Thought Wheel

From the mind of Ann Chiappetta

A Measure of Hope

| Filed under Poem Uncategorized

Yesterday I was speaking with one of my best friends, you know the kind of friend who is counted on one hand, which professes a true bestie. We’ve known each other for over 30 years. He introduced me to my husband of 26 years, etc., etc.

His name is Joe and he was diagnosed with HIV in the early 1990s and we almost lost him. Thankfully, it wasn’t his time to go and he recovered and I am thankful he has been part of my life and I believe he is a living miracle. Our family lost many loved ones from the AIDS virus back then and Joe wasn’t one of them, and the only one I know who survived from that deadly wave of HIV infections.

Shortly after he became hospitalized and was fighting for his life, I wrote a poem titled, “What Remains”. It is a style of poetry called a villanelle, or Italian sonnet. It consists of 19 lines in a fixed form and uses interchangeable rhymes. After writing it, I kept it to myself, since I wasn’t sure if Joe would pull through. Fast forward a few decades and the poem is the only one in my book, Upwelling, http://www.dvorkin.com/annchiappetta/ that is a rhymed poem of iambic pentamer and can be called the best example of a sonnet resulting from two excruciating semesters of verse writing classes.

So, what does this have to do with Joe and my poetry collection? I haven’t shared that the poem is in the book. He hasn’t purchased it yet, so he is blissfully unaware it is there. I did give him a copy of the poem years ago, and I honestly don’t think he will recall receiving it. Even if he does, I am a little nervous he might be uncomfortable knowing it’s in the collection

I know I am being silly; there are 22 other poems in this book, most about a person I love or for whom I feel a strong affection. I did let some of them know a poem written about them was included, but not all of them. My Mom and Dad are already gone and I lost touch with most of the others. I am confident; however, the poems honor the person’s character and don’t disparage anyone. Yet, I do experience an occasional twinge of anxiety thinking about the person’s reaction if he or she reads the piece. It’s called writer’s regret and while I would love to say I would never allow my creativity to be compromised by censorship, even if not doing so means risking another person’s feelings or values, it would be a hard decision to make. Therein lies the risk; he could react in a way that I wouldn’t expect or anticipate. He could say he hates it and he never wants to read it again. He could say it makes him feel horrible, or depressed or ashamed. Okay, maybe not as extreme as that, but, you get the picture. Taking risks with words is risky. As my statistics professor once said, it boils down to a fifty-fifty chance no matter what.

I want Joe to read the poem again, I want him to ask questions, and I want, above all else, for him to understand it was written at a time in our lives that was rife with uncertainty and expected loss.

As for you, the reader, perhaps this essay and poem will provide both the gravity of what it is like to witness the suffering of a loved one but also hang on to hope and keep hoping even when others say there isn’t any sense in hoping anymore. I think Joe would be satisfied with knowing his experience gives me hope.

FYI: March 6 is Joe’s 51st birthday. Happy Day my friend.

WHAT REMAINS – A VILLANELLE

Time elapses in your veins
By maniacs bred in cells
Robbing your health, grain by grain.

The option of long life is detained
And upon the shortened time we dwell,
As time elapses in your veins.

Hippocratic oaths can’t explain
Why your blood bears killer cells
Robbing your health, grain by grain.

I listen to the melodic refrain
Of your breath, fearing the funeral bell,
As time elapses in your veins.

The fangs of regret cause the most pain
Anger and sadness are familiar clientele,
Robbing your health, grain by grain.

Your spirit wavers on this plane,
A present but listless parcel
I greedily covet what remains,
As time elapses in your veins
Robbing your health, grain by grain.

copyright 1995- 2016 Ann Chiappetta

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0

Welcoming 2017

| Filed under Fiction Poem Uncategorized

It’s New Year’s Day and I am being purposefully productive. 2016 wrapped up with a mixed bag and I am planning for a successful year in terms of the goals I continue to chip away on personally.

I have one announcement to make before I go on to blab about other milestones. The poem, “Diving” which is in my poetry collection UPWELLING, was also included in an anthology called BREATH and SHADOW http://www.abilitymain.org/breath and the book is available in eBook and print formats from all major online booksellers.
About the book:
Dozen: The Best of Breath and Shadow

Breath and Shadow is a literary journal of disability culture, written and edited exclusively by people with disabilities. In this collection, we present the best writing from the magazine’s first twelve years.
These essays, poems and short stories shine a light on the many gifts, ideas, and voices of writers who are disabled, and removes many of the hurdles faced in mainstream publications. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this anthology will go back into Breath and Shadow, helping us to reach a wider and more diverse audience, as well as increasing our writer’s compensation. The book is available in paperback and all electronic formats.
www.amazon.com/dp/1541266404/ref=sr_1_2
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/691408
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dozen-chris-kuell/1125383853?ean=97815412664

Contributors:
Sandra Gail Lambert, Sarah Rizzuto, Susan M. Silver, Rachael Ikins, T Hamboyan Harrison, Janet I. Buck, Dan Foley, Abigail Astor, Dina Stander, Aaron Trumm , David Bolt, Judith Krum, Amy Krout-Horn, Ann Chiappetta, Lizz Schumer, Leandra Vane, Madeleine Parish, Deborah Sheldon, Akua Lezli Hope, Tricia Owsley, Raud Kennedy, Amit Parmessur , Tobias Seamon, Suzie Siegel, Erika Jahneke, Rick Blum, Alison Leavens, Carla Rene’ , Brock Marie Moore, Denise Noe, Diane Hoover Bechtler, Kathleen Grieger, Christopher Jon Heuer , Sergio Ortiz, Kari Pope, Kim Keith, Chris Kuell, Gary Bloom, Larry Schreiber, Esté Yarmosh, Joanne M. Marinelli, Mel C. Thompson, Laban Hill , Jae Beal, A. K. Duvall, Cindy Lamb , Sharon Wachsler Compiled and edited by Chris Kuell

So, friends and readers, help support writers with disabilities by honoring their literary efforts and get the book.

I would love to sign it should you wish and I encourage all of you who read this blog to become an online subscriber, too.

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0
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