About the book
I have a growing number of scars. A three-inch horizontal
scar across the stomach, very tidy. Two more small ones
either side of the rib cage and now one on the hand and
arm to deal with a Viking inheritance. I look at them in
the mirror. I hope they don’t fade away completely. They
are my body art.
My favourite poet with a ponytail greets me warmly at
the launch of his latest book of poems.
Michael, he says, I thought you were dead.
Now the stars are burning brightly. I am an explorer of
a world beyond the letterbox. By the time I get to Nelson
I will be singing again. The heart asks only for more.
Michael Fitzsimons gets the cancer news no one wants to hear and finds fear and uncertainty have taken up residence in his house, muting joy and putting the world as he knows it on hold. But in time he discovers that while his life might look like a shipwreck, there’s a lifeboat waiting to take him away to a new place, where the most ordinary things gleam with their own extravagance and sorrow slowly gives way to moments of praise. To read Michael, I thought you were dead is to take up an oar and row the same boat a while – a ride not to be missed.