Thursday 16 March 2017


If you were to ask me
What my favourite colour is
I would have to say blue;
Even though blue is the colour
Of the plastic curtain my elbow keeps brushing
As I type this poem
Leaning towards the closed hospital window.

They've painted the edges of the buildings outside
The shade of my first bedroom in England -
The Blue Room, I called it, not inventively.

Which came first? The chicken or the egg?
My niece Eva says, 'Chicken.'
And we all marvel.

Which came first, the blue paper curtains,
This long marriage with hospital,
Or my love of blue?

Hard to tell.

The sun is up. The kind of torch light bright
That hurts your eyes but does its job
Matter of factly. Some nurses are like that.
Others make room for hugs and jokes; jokes
That are a nimbus around a heart of compassion;
A beady eyed watchfulness for when things
May suddenly turn serious and need an
Oxygen mask, an ECG, and more of those curtains
Whisked around quickly.

The quietly fainting patient must be revived
At all costs. They save lives in here.

(c) Shaista Tayabali, 2017

Claude Monet 'Impression: soleil levant'

This week, impressionism is being celebrated over at Dverse Poets - my father's favourite art movement - the one that influenced him the most. And the one that comes closest to describing what anyone with myopia or glaucoma or cataracts sees - brush strokes of colour, if you're lucky. 


Frank Hubeny said...

I like this positive description of jokes: "jokes
That are a nimbus around a heart of compassion".

Victoria said...

Your poem and blog title sent me straight away to your "About" and I applaud you for turning to writing in your battle against lupus...such a lifetime struggle. When I was a young nurse, eons ago, there wasn't much to offer people with lupus. So much has been done, but that still doesn't take away the effect of spending one's life with a chronic disease. I cheer you on. You have done such a good job painting your surrounding, with the choice of "blue" and its multiple meanings. Hope to see you often here at dVerse.

tonispencer said...

I really like what you have done with the color blue - the descriptions, the nurses, all of it. I too like "jokes that are a nimbus around a heart of compassion". My mother is now in a nursing home and I often see this among the nurses there. Welcome to dVerse.

lynn__ said...

Glad you shared your perspective of painted with hopeful brushstrokes 🤗

brudberg said...

The sense in how you capture the essence of blue, and the scenes of the hospital. I love the view you paint from your own difficult position

Kim M. Russell said...

You have certainly evoked impressions not only of a hospital and its blue curtains but also of your life, Shaista. I have known people with lupus and am aware of the complications. I love the way you link colour to memories, too. I really like the lines:
'...Some nurses are like that.
Others make room for hugs and jokes; jokes
That are a nimbus around a heart of compassion'.
Pleased to meet you, Shaista :)

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I love those nurses, with their sharp eyes, and their humour. A beautiful poem, my friend. You take us right into the situation, and make us see all the players. I can feel the crackle of the plastic curtain. And you have a very smart little niece!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

p.s. You are always reading the same books I have loved. I adored H is for Hawk!

indybev said...

I admire that you can so eloquently discuss your life's battle, present a positive approach and even a bit of humor. May blessings find their way beyond your blue curtain!

kaykuala said...

Wonderful blue hues to rekindle the mind - the color of love! You are not alone fighting the ailment any ailment! There are friends here in blogosphere with lots of inputs to help out!


Bekkie Sanchez said...

Your painting is different than any other I've read today but a picture that needs painting. Those people work hard, they saved my life once. I hope you feel better real soon!

Anonymous said...

Nice poem on the colour Blue, which interestingly has other's nice how you tie in memory and link into the painting. Welcome to dVerse.

Kenza said...

Hello! Oh blue... I just sent you a mail where blue appears towards the end. I read the poem gently as though you were reciting it to me. Thank you Shaista. With all my love, Kenza.

LJ said...

So wonderful to have found this poem as someone who knows those same blue hospital curtains!

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