Thursday, 17 April 2014

SELF-PORTRAIT


First the hair
before it falls,
taffy, black molasses.

Then the skin,
fever-flush pink,
marshmallow cheeks,
(steroid-filled).

Wait, I forgot the eyes,
(I don’t see too well, these days)
obscured by tubes and blebs
and blood.

And then the mouth
that eats poetry
and cake
and spills happiness by the barrel.

The body ballet depends on the day:
sometimes a corpse,
and other times, a salmon
leaping, dolphin hooting
medley.

Slumped on the desk, scribing,
tucked up in bed, scribing,
hooked to the needles,
falling down the manholes,
scribing.

I find my eyes again,
scribing.

There you are,
light.


© Shaista Tayabali, 2014

Took this at the hospital just before one of my many myriad procedures.
This is how I see sometimes. Bit blurry, bit double visiony...

And this is how my mother sees me. Under her hands, I become whole. 

(Another interpretation of a dverse poets prompt…)

22 comments:

Claudia said...

how cool...love the painting by your mom and also love that everyone sees us a bit different...cool on the mouth eating poetry.. the salmon leaping.. there's such a sense of freedom in this

Brian Miller said...

what a beautiful painting your mom did....eating poetry and spilling happiness is a good thing for a mouth...ha. there is a contentedness in this, regardless the circumstance. a take life as it is. did you have a surgery? sorry i am terribly nosey...smiles.

Aida Karanxha Bode said...

spilling by the barrel and eating poetry ... the poem is so refreshing... the way you've dealt with your difficult situation is such that gives the reader encouragement - thank you :)and get well!

Shaista said...

Mom's an amazing artist Brian - a beautiful portrait painter. It's her profession.
I did have surgery. Plenty of times!
For glaucoma.

Shaista said...

Thanks Aida, I try to stay close to the light. Eating poetry helps my soul do so :)

Heaven said...

My sister was ill too but mom keep on encouraging and supporting her ~ I love the painting by your Mom & indeed with her blessings, you become whole ~

kkkkaty said...

Lupus...a serious condition. I'm glad you can eat poetry ..and hear it...and you write well, too. You are a beautiful! Hoping for the best for you, but I know if it's not one thing it is another...;)

michaelt said...

I thought this was beautiful honest self portrait, so very well done and I felt humbled reading your poem. very well done.

Kamana said...

i really, really loved this. and you are blessed to have a mother who paints (such a wonderful portrait of) you. good luck with the surgery/recovery.

grapeling said...

a mouth that eats poetry - what a marvelous line, in a powerful write ~ M

Sumana Roy said...

eating poetry and spilling happiness by the barrel in such
circumstances is most inspiring...
kudos...

ccchampagne said...

This paints a picture of someone who is both happy and sad, but above all determined to not stop moving - and not stop writing. And I don't think you should, because this is beautiful!

Wolfsrosebud said...

some real warmth in your lines

Poet Laundry said...

I enjoyed this much...your courage shines through in this strong piece. I agree the painting is quite beautiful as well. All the best to you~

Shaista said...

I can't take credit for the original concept of eating poetry - that honour goes to Mark Strand!

Midnight scribbles said...

Wow how beautiful! The portrait and the poem!:)

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I love the mouth eating poetry and cake.......and the scribing under all conditions - and, especially, that in every instance, in your words and photos, you are radiant through it all. I adore your mom;s beautiful portrait. You ARE whole, Shaista, no matter what your body is going through. And you are an inspiration.

Kate Mia said...

Well..i can certainly relate to this all to well as a survivor of Sjogren's syndrome now in remission along with 19 other variety of diagnoses..

Not being able to see is a difficult thing..along with no ability to hear..effectively too..as beauty is sometimes stolen from view and melody as well..along with emotional response from all pervasive chronic pain...

Sometimes it's even too complicated to elaborate....but any way...

Bests wishes for you for one day remission for you too..it is a blessing of peace for now..for sure...now thank goodness...for me...i celebrate in every way now....

Marcoantonio Arellano said...

the beauty of your mothers hand is exceeded only by your expressive words. you are such inspiration and you bring me back to a moment of being selfless. i wish i was always cognizant of this. ...spilling happiness by mouth and by writing the words inside you is good. thank your mom for me for capturing your beauty. gracias and much love to you

Marina Sofia said...

OH, bless, what a wonderful painting by your mother - so much love there. And sorry to hear about the pain and procedures you are undergoing. But I like the repetition of 'scribing' - well done for persevering!

quest4peas said...

Even in brokenness, a lovely person! I loved the stanza about the mouth...eating poetry and cake. Lovely!

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