Alice the Healer

Poems full of pain, toughness, sadness, impatience, and determination not to give in. Alice was a feisty, many-faceted lady who endured great suffering with determination, humour and single-mindedness. She battled with rheumatoid arthritis and Ménière’s disease for many years. She also battled with those who tried to help her, medics, social services, and relatives!

This is a set of poems chronicling the last fifteen years of her life. But it is also the story of many lonely and disabled people who are an invisible community. It examines the obstacles put in their way and the difficulties experienced by carers and professionals who find it hard to meet their needs. How to communicate with severely deaf people. How to organise transport and appointments that do not punish the invalid. How to choose medicines that will combat unspeakable pain. How to deliver simple services like newspapers and groceries without upsetting the daily routine of survival. And the isolation experienced by elderly housebound people whose friends and neighbours are all falling off the radar.

“Alice stood –
gripped her new metal frame,
took two steps and two more,
eight out, eight back,
a giant wobbling toddler,
grinning her “look at me” face,
walking her “look at me” walk,
walking her “look at me” walk.”

(from Small earthquake in Huddersfield)

To hear my interview with Kate Delaney about Alice the Healer click on the link below.


Alice the Healer

Written by John Edward Ling.

Published by Authorhouse, 2010.

PS  For copies of this book please contact ME first.  For any budding authors out there, if you are thinking of self publishing, do NOT contact Authorhouse. You will be wasting your money.  For details contact me.

“I have just catalogued your lovely book of poems, Alice the Healer, for our meeting library. The poetry is inspiring, evoking outrage, laughter, and tears in equal measure. Thank you so much for giving us a copy.”

Bert Horwood, Kingston, Ontario

John’s portrayal of Alice’s demise is unflinching. He brings Alice to life with bold phrasing, word play and strong metaphors and gives the unknowing a poetic, empathic and honest glimpse into the world of a struggling, yet feisty, woman in the final years of her life.”-

Gaia Holmes poet.

The poems record, one by one, how Alice dealt physically and emotionally with her structure of confinement, hospitals, medicine and the whole gamut of dependency in old age. In carefully chosen language John observed not only Alice’s pain, but also her liveliness and strong character, revealing how she chose to live her life, her inner life of rebellion:

Alice Bowles

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