NaPoWriMo: Day 21 – Cancer

And now for our (optional) prompt, which takes its inspiration from another surrealist work, Federico Garcia Lorca’s poem “City that Does Not Sleep.” Lorca took much of his inspiration from Spanish folklore, but also wrote a group of harrowing poems based on time he spent in New York. (Lorca was nota fan of the Big Apple). “City That Does Not Sleep” is from that collection. Subtitled “Brooklyn Bridge Nocturne” in the original Spanish, it presents a kaleidoscopic, hallucinatory vision of the city as a wild countryside roamed by animals. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that, like The Color of Pomegranates and “City That Does Not Sleep,” incorporates wild, surreal images. Try to play around with writing that doesn’t make formal sense, but which engages all the senses and involves dream-logic.

I dedicate today’s poem to all those who are either fighting cancer or seen someone close fighting it or have lost someone to cancer.



Was Satan himself, in all his cimmerian, black glory-

On a perfectly clear blue day

His canines desperate to dig, he was starved and hungry

He chose the kindest of the lot and made his way

She hadn’t known when and how he’d entered,

Tentacles clinging to her tender flesh

Gnawing surreptitiously, His efforts concentred

Her cells; supple, fresh

no longer. He’d turned them into zombies

Duplicating and replicating

Slithering, ravaging, busy

Ugly claws tightening


A hoarse lump


An inconspicuous stump

Roots deep, piercing, menacing

Jubilant; her body his toy

Wild forest fire burning

inch by inch to destroy

Dry autumn leaves


Tired, she grieves

Eyes glowing, he’s rejoicing

Her body weakened

A warrior fighting

He’s sickened


Her soul he couldn’t touch



In memory of all those beautiful souls lost to this dreaded disease.  

Copyright©2019. All Rights Reserved.


P.C. From the Net




3 responses to “NaPoWriMo: Day 21 – Cancer”

  1. Andrea Stephenson Avatar

    This poem has a lot of strength in it as well as describing the horrors and the insidiousness of cancer Smitha.


  2. Angela van Son Avatar

    I didn’t expect a (sort of) happy ending! Its a scary poem, you’ve done well. You’ve captured something unspeakable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Thank you Angella…I wasnt sure if it had the surreal feature. The ‘happy ending’ was more like it could only affect one’s body but not taint the soul. I guess I treaded on uncertain paths. And when nobody commented I was even more apprehensive. So thank you for your comment. It makes me feel better🙏💕

      Liked by 2 people

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