Medicine Chest

Hand Painted Medicine Bottle






Medicine Chest

You are the medicine that soothes,
Using you like a drug,
Can’t stop taking,
Doesn’t get better,
Keeps needing more.

Won’t overdose, too careful about that,
Just enough to soothe, dull the pain.
Seems to be getting better, looking hopeful,
Then regresses, back to status quo.

Clearly an addict, and you are the fix,
Using you as a panacea.
You don’t realize it for a while.
Then, one day, you do.
You are their medicine chest.

They open you up, admire what they see,
Take you off the shelf,
Take what they need from you,
Hold you in the palm of their hand,
Swallow you up.
Put you back, close the door.
Shut you out.

Shut you out of their life,
Until they need another fix,
Until they need you again,
To confide in, to confer with,
To soothe, to make them feel better.

It becomes a vicious cycle,
Needed, then discarded,
Over and again,
Used up, like an empty medicine bottle.
Used up, tossed in the trash bin.

When your medicine no longer soothes,
A new drug will be found to replace you,
Will take your place on the shelf.
The cycle continues,
A new fix to soothe the addiction.

Lynn McHale June 6, 2017 Copyright All Rights Reserved Revised April 6, 2018

Substance Abuse


Genuine gestures;
Affirmations of affection,
Heartfelt, romantic,
Natural, easy.

Warm expressions of tenderness,
Honest offerings of concern, interest,
Subtle signs of kindness,
Pure, earnest.

Hollow gestures;
Insincerities served with a smile,
Seasoned, said for quite a while,
Opportunities to beguile.

Sincerity feigned, faked,
Stop gap to plug relationship crack,
Emotional tides to hold back,
Love tepid, open to attack.

Empty gestures lacking substance,
Leaving both depleted, exhausted.
One desperate for authenticity,
One engaged in substance abuse.

Lynn McHale 4/10/14 Copyright All Rights Reserved

Curtain Call – Second Act

No more patience!
For those starring in role of a lifetime,
Featuring themselves in lead role,
But playing role of the victim,
But playing role of the martyr,
Always re-reading script of “their story.”

Co-starring are excuses and blame,
By far the easiest roles to play,
Don’t even have to rehearse,
You’ve said these lines a hundred times.
They just fall from your mouth naturally, with such ease.

We’ve heard the same old lines, same old excuses,
Same old placing blame elsewhere.
Why would we go see you perform in this play?
Why would we accompany you to after-party?
You don’t even show up to your own life’s party!

Lights dim!
The play closes, bad reviews!
No applause for you in this role,
Your performance is not what it should be!
Needs more effort on your part.
No one wants to come see this play,
Even be around you, the lead.
Still blaming others, still seeing yourself as a victim,
Still holding tightly to your script.

Good News!
New play is opening,
“Second Chance, Your Second Act.”
New role starring you,
New audience with whom to connect,
New script with positive words, phrases and lines.
”Second Chance” comes around once in a lifetime!

Opening Night!
Curtain goes up.
It’s you, starring in the role of your life!
Will you open with same old worn out lines,
Lines we have heard again and again.
Or, will we be surprised to hear new lines?
Lines we have never heard or haven’t heard in a very long time.
Lines that at one time in your life brought down the house!

You have been rehearsing new lines,
Bravely trying them out, speaking loudly,
Watching reactions on their faces,
Measuring responses, looking for connections,
Hoping for applause and an encore!
You only have “Your Second Act,”
Once curtain falls, that starring role ends!

Rave Reviews!
You brought down the house!
You want Critic’s final review to read;
How everyone stood up and cheered,
How you had a passion for life,
How you loved all the activities with which you were involved,
How you greeted each new day as a new opportunity,
How you kept practicing those lines and movements,
Perfecting them to best of your ability,
How you took on another role, and another, and another,
Never giving up, even when the roles got tougher and tougher!

Don’t squander the opportunity to star in your life’s role!
You deserve rave reviews!!

Lynn McHale  4/2/2014 Copyright All Rights Reserved

Chemical Warfare


My Art Therapy class interpreted Chemical Warfare with these medicine bottles.  3/24/14

My Art Therapy class interpreted Chemical Warfare with these medicine bottles. 3/24/14







Brain battles rage inside my head.
Cells falter, some already dead.
Crucial messages not getting through,
The chemical serving very few.

My brain engages in chemical warfare.
Battles rage over Dopamine, an agonist, rare.
In great demand, only a little bit,
Skirmishes over how much to transmit.

Which cells will occupy the Dopamine?
Never a winner, so cruel, and so mean.
Never a truce, never any R and R,
There are no heroes, it’s all very bizarre.

Same battle fought over and over,
Absolutely no end to this war,
Each side losing more and more precious ground,
Cells depleted, no reinforcements found.
Lynn McHale 7/21/13 Copyright All Rights Reserved

Mother Nature is a Terrorist

Must be on constant watch for her!
Disguises herself as man or woman,
Changes name to suit her temperament,
Never uses her “favorites” again.

She changed the course of history.
Permanently altered coastlines.
Made front page news.
Closed down Wall Street

Strategically positions cells on map.
Relentless, organized, elusive,
Ever erupting, weather vane, volatile.
Formidable, fueled with enduring fury.

Targets where ever and what ever pleases her,
Strikes without warning, although tracked on radar,
Rains down utter destruction.
There is no escape.

Relies on strong formations,
Masses along ridges,
Columns of storm clouds.
Wages lightning war.

She makes dust swirl,
Clouds rotate, winds shear,
Glaciers melt, oceans overflow,
Earth shake.

She spews, chokes, poisons,
Hails, freezes, floods,
Scorches, parches, burns,
Causes death and despair.

She lurks in the Alley,
Lays siege to the Heartland,
Obliterates towns and lives,
Scars the earth in her path.

Uses rotation as weapon of mass destruction,
Thunder and lightning as scare tactics,
Causes outbreak of fear and panic.
Stuns with shock and awe.

She is amused when they try to fight back,
Digging their firewalls and filling their sandbags,
Hiding in their basements, and “hunkering down”.
Those who chase and get too close, she exacts revenge!

Always plotting next strike.
Warnings issued,
Complacency settles in,
They let down their guard.

She waits.
She strikes.
There is no defense.
She takes no prisoners.

Lynn McHale 7/9/13 Copyright All Rights Reserved