Dancing with the Flame
Collected works of poetry
Following the Number One Best Sellers, Talking to the Sky and Talking with the Earth, Dancing with the Flame contains poems that are part memoir and part journey towards self-love.
They are Wolf’s attempt to not only find balance but to love all parts of himself, even those that are most difficult to love.
They are a testament to the strength of the human spirit. The poems show us that whatever life throws at us, with courage anything is possible.
With unflinching honesty, Wolf talks about disease, sexuality, physical disability and the healing power of love.
My poetry started in 2013 when I was struck with Multiple Sclerosis.
Normally, I would be able to write 20, 000 words in a weekend with no problems. Now, after being bedridden for a month, I could only eke out a handful of words at a time. I would stich those together into poems.
As I’ve continued to get better and my life has changed, so have my poems changed. Instead of being poems filled with angst and quite often anger, they are now filled with hope and the healing power of love.
Dancing with the Flame is about becoming comfortable in my body again, accepting what my life is an embracing it instead of running from it or hating it. As I’ve become more comfortable with myself, I noticed a strange thing happening.
I began to love myself completely, even the MS and the Cerebral Palsy I was born with. Instead of looking at the disease and disability as a hindrance, I began to see them as pieces that make up the whole of me.
Looking back over the poems while I compiled the collection, I began to realize that it has not only been a journey of love, but one of self-love. One of self-acceptance. The anger and resentment at the MS for what it had taken away from me was now instead one of joy and happiness.
That’s not to say that I don’t experience tough days when my symptoms fare up. However, in the end, there is too much life left to live and too many things left to experience, too much dancing throughout life left to do.
It’s my hope that Dancing with the Flame reflects that.
What I Had Become
When the New Year began,
I looked into the mirror.
I saw a reflection of myself
from long ago. I was
lying on a bed, weak,
my whole world changed.
I watched as my reflection
lifted a hand and beckoned to me.
I touched a hand to the glass
and it was as if
there was no glass there.
The veil between the present
and the past was thin.
I stepped through the mirror
and found myself in a place
that I remembered but fought
so hard to forget.
It was dark and there was only
one small light in the room.
Even so, by that light I saw
who I used to be lying
on the bed, my past self,
my other self. He regarded me,
and I looked at him.
I remembered that day,
how the night before the New Year
my life had changed forever,
never to be the same again.
I knew just how he was feeling
as I had been him, he had been me.
He was weak and disoriented,
unable to walk very well at all,
his whole world seeming to
move around him, unable to keep still.
He regarded me with tired eyes,
the fear in them so total.
He knew that something was wrong.
It was true. I had forgotten.
Every year since that day,
I always wondered if this
would be the year that it happened,
the year where I lost control
of my body once more.
For a while, I lived in fear
of December 31, of who I had been
and of what I had become on that day.
He regarded me with a blank expression,
the fear increasing in his eyes until
they were full of tears.
I said kindly.
I sat on the bed beside him and took his hand
in my own. It was cool and sweaty and
I remembered how warm I’d been,
how nothing had felt right,
and how my own body had turned against me.
He looked at me with such
an open expression, one of yearning
for something better. I remembered
wearing that look, wishing and hoping
so fiercely that it was painful.
I heard my partner calling me from
the other side of the mirror,
his deep voice making the liquid glass
move in ripples. I took one last look
at who I used to be and patted his hand,
leaned forward to kiss him on the forehead.
With that, I stood and moved towards the glass.
When I stepped through the glass,
I left behind what I had been
and into what I had