THE loss of a beloved mother has inspired a poetry anthology.
Lesley Martin used poetry to help her cope with the devastation of watching her mother battle against cancer.
Jennifer Pearse, 70, was diagnosed in early 2009 and featured in The News when she took 21 members of her family on a cruise around the Canary Islands as a final farewell holiday to them all.
Her strength and dignity in the face of such a terrible illness, which spread through her body, encouraged her 55-year-old daughter, of Northwood Road, Hilsea, to write.
Mrs Pearse died in August 2010.
Her daughter said: ‘I wrote a poem at every stage; from diagnosis, to when doctors told mum it was terminal, to the cruise and the funeral.
‘It really helped me to grieve. And the poems helped mum too. She loved them and would always show everyone.
‘They are not all sad – the one about the cruise put a big smile on her face.’
In 2009 The News published Lesley’s moving poem A Letter to God which asked why her mother had been afflicted with such a terrible illness.
She has followed that with Conversations with God.
She said: ‘A lot of my poems are heart-wrenching but people can relate to them.
‘The poems are about a lot of sad times but also a lot of light-hearted things too.
‘That’s why I’ve called it Rainbows and Rain.’
Working behind the counter at Krispy Kreme doughnut cafe in North Harbour, Cosham, brings Lesley into contact with all sorts of people who have also helped inspire some of the 30 poems in the book.
The mum of two said: ‘There are pieces about dieting, shopping and even doughnuts.’
The book is available to buy early next year at £5.99 on Amazon, WH Smith and Tesco.com.