still
I flourish in despair.
I don’t see how this is god’s will,
I bow my head in prayer.

I flourish in despair,
Today I fly my flag half-staff.
I bow my head in prayer,
but most of all I’ll miss your laugh.

God Bless you Cliff!

The Hairbag Poet

 

The Hairbag Poet-Madness Round 2

Hi and welcome to my series The Hairbag Poet

As you all know I am participating in the Madness Poetry competition. Round 2 starts today and I am happy to report I will be participating. Round 1 was a close call! I was up against a wonderful challenger whose poem was so beautiful I would have voted for it myself, if she wasn’t up against me. So head on over here pour a cup of coffee or tea, relax, and read some fantastic poetry.

Madness Poetry
Ed DeCaria

And don’t forget to wish me luck!

The Hairbag Poet (a.k.a. Jean O’Connor)

The Hairbag Poet: Madness Poetry 2019-Round 1

Madness Poetry
Ed DeCaria

The madness has begun! Today is Round 1 over at Madness Poetry.  My challenge word is Reliant! My poem is written, and by some miracle I was able to stay within the 500 character requirements (which was not easy).

So please head on over here, to read some really fun poetry, and vote for your favorite authlete.

Oh, and don’t forget to wish me luck!

The Hairbag Poet (a.k.a. Jean O’Connor)

The Hairbag Poet: Madness Poetry 2019

Hi and welcome to my Friday series The Hairbag Poet.

In the blogging world Fridays are known as Poetry Friday.  You can read about Poetry Friday here. I will plan on posting The Hairbag Poet each Friday.

You can read about the history of this series here

Friday’s poetry roundup can be found at Linda Baie’s site here.

The Thinkier Trophy

I’m so excited to announce that once again I will be competing in Ed DeCaria’s  2019 March Madness Poetry competition beginning March 3rd!  64 Authletes (Writer athletes) will be competing against each other for the title, and the grand prize: The Thinkier trophy pictured above.  Head over today and sign up to read, vote, and have fun!

The match up brackets mimic basketball’s March Madness brackets. The Authletes are provided a single vocabulary word (think SAT/GRE Vocab.) and must create a poem suitable for children, within a defined character limit (Not Easy!).

Ed has the voting divided into three sections: the authlete vote, the student vote, and the community vote. We as writers get to vote all throughout the competition, even if we lose, and this vote carries some extra weight. The student vote comes from schools that have signed up their classrooms to read, and vote on the poetry entries. The student vote also carries heavy weight considering the poems have to be kid friendly. The community vote consists of everyone else who chooses to sign up to read, and vote for their choice of best poem. The voting is open for two days, at which time everyone can vote, and comment on their favorite poems. The winner then proceeds to the next round. With each round the authletes are cut by 1/2 until only one winner is left standing.

This is my second year entering and I am so excited, and nervous. There is so much great talent participating. I will be writing under my proper name: Jean O’Connor

Wish me luck!

The Hairbag Poet