Category Archives: Poetry

Light in my long night

I’ve finally put a video clip together for the poem I wrote some time ago, set to the cello solo that inspired the words.

It can be seen on YouTube:

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Posted by on 15 July, 2011 in Articles, Personal, Poetry


For anyone suffering

Here is a MUST LISTEN for anyone facing difficulties, pain, or an uncertain future.

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Posted by on 10 December, 2010 in Devotional, Personal, Poetry


No X-ray Eyes

Some days, while recuperating from chemotherapy, radiation therapy and lately, from surgery, I have wondered if I will ever be able to take a day for granted again. The process seems so long and pain persists. Nothing feels normal. Going out is hard work.

I did manage to take Bronwen to a favourite cafe recently, and as we sat in the sunny courtyard and watched happy shoppers, I was inspired to write this poem.


I sit and sip my latte

And watch as passers-by

All go about their business;

Walk determined; heads held high.

They seem to have no cares at all

No stumbles, aches or pain

Their laughter and their banter

Make a warm spring-time refrain.

I muse about the last time

I took days in my stride;

Talking, walking, driving;

Purposefully occupied.

Not shackled by pain management;

No cause to make me think

Of how to do what I must do;

What not to eat or drink.

But who knows if they also

Watch me and think the same.

For neither me nor they

Know our backgrounds or our name

Who knows the inner conflicts

Masked so easily with a smile;

What problems each is wrestling

Set aside for just a while..

Appearance is deceiving

And each of us cries out

For some recognition

Of what we’re all about.

“Judge not and we shall not be judged”

But deal to all the same.

Who knows the love we proffer

Will touch some unseen pain.

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Posted by on 31 December, 2009 in Personal, Poetry


Prophetic poem – Let those who read be warned and heed!

In June 2008 I travelled to Malaysia and Sri Lanka. It was quite a tiring trip and I thought it was a spiritual assault I was battling. Only after the colonoscopy and scans in October did I realise that the tiredness was caused by my body trying to cope with the advancing cancer in my liver.

During that trip a little voice inside me seemed to keep telling me that I should “slow down and smell the roses”. I did resolve that I would not travel so much without Bronwen and to seriously look at adjusting my lifestyle. There was also an inner sense of foreboding that I needed to do more than just think about slowing down.

I ended up writing a poem about my musings. I did not realise at the time just how prophetic the third verse would turn out to be. Till now I have only shared it with Bronwen. In the light of events over the past 9 months I think it might be opportune to let others read it (and hopefully heed its warning!):

Slow down
(D.S.Duncan, June 2008)

Slow down –
Impassioned, yet so easily bored
Too many goals lie incomplete;
Your ceaseless drive makes others tired;
Your visions, out of people’s reach;
And joints barked raw from scaling rocks;
It’s time you learned to –

Slow down, and smell the roses;
Flow along with God’s good plan.
Cease from striving
And conniving:
The dove can’t settle on a storm-tossed bough.

Slow down –
Consider God is never late
His promises to you endowed.
Don’t agitate, but contemplate
How He perfoms the things He’s vowed.
No need to try and force locked doors;
It’s time you learned to –

Slow down, and smell the roses;
Flow along with God’s good plan.
Cease from striving
And conniving:
The dove can’t settle on a storm-tossed bough.

Slow down –
Your plan to slow is ne’er today,
Until some crises strikes your plans
And trouble comes to dog your way,
Then it’s taken from your hands
You’ll have no other option then
Too late to learn to –

Slow down, and smell the roses;
Flow along with God’s good plan.
Cease from striving
And conniving:
The dove can’t settle on a storm-tossed bough.

REMEMBER – this was written 4 months before I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer plus secondaries in the liver!


Posted by on 29 July, 2009 in Poetry


It is not all ‘peaches and cream’

There are many frustrations when one walks into a dark valley and sometimes they get on top of a person. It is not only hard for the ‘patient’ who is not being patient. It is also very hard on the carer who sometimes finds they need caring themselves.
There are moments when there are clashes of expectations, and emotional defences are weak. Bronwen and I are human and have such moments. I’m not always the mild-mannered man and she is sometimes the immovable object. Sometimes we are blind to each other’s needs.
After one such occasion recently, I put pen to paper and wrote the following little poem. I hope it blesses someone both to know other people react badly too, and also to know there is a Helper who picks us up, dusts us down, and points us in the right direction again.


Two wounded dragons* passed by o’er two days
Both in such pain as they mooched on their ways:
He could not make himself heard for her ears;
She grappled frustrations while facing her fears.
He did not realise he’s not long to go;
She – much to do with him now, then to cope!
Clashes of pain, of hopes and lost dreams;
Time may be less than originally seemed.
But God quenched the fires, lanced the shock, gave them back
The arms to embrace and all else that they lacked.

(DSD – January 2009)

*Bronwen has no objection to the use of the word ‘dragons’ as she agrees that probably best described our demeanors.

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Posted by on 26 January, 2009 in Devotional, Poetry


‘If I had my life to live over’, by Belinda Emmett

Thoughts penned by Belinda Emmett after she found  out she was dying from cancer:  
I would have gone to bed  when I was sick  instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for a  day…   
I would have burned the pink candle sculpted into a rose before it melted in storage…   
I would have talked less  and listened  more….   

I would have invited  friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained or the sofa faded…   

I would have eaten  popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace…   

I would have taken the  time to listen to my  grandfather ramble about his youth…   
I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband…   

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed…   

I would have sat on the lawn with my grass  stains…   

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life…  
I would never have  bought anything just  because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime…  

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Posted by on 1 January, 2009 in Poetry