Sacred Daily Lives
The words are no less fitting now than when this piece was written at the height of the AIDS epidemic.
Wake up, arise from the fog, and face a new post-op day.
The Air in Front of Him
When all else fails, fly.
The Hard-Working Immigrant
We come for freedom and the chance to live the American dream.
Slivers of Hope: Maxine Kumin
Let spring training not be a mere memory.
A million doctors on fire, three million scorched nurses beside them, burned out as the flames progress.
Grandpa Murray, rags to riches, American big shot, the man who dreamt even bigger for his first grandson when he placed a doctor’s bag in my crib . . . the proudest man
at my med school graduation.
Coughs That Echo Across the World
Drama for the day, the telephone rings, spring blossoms, senior year is sad, Mother Earth takes revenge, praying for Sully to land us on the Hudson . . .
Let Evening Come: An Invocation
Dr Berlin offers salve to the soul with a recitation of "Let Evening Come," by Jane Kenyon, and then some.
The Road Home From the Hospital
When the AIDS epidemic was at its peak, Dr Berlin wrote his own version of "Spring and All," in which he speaks directly to the original author, Wayne Carlos Williams. There are parallels to coronavirus in these works.
The Nurses in Our Lives
In this series of recitations, Dr Richard Berlin will present a poetry with special meaning for all of us, as we cope with the COVID-19 crisis. He continues the theme of praising our nursing colleagues with Dorianne Laux's poem "Nurse."
A Question of Character
Beethoven’s baton, the genius "gone mad," deaf to criticism, his joy as he conducted, all the notes he trusted the orchestra to play . . .
The Love for our Work
A poem titled Loves by American poet Stephen Dunn inspired me to write a poem about everything I love about my work as a doctor.
Silent and Solemn Spring
Why poetry? As the great Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai said, “When words fail, that’s when poetry begins.”
Honoring Our Nurses
Nurses are on the front line in the care of COVID-19 patients, and for many years Dr Berlin has admired and resonated with the poetry of nurse practitioner Cortney Davis. Here: a recitation of two of her poems.
A Further Shore Is Reachable
Richard Berlin, MD, recites "COVID-19," by Dr Chris Fitzpatrick. It is a series of haikus strung together to highlight the many moments in hospitals that are happening everywhere in the world. This. Very. Moment.
His widow sues. Five night-sweat-years later, our colleague wins in court, because he has good documentation.
I read Dear Provider in a letter from a health care company. Provider is a fine word, and I’ve always felt proud to provide for my family-but the company doesn’t know guys from Jersey are sensitive.
The Show Must Go On
A phone rings on stage like a flashback and we return to our fantasy that characters can die and revive, that the show must go on . . .
Psychiatrists Are Not the Retiring Kind
The past is prologue riding close behind. Give up your practice? And do what instead? Psychiatrists are not the retiring kind!
Our daughter’s first day of Med School ten years ago, computer charged, a career choice . . .
I imagine Emma on a winter night, an eight-year-old curled fireside in a wing chair, proving her skill with weeping willows...
They sulk and swear when I say, “Sorry, no Jollies,” tune out when I lecture about sugar, acid, and tooth decay- they’ve known sweetness and want more....
My musician patient in a fetal curl, Tchaikovsky’s “Meditation” plays an endless loop against this climate controlled conspiracy of monitors and machines...
All the World’s Notes
The moment the maestro flicks his baton, an orchestra thunders and the pianist suffers a stroke. But everyone plays on...
A ghostly glow frames the face of a man with nothing to hide...
Patient Interviewing 101
Always ask the name of their dog.
Conflict of Interest Form
They ask me to sign the moment before my poetry reading and I comply...
The Week the EMR Went Down
We fled the computer room like inmates after lightning fries the prison fence. Then we rounded with nurses who knew the doses and what made patients moan...
Overheard Conversation, ICU
Do I have to speak? I know you know...
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