Poet Teri Murray, Lord Edward Street who has written a poem about surviving cancer Picture Adrian Butler
A POPULAR Limerick poet who has beaten cancer has written a special piece for Daffodil Day, the Irish Cancer Society fundraiser set for Friday.
Teri Murray, who lives in Lord Edward Street, had cancer on the base of her spine. After initial treatment was unsuccessful, she beat the condition at the end of last year.
After she spent time in Milford Hospice, the manager of the centre asked the prolific poet to write a piece. Teri has dedicated this poem to the patients and staff of the well-loved hospice.
And while Teri was sitting in St Patrick’s Park in Dublin last weekend, she said the words just came to her.
“It’s the park beside St Patrick’s Cathedral, and I was walking through it and the lines started coming to me. It was very fortutious because Cathy McLoughlin [of Milford Hospice] asked me to read a poem about the process around healing,” said Teri, who hails from Crumlin on Dublin’s southside.
Asked about the inspiration behind the poem, she added: “I love flowers, and I have always liked daffodils in particular. The poem worked out itself. It is not too long, and I hope it is accessible. I’d hope people will take from it bit of my experiences were.”
Teri also hopes people who may be suffering from cancer may gain strength from the poem.
Fortunately after a difficult number of years, Teri is on the road to recovery.
“I don’t like the expression ‘cancer survivor’. I prefer to think of myself as someone who had an experience with an illness,” she says.
She plans to read Daffodil Days at the White House poetry reading this Wednesday evening.
Daffodil Days - by Teri Murray
Spring has come,
And the small angels and dryads who tend to the daffodils,
are announcing the good tidings in a chorus from yellow trumpets
And the birds too, have come
Wagtails, starlings and a solitary robin,
Chirping silver notes in the trees
That melt into raindrops
On the paths of the People’s Park
The same birds I had watched
From the window in my room in the hospice, in December
Feathers folded, armoured for the wind
Beaks pitted against the hard, scarred earth
They had come to keep me company
Bear witness to the harrowing hours
In the long, dark nights, when only a thread of the moon dangled
From an owl’s mouth
Now, the sun is a Daffodil,
Streaming the healing light into
Every limb, every atom, every cell
Pouring amber into the cavities
Of my once, parched heart
And I will reach towards heaven
Pluck the flower from the sky
Pin it to my lapel
As I walk with still faltering steps
Just one every day
Because the season of the renewal
Has come again, and Easter Sunday
Is on the way