Posted in poem, Poems/Poetry, poetry, Video

The Red Dress

English poet, Myra Schneider, is a friend of The Bardo Group. Her website is HERE.

Posted in Guest Writer, Perspectives on Cancer

PERSPECTIVES ON CANCER #19: Radical Mastectomy

RADICAL MASTECTOMY

by

Cindy Taylor

I brought her home

and

The flowers came

From far and wide

For her

Shorn, severed body

lying

In our marriage bed

Iwouldn’t couldn’t didn’t

When she said

“touch me”

… that devastated landscape …

What

About

Me?

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Cindy Taylor ~ Cindy is a freelance writer, a poet, editor and proofreader. She has an abiding passion for food and wine and an endearing zeal for life, which she shares with us on her award-winning food blog, The Only Cin. Cindy lives in Johannesburg, South Africa with her husband, daughter, and a fine cast of animal friends. Judging from photographs, she has a world-class kitchen and an abundance of red shoes.

Posted in Guest Writer, Perspectives on Cancer

PERSPECTIVES ON CANCER #11: The Red Dress

Myra Schneider

THE RED DRESS

by

Myra Schneider

My first reaction is: I want it,
can’t wait to squeeze into
a scarlet sheath that promises
breasts round as russet apples,
a waist pinched to a pencil,
hips that know the whole dictionary
of swaying, can’t wait
to saunter down an August street
with every eye upon me.

But the moment I’m zipped in
I can’t breathe and the fabric
hugging my stomach without mercy
pronounces me a frump.
Besides, in the internet café,
where you can phone Tangiers
or Thailand for almost nothing
fourteen pairs of eyes
are absorbed by screens.
No one whistles when I smile
at boxes of tired mangoes
and seedy broccoli heads
outside the Greek superstore.

By now I’m in a fever to undo
the garment and pull it off.
And for all its flaws, for all
that it only boasts one breast,
I’m overjoyed to re-possess
my body. I remember I hate
holding in and shutting away.
What I want is a dress easy
as a plump plum oozing
juice, as a warm afternoon
in late October creeping
its ambers and cinnamons into
leaves, a dress that reassures
there’s no need to pretend,
a dress that’s as capacious
as generosity, a dress that willingly
unbuttons and whispers in the ear:
be alive every minute of your life.

© copyright, Myra Schneider, all rights reserved

The Red Dress from Circling the Core by Myra Schneider, 2008

 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

In 2000, Myra Schneider was diagnosed with breast cancer. Writing for her – as for many – was a part of the healing process, if not the cure. She journaled two weeks after diagnosis:

I have to hang onto the thought of friends and the relatives and friends of people I know who have survived for years and years after breast cancer. I owe it to myself to manage my panic and to make this a life experience not a death experience, to concentrate on possibilities, to grab every moment of life I can, to use what has happened for writing, to include the awfulnesses but also the plusses. I mustn’t forget the moments of joy: the sun lying in swathes on the grass, the sharp clean cut of the air, the disc of the sun on water. I must keep the words that came into my head about the snowdrops I saw in a garden when we walked to the shops a couple of hours ago. I think it’s the starting point of a poem. MORE

 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Myra Schneider ~ Myra is a poet, a poetry and writing tutor, and the author of Writing My Way Through Cancer and, with John Killick, Writing Your Self. Her poetry collections, Circling the Core and Multiply the Moon, were published by Enitharmon Press. She has eight published collections. Her long poems have been featured in Long Poem Magazine and Domestic Cherry. She co-edited with Dilys Wood, Parents, an anthology of poems by 114 women about their own parents. She started out writing fiction for children and teens. Currently she lives in North London, but she grew up in Scotland and in other parts of England. She lives with her husband and they have one son. She tutors through Poetry School, London.

Posted in Perspectives on Cancer, Poems/Poetry

PERSPECTIVES ON CANCER #10: I Am No Longer Afraid

“I AM NO LONGER AFRAID…” Deena Metzger.

DEENA METZGER INSCRIBES A TREE

by

Jamie Dedes

Ms. Metzger is a poet and playwright, essayist and novelist, and a healing storyteller. I wish her work was around in time for my mom who died of breast and colon cancer. Trees: Essays and Pieces is Deena Metzger’s first healing book and it includes the play The Woman Who Slept With Men to Take the War Out of Them. She wrote the book to heal from her experience of cancer and mastectomy.

I love the brave picture above on a poster designed by Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, copyrighted and posted here under “fair use.” It’s also on the cover of Ms. Metzger’s book. You can order posters or postcards HERE if you care to. I don’t know if you can make it out, but Ms. Metzger had a tatoo done over her mastectomy scar. It’s a tree branch.

I am no longer afraid of mirrors where I see the sign of the amazon, the one who shoots arrows.
There was a fine red line across my chest where a knife entered,
but now a branch winds about the scar and travels from arm to heart.

Green leaves cover the branch, grapes hang there and a bird appears.
What grows in me now is vital and does not cause me harm. I think the bird is singing.
I have relinquished some of the scars.
I have designed my chest with the care given to an illuminated manuscript.
I am no longer ashamed to make love. Love is a battle I can win.
I have the body of a warrior who does not kill or wound.

On the book of my body, I have permanently inscribed a tree.

Excerpt from Tree: Essays and Pieces by Deena Metzger 

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Jamie Dedes ~ Jamie is a former freelance feature writer and columnist whose topic specialties were employment, vocational training, and business. She finds the blessing of medical retirement to be more time to indulge in her poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction. She has two novels in progress, one in final edits, and is pulling together a poetry collection. Her primary playground is Musing by Moonlight. She is the founder and editor/administrator of Into the Bardo. Jamie’s mother was diagnosed with cancer the first time at thirty-six. She went three rounds with breast cancer, one with thyroid cancer, and died at seventy-six of breast and colon cancer.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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Posted in Guest Writer, Perspectives on Cancer, Poems/Poetry

PERSPECTIVES ON CANCER #9: Metastasize, An Awkward Word

·

METASTASIZE, AN AWKWARD WORD

by

Cindy Taylor

·

Metastasize;

an awkward word,

vowels lurking with malice

between those rock hard t’s

and stumbling past that sinister s,

into that endless z…

Even educated women know;

the seeds of broken dreams will gather

nearest to the heart

and grow

until the Gardener’s sharpened shears

snip away the wretched, rotted root.

That puckered rose, that brutal scar,

my brave and beautiful friend;

wear it as a medal:

triumphant, survivor, heroine!

©Cindy Taylor 2008

Photo credit ~ property of MBCCOP Network News

TAKEN TOO YOUNG

Minnie Julia Riperton (1947-1979), American singer-songwriter: In January 1976 Riperton was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a modified radical mastectomy. Though she was given just six months to live, she continued recording and touring, and in 1977 she became spokesperson for the American Cancer Society. Riperton was one of the first celebrities to go public with her breast cancer diagnosis, but did not disclose that she was terminally ill. In 1978, Riperton also received the prestigious Society’s Courage Award presented to her at the White House by then-President Jimmy Carter. She died at age 31 on July 12, 1979.

A VOICE SILENCED TOO SOON

Listen:

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Cindy Taylor ~ Cindy is a freelance writer, a poet, editor and proofreader. She has an abiding passion for food and wine and an endearing zeal for life, which she shares with us on her award-winning food blog, The Only Cin. Cindy lives in Johannesburg, South Africa with her husband, daughter, and a fine cast of animal friends. Judging from photographs, she has a world-class kitchen and an abundance of red shoes.