Archives for posts with tag: cancer
Scrambled eggs-01

By Tom Ipri (Scrambled Eggs auf flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Into your hands
I commend the
beating of tonight’s
eggs. This will
be the last meal
of solid food.

When my Dad was in the final stages of his cancer, one of the few things he ate was scrambled eggs. That period of my life still circles in my mind. It was a strange time when we all continued with the daily activities of feeding him and being with him, neither realising nor acknowledging that he was actually dying.

I still think about what is it was like to be with the ‘almost gone.’ As I do not work in a profession that confronts death on a regular basis, my only experiences have been related to passing family. I sometimes wonder about the ushering performed by those in pastoral or hospice care, medical or funeral professions. How much of their work is solely the task at hand? How much is curating the metaphysical surrender of the body that expresses our life and appetites?

Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill
Books:
In the Ocean: a year of poetry
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness: Selected Poems, 1999 – 2012

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The radio station holds
a ‘phone-in about How to
Seduce Every Sign of the Zodiac.
Every star-sign, says the guest expert,
has a romance silhouette.
Taurus to Scorpio sound good.
Pass on the Virgos
and Cancerians.

22/12/13

Anything to do with signs and symbolism pulls at my imagination. Just today I was thinking about the symbolic resonances of my first, middle and sur- names.  The fascination is with how humans try to make sense of the world through words, images and parallel realms of meaning.

I seldom read astrological predictions, but identify in myself qualities that could be listed as quintessentially Cancerian: homemaker, moon-ruled, tidal (i.e. excusably moody), quite happy to hide away in my shell or under a metaphorical rock, a little sensitive and, as required, more than ready to whip my crabby pincers into action. Zodiac signs, especially in romantic pairings, may be hooey. Yet, it might be worth knowing that in love Virgos are regarded as pernickety, over analytical with a leaning towards rescuing, while Cancerians are supposedly sensitive, moody and armoured by their shells. Taureans and Scorpios must also have their faults, but for the sake of a poem, we shall let them pass.

Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill
Books:
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness

It’s Thursday, 06:15
You wake up to the alarm
knowing you will never 
  win an Olympic medal
  publish a novel
  that would win the Man Booker,
  finish your degree
  or even pay the last R150 you owe
Woolworths.
Your first grandchild will die before 
you and each of those candles you lit
in the cave of the chapel
might have been for your lost
dreams.
	But those little flames did not save you
from the canker fire in your gut and liver
that burned lost dreams and life
in slower motion than every workday Thursday.


This is the second in a set of ‘difficult’ poems.

Woolworths is a South African department store akin to the UK’s Marks and Spencer (rather than the now defunct UK Woolworths).

The described persona of this poem is based on my Dad.

Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill
Books:
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness