Wendy Stern

May the soft feather of awareness touch my pain as I lie here
May the palms on my belly be those of a healerBelly rises, she notices, lowers, she softens
Belly rises, she allows, lowers, she releases
May I meditate at the feet of a BuddhaMay I receive Darshan and the strength to endure my suffering

Shrine Room
I have no shrine roomThere are no flowersThere is no smell of incense burning in the roomThere are no candles flickering gently
No meditation stoolNo other bodies positioned round meThere is just me
What do I have?I have a bed beneath meI have my breath coming in, flowing outAnd some, at least, awarenessI have pain in my bodyAnd the cool detachment of moments of mindfulness
May that be enoughMay I be well, may I be happyMay I be free from sufferingMay I be at peace

Wendy is a Buddhist and poet living in Bristol, in the west of England. For many years she has been completely bedridden, and her poetry therefore comes from an unusual perspective.
Writing poetry is Wendy’s passion and her only form of creativity and self-expression. Her work is produced without the capacity to look at text, to write or to use a laptop. Dictating the poems and then editing them aurally takes an immense amount of energy and concentration.
These are the first of Wendy's poems to be published and she is excited about the prospect of her work reaching a wider audience.