Thursday 17 January 2019


A radiologist rushes by
in a black wool skirt
splashed across with koi;
red fins, white bellies,
swimming in the creases
as she moves.

The skirt is from a tiny shop
in France; she says this sadly,
knowing she cannot satisfy
my craving for koi
beneath my own fingers,
in friendly wool.

I pass Fiona Sampson’s ‘Orpheus Variation’,
and travel up the long tube
to the topmost floor,
which tucks me away
from apheresis, and other humans,

and I swim
into the closed wards of the infected,
the diseased, worming in to join
the dark night of our souls.

But when the blood moon draws closer,
and blue Monday arrives, I arise
and begin to shed the creature that holds sway;
small sheddings are small victories, these days.
©Shaista Tayabali, 2019
participating in Dverse Poets Pub
(I thought about tacking on a different ending because the hospital did let me out, but only to reveal the next morning that they had found the bacterial culprit, so I haven’t swum to freedom yet. I have a cannula in me and nurses arrive daily to my house to administer antibiotics through a drip they set up. Something is being shed, I have to believe, or else the dark nights will claim me again...)


Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh, my friend, you had just escaped! I am sorry this is happening and hope being sequestered and medicated drums those dratted germs out of your body. I wish you a koi skirt, if not, then a Japanese koi garden, full of peace and beauty, upon recovery. I am keeping my wild beaches ready for your arrival.

Jane Dougherty said...

I do hope they flush out the microbes. Water is friendly, think of it full of koi, getting rid of unwanted guests. said...

The beautiful title.......the absolutely beautiful first stanza. This is a poem from the heart. Your descriptive imagery is stunning. And the blood moon....a hopeful watershed. Only to read in your comments after the post that you are still being treated. So most importantly to say -- beyond the poem - your body is working to heal, in tandem with medicine and angels. Keep writing....keep patient....keep believing. Sending you hope and prayers (I do believe in angels along the way) and positive thoughts for your recovery.

robtkistner said...

Wow Shaista, brave you are as you take on lupus. I loved the descriptions of the radiologist in the koi skirt. Continue to be strong!

brudberg said...

The layers of the koi shirt against the back drop of being only almost shed of the disease... may the healing come, and I wish you would have a koi shirt too.

Frank Hubeny said...

Nice lines: "and blue Monday arrives, I arise
and begin to shed the creature that holds sway;"

Dwight L. Roth said...

A tough journey of one shedding at a time... I like what you wrote!

Jilly said...

Marvelous imagery! Antibiotics for the germy things and great writing for the soul :)

ms_lili said...

i see you beautiful red koi, swimming against the darkness of the disease. willing you to wiggle your way to where the bright water plays with the sun

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