Chemo Café

January 11, 2013 at 11:10 am (history, literature, philosophy, Poems, poetry, sociology, Stories) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

We all have our favourite seat

the men and women that I meet

whilst mermaids smile and serve us tea

and feed us intravenously.


In this cheery place of mine

bare arms are soaked into a shine

then wares are touted on a tray

the best we take the less to pay.


In this lively, loving place

anxiety etched on every face

my comfort is a cushioned chair

a pillow and designer hair.


In this café where I go

Life’s mélange is all on show:

black coffee corners of our minds

tenacity and mermaids kind.



  1. unfetteredbs said,

    this is quite lovely. Sending my good vibes and prayers..

    • Julia Dean-Richards said,

      Thank you Audra. My time sitting in the Chemo Cafe ended quite some time ago, but I go back for visits and check-ups. This is a poem I knew I would write, all in good time. With limited staff (who look very tired) the chemo nurses do fantastic work in all respects. They are special people who I am pleased to have met on my wonderful journey.

      • unfetteredbs said,

        I love the way you write and this was beautiful. You should give it to them.
        Thank you for sharing Julia.

  2. nobodysreadingme said,

    I’m with my mate Audra here.
    I used to work in a hospital, including a chemo ward, and this really struck home.
    You say all in good time. It was worth the wait.

    • Julia Dean-Richards said,

      On Audra’s suggestion, I emailed the link to one of the mermaids.

      • nobodysreadingme said,

        A very fine idea.
        A question, if I may.
        while at the hospital I had to work with people undergoing radiotherapy. I was always impressed by their courage and humour.
        I wanted to write a post about my most embarrassing moment ever. It involved one of these courageous people, and I made an arse of myself. She took it with tremendous grace and a howl of laughter.
        Trick subject matter; I really don’t want to offend people because it’s a damned funny story (if cringemaking) and the last thing I want is to make people think I’m making fun of the [atient or condition.
        So. Wadda you think?

      • Julia Dean-Richards said,

        I think if the spirit of the post is clear, and the emphasis is on you, rather than anyone else, and the identity of the person is well hidden, it will be fine. Personally, I found a mix of love and humour to be the only safe passage through hurt. If you want me to read it first, let me know.

      • nobodysreadingme said,

        Wise words. I would say that, because it’s what I was thinking!
        OK, I think I’ll do it.
        Thanks for the offer of a pre-read. I think I’ll write it and see how I feel about it.

      • nobodysreadingme said,

        OK I’ll take up your offer if I may.
        How do we go about this?

      • Julia Dean-Richards said,

        got it?

      • nobodysreadingme said,

        Got it. My mail will come from gmail, and I’ll put my name in the subject line

  3. atothewr said,

    Such a great poem, it made me pause for a moment. Best of luck with everything.

    • Julia Dean-Richards said,

      Thank you my ‘batty’ friend. It was a strange couple of years, and extremely scary at the beginning, but as a student of life and a writer of poetry, it was a great opportunity to dig deep and look around.

  4. Tarun Mazumdar said,

    I love it… and salute to your courage…

  5. annotating60 said,

    Julia, first I liked your piece. I am a real sucker for rhyme in moderation and if the function begs for it and this did work really well for me. The other thing was to thank you for following my posts. I wish I could say you’ll see my best but I am trying to get myself published somewhere and posting a poem on here is being published by magazines and those powers(there is a lot of background for that which I won’t go into). Be well and thanks again. >KB

    • Julia Dean-Richards said,

      Thank you for your thoughts; this is a poem which has been on the back burner for some time. Yes, I understand you wanting to keep some of your work back; I have a gallery exhibition up at the moment, and keep those poems separate from these. They are not ‘better’, just ‘other’. I value my cave visitors immensely, so I’m really glad you are here x

  6. Chemo Café | the Book of Pain said,

    […] some time now and wanted, out of my great admiration for her work, to re-blog one of her poems, Chemo Café, an excerpt of which is […]

  7. cindy knoke said,

    This is VERY SERIOUSLY good!

    • Julia Dean-Richards said,

      Thank you Cindy; poetry is a good companion when it comes to re-looking at experiences. I guess my equivalent to the travels you so wonderfully photograph, is to journey to places inside which are less travelled, or at least less talked about. Do you find the journey changes your perspective?

please feel free to comment on these poems - all feedback appreciated. :)

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