Thursday 20 December 2012


We are aged and ageless
together on the ward
blending blue
against a dull stone sky.

We are a strange alien race
hooked to wires
trailing machines
tangled in each other's space.

We manage doors one handed, we smile,
quirky twists of face;
We play the game,
knowing why.

I long for a bed, a blanket,
a cushion,
heat, sand, beach,

Outside the windows, a playground
I have never seen children in:
a chessboard with giant squares,
and no chessmen.

The light has faded to black now
I turn to the faces within,
to patches of white
and yellow butterflies
tucked securely into skin.

© Shaista Tayabali, 2012  
(I wrote this on the Patient Short Stay Unit Ward. I spend a lot of time on this ward, but no more for this year. I am taking flight! Tell you all about the heat and light when I am on the other side :)) 
Illustration: Heinrich Lefler and Joseph Urban, 1904


  1. Oh I love the sound of heat and light for you. Sounds like you may be flying somewhere wonderful?? Enjoy every well-deserved moment, kiddo!

  2. I am fighting for flight also...the cold is hard on my flight. I wish you peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

  3. It's a cold ache I feel here, a longing for home. And so it is quite dear that you are going in that direction to hug your beautiful ones. I love the way you were inspired by this gorgeous illustration. It really is well suited for you, and your inner space! Take flight, my dear, and enjoy! xoxo

  4. I wish to be coddled underneath the wings of such beautiful design of flight. When you look down at us during this tilling of warm current underneath your wings sprinkle us with your warmth.

    Fly and soar mi amiga

  5. You are beautiful. You are loved.

  6. I am on this warm side...waiting for you.
    A bird called Exceeding Joy has alighted on my window sill and told me all sorts of secrets, namely that the poet Ms. Tang is just across the alley.