Archive for the ‘ill health’ Category

This poem reflects the intensity and clarity poetic writing can bring to understanding our shared humanity. But context counts. This poem was added as a comment by Tim Shanasy to the Embedded Poem, Dead Love, by Will Storr posted in this blog. The poem howls with rage about the difficulty of living with tinnitus. When you know this context, you don’t just read the words, you also hear the scream of the white noise.

Like an endless steam train with horns ablaze,

about to emerge from it’s tunnel,

into a forest of crazy cicadas.

This, endlessly, a photo of noisy sounds,

steadfastly displayed in the gallery walls of my mind.

In sleep and in surf.

The only relief . .

Subconscious or immersed,

the only respite.

To awake, is to take control of the emotions.

To sink, or to swim. I swim.

The trick is to normalise.

How bad is this really?

Only to ponder truth briefly, is all it takes.

The plight of so many others, must be so much worse.

The human condition lives on, in us all.

Tim Shanasy

Tim Shanasy is a Byron Bay musician and, obviously, poet.

Pic from Travis Hornung’s Photostream

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This poem by award winning ACT poet, Suzanne Edgar, uses a razor-edged scalpel to cut through that  robust, jolly-hockey sticks mask of confidence we so often wear when our own mortality is threatened. Like the Greek muse Clotho who spun the thread of life from distaff onto her spindle, this poet  spins the raw thread of fear into something beautiful.

I’ve got the biopsy blues

from rather gruesome news:

feels like a punch in the gut,

they say my throat’s to be cut.

A man with a steady handscalpel

will snip off a little gland

in the shape of a butterfly ‑

both the wings must die.

He’d better not nick a chip

off neck, or cheek, or lip.

After my throat’s sewn up

and I have woken up

in the coldly clinical world

of an alien hospital ward,

will I still be a similar me

or less like I used to be?

Still feel a dizzying swing

as my mood lifts off with a zing?

Hope I can sing soprano

not drop to a throaty alto,

if I can even speak.

I bet I’ll look a freak.

That surgeon’s pretty cool,b & w butterfly

they reckon he’s nobody’s fool

so I shouldn’t think this way.

He operates twice a day,

it’s how he pays his way

to reside in Double Bay.

When a butterfly has to die



it never wonders why.        



Suzanne Edgar

Suzanne Edgar’s most recent book is The Painted Lady available now in:
 the bookshop of the National Library of Aust
the bookshop of the National Gallery of Aust
Paperchain Bookstore 34 Franklin St Manuka ACT,#mce_temp_url#, 02 62956723; 
from the publisher, Ginninderra Press 79B Lipson St Pt Adelaide SA 5015

Butterfly Clip Art : DJamesm #mce_temp_url#











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There are barsbarbed wire
on all the windows.
Nightingales come
with plug-in leads, metal
discs and thick rubber bands.

ECT’s are fast and efficient;
just a small clamp between
the teeth, slight pressure
on the head, then out
barbed wire
into the airing court
a thorax of blue flame.

My singed eyebrows
suit me.


Karen Knightbird


The power of this devastating poem is it’s nonchalance. You go in. You get Electroconclusive Therapy. It happens.Karen book

Karen Knight’s latest book containing this and other poems is, appropriately, Postcards from the Asylum. It can be purchased through the publisher,

Pardalote Press, #mce_temp_url#

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The cure is not in the chemo, blade or pill.     pills

It is in the reckoning.


Why me? Why me? Why me?


 Fate can be a bastard

What did you expect?

Garlands of good fortune?

A ticker tape parade along Destiny Drive?

Dorothy and Toto skipping you down the Yellow Brick Road?


Or maybe you felt that God

–      as a one of interventionist favour-

would lasso that renegade cell gone cancer cowboy

or get out his godly remote and stop that lunatic car

or turn omnipotent bouncer and block your entry

in the dance of destruction, Pandora’s Choice!


It matters not.


 Pandora chose you.

That is the reckoning.


Later – if there is a later –

It is time to weigh, sift and till

Find the fertile lobe

Sow new thoughts of how you are to be

Grow new ways of thinking

This is me! This is me! This is me!

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