FITHIAN PRESS


FACING MORTALITY, BELIEVING IN TODAY
Poet/Doctor Frank L. Meyskens offers “reflections of an aging scholar”

The poems in Aching for Tomorrow, Dr. Frank Meyskens’s first published collection of poems (2007), were inspired mostly by his career as an oncologist. In particular, they explored the doctor’s relationship with the patient, showing the ways they share responses to the issue of mortality. In the seven years since that book was published, Dr. Meyskens has moved slowly out of the front lines of clinical medicine, and his new collection, Believing in Today, reflects a change in his focus. He thinks of his newer poems as “Reflections of an Aging Scholar.”

Of course Dr. Meyskens still writes about big issues in medical care: the unknown (“Stage Fright”); getting it right (“Miracles”); wanting to do more (“Not enough”); end-of-life decisions (“Life Panel”); and commitment (“Loyalty”).

The poems in Believing in Today concern loss, grief, and imaging one’s own death (“True Love,” “Table for Two,”). Some of the poems dealing with the poet’s own mortality were inspired by his father’s death (“Given a Chance,” “The Final Song,”). Others are reflections on aging and what looms ahead “Dodging the Bullet,” “Slipping on Ice”).

Perhaps the most personal of these poems are tributes to important people in the poet’s life: his wife, Linda (“Heartbeat,” “Illuminate”); his brother (“The Coyote in Autumn-time”); and his daughters (“Fluid Fusion,” “Two Spirits”).

Many of Dr. Meyskens’s newer poems are responses to changes in society as a whole, such as the passing of the Baby Boomers and rising influence of the Millennials (“Generational Shift”); the problems presented by the vast disparity of wealth; the promises and perils of too little or too much social interaction (“The Digital Divide,”) and the issue of personal freedom versus national security. The poet sees trouble in such changes, yet his poems also emphasize the fact that much of what modern society has today is “good” for individuals and should not be abandoned. Hence the title of the book, Believing in Today.
Frank L. Meyskens, Jr., M.D. is Professor of Medicine, Biological Chemistry, Public Health, and Epidemiology at the University of California, Irvine, where he is also Vice Dean of the School of Medicine and Director Emeritus of the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. He lives in Irvine, California with his wife, Linda.


Frank L. Meyskens, Jr., M.D. is Professor of Medicine, Biological Chemistry, Public Health, and Epidemiology at the University of California, Irvine, where he is also Vice Dean of the School of Medicine and Director Emeritus of the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. He lives in Irvine, California with his wife, Linda.
 


Believing in Today
Poems
by Frank L. Meyskens, Jr.
ISBN 978-1-56474-558-3
80 pages, paperback, $14.00

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