Code Blue

I’ve very much appreciated Adrienne’s response to ‘writing prompts’. This is a poem I had hoped to offer at Art Night before circumstances conspired against my being able to attend. The poem was written in response to a prompt offered on an online writer’s gathering. The prompt was a picture of a path through interlaced trees creating a canopy. There was bright sunlight at the far end of the path. It reminded me of my experience when I had an adverse reaction to iodine contrast dye and coded during the procedure. It was amazing to have an out of body experience.


Rising to the bright ceiling
I leave my thrashing body behind.
Mask shrouded doctors scramble,
burst through doors, break restraints,
bark orders, shout out codes.
Havoc reigns as things go wrong.

Sunlight at the end of a tunnel
calls softly to another place.
Interlacing branches, leafy arms
reach beyond to beckon home,
down a gray graveled pathway
to a peace that only light can give.

Eventually all fades to black.
There’s no awareness, no reality,
no cogent memories of the day,
just simple empty nothingness.
I hear a nurse’s strident voice
call me back among the living.


  1. That’s an amazing experience, Rod.The same happened to me but I was two years old and don’t have any memory of it.

    • I know what you mean….but there’s a part of you that does remember…your soul? I hope that doesn’t sound cheesy. It’s like the first time I had soy milk (as a young adult—that was back in the late 80s when soy products weren’t everywhere) and I thought, “I am surprised that I recognize the taste…how? when?” It took me a while to realize I was remembering infant formula (which I hadn’t drunk since I was a year old). So, it’s like you’ve tasted being called up towards heaven and on a hidden level, that’s part of your own unique connection with life and with God.

  2. Your near-death experience took you through a forest? That’s interesting. The image of Sue’s painting of you (the one in which you’re in a forest) came to mind as I read this.

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