Kate's Blog

Follow me if you will as I try to navigate through the ups and downs of my world.

I'm writing this blog to help me make sense of all that has happened - from my diagnosis with non-Hodgkins lymphoma while pregnant with my third child in May 2008
, through to my reflections on chaotic family life as I try to pick up the pieces of my life again.

The kids are so small, and I'm working hard to keep us all safe and to stay in remission.

Stay with me - it won't be all doom and gloom I promise!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010


Here's a poem I wrote a while ago.

Fighting Tigers

In Ancient Rome
slaves would fight savage, crazy tigers.
The stadiums - filled with screaming, lustful citizens -
must have echoed; ricocheting back to the roaring crowd.
But close up, I’d imagine that things felt a little different.

The sweaty piss-stained legs just holding the body upright.
The stave, sharpened to a comic point,
the roar of the crowd a scratchy whisper
as cat creeps nearer – great stripy tail twitching.
Carnivorous breath imagined hot on the cheek,
Or legs
Or back
While heavy barbed claw, quick as a viper
swipes the very life from you.

Thrusting a stick was never a good defence
in the face of such menace.

And so it is today.
The tiger I fight is a different kind – you’ll have guessed.
The snarling stripy metaphor not even a good one.
I should have tried harder.

The immediate terror, the fear is buried.
It doesn’t have a shape, or fabulous fur
burning bright.

My tiger, to flog a dead horse,
Is nebulous.
Whether it gets me in the end or not depends on luck;
on a body sensible enough to recognise and destroy
what hasn’t been invited and which shouldn’t have come.

Maybe it helped the Roman slave to be able to see what
he was fighting.
Not much though in the end.
He still wound up dead.

Fighting tigers is not really advisable.

Under any circumstances.


legend in his own lunchtime said...

I love it, Kate.
Maybe if you can't see it, it might not even be there. I think it went home after getting bored with failure, never to return.

B. Streetman said...

those darn tigers. grrrrr.

Rebecca S. said...

Very thought provoking. Fortunately, your weapon of defense is an army of medical professionals with continuous advancements in their field.
I really like the first two stansas especially. I could feel it!