My “Other” Self

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist
July 2, 2018 [printfriendly]




My "Other" Self


By now, most of you know me. I have been writing about the gut, mouth diseases, and various manifestations of chronic diseases – and all their intricate interconnections. But, what you don’t know is my “other” self.


I have dabbled in original, abstract black & white photography and original poetry. Sometime in the future, I will upload some of my photography, which I exhibited many years ago at Spoleto (an annual international arts festival in Charleston, SC). Today, I want to share some of my original poems, which I penned also many years ago.


Some of my poems touch the heart; some are whimsical; and some may be considered dark. They all are my thoughts at the time I wrote them. When something moves me, I get creative.


Here are three of my poems. I hope you enjoy them on some emotional level.



Have You Noticed?

(I wrote this for my daughter’s birthday in 1999)


Have you noticed…

That days of the year move by faster,

And the clouds in the sky form more shapes,

And summers are warmer,

And winters are milder?


Have you noticed…

That the wind blows faster through the trees,

And the grass grows greener and taller,

And flowers smell sweeter,

And birds sing with laughter?


Have you noticed…

That leaves float gracefully off trees in fall,

And frogs come to life at night in the marsh,

And cats are much softer,

And dogs snuggle deeper?


Have you noticed…

That you are a beautiful woman,

And your heart swells with warmth, love, and joy,

And your sweet smile is brilliant,

And your eyes sparkle and dance?


Have you noticed…

That both of us share profound love for you,

And you make us proud and blessed and thankful,

And you are our little girl,

And you will be forever?


Happy Birthday



What Matters Most

(I wrote this in 2000 while on a plane browsing through “SkyMall In-flight Catalog” in the magazine pouch on the back seat in front of me.)


Once I was reading, completely besieged

By an ad of what every man needs.

It went further than that;

It demanded I act,

Or I’d never be totally pleased.


Listed for purchase were masculine treats,

Costly stuff that did little but tease –

The neatest nail clippers,

A woofer that whispers,

And a thing that makes golf swings a breeze.


I read, then observed, ‘twas oh so absurd,

What a strained state of mind I was in.

This material world

Had me trapped and enthralled –

All my senses contorted within.


And suddenly in my mind’s conscious sight,

Like a fog slowly lifting from view –

A truth so inviting,

A thought so exciting –

Life’s most intimate meaning burst through.


What matters most has no physical girth;

What matters the most is most precious.

It’s loving and caring;

It’s feeling and sharing;

Life’s essence is simple and gracious.


Eyes closed, I drift to a more serene place

Embracing what matters most to me.

I must make a new start

For these joys from the heart

Are pure treasures of eternity.


All the worldly toys men strive to retain

Mean nothing through long, lonely nights.

The truth of the matter

Debunks all the clatter;

What matters most are life’s pure delights.



Have You Ever…

(I wrote this in 2000.)


Have you ever tried to touch the tip of your tongue
to the tip of your nose;
or tried to scratch that tiny, annoying tickle
at that unreachable spot on your back?


Have you ever longed for the time
when you would be able to stand on your tippy toes
and finally reach and retrieve that little something
so elusive yet so visible?


I have; I do; I will continue to.


I try as hard as I might.

I stretch as tall as I can.

I work at it; I pray for it.

I am tormented over it.


Oh, for the day
when what is so close yet so far away
becomes reachable, touchable, and embraceable.


Oh, for the time
when being there really matters,
and when moments remain
to love and be loved.


Have you ever tried to fly?


I have,
and I will continue to
every day of my life.



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