Poetry Contest Winner

I have been writing a form of poetry, called Cinquain, for years. There is a modest bu creative group of us on the Internet and we band together in online message boards and groups. One particular group I am associated with holds a monthly contest for the best Cinquain along a theme for the month. September’s theme was “healing;” the irony of the theme did not escape as I had been just days before diagnosed with cancer.

So I wrote a “long form” Cinquain, which is basically a number of Cinquains put together to form a single, coherent, poem. I added some restrictions on myself when I wrote it. It is permissible, in long form, to have a thought, sentence, or idea transcend multiple Cinquains – but I always find that slightly distasteful. I prefer to have each cinquain in the long form be able to stand on it’s own were it plucked out from the rest. A great definition of cinquain can be found here if you’re interested in the form.

So my entry for the month won first place in the long for division. I hadn’t written a cinquain in a couple of years, so I was very pleased as you can imagine. Here, then, is that poem:

John Stamos Cell Carcinoma

“That lump
Inside your neck;”
said my doctor, “cancer.
It’s called malignant squamous cell
cancer.”

“Squamous”
rhymes with “Stamos”
is all I think. I have
John Stamos cell carcinoma.
Fuck me.

Chemo,
radiation,
and painful surgery;
a journey through pain in order
To live.

I must,
in a past life,
have been a Catholic.
I approve of this plan of pain
to heal.

No tears.
I cannot cry,
weep, or bemoan my fate;
Can’t ever show weakness to my
children.

In truth
I am strangely
excited and alive.
Every day has become so much
better.

Today
could be my last.
How tragic would it be
if I refused to embrace it
fully?

I know
I will defeat
John Stamos and his vile
carcinoma. I will not die.
I’m strong.

(c) Ron Sparks 2008

I hope you enjoy it!

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