True Love Stories and other poems
True Love Stories and other poems is a book for all readers. You need not be a poetry scholar to sense and share the deepest feelings of the collection’s internationally recognized author. But if you are such a scholar, you will move with wonder through the perfect stanzas of this remarkable work.
Dr. Michael Creagan possesses not only the five senses of life, and not even a sixth, but perhaps seven – or more. His tender word pictures of life and love around him, of beauty in nature, his recognition of everyday humor as well as his sometimes wicked and naughty satire, invite the reader to smile, to weep, to blush, and finally, to read his poems with a great sense of satisfaction.
Let Dr. Creagan tell you of Pamela, who stands alone in a pale circle of light on a snowy street in Amherst, Massachusetts waiting for someone who will never arrive. Read his love letter in which he says he would like to tell someone he loves her “in a language nobody knows.” As a doctor he recounts that once he was privately concerned about what could be the serious condition of a young girl who asked him, “What do you think I have?” After a pause, he answered, “You have beautiful blue eyes.”
Readers who venture into Dr. Creagan’s world will soon discover that they have absorbed every poem in this wonderful book.
Michael Creagan, the oldest of seven children, grew up in the city of New Haven, and then the town of Hamden, in Connecticut. He graduated in 1970 from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and has been working as a doctor ever since. For the past 28 years, he has worked as an emergency medicine specialist at San Antonio Community Hospital in Upland, California. For about 40 years, he has been writing poetry. This is his first book.
Excerpts from True Love Stories and other poems:
You may have thought things would come right again
If only you could sit quite still and wait.
Driving to the hospital late lastnight,
I turned down a road that ran between dark fields.
Up ahead, in the middle of the road,
a small brown rabbit was sitting very still,
looking down at a rabbit who was dead,
a mangled corpse, run over by a car.
Lit up by my headlights, he took off toward the fields.
Slowing down, I drove by the dead rabbit,
then stopped the car, and watched in the rear-view mirror.
The rabbit came back and sat in the road again,
resuming the vigil for his dead friend, or kin.
Quiet, still, he sat and stared at him.
Touched, unable to guess what you felt or thought,
I found it hard to watch you suffer this.
You have no words to understand what death is,
no words to ease your sadness, to console,
to mourn or pray, or tell your friend farewell.
I hope you made it safely home last night
and woke this morning in the warm sunlight.
This morning, at my table under the trees,
because you have no words, I’ve written these.
After Reading A Book Of Old Chinese Poetry, I Stay Awake Tonight And Write This Poem
A beautiful place is the town of Lo-Yang.
The big streets are full of spring light.
— Wen-Ti, 5th century, CE
A beautiful place is the little town of Claremont.
The quiet streets are lined by ancient trees.
Down the long avenues of old houses,
pepper trees, sycamores, cedars, oaks and elms,
eucalyptus, palms and jacarandas,
translate sunlight into restful shadows.
Flowers are everywhere, and citrus trees.
Lemons and oranges ornament the gardens.
Students walk by, with their books, to the colleges.
Townspeople walk together to the village.
From parks and schoolyards, children’s voices call.
Sunday mornings, churches ring their their bells.
On a clear day, you can see the mountains
where children play, in winter, in the snow,
and long trails lead to streams and waterfalls.
Deer and mountain lions walk the mountains.
Rattlesnakes doze for hours in the sun.
Some days the ponds are visited by bears
who stumble home with their bellies full of trout.
Unable to sleep, I leave my house tonight
and sit at my wooden table under the trees.
Now the winds and birds have settled, the night is still.
The owl in the cedar tree begins to bell.
Rose and jasmine burn their their sticks of incense.
Moonlight falls on Claremont through the clouds.
I remember Po Chui’s poem about the cranes.
In the early dusk, down an alley of green moss,
the garden boy is leading the cranes home.
How strange and powerful, the love of home.
Stranger still, to be alive at all,
to be anywhere, in all its endless detail,
and the millions of tiny locks that will be broken
before you can be released from where you are,
to return again forever to the place,
so many years ago, you started from,
the nothing that is everywhere but here.