“I wrote ‘Rumours for Tumours’ a month ago, after hearing that my friend had breast cancer. I was shocked and wanted to heal her, but it seemed the best I could do was write a poem that might inspire her healing. I had, prior to this, been writing about ‘objects having imagination’ and the attitude of ancient peoples to these things, so I started the poem with these thoughts. After seven months of Chemotherapy her tumours have given up inhabiting her.” – Peter Stickland
Rumours for Tumours
It is rumoured that all objects
Living in you and out have an
This is talked of in fairy tales.
Think of your forebears who escaped
Sorcery with the ancient art of
Projecting identity; they could
Settle their endangered soul in
A tree, threat free, to return again
When calm times favoured connection.
Could you now proceed by walking
Buoyantly into poetry,
Where your body cells commune with
Matter’s unspoken narratives?
Could you remove tumours using
This ancient intelligence?
Trust objects, call them your allies,
Teach them to listen and fight for you.
Inspire healthy cells to pester
And break-up your foreign bodies.
To make your body a safe haven,
Forget sympathy, breed great love.
Take all the sunlight you’ve fed on
High above the clouds, load it in your
Heart’s light-projecting ray gun and
Shower the tumours whenever
You have the energy – always
Imagining their surprise and
Magical dissolution, like
Wet snails melting into thin air.