I was in the House of Commons recently for the launch of the “Ovarian Cancer Awareness” programme. So how does a male poet get involved with that, you might ask?
Well, I have five sisters, four daughters, one wife and many female friends who are precious to me. Ovarian cancer is a silent killer, mostly because it is misdiagnosed. Since 1970 the death rate has gone down by 2% while most other cancers have decreased by at least 40%.
In fact today, this day, 58 women will be diagnosed with one of the five gynaecological cancers and 21 will die from it.
This is unacceptable. One charity is at the forefront of research and awareness http://www.eveappeal.org.uk. You should read their leaflets.
The Eve Appeal asked me to compose a poem for them last year. I have read it at many events. Poetry really works where there is context and an audience that is aware. Here are the last few lines from the poem “The Second Bite” which looks positively at scientists in white coats who are trying to confront Eve’s first bite of the apple:
. . . and I came to understand
that water can be commanded
as Moses did with the Red Sea, able
to order a path of escape
to the promised land,
as I came to believe that incurable
is only a small word,
that needles which hide in haystacks
can be found by seekers in coats of white
or, as Eve found bitter in that fallen apple,
maybe we will taste sweetness
in the second bite.
You can read the complete poem on my blog: http://mauricespillane.com/the-eve-appeal/
First published in Swindon Link magazine