Wonder Woman


I met my amazing friend Sonia on her 18th birthday at an awkward party that she didn’t want. Somehow she forgave me for being part of that and we have been fast friends, family, ever since, and shared the kinds of crazy formative experiences throughout our lives that can’t be unwoven – we are part of the weft and weave, part of the integral pattern, of each other’s existence. Sonia has been undergoing treatment for breast cancer, and the recovery from that treatment, for well over a year. During that time she has channelled her feelings into these incredible patterns and mandalas. What a thing of beauty to create out of darkness!

On World Poetry Day yesterday, I recited this poem written in her honour. Since she loves comics and Wonder Woman particularly, I made the natural connection to Amazons, and this is an attempt at the epic oral poetry form of the ancient Greeks, with a nod to Anglo-Saxon epics too. There are references to Greek myths woven into it. It is designed to be read aloud, to be told. I hope it also speaks to anyone’s battle with cancer and the terrible terrible treatments that people undergo in the fight for life. I admire all of you so much.


Wonder Woman

A woman is raging, high in the mountains –
The great-hearted daughter of concord and war
She fights for her life and the lives of her sisters
She cut off her breast for to shoot her sharp arrows

Her enemy’s slipp’ry and hard to take hold of –
Again and again as the seasons slip by,
With a spear made of ash from her own mother’s body,
She rides into battle with blood-curdling cries.

The enemy grips her with its crab-like pincers
And tumbles her into the dark vale of death.
Down in the underworld cold reigns supremely;
The beast it is clamouring: ‘Let go of life!’

Her body so heavy, a deadly weight drowning her.
She sinks into sorrow as into black mire,
She closes her eyes, but just for a moment –
She’s tired, the brave woman fears she may fail.

Jolted awake: she has landed in Hades.
She opens her eyes and sees clear through her fear.
A hard road ahead, but the sole path to vict’ry
She cut off her breast in order to

Deep in the darkness she swallows a poison
The deadliest potion the witches can brew.
The great-hearted daughter of concord and war
Cannot be conquered by this creeping cancer!

Sucking the strength from her bones and her marrow,
The monster comes daily to feast on her flesh.
It burrows its beak and its tentacles into her
But rather than gaining, it’s losing its strength.

It’s baffled, attacking her more and more fiercely,
And daily it’s weakening, fighting for breath.
The monster falls silent, the woman begins to
Regain some strength for the journey back home.

Battling the monsters, the giants and gorgons,
She claws her way free of the moist clinging earth.
Back in the light and the air she lays panting,
Hoping the hideous creature is vanquished.

She returns to us scarred and weary with battle,
Parts of her missing, parts made more whole.
She fights for her life and the lives of her sisters
The true wonder-woman, the bright-burning torch.

Check out Sonia’s article, and support her if you can by buying from secretbean.com
or employing her talents as a designer soyabean.com