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Old 02-18-2018, 11:23 AM
Mary McLean Mary McLean is offline
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Cambridge UK
Posts: 1,091

Good to hear the treatment is going well and you're still writing. Stay strong.
Old 04-12-2018, 01:57 PM
Catherine Chandler's Avatar
Catherine Chandler Catherine Chandler is offline
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Canada and Uruguay
Posts: 5,676
Blog Entries: 33

Dear Spherians,

Tim's PET scan earlier this week revealed that the cancer has further metastasized.

He'll soon begin clinical trials in immunotherapy.

Please continue to keep Tim in your thoughts and prayers.

Old 04-12-2018, 02:16 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TX
Posts: 3,458

I will.

Old 04-12-2018, 05:49 PM
Michael Cantor Michael Cantor is offline
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Plum Island, MA; Santa Fe, NM
Posts: 10,646

Thinking of you Tim. Val and I will never forget that wonderful night on the deck at Plum Island, when you recited long passages of your and Alan's Beowulf by heart, stamping a stave (well, maybe it was a broom handle) into the deck to help the rhythm; and Alan woke early the next morning to walk the beach and greet the sun. It was one of my favorite poetry experiences. You brought the words alive, as you always do.

We've been friends a long time and I've seen you survive a great deal. My money's on Tim again. And my prayers.
Old 04-12-2018, 06:18 PM
Mary Meriam's Avatar
Mary Meriam Mary Meriam is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: usa
Posts: 7,157

Love you, Timmy.

An Old Man Speaks

You havenít found me frothing on the floor
and bleeding from the tongue for a long time.
You are my weekly visitor. The door
creaks open, and a corpse dusted with lime
revives to smile. Danny, had I been straight,
I might be you, smothered in happiness,
children swarming my knees. But Iíve a fate,
Dom in the Anglo Saxon, and Iíd guess
the All Father has placed me on this path
diverging in a leafless wood, to find
some way to charity, away from wrath.
My eyes are bandaged, so Iím choosing blind
between two destinations: Heaven, Hell.
Visit me here, and try to love me well.

óTimothy Murphy
Old 04-12-2018, 08:15 PM
Tim Murphy Tim Murphy is offline
Lariat Emeritus
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Fargo ND, USA
Posts: 13,831

Thank you Mary, and Michael, many fond memories of Plum Island. I've reluctantly given up my hopes to visit again this summer. At 110 pounds I am just too feeble to travel.

Yesterday was so low a blow I sort of went into shock, but I'm fine now. About 25 miles up the highway to St. Paul, I'd composed another short "windshield poem," and Dana Gioia called to assure me that he and his Dominican friends were praying hard, which I deeply appreciate. Here is my reaction to the worst PET scan imaginable.

Progress Report

Cancer: metastasis is everywhere,
attacking my left thigh,
my skull (it’s aiming high),
more vertebrae. My doctors don’t despair,

neither shall I. This new clinical trial
is really my last hope,
my drowning swimmer’s rope.
I leave the Mayo Clinic with a smile,

determined Murphy will return next week
to bolster an immune
system that plays my tune.
Maybe this is the Holy Grail I seek.

Last edited by Tim Murphy; 04-12-2018 at 08:18 PM.
Old 04-13-2018, 04:00 PM
Rick Mullin's Avatar
Rick Mullin Rick Mullin is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 7,747


I am thinking about you.

I was with Mary Ann Miller, editor of Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry, at a reading in Caldwell last week. She noticed that you'd blurbed my Darwin sonnets, and lit up with praise!

I have only heard you read from the dais at West Chester, but that was enough to have total recall of your voice and your presence when you are reciting.

Hit that clinical frontier with all you got!

Much love,
Old 04-13-2018, 08:44 PM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Iowa City, IA, USA
Posts: 7,692

Tim, I doubt that you have read The Fault in Our Stars, a book about a teenage girl with terminal cancer. But I have been thinking about it in connection with you. There is a line in it that goes roughly "Some infinities are larger than others," if I am remembering correctly. And the point is that length of life is not the measure of the thoroughness with which it is lived. You have always seemed to me to have lived your life with intensity. It sounds as though you are still doing so. That is what counts. You are still writing, even in the worst of times. It is the best thing to do under the circumstances. May you continue to do so.

Old 04-14-2018, 04:16 PM
Tim Murphy Tim Murphy is offline
Lariat Emeritus
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Fargo ND, USA
Posts: 13,831

Thank you Susan. Thank you Rick, may have said this in the blurb, but I always had the Beagle on my bucket list, and it was a thrill to see your Darwin sonnets unspooling here. Michael says he's betting on me. I wrote a really tiny ode for my big hunting buddy Steve a couple weeks ago. Here is the Epode:

Syrdal Speaks

Steve speaks in a dream,
likely a smoky bar:
“Things aren’t all that they seem;
though Murphy’s come so far
and the known risk is grim,
I’ll stack my chips on Tim.”

Then Steve adds with a grin,
“I’m all in.”

I'm experiencing just a flood of inspiration every day, even twice, four times a day. Twenty-eight poems since Holy Saturday. Thank you Holy Spirit.
Old 04-16-2018, 03:57 AM
Michael Juster Michael Juster is offline
Distinguished Guest
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Belmont MA
Posts: 4,785


Extraordinary work amid extraordinary challenges.

Hang in there, buddy!

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