27 April 2009

MS Awareness week

It is Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Awareness Week across the globe. To mark this, I have written the following haiku sequence.

I was diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis in 2008 after a particularly bad attack and Limboland was inspired by the journey from attack to diagnosis. For a more thorough account of my experience with MS please visit my 'Dave's Magical Brain' blog at http://davesmagicalbrain.blogspot.com


no hint of a smile -
for once my doctor says
"take it easy"

on the scan room ceiling
cherry blossom -
the staff retreat behind glass

not crying yet ...
your chin dimples
as you talk

I salute the magpie

on the news a terror attack ...
my leg
numb again

from a packed lift
a man on crutches
follows me to clinic

new year's eve
the bowl slips from my fingers...

Just a note on the cherry blossom haiku. Diagnosis of MS requires an MRI scan, but to eliminate other possible ailments including brain tumours an initial CT Scan is performed. This was described to me as being like sticking your head in a giant washing machine and I reckon that's a pretty good description. I don't know if it is the same in other hospitals but at the Royal Hallamshire in Sheffield they have a light box on the ceiling of the scan room with an image of cherry blossom on it. I presume this is to calm the nerves while your head is x-rayed. I thought the experience lent itself very well to haiku, partly because cherry blossom is a well used seasonal reference. I guess this is my take on the traditional cherry blossom haiku.

Limboland is also appearing on the MS Society website: www.mssociety.org.uk

What is MS? (requires pdf reader): http://tinyurl.com/c26vgq


John McDonald said...

great sequence - keep on in there my friend

Alan Summers said...

Excellent sequence. Shows importance that a haiku/haibun sequence can have in showcasing a very important subject.

I'd rather you didn't have MS than be able to write something which is so moving (and educational) though.

all my very best as always,


Dalloway said...

Dave, youre an absolute natural. This is powerful stuff - you have a great style and feel for haiku. Im not at all surprised of your success in getting things published first off.

I note your concerns writing about MS but your instincts are good. Each one is so compelling, and has given me an insight into what you, and others go through. I have 2 friends with MS. I can only thank you for putting these on the web.

Glad I found you.

Dave said...

Wow! Thanks guys. You put a big smile on my face.

bluetoque said...

A very moving sequence, Dave. I've just discovered your work and am happy to have done so. I wish you all the best.


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