This week has been the hardest week so far on the transplant waiting list and I think in it I have somehow lost my way on the journey of self discovery and creativity I embarked on at the start of this blog. So, I have spent some time this evening looking through the poems and other bits I have written and shared here for some inspiration and to help me get my mind back on track. It’s a great exercise. I am feeling a lot more focused and inspired now and have lots of ideas.
I found a kernel of a poem I wrote a few weeks ago with balloons as a metaphor for the absolute explosion of emotions I felt during the day of William’s first transplant. Then I found another draft of a piece I wrote in a poetry workshop a year or so ago that uses balloons and yet another poem I wrote about William’s time in intensive care following his first transplant that opens with the image of his balloon floating above him. Balloons are clearly a bit of a motif for me.
I have had a go at re-writing the first poem a little and thought I’d share the others today so it’s a balloon themed blog today. One of my favourite poets is Sylvia Plath and one of my favourite of her poems is ‘Balloons,’ one of the final poems she wrote. Balloons floating above unconscious children, surrounded by machines, in intensive care is a really strong image in my mind. Since then, we have had a number balloon to mark each of his transplant birthdays. Going back to William and his sisters’ premature births, I always remember feeling sad I never got to see ‘new baby balloons’ beside their cots and my bed in hospital because they spent so much time in the neonatal unit. I think it would be interesting to write a series of poems with the balloon motif. In fact, I have already made a start when I look at all of these poems together. In the coming days and weeks I’ll have a play around them and see what comes…
1. While you are in theatre
You can read the first draft of this poem back here.
Emotions explode as
floating above me
tethered to my mind with gold silk
I can no longer squeeze into physical space
So wander under the big sky
Praying that the universe can contain me
in her arms
2. Intensive care
This is the opening lines of a poem. I like this image but am not happy with the rest of it so I’ll take this and work something else around it in the coming days.
Tiny amidst a forest of technology
my child lies in stillness.
under the shadow of a balloon cloud
3. VisitorsI think this piece of writing is a bit of a dream about how I imagined and wanted the start of my children's’ life to be.
A large blue dummy-shaped helium balloon and a plump shiny silver one hold hands and dance their way through a crowded hospital ward towards me. Smiling, they bob along to a harmony that only they can hear.
I am propped up on three stiff pillows in an uncomfortable bed, my legs under crisp white sheets that crackle when I move.
My baby wriggles as I cradle him in my arms and reaches out for freedom from his soft woollen blanket. Gently I hold his tiny hand in my giant fingers and rock him gently back in to his peaceful slumber. With my finger –tips I stroke the gap between the top of his nose and the indents what will be his eyebrows.
His red cheeks glow as I run my fingers over them and under his delicate chin.
The balloons hold on to the bottom of the bed one on each side and watch, swaying in the haze of happiness that he has created.