Tag Archives: Pain

Pain is relative.


Pain is relative.
A two year old cries from a skinned knee,
The worst pain experienced to date.
At ten, he fractures a bone,
And discovers a new benchmark.
At fifteen, his heart is broken.
At twenty, his heart is shattered.
At twenty five, a loved one dies.
The bar gets raised
And raised and raised.
The worst pain a person ever experiences
Is the standard by which all others are measured.

Some people are not afforded
This gentle progression in pain tolerance.
They are thrown to the wolves early
Predated upon
Eaten alive
And barely survive.

If someone is crying
Over a problem smaller than your own:
A failed exam,
An amicable divorce
Remember this might be the worst pain of their life.
Comparison is not compassion.















under the drill

Gadzooks! I forgot to post this morning!



the dentist

drills to shave the edge off my crown




I take myself away.

Relax into the pain.

everything I have learned

from years of dysmenorrhea

comes instantly into play.


Relax more.

it’s that or wriggle

and you best not wriggle

under the drill.

it’s not very sensitive, is it? he says.

nooo… that hurt. I reply

and we all have a good laugh.


how strange we humans are.

how trusting.


I open my mouth again

and let him do it

ten more times.














Haibun #2

She is on her side on the couch. In her arms lies the dog in full bliss, eyes half shut. She absentmindedly scratches his ears, but never too much, her natural compassion an unconscious impulse. A lifelong struggle with acne has left small scars in her skin. Rich hair, dark eyelashes, full lips, artistic hands, and a glass of tequila at her side. She holds the dog as if he might want to leave her.

“I don’t deserve friends like you,” she says.  But she is wrong.


She is dwindling

See her pain, see her pain run

We watch, powerless






On Compassion

Watching Kato kitty be sick is difficult

I sort of understand his pain

It’s not like raging menstrual cramps are the same as recovering from surgery

But I know what it is to feel like shit

For hours

When all you can do is whimper

And you’re too miserable to keep fluids or meds down

And your world is just pain, and nausea, and the hope that it’ll be over

I know what that is


I also know

What it is to be alienated

To walk around with a little touch of a serial killer inside you

To watch people cry

And feel like some kind of unbreakable spirit

But ten layers down you ache to know that release

Respect and envy their vulnerability

And wonder what it is

To be human


We are made by what we used to be

I have been given this compassion

I am grateful

To have been there

And to be back

Even if it’s just

So I can give a cat sympathetic pets


When my mom died

One person broke through to me


She listened

She asked questions

But most important

She did not pity

And because she regarded me as one with strength

I was able to be weak in front of her

Because she had watched her father die

She had that perfect compassion

The kind that really means something


I hope to be