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Wendy Stern

Bubbles

 

Do I really want to clench my fist around every bubble of uncertainty

So that it bursts,

So that I may feel safe, secure, in control?

For life is just that –

Exquisitely uncertain.

What will the next breath bring?

And the next?

And the next?

Here’s a heartbeat,

Each new breath a bubble of exquisite uncertainty,

Each new breath a moment of exquisite potential,

 

Life itself a fragile bubble of the unknown, of the possible,

Resting lightly in my open palms,

Fist unclenched for once.

 

 

Continuum

 

As each cell dies,

And gives birth to another,

As each breath dies,

And gives birth to another,

As each thought passes,

And gives rise to another,

We offer peace.

 

As each sound erupts,

And is heard or is not,

We are left with silence.

As each movement propels,

Soothes and alters our being,

We are left within stillness.

 

As each tear dries of its own accord,

As each emotion is felt,

Noticed and released,

 

We are left in emptiness. 

 

 

Sometimes life stands still

 

One or two words,

A line or a look,

Sometimes life stands still.

 

One or two words,

One missed heartbeat,

Sometimes life stands still.

 

''I'm leaving.''

''I'm sorry, we did everything we could,''

The words every doctor dreads to say.

Never gets easier,

Never gets easier.

 

It doesn't take much to change the world,

It doesn't take much to change the world,

It doesn't take much to change

This beaten woman's world.

 

Sudden crash on a football pitch,

Brain-damaged at eighteen.

 

Hidden rocks on a summer-lake dive,

Brain damage, twentysix.

 

Nervous horse on a stormy night,

Paraplegic for life.

 

Hospital error at six weeks old,

Six weeks old.

It doesn't take much to change the world.

It doesn't take much to change your world.

It doesn't take much to change

This beaten woman's world.

 

Sometimes life stands still.

Sometimes life stands still.

Sometimes life stands still.

 

For all of us...

 


Wendy is a Buddhist and poet living in Bristol, in the west of England. For many years she has been completely bedridden, and her poetry therefore comes from an unusual perspective.

Writing poetry is Wendy’s passion and her only form of creativity and self-expression. Her work is produced without the capacity to look at text, to write or to use a laptop. Dictating the poems and then editing them aurally takes an immense amount of energy and concentration.