In All This Rain

This is a beloved poem from physician-poet John Stone. A few months ago, I lost a dog that was my pet since age 12 and lived with me during part of my adult life. John Stone really captures just how painful losing an animal is with this piece. Especially the last line: “Next dog, I want one that lasts.” As I sit here hugging my new pooch, I implore him to please, never ever ever ever die.

Listen to me recite the poem with music provided by the talented Joe Brooker.

roaree wit andy
Roaree dances with Andy, Philadelphia

I was psychoanalyzed, years ago

An accidental poem from a stranger in a coffeeshop.

“I was psychoanalyzed, years ago,”
she said.

“Really?” I asked,
“What was that like?”

“Well, I met with a
psychiatrist two
times per week for
three years. And then,

when the report was ready
I dressed to the nines.

My hair was all done,
I wore a dress. I knew
it wasn’t going to be
an easy thing to hear.”

She paused, looking down
at the tiny dog in her lap,
“but you know it changed me.

It really did.

I had a tick in my neck, my
head would constantly spring
in one direction. I would
show you, but no, I don’t want
to even do it.

Anyway, my father died
when I was very young
and the psychiatrist
said the tick was from me

saying ‘no, I don’t accept this.’

And he was right. And you
know what, after that,

I didn’t have the tick anymore.”


The rooftops in Queen Village, Philadelphia.

Once Thought is a poem I wrote during my first year in the corporate world. I would hide out in the coffee shop across the street from work during my lunch break to write poems — coming back to life for those precious 30 minutes. I always imagined myself doing something magnificent for work, but there I was in a windowless office instead. And so I thought: “it’s not hero’s journey, afterall.” Listen to a recording of me reciting the poem with musical accompaniment by Joe Brooker. Many thanks, faraway friend.

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