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Blood cancer solidarity

  • 26 February 2013

Final Straw

Our future was a sky sprinkled with daisy stars.Sitting on the Murwillumbah XPT homeward bound,eyes tremble, tears water-fall dry skin,

choking breath as if a swimmer gasping for air.Was it the explosion of your troubled dreams?Were your five knuckle arpeggios the last straw?

Through the night, a chaos of dreams: halo of purplestorm clouds, sweet talk as barbed wire, roses powderto dust. Legs are tight knots of muscle.

With morning, considerations of independence, of being singlecontent the light. Legs become supple stretches in a cool, free skin.A white care cruises a straight freeway, open windows winnow the past.


Bandit Country

1.Some symptoms of illness are bandit country:_________sudden intrusions into our lives,the treasures of____citizenship stolen,__________ruddy health shimmied away.

Life margins tumble and slide_________as night lives with day and day night.

Bodies wither, legs are twigs._________Dreams snag on thorns.

Our lives are____borderless,____envelopes in the post with no address.

2.Stick figures stand at crossroads in frayed dusk.Coloured flags point north_____________and south_____________and east_____________and west,all points on the compass benign,_______________without judgement.

From nor nor east, words suddenly appear,____fly through thin air,____vowels and consonants as wingtips____feather our closed eyes.

Our eyes open,____word storms smother bandit country____in black-on-white.Diagnostic words return memory of sky,____solace of light.

Our envelopes are posted abroad.



A lymphoma brings affiliation: disquietingfears as bedfellows. One, a doppelganger head —Mars-sunset eyes deep sunk, prune wrinkled hide,

cheek bones protruding like clenched fists,hovers above the bed of respite. In the silence,this fellow-feeling fissures the lines of my ordinary features.

The chemical triad: Epirubicin, Vincristine andPrednisolone are calligraphies rewriting cells andDNA strands with recombinant healing.

The hologram dissolves to the high blue nothing.My heart shines with golden flowersas these blooms adhere the known world. 

Peter Mitchell lives in the Rainbow Region of NSW, writing poetry, short fiction, memoir, literary criticism and a range of journalism. His collection of poetry, The Scarlet Moment (Picaro Press) was published in 2009.