Thirty-four years – A poem

In this guest blog, we share a poem from Graham Eastaugh. In 2016, Graham reached the milestone of living for thirty-four years with multiple sclerosis.

Graham shares another poem in the next issue of New Pathways magazine, so don’t forget to subscribe today!


PoetryThirty-four years

It’s April the Eighth, and as 5pm nears,
I’ve now had this illness for thirty-four years,
It’s been a long road, and there’s more to come still,
But MS shall certainly not break my will,
I’ve lived with depression, which tested my mood,
And grown quite accustomed to hospital food,
I’ve now been reduced to a shell of a man,
But fading out meekly’s not part of my plan,
I remember the excrement, urine and blood,
As if it were yesterday, then with a thud,
It hits me: it was only yesterday’s news,
For sanity’s purpose, black humour I choose,
Thirty-four years, yet the person exists,
With each passing second the illness persists,
But not only that, my lot worsens with time,
A sentence so stiff for committing no crime,
Thirty-four years, though it’s quite a bit more,
With hindsight, in years, I can add half a score,
The symptoms first showed in a much milder form,
I guess you could call it the calm pre-the storm,
But how can I moan about nature’s harsh laws,
When people before me had fought in World Wars,
While millions of others have no food to eat,
And cancer leaves manifold lives incomplete?
So give me your worst if you fancy a fight,
You might win the war but you won’t dim the light,
And just when you figure I’m flat on my back,
You’ll find out once more I’m a tough nut to crack,
I’ve taken a beating, there’s nowhere to hide,
You’ve taken my health, but you won’t take my pride,
Whatever you’ve left on your evil agenda,
As Churchill once said: “We shall never surrender!”
Thirty-four years, and the battle’s been tough,
I’m running on empty, but made of strong stuff,
I’ll carry on fighting right up to the end,
The practice of quitting I’ll never befriend,
It’s pointless pretending, I’m long past my best,
But that’s not to say that I lack any zest,
I’ll carry on living without any fear,
And shout with an obstinate voice: “I’m still here!

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