Mavis Gulliver – Cancer


Like a black box     bottomless     contents and sender unknown
it shattered the frenzied pattern of our days
stopped     the afternoon    the week     the year –
a stone to our hearts     it stole our breath    froze our words    our thoughts    our tears.

Spared the final grief we grasped the gift it offered
stepped back from blinkered busyness
to    s l o w    t h e    p a t t e r n    o f    o u r    l i v e s     learn to say no
make time for one another      find something to rejoice      in every day.

Mavis Gulliver is a retired teacher living on the Isle of Islay in the Hebrides. She hasbeen writing poetry for about 15 years and her first collection, a joint publication with Jan Fortune. “Slate Voices: Cwmorthin and Islands of Netherlorn” was published by Cinnamon Press in 2014. A second collection ‘Waymarks’ will be published in 2015 by Cinnamon Press. She is also a regular contributor to Scottish Islands Explorer magazine and her first novel for 8-12 year olds ‘Cry at Midnight’ was published by Cinnamon Press in 2014. This is Book 1 of The Hagstone Chronicles. Books 2 and 3 will be published in 2015 and 2016 respectively.


Facebook – Cry at MIdnight

7 thoughts on “Mavis Gulliver – Cancer

  1. Yes, this one is, in fact, spot-on. Terrific writing. Enjoyed that it was from a Scottish poet too, as I am now living in Glasgow for a spell. Thank you again for this.

  2. Thank you all for the positive comments. It is a hard subject to write about, and was in fact about my daughter who had breast cancer. We are now three years in the clear and life begins to get busy again, so we need to re-read the poem to remind us that there are more important things in life than work.

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