Twice the Burden

How fitting that during this final week of Black History Month, we came across the London-based poet Herbie Dunnan.

Jamaican-born Herbie works as a teaching assistant and, in his spare time, writes poetry about the people, situations and feelings that he experiences in daily life. He has published two poetry collections already, and is about to publish a third.

His forthcoming collection contains a poem that Herbie wanted us to share with people, and particularly those in the Black community, because it’s about the excess burden of prostate cancer that Black men face.

Herbie’s motivation came from spending time with a friend who had recently been diagnosed, and he began to learn about prostate cancer and was struck by its disproportionate burden on black men.

Prostate cancer

I watched a video this morning about prostate cancer in black men

It’s a topic it seems a lot of us do not comprehend.

They were enlightening us on the statistics which are really scary

Open your ears please; and listen clearly.

One In four black men will be diagnosed in our lifetime, and one in twelve will die.

Don’t be embarrassed talking about it, there’s no need to be shy.

Ladies encourage your partners to look, listen, learn

Take heed and get tested – it should be both your concerns.

Have a talk with your doctor and see what they say

They will put your mind at ease; come what may.

Herbie Dunnan


Herbie’s poetry collections are available here and here.

Has prostate cancer inspired you or anyone you know to share the experience and and/or express feelings about it through poetry, music or art? We’d love to hear from you.