Real Magic in Bloom – A Poem

I believe in magic because of you.

In the time that we’ve known each other,

you’ve proven to me countless times

that magic is a real, tangible thing,

something that is alive around me

whenever I’m with you.

You’ve helped me to realize

I have magic within myself,

a light that I can control and harness,

should I need to call upon it.

You’ve given me magic time and time again,

each time reaching out to me

and placing what looks like a wish in my palm.

I watch it grow and bloom,

a flower of endless beauty,

until it makes itself known.

You’ve given me what I thought

to be impossible and I’m in awe

of we have together,

what grows between us even now.

I love you more than words can say,

but still I try, laying down each word

as if it were a seed so that when they grow,

we would be surrounded by the love

that we have created together.

You’ve proven to me that magic

is real and whenever I look at you,

I believe that anything

is possible.

Stream of Consciousness – A Poem

There is a trickle of water

where there was once a stream.

I let the water run over my fingers

and it is warm to the touch.

I know that it comes from a place of light,

where seeds have bloomed into flowers,

ideas have grown into worlds.

I look down at the water.

There are words floating within it.

I can spot the words hope, wish and dream

swirling around and as the letters

run over my fingers,

they warp as if being washed into me.

As I watch the water,

I can see a random gathering of letters

slide towards the palm of my hand and I can feel

the hard consonants and the soft vowels

run along my skin.

They feel like the caress of a lover,

or someone from my past

that I’ve forgotten,

their memory becoming lost in the fog.

I wait for the words to arrange themselves.


I let the water in my hand

flow back into the stream.

Standing, I walk away,

leaving a whisper of words

behind me.

Remembering You – A Poem

When we first met,

I knew that you were the only possible reason

For the lack of control over my body

which had become a vessel

that I no longer knew or understood.

Listening to the doctor’s voice,

telling me gently that what lived in me

went by the name of multiple sclerosis,

I fell into a kind of trance.

Finally, what had been ravaging my body,

spirit and mind had a name that I could pronounce

like a mantra, over and over, until

it rolled off of my tongue.

When the doctor handed you to me,

I took you from him and when I looked down,

expecting to see a child,

I saw my face in a mirror instead.

Reaching down to touch my reflection,

I knew that I would have to give you

a different name, one of my own choosing

so that I would have power over you

instead of you having power over me.

Looking at my reflection,

I imagined that I could see you

within my eyes, but all I really saw

was another window into myself.

Looking into my pupils,

the black sea of my consciousness,

I could feel the warmth of the stars

that shone from within.

I knew that there was a sea of change coming

and that I could fight the wave and do battle

with you, or I could ride the wave,

let it take me where it would.

I chose to ride the wave.

Though there is another being

that lives inside of me and yet

I’ve learned so much from you,

and how to celebrate my life

rather than regret what it has become.

Every day is a gift

and you taught me that.

Now, I look for the stars

and go where they

lead me.

Happy Birthday Max Shadow!

I was diagnosed with Relapse and Remitting Multiple Sclerosis nine years ago today. I thought about what I wanted to write to honour today and the following letter to my multiple sclerosis is what came out. I hope you enjoy it. I published this letter on Two Steps at a Time, my blog where I write about having multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy. I thought it was good enough to share here, too.

Dear Max Shadow,

It’s hard to believe that you are nine years old today.

I still remember the first time that I met you. The moment of your birth came a day before my birthday. I didn’t have any presents to give you, but I knew that something was arriving that day. I just had no idea of what would be happening to me that day.

Except that’s not true, is it? I knew what was coming, but hearing it said out loud, having the doctor name you, well no one can prepare for that. I told myself that I was okay, and I was and wasn’t at the same time. The doctor was very gentle as he handed you to me. I looked down at the clipboard showing the test results and knew only a subtle kind of peace.

You had me convinced that I was crazy, that the lack of control over my body could be all kinds of things and when the doctor named you, I knew blessed relief. I was not crazy; I was not losing my mind. What was wrong with me had a medical name, even though what you did to my body could change in an instant, depending on your mood.

Quite often, you tried to speak through me, twisting my mouth so that I had difficulty speaking. Sometimes, if you felt like it and you often did, you would increase the pain levels within my body so that everything felt as if it were on fire. You would take away my sight so that everything was blurry or out of focus and no matter how many times I rubbed my eyes, the blindness would stay until you let it fade until everything became clear again.

For months, I lost myself in the forest, unable to see past what was happening to my body and what you were doing to it. When the doctor named you, I cried, but there was joy within them, the salt contained in my tears cleansing me as they flowed through my body and fell from my eyes. The salt burned away a large part of the forest, the salt in my tears chasing away the dark shadows that had surrounded me for so long.

You never intended to help me, you were only interested in taking from me, like all the bullies that I have known throughout my life. So, I did the only thing I could think of doing: I chose to stand up to you. I chose to fight against what you were trying to do to my body. You had taken away most of my control, but I did whatever I could to control what I could. You took my memories from me, so I made new ones. You were unkind to me, so I showed the world kindness. You took my balance away, so I found a new way to work with my body. You made people look at me with pity, so I learned to love myself. You took away the direction I was going in life, so I chose a new one. You had filled my world with sadness, so I chose to look at the world with joy.

I also gave you a name of my own. The doctor had called you Multiple Sclerosis, but I chose a different name for you since I knew you so well, so intimately. I chose to call you Max Shadow. You liked to hide within me and rarely came into the light, letting me do all the work. I believe in a lesson I learned from one of my favourite book: fear of a name only increases the fear itself. With a name given to you, I no longer feared you.

I know that I’m a better person now than I was nine years ago. You taught me how to be truly grateful for everything I have in life and how to be thankful for every moment, every simple gift and small joy that came my way. My life may have taken a direction I could never have foreseen when I met you, but I am so thankful and grateful for you, Max. I am thankful for you because I have the life that I do now and I’m grateful because had I never met you, I have no idea where I would have ended up.

I’m not going to say that everything happens for a reason. I really hate that phrase. There is no reason for the suffering that I went through because of you. However, without you I would not have grown into the person that I am now. Without you Max, I would not have learned to overcome or to thrive instead of just survive.

For your birthday, I am giving you my thanks because of what you have taught me. I hope that is enough. For myself, I turned this day into a celebration so that I can remember what you took from me and how I have thrived because of you.


A Song on the Wind – A Poem

I can feel the wind holding me.

Lifting up my arms,

I feel its embrace

as it reassures me,

tells me its secrets.

I tell it some of mine,

letting the wind pull them from me

like gifts, each one of them

given to the wind like an offering.

Letters take shape in the air;

I can see an “a” and the word “story

followed by the words “from” and “within”.

I let the wind take away

what I no longer need,

all that I have been

holding onto; that’s my sacrifice.

As the words are torn from me,

I can see blood in the air

but I can also hear song,

music that I eventually realize

has the same beat of my heart.

I feel the wind and I give it everything

so that I can begin again.

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