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Wendy Stern


May the soft feather of awareness touch my pain as I lie here

May the palms on my belly be those of a healer
Belly rises, she notices, lowers, she softens

Belly rises, she allows, lowers, she releases

May I meditate at the feet of a Buddha
May I receive Darshan and the strength to endure my suffering

Shrine Room

I have no shrine room
There are no flowers
There is no smell of incense burning in the room
There are no candles flickering gently

No meditation stool
No other bodies positioned round me
There is just me

What do I have?
I have a bed beneath me
I have my breath coming in, flowing out
And some, at least, awareness
I have pain in my body
And the cool detachment of moments of mindfulness

May that be enough
May I be well, may I be happy
May I be free from suffering
May I be at peace

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.

These are the first of Wendy's poems to be published and she is excited about the prospect of her work reaching a wider audience.